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Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Schools run by corporations, open pit mining on conservation land and privatization of welfare: Welcome to Key's NZ

The National Party are running around with the sort of glee children with attention Deficit Disorder do in a sweet shop. National simply can't believe the sleepy hobbits have really granted them the vast mandate to restructure the entire country in the interests of the rich. The breathtaking audacity announced since their two seat majority Government scrape through with a mere 32% of the electorate gives a clear indication that we can expect National to once again misuse urgency to ram through their hard right economic policy as social policy agenda minus any of the usual democratic safeguards before the mainstream media come home from their Bali holidays in March.

In the short time since their historic 48% win, National have announced a massive new open pit mine on conservation land, the privatization of welfare, and allowing religious freaks and corporate freaks to buy schools and run them.

Welcome to John Key's NZ.

Announcing an open pit mine on conservation land days after victory was astounding enough, but to have Kate Wilkinson claim she didn't have to open the process to the public after specifically telling conservation groups that if the open pit mine went ahead that they would be allowed to is breathtaking arrogance.

Well done NZ.

The privatization of Welfare is joyful madness. The powers Paula has given her department mean that if someone on Welfare turns own a job NO MATTER WHAT THE REASON, they have the benefit cut. What the privatization of this process means is private 'employment agencies' will be given bonuses when they cut people off welfare after offering beneficiaries work they turn down. The counter productive results this process creates show that it is ideology not measurable outcomes on poverty that is dictating social policy.

Why should a private 'employment agency' get the bonus when that money should go to an employer risking the employment?

Round of applause NZ.

And now we have a little discussed ACT policy to allow religious freaks and corporate freaks to buy public schools and run them for profit. Sure, the Ronald McDonald Creationist High School might look better on paper, but the abortion of allowing corporate profit driven influences and fundamentalists to run our public education system might be a hard right wing fantasy too far.

In light of the OECD report today showing we have one of the best public education systems in the world, surely we wouldn't allow National and John Key to deface our very own public education service?


The icing on the top of this shit cake is the report out today by the OECD showing inequality has sky rocketed in NZ. The income of the richest 10 per cent of Kiwis is now more than 10 times that of the poorest 10 per cent. What's hilarious is that the elites are borrowing for their tax cuts while forcing the rest of us to subsidize it through higher GST.

Welcome to John Key's NZ right as the vacant optimism starts to fade to the black swan nesting holiday home reality our economy is becoming with the latest growth trim from Treasury.

But to the victor go the spoils of war, if sleepy hobbits are really so thick to trust a multi-millionaire money trader peddling vacant aspiration to provide a more socially just society, then those sleepy hobbits get the Government they deserve, and as for the vast number so disenfranchised by the media's constant claim that Key was 60% ahead and who made 2011 the worst voter turn out in over a century, a concerted effort must be made to bring those back into the democratic fold.

Lowering the voter age to 16 alongside a civics course in the curriculum, making half the day of the election a public holiday, throwing out the legislation banning prisoners from voting, cultural immersion classes for new citizens explaining how the political structure works and making these classes freely available through adult education courses at schools are idea that need exploring.

Relaxing the process to have your details kept private would allow those keeping debt collectors and abusive ex partners away to enroll.

If we do not make immediate moves to re-enfranchise those million who enrolled but didn't vote, it will be to the detriment of our democracy as a whole.

That said, sleepy hobbits reap what they sow, and the harvest looks terribly bitter.



At 6/12/11 2:29 pm, Blogger Giarne said...

A list of horrors that were mostly forecast before the election. I can't believe people thought that National would consult about anything ... it was clear that Key believed he'd done his campaigning and that mandate would be claimed.

It sickens but doesn't surprise me that crap like charter schools is being snuck in now. Banks and Key would have done this deal AGES ago, with Brash and Boscowen looking on in glee.

So right about civics education and free, decent info about our electoral system for all voters, particularly new voters. We assume that everyone knows how it works and how to make it work for them but its obvious that is far from the case!!!

At 6/12/11 4:09 pm, Blogger Alex McMillan said...

I agree with you 110%, but the question is this: what can we DO about this? Once it's done, it would be nearly impossible to UN-do, so how can we prevent it?

I believe ANY form of corporate interest in ANY public resource such as schools/welfare should be made ILLEGAL immediately and signed like the American constitution.

John Key and his rich buddies are going to drive New Zealand into the dirt and run away laughing to their island mansions when it happens. HOW CAN WE STOP THIS and save our country?!?!?!?!

At 6/12/11 5:39 pm, Blogger Frank said...

Indeed. We get the government we deserve.

The point now is to motivate the de-motivated to vote. And with by-elections an almost dead cert, this government will be vulnerable as long as the Maori Party don't betray their constituents yet again.

It's time for Labour, the Greens, and social organisations to build a Common Front. If this sounds like warfare, that's because it is: we are at war with neo-liberalism that has been allowed to run amok.

At 6/12/11 6:19 pm, Blogger Tiger Mountain said...

Had the same thoughts as Frank today, we are on a war footing, class war. A good chunk of the non voters are not the enemy just disengaged for various reasons.

But it is frustrating to think that if a few more of them had got off their asses a lot of ’em would have $2 more per hour in the backpocket covering said ass via a $15 minimum wage. So if people won’t act in their own best interests there is work to be done alright.

The clampdown has begun and families and volunteer sector can only do so much to clean up. There is a need for a united front or at least coordination of all organisations that are currently resisting the right wing “call up” in their own ways.

At 6/12/11 7:03 pm, Blogger Wake Up Blog said...

Yep the sheeple have spoken and delivered us mayhem. First cab off the rank for charter schools will be Destiny Cult. Imagine all the twisted minds that form of education will deliver into our communities. The education sector should be at the end of their tether with this news. Roll on the era of the unions in full flight.

At 6/12/11 11:30 pm, Blogger Frank said...

Indeed, Tiger...

It may sound 'trite', but this government seems different to the previous administration. There is something... nastier at work. Heck, Key didn't even have to pretend to be likeable when he blamed MMP for National's lurch to the right.

If the Maori Party coalesce with this government, it will be their death knell.

In the meantime, a new class war has begun. (And I don't normally subscribe to such terminology.)

At 7/12/11 9:20 pm, Blogger Jake said...

Of course National always intended to go down the road of Charter Schools. They appointed Lesley Longstone as Secretary of Education months ago and she was a well known campaigner for Charter schools in England. Here she is singing their virtues in January :


At 7/12/11 10:55 pm, Blogger Beverley from birkenhead said...

Teachers work more productively if they are not hampered by union delegates harping on about conditions and wages and the need to vote at meetings. Charter schools can recruit more youthful and vibrant teachers from Britain, the USA and South Africa - people who can concentrate on teaching the basics without the cultural baggage of having to come to grips with the trivia of tangata whenua rights, racism and poverty. An increasing influx of teachers, who speak English properly, will provide the disadvantaged student in South Auckland with proper role models who can focus on instilling down-to-earth values in the classroom. They will also demonstrate that hunger, overcrowding and TB in the home are not impediments to obtaining a sound education. Charter schools will force lazy, left-leaning, NZ teachers to wake up their ideas or face a hurried career change to pay off their student loans. Carpe diem John.

At 11/12/11 10:41 am, Blogger Alex McMillan said...

@Beverley: Are you insane? "without the baggage of having to come to grips with the trivia of poverty and racism" - What the...? Why don't we just forget the problems of the world and live in your fantasy land where unicorns fart rainbows and politicians don't manipulate public opinion in order to support something that is designed to take MORE power from the people?

Go to hell you right-wing idiot. You can ride the National party if you want - that's where they're taking us.


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