The importance of what Metiria has done and why we should all support her

By   /   July 26, 2017  /   12 Comments

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Metiria admitting she was forced to break the law to feed her child doesn’t make her a hate figure, it makes her a leader who has experienced the cruelty of spiteful social policy firsthand.

What Metiria has done is forced the cruelty of the neoliberal welfare state into the spotlight. Some will claim it is political suicide, I utterly disagree.

The majority of the 800 000 missing voters are beneficiaries.

They have walked away from the system because they fear and hate the punitive system.

The Daily Blog has catalogued the list of terrible treatment at the hands of state agencies and how their flawed punitive and draconian ‘fraud’ process actually hurts and damages more than it holds to account.

NZs neoliberal revolution occurred 30 years ago and it has impacted every fragment of our economic, social and political narrative. A neoliberal welfare state is not there to help the vulnerable because that’s considered dependency, instead it acts like a giant stick to beat people and find ways to punish them for breaches of rules they don’t know about.

Just consider this…

More than half of all beneficiaries owe Work and Income money

Figures released to Checkpoint With John Campbell show 60 percent of beneficiaries had a debt, up from 49 percent in 2008.

The debt includes money owed for overpayments, one-off grants for living costs, and some fraud.

…you read that right, 60% of beneficiaries owe WINZ money because of WINZ convoluted processes and spite. That debt is effectively a life sentence to most beneficiaries, they are indebted slaves to a system that will punish them if they ever dare speak out against it.

This viciousness is not only seen in the spiteful policy of MSD but also in the mass surveillance powers they have given themselves to spy on beneficiaries.

Metiria’s honestly and courage has reached out directly to those beneficiaries and made a direct appeal in a way Labour has always been too frightened to do,

If the Greens can get those beneficiaries to the ballot box in September, and their promise to lift base benefits by $180 each week gives those beneficiaries every real incentive to do so, then the Greens could destroy all expectations.

I am proudly voting Green because it’s the only Party who will do anything meaningful on the poverty and inequality that has mutated and mutilated our society.  Metiria admitting she was forced to break the law to feed her child doesn’t make her a hate figure, it makes her a leader who has experienced the cruelty of spiteful social policy firsthand.

I can think of  no better candidate for Minister of Social Development than a person who has experienced the system at its worst and most counter productive.

 

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12 Comments

  1. Sam Sam says:

    The idea that WINZ clients can not supplement there income is bankrupt ideology.

  2. Francesca says:

    Great post Martyn
    I am grateful to Metiria for speaking out, and giving heart to the thousands in terrible situations of poverty and stress.
    Solidarity!
    I am also grateful to her for inciting all those mealy mouthed hanging judges who would have sent Metiria and her child off to Botany Bay for stealing a loaf of bread in the 19th century to out themselves
    Now we know who they are, and conversely those who show more humanity in supporting her stance
    That period of 19th century laissez faire economics mirrors the market fundamentalism of today and gave us the inhumane Dickensian horrors that so many people worked to overturn
    Those reformers are now considered to be heroes, so why is Metiria being trashed?
    Love you Metiria, don’t stop now

  3. esoteric pineapples says:

    All the haters don’t realise that Metiria has done them a favour for providing a non-violent way to protest.

  4. XRAY says:

    It’s not that I disagree with your views on poverty or the MSD’s warped targets.

    But for all those who work, especially the many who drag themselves out of bed daily to work, to feed their families on some poorly paid shitty job on uncertain hours in Nationals business paradise, they may not and probably will not be warmed by Metiria ripping the system off for whatever reason, nor will they care that from her supremely middle class party position, that she is now so forthright and so generous with taxpayer money.

    This is not a vote winner, not even close.

    I won’t be voting Green because these superior intellectuals of the Grey Lynn social media liberal set gave Nationals horribly misleading budget credibility by voting for some of it. Similarly their input into Keys ridiculous flag fiasco or any number of half witted things they have done of late. All of which left me wondering what do they stand for?

    But here’s hoping whatever it is, is not the Blue Greens.

  5. WILD KATIPO says:

    Indeed. Metriria needs to be held up as a political hero for her stance.

    And for those who conveniently try to smear her as having broken the law, – particularly those of the right wing , –

    SOMETIMES THE LAW NEEDS TO BE CHALLENGED AND BROKEN.

    You read that right.

    Say it out loud to yourself.

    Several times.

    And as the right wing suffer an apoplexy and become outraged by that statement , consider an example from over 100 years ago.

    In the Deep South of America, … there were severe penalty’s for anyone aiding and abetting runaway / escaped black slaves. The kidnapped slaves were sold off like livestock and had less rights than cattle.

    It was such an unjust system that eventually they fought a long and bloody war over it.

    A very long war.

    And speaking of wars,.. we all know about the laws Adolf Hitler passed against Gypsy’s , Jews , Slavs,…

    And again.

    We all ended up having a long bloody war with Germany in part because of those laws.

    Go figure.

    So while Martyn is proudly voting Greens this election ,.. I would say it is the mandatory choice for ALL those on benefits.

    There is no other.

    I however, … will be voting Labour this election to help bring up the rear with wage increases and the future potential for the Living Wage.

    And between Labour and the Greens, – and especially if all those on benefits went out to vote Greens, – there’s a huge chance of a change of government this election. And as Kiwi’s who have felt the abuse and bore the brunt of this insidious, vicious , do nothing National government,…

    We owe it to ourselves to do just that.

    • John W says:

      Hey NACT do nothing?

      I wish they had done nothing the we would be much better off.

      They have been busy pocket filling taking from us and giving to the few.

      The public now own billions less than before NACT started their term of pilfering from the public purse.

  6. mary_a says:

    If Meteria has encouraged previous non voting beneficiaries to register and vote this coming election, then she has done NZ a massive favour.

    Meteria, a shining star of humanity. A Kiwi to be proud of.

  7. HC says:

    Wow, I had almost given up on Metiria and the Greens, what has recently come from them in Parliament is astonishing and refreshing, for instance the questions asked to Minister Tolley and others today, they were the kind of stuff I had hoped to be asked for years, but never were before:
    https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/hansard-debates/rhr/combined/HansDeb_20170726_20170726_08

    Read it and believe it, dear friends.

    • Mike the Lefty says:

      I agree.
      The more the rabid right want to hypocritically condemn her, the more determined I am to vote Green, for the first time since 1987.
      What’s more I might just invite them to put up an election billboard on my fence.
      Anything that that makes the Natzski/Hosking unholy alliance spew is good in my books.

  8. Quicksilver says:

    Admire Metiria’s brave admission and stance.
    Reading the hate-filled responses from some quarters has reinforced the notion that 3 decades of neoliberalism has poisoned not just the environment, but the very fabric of our society.
    The hypocrisy of these people, many of whom have voted for, and continue to vote for, some of the worst white collar criminals imaginable, speaks for itself.
    You only have to look at the activities of entities such as Merrill Lynch prior to the GFC to see how white collar criminals, far from being vilified in the same fashion as Metiria, can instead be elevated to the position of Prime-bloody-Minister having perpetrated massive financial crimes that dwarf the $$ amounts mentioned in Metiria’s situation!