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.