The new Ministry for Roger Douglas’s Children

By   /   April 3, 2017  /   22 Comments

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The new Ministry should be called the Ministry for Roger Douglas’s Children because it was the brutal policies of Douglas and his Labour Party cohorts unleashed on New Zealand from 1984 which, several decades later, are continuing to devastate communities, families and children.

The government showed grim determination to keep the name Ministry for Vulnerable Children for the “new” organisation to take over from the Child Youth and Family Service.

Despite many calls for a more positive and appropriate name, government ministers want to reinforce the message that any child involved with the service has a dysfunctional family and the family is to blame.

For the government, labelling a child as vulnerable labels the parents as useless.

This is of critical importance because it takes the focus away from the political decisions which lead to ever more families struggling and rising instances of child abuse and neglect.

There is never any excuse for abusing children but neither is there any excuse for government policies which undermine parents, strip away their dignity and self-respect and leave their children exposed and vulnerable.

The new Ministry should be called the Ministry for Roger Douglas’s Children because it was the brutal policies of Douglas and his Labour Party cohorts unleashed on New Zealand from 1984 which, several decades later, are continuing to devastate communities, families and children.

That’s not to say everything was rosy prior to Douglas – it wasn’t. But before he took a sledgehammer to the welfare state a breadwinner could work a steady 40 hours a week in any job and have enough income to raise a family with a decent standard of living.

30 years later two or three family members are needed to work a series of low-paid, insecure, part-time jobs to bring in enough income to survive.

The beneficiaries of Roger Douglas’s policies have been the rich and the super-rich.

As the ground-breaking 2010 book “The Spirit Level” demonstrated so clearly, the dramatic increase in social problems in developed countries such as New Zealand in recent decades is a direct result of growing inequality.

Whether it’s increasing drug use, educational underachievement, child abuse and neglect, violent crime or mental health problems the roots are in a society which rewards the rich at the expense of the rest of society.

As families slip backwards from dignity to survival in Roger Douglas’s world their children too often slip from vulnerability to victims.

Poverty, inequality, child abuse and neglect are the entirely predictable outcomes of a world where the right to exploit other people takes precedence over the right to a job, decent pay and the opportunity to raise a family in dignity and self-respect.

It doesn’t matter how many crocodile tears the National government sheds when children are abused, neglected or killed, the responsibility lies in their bloodied hands.

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22 Comments

  1. Castro says:

    Roger Douglas, first to the gallows.

    • Once ......... says:

      That’s what worries me @Castro.
      We never seem to learn from history eh?

      It baffles me how (as media portrays) when there is a 10% .v. a 90%, then ‘going forward’ a 1% .v. a 99% still can’t understand why those they oppress might start to get a little pissed off.
      And the longer they ‘kick the can down the road’, the more likely a violent outcome.
      The symptoms are the ideology of the neo-liberal mind; the gated communities; the rise in individualism; the 15 minutes of fame mentality; the demise and politicisation of the public service and the public sphere; and their constant attempts to portray themselves as victims; etc., etc. etc.
      Kicking that can down the road is just that, until it reaches the cliff. And when it goes over, we’ll all be expected to feel dreadfully sorry for them.
      I can understand why you’ve got Roj at the top of you list, but there have been quite a few that followed that would be deserving of a similar fate.
      It’s easier to just pity the fukwit and piss on his grave when it all disappears up its own arse, which as history has proven, is inevitable.
      I suspect you might have a bit more life ahead of you than I do as well – I’d love to be a round when it happens but so far (given the state of the right – AND of the so-called LEFT), I suspect I won’t be

    • Siobhan says:

      Crowd funding to hire him, then an ambush maybe, nothing untoward of course, we can just give him a very stern talking to

      http://www.celebrityspeakers.co.nz/roger-douglas/

    • Mike the Lefty says:

      I’m sure there is a space booked for him on Tyburn Hill.

  2. Olwyn says:

    “For the government, labelling a child as vulnerable labels the parents as useless.”

    That sentence nails it, and this new ministry has “stolen generation” written all over it. They may vet their sentences so as to avoid non-PC language, but the intent looks to be much as it was in the late 19th-early 20th century: remove the children from the poor so that the middle class will become less squeamish about the exclusion of the poor from economic and civic life. In earlier times, such children were used to provide domestic servants and farm labourers. This time around they are more likely to be used to supplement a “better class of family”‘s chances on the property ladder.

  3. countryboy says:

    @ Castro. Where is he? Lets do it? No, seriously. Where does the fucker live? Where does he skulk? Why is he not running, hiding. Living, disgraced, in exile at the very least?

  4. Ovicula says:

    Lange was the midwife of Douglas’s bastard children. He knew what he was doing. He was not a stupid man.

  5. Jack Ramaka says:

    Lange was too busy pracitising his mass debating skills at Oxford University?

  6. Andrea says:

    The legacy of the Fourth Labour Government, increased gleefully by subsequent National tyrannies, and never rescinded or abated by later Labour administrations, certainly did the old Pandora’s Box trick – and squashed poor old Hope ‘twixt lid and box.

    Nor could this same clutch of Smugs run the economy in such a way as to continue full employment, plus ensure the country could participate in world trade among the middle affluent at least.

    But – it is not material poverty that causes persistent savage cruelty to children.

    There are so many double and single parent families on miserable incomes who go without, go hungry, so their children have enough.

    They’ve always been there. Decent folk raising more decent folk.

    And the others have always been there, too. The baby-men with their selfish savagery and the baby-women playing at mummies until it all gets too hard.

    If there was better pay there is no guarantee whatsoever that the unkind people would be any better with their children. They never have been, any where, or in any time.

    However, if there was better pay then perhaps the people who love to be parents and raising children well could do more with their working efforts, more for their families.

    And teach our social services people to distinguish between the two so good and loving people can get out of the bureaucratic nightmares than can engulf them too easily and leave their kids at risk of damage or death.

    The past is no place to look for better housing; safety and sufficiency and respect for single parents; an economy that serves the majority instead of the few; a social safety net that allows people to begin to prosper without penalty or punishment; enough paid employment and surety for enterprising to give more choice for work that generates income than we currently have.

    That’s the work we have before us. That has to happen in the present. And soon.

  7. Trump’s victory and the resignation of the British PM show that the people have only one chance to change the decaying, failed Neoliberalism agenda in New Zealand. That chance is to vote neoliberalism out. National and Labour are both neoliberalism. Start taking responsibility to changet things. Eg., Ask all of the other partys to stop neoliberalism in 2017. Stone dead. If they won’t commit to it in a writ ten promise to you and the public don’t vote for them. And start a party with out neoliberalism aims instead. Flood Facebook with ideas of what that would look like. Do we need a Swiss Constitution? What about a second house to prevent corruption among MPS? What about knocking back MPS free travel and life pension perks? How about a health system that is funded to provide health for all, year upon year, instead of being stripped of $1.7 bIllion lately? And fully transparent open books about who is lobbying our government and what vested interests are they asking for? And why the third pillar of democracy, binding petitions and referendums have been kicked out from under us? Tell me the things you’d include.

  8. Sandra Libeau says:

    Trump’s victory and the resignation of the British PM show that the people have only one chance to change the decaying, failed Neoliberalism agenda in New Zealand. That chance is to vote neoliberalism out. National and Labour are both neoliberalism. Start taking responsibility to changet things. Eg., Ask all of the other partys to stop neoliberalism in 2017. Stone dead. If they won’t commit to it in a writ ten promise to you and the public don’t vote for them. And start a party with out neoliberalism aims instead. Flood Facebook with ideas of what that would look like. Do we need a Swiss Constitution? What about a second house to prevent corruption among MPS? What about knocking back MPS free travel and life pension perks? How about a health system that is funded to provide health for all, year upon year, instead of being stripped of $1.7 bIllion lately? And fully transparent open books about who is lobbying our government and what vested interests are they asking for? And why the third pillar of democracy, binding petitions and referendums have been kicked out from under us? Tell me the things you’d include.

  9. Jack Ramaka says:

    These guys started the rot and the cancer has spread through the National and Labour Parties through the last 33 years, neoliberalism is dead as there is little or no life left for many people in New Zealand.

  10. Archonblatter says:

    @Countryboy. Easy peasy. In the phone book.

  11. Archonblatter says:

    R.O. and G. South Auckland way.

  12. Archonblatter says:

    Labour M.P. for Manakau and Manurewa.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Douglas

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/287696/former-mps-and-spouses-spend-$700k

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/unlimited/9970910/Family-matters-at-Douglas-firm

    Michelle Hewitson interviewed him in one of those demented twerpy female interview things she used to do for The NZ Herald. She found him wandering about in the mall at Manurewa. Seems as good a place as any.

  13. Helena says:

    It seems that everything negative affecting humanity has been patiently put in place and nurtured for years indeed generations. We have to look carefully at the past and trace it to today’s misery within families affecting so badly the little ones and taking so many lives in the youth.
    No one, imo, who enters our Parliament and holds any degree of power escapes from the virus which kills the heart and feeds the condition of power over others. Max Spiers gives a brief summation of how humanity has been is being indoctrinated to accept miserable conditions as being “normal”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wt3dzTB0g5Q

  14. Jack Ramaka says:

    Our forebears built a good country here for the people until the 1970’s then the egotists like Muldoon, Lange etc embarked the country on a program of Zombie Economics which survives until this day.

  15. Gosman says:

    ScarlettMod, would you be able to respond regarding my question please?