Can we pause and consider what just happened to Metiria back there?

By   /   August 11, 2017  /   36 Comments

TDB recommends Voyager - Unlimited internet @home as fast as you can get

Metiria’s crime was not that she had told the truth about needing to game the draconian neoliberal welfare system, but that she had the audacity to tell her story with her chin up in defiance at the injustice of that system rather than the self-shaming we all demand from anything that is attached to the virgin sacrificing sacredness of ‘taxpayer money’. 

In NZ we accept the dignity of the broken, but never the dignity of the resistant.

I think I’m still in shock.

Like the ringing in my ears at watching a Political friend being assassinated right in front of my eyes is  still registering, with bits of her brain matter lightly coating everything in a fuzzy pink and grey cloud.

Did you all see what the fuck just happened to Metiria back there? How the neoliberal mythology police, also known as the rich white angry male brigade…

…just harried Metiria like a pack of hounds in a fox hunt.

Her crime?

Metiria’s crime was not that she had told the truth about needing to game the draconian neoliberal welfare system, but that she had the audacity to tell her story with her chin up in defiance at the injustice of that system rather than the self-shaming we all demand from anything that is attached to the virgin sacrificing sacredness of ‘taxpayer money’.

In NZ we accept the dignity of the broken, but never the dignity of the resistant.

The double standards at play here are extraordinary…

…the sexist, racist and classist attack on Metiria managed to eclipse the structural cruelty of WINZ.

The glee and stridence WINZ have shown for wanting to know what beneficiary lived where 25 years ago should force the rest of us to recoil in horror.

Mainstream NZ have no understanding of just how horrific the staff are in these neoliberal welfare agencies and just how dreadful the policies are. 70% of National voters don’t know anyone unemployed and are deaf to the plight of beneficiaries.

The privileged broadcasters who act as the neoliberal culture police don’t know the reality of beneficiary life either, but they do know knee jerk bigotry and they know how well it rates. Their snarling orgy of derision and moralistic tub thumping was to in effect rally around the neoliberal cultural myth that punishes the poor for being poor.

Labour won’t criticise the Public Service for fear of the PSA. The Party who did nothing to reverse the Ruth Richardson welfare cuts will push for legislation to record poverty but do sweet bugger all to end it. Labour hasn’t shown any willingness to date in directly lifting the lives of beneficiaries out of poverty and it was left to the Greens to show leadership.

Metiria appealed directly to those beneficiaries, many of whom make up the missing million and not only promised them $180 extra each week in benefits, she told them her own story to show them that they should and could have faith in her because she had walked their walk in their shoes.

The resulting media backlash was less journalism and more lynching.

The Greens didn’t appreciate the hatred towards beneficiaries that exists deeply rooted in our neoliberal cultural myths. They didn’t appreciate how the corporate voice of patriacuhry that has worked so hard to disable and weigh the poor down so that they are ineffective at the ballot box were never going to allow a brown woman from poverty to hold her chin up in defiance the way Metiria did.

Metiria threatened the very balance of power that keeps neoliberalism the dominant economic, political and cultural power in NZ.

That and our negative egalitarianism was why she was ripped to pieces.

Universal Suffrage that includes class can never be tolerated by our Corporate Overlords.

We either accept that political injustice, or we  fight back and avenge Metiria.

***
Want to support this work? Donate today
***
Follow us on Twitter & Facebook
***

36 Comments

  1. Francesca says:

    I can’t express how proud I am , that( so far )the Greens haven’t walked back on their pledge to champion the poor.
    They’ve defiantly doubled down.
    Anyone who thought they were neolibs on bicycles can now think again

  2. esoteric pineapples says:

    “The Greens didn’t appreciate the hatred towards beneficiaries that exists deeply rooted in our neoliberal cultural myths.” – I think this hatred goes back even further than the 1980s. It was probably born in a time of comparative egalitarianism and plenty in the 1960s and 1970s when there were jobs for everyone. I back up this theory by pointing out that the majority of those attacking MT grew up in this era. The tables may not turn towards a truely progressive government until they start dying off in large numbers.

    • Nicke says:

      It has been observed, with some credibility, that what New Zealanders are reacting to is the idea that someone is getting something they are not. (A bit puerile, but anyway.)

      Perhaps the department could be restructured so ANYBODY could perhaps have reason to go there. Advice, legal help, government ombudsman, small claims, public de larations etc etc.

      It would certainly deal with the stigma.

      Just as prisoners in our jails should leave with an employable skill, while I would say the same should be available to anyone who wants it.

  3. esoteric pineapples says:

    The Metiria affair is starting to remind me of “the Dreyfus affair”

    “The Dreyfus Affair was a political scandal that divided the Third French Republic from 1894 until its resolution in 1906. The affair is often seen as a modern and universal symbol of injustice, and it remains one of the most notable examples of a complex miscarriage of justice. The major role played by the press and public opinion proved influential in the lasting social conflict.
    The scandal began in December 1894, with the treason conviction of Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a young French artillery officer of Alsatian and Jewish descent. Sentenced to life imprisonment for allegedly communicating French military secrets to the German Embassy in Paris, Dreyfus was imprisoned on Devil’s Island in French Guiana, where he spent nearly five years.
    The affair from 1894 to 1906 divided France deeply and lastingly into two opposing camps: the pro-Army, mostly Catholic “anti-Dreyfusards” and the anticlerical, pro-republican Dreyfusards. It embittered French politics and encouraged radicalization.”

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

  4. brucethemoose says:

    She could have claimed memory loss, or when things got tough, simply scurried away and hid, or suddenly found herself on an overseas trip like other well known politicians when the going gets tough.

    But she was more a man than John Key

    • Sam Sam says:

      Trust is difficult to establish in times of calm when it becomes an argument, there fore one Greens Party Co-leader candidate is better than another and we all choose.

      But when the chips are down and you can get eliminated in very unpleasant ways, and James Shaw shows that he is very prepared for it, and he’ll fight for them. It makes a difference after that.

  5. WILD KATIPO says:

    Hehehe… i proudly proclaimed I was going to vote Labour after 3 decades of being pissed off with them because of the treason / treachery of Roger Douglas ,…

    But I cant stop thinking, … Metirias treatment by the established neo liberal monolith has pissed me right off, and remembering Gareth Morgans speech to John Key , and Marama Davidson’s gutsy protest over in the middle east ,…

    I’m thinking my rebel vote will go to the Greens… just to give the one fingered salute to the whole screaming , baying lot of them.

    Fuck them.

    • Richard Christie says:

      I was going to vote Labour…….[now] I’m thinking my rebel vote will go to the Greens…

      Welcome back to the left.

  6. David Stone says:

    I believe what she said to John Campbell ; It was family reaction that prompted her departure, not the media vultures, she knew what to expect from them.
    D J S

    • David says:

      I agree, she had an awful lot of support from the true Green supporters, but it appears not from family and with the poll results from a significant sector of the populace.
      Sad affair all way around.

      • but it appears not from family

        Some family? As with all families there are always a few who find cause to have friction with others. The larger the family, the more likely for feuding.

  7. Francesca says:

    The next step would have been a family slagging match, with the likes of Gower slavering all over it and upping the stakes further
    Winners…National
    media owners and unscrupulous journalists
    curtain twitching moralists

    Losers….Metiria’s family getting ripped to bits
    Green party trying to get their policies heard above the din of shock horror tabloidism

  8. mary_a says:

    Anyone hearing the skeletons rattling in Natz’s closet? Now there’s a good place msm can start looking if they want to find some real squalor!

    Regardless whatever raises its dirty head from the Natz camp, under strict instruction from Herr Joyce, msm will look the other way, just as it is still doing re the Barclay/English issue, when it should be pursuing the life out of English and the Barclay kid! Media should also be chasing Winston Peters down as well, to see exactly what he has regarding the English texts!

    But no … Metiria was msm’s easy target, hating on the poor!

    • CLEANGREEN says:

      I am cutting through all this gibe and I am being solely focused on banishing this NAZI style Government on 23rd September!! it is as simple as that. – Nothing else matters more than this!!!!!!

      So I will not decide who I will vote for until the last two days before election day.

      THEN I will vote for the party who needs my vote most in that task set by me to banning this dirty, rotten, evil, autocratic, arrogant National mob!!!!!!!!

  9. Michal says:

    The best interview by far was John Campbell’s post her resignation but on at 5.20 I think it was.

    • I heard it as well, Michal. It was one of Campbell’s most difficult to do, yet he carried it out professionally and compassionately. It was impressive. It’s a shame that so-called “journos” like Gower, Hosking, Garner, Soper, Armstrong, et al, couldn’t even begin to fill Campbell’s shoes.

  10. OUCH says:

    The claim that she was forced out by the “neoliberal mythology police, also known as the rich white angry male brigade” is somewhat disproved by the fact that she resigned rather than answer questions raised by John Campbell who has previously been greatly supported by this site as asking “awkward questions of those in authority.”

    Are still one of his supporters?

    • Oh, is that your spin now, “Ouch”?

      So if you resile from the torrent of vindictive “opinion” from the Media Elite, I take it you find their onslaught difficult to justify?

      Of course you do. That’s why you’re attempting to gloss over it, as if it never happened.

      If that’s the best you can do, you’re failing miserably.

      But what has succeeded, “Ouch”, is that I’m hearing Green Party members and supporters (including me) are galvanised like never before. The anger is palpable and the Right’s character assassination plot against Metiria has backfired on that score.

      #IstandwithMetiria”

      • OUCH says:

        Is distraction your only debating technique Frank?

        You must be very disappointed in John Campbell for joining this “torrent” by doing his homework and asking reasonable questions.

        • Not at all “distracted”, “Ouch”. His interviewing style was thoughtful, professional, and most importantly – compassionate. You know what compassion means, don’t you, My Anonymous Little RightWing Friend?

          But then again, you’ll seize on anything to justify the vendetta that was launched against Ms Turei. Even going so far as to stupidly claim it never happened.

          Oh, Mr Ouch, you have no idea what you, your right-wing friends, and the Media Elite have created. Ms Turei is now a martyr – and that’s something the Left understands and respects. If you think Ms Turei’s social welfare speech and admission was a threat to you and your Establishment cronies – you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

          It’s only just begun.

          • CLEANGREEN says:

            I side with Frank here as John Campbell has the charisma of an honest warm hearted Human far above the hard heated zealots we have everywhere in the MSM beltway today.

            he is a legend.

          • Red Buzzard says:

            re …”vendetta that was launched against Ms Turei” and “Ms Turei is now a martyr”….I don’t think so!

            ( and I am a Green supporter)

            …not after John Campbell’s interview

            …and I don’t think she did genuine beneficiaries any favours

            The Greens have been let down by their leadership in recent times…in fact they are an embarrassment

  11. David Stone says:

    While considering we should cast back another week to the effect of her original outburst. It caused a burst of support which reflected in the next polls all coming out of labour. The immediate result was Little’s resignation and a wave of optimism that Jacinda will do everything that everyone wants. We can all assign our expectations to her care now because none of us know what that is yet, but some of us are going to be disappointed because we don’t all want the same things.
    So Jacinda comes in and the polls swing back the other way and now Metiria has to resign. The latter might be a greater loss than the former, and neither one justified .
    D J S

    • Nicke says:

      If the Left wins the election, we at least have a shot at making improvements.

      Of course no one will be fully satisfied, we are all passionate about our beliefs, but the honest among us will allow that we have a government that shares many of our ideals.

  12. Cushela c. Robson says:

    .

  13. Mike the Lefty says:

    If Gower, Garner, Hosking et al had members of their family hassled and ridiculed like they saw fit to do to Metiria, they would be frothing at the mouth with self-righteous anger and demanding their private life not be interfered with.

  14. Nicke says:

    A friend of mine explained her situation to a WINZ staff member who understood her situation and went to talk to her superiors.

    Their first reaction was to deny the aid. “But she’ll be out in the street” protested the worker.

    The assistance was grudgingly accorded. But from then on every interaction required another WINZ official to sit in to make sure she wasn’t “too sympathetic”.

    There seem to be some good people at WINZ. It’s just that the parameters don’t allow them to make the contribution they could. While a Stockholm syndrome effect on many managers has led them to forget their primary purpose.

    • David Stone says:

      The new recruit will soon learn the parameters and get with the programme or join the queue on the other side of the counter; knowing how it works. What do you think she’ll do?
      D J S

  15. LOSTRELIC says:

    “moralistic tub thumping”
    Perfect wording there. Funny that the only one displaying any moral compass was the one that got hung on the cross! Honestly, I couldn’t give a fuck if a struggling mother lies to WINZ for her kid – and neither should anyone in any position of power. The real story is that the system has been under-supporting or unsupporting people in serious need. The Paddy Gophers of the country saw an opportunity to slay someone who had displayed a little bit of humanity because she wasn’t in their club of rich white males. New Zealand becomes a worse country by the year.

  16. Dave says:

    The Greens are better without her

  17. Marcus says:

    Clendon and Graham took fright and baled out.
    That is not behaviour that we expect from the Greens, who are expected to endure triple the amount of abuse and slander that any other party would ever be subjected to, but to keep on fighting.
    No, that is what selfish personal glory seeking National politicians like our ex-PM do – they throw in the towel as soon as the glory starts to fade.
    They made their choice, they chose self-interest over party interest. It is doubtful whether any of the other political parties would want their former members back in similar circumstances.

    • Red Buzzard says:

      alternative reality?

      re “the Greens, who are expected to endure triple the amount of abuse and slander that any other party would ever be subjected to”…disagree

      …other parties get scrutiny and demands for honesty ( but they tough it out)…why should the Greens think that they should be exempt from scrutiny, criticism and demands for honesty? ..

      ( the Greens dish the dirt yet squeal when they are called to truth account…smacks of exceptionalism , personality politics and spoilt brats…this was NOT the old Greens)

      re “Clendon and Graham took fright and baled out”…just maybe they have their ear to the ground and know what your average potential Green voter will tolerate?…(if Clendon and Graham had really been self interested they would have shut up and hung in there)

      …personally I find it embarrassing to be associated with the Greens

      …and I dont think Metiria Turei did genuine beneficiaries any favours

      • Jpo73 says:

        I agree Red Buzzard. It’s been a debacle. Her narrative didn’t stand up to media scrutiny and instead of highlighting the horrors of winz, she ended up reinforcing middle NZ’s view that they are all fraud cheats. She has positioned the Greens as a socialist party and no longer interested in the environment. Blaming the media is what Trump does and not a flicker of remorse is a slap in the face to all the people pay their taxes and trudge off to work each day. She made it much harder to change the Government at the next election and bring badly needed change.