As Jacinda Ardern spoke at Labour’s election launch about child poverty the Town Hall was packed with people pinning their hopes on her. Did any give a thought to how deftly she had just a few weeks earlier fed Metiria Turei to the wolves?  Announcing she would not have Turei in a future Cabinet because “When you’re lawmakers, you can’t condone lawbreaking”,  Ardern sided with the pearl-clutching judgmentalism that columnist Zoe Williams writes about in the Guardian.

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The downfall of the New Zealand politician Metiria Turei shows how little empathy is left for those on the dole

 

Some things are easier to see from far away, and a collective slide away from empathy and common sense, towards pearl-clutching judgmentalism, is one of them. At the start of August the co-leader of New Zealand’s Green party, Metiria Turei, was forced to resign, following an outpouring of opprobrium that threatened to poleaxe her party’s prospects in September’s elections.

The crime for which this tide of hate would have been proportionate is hard to imagine: in fact, it was spurred by her admission that she committed benefit fraud in the early 90s, a confession she made freely to highlight how hard it was then, and is now, to raise a child as a single parent under New Zealand’s notoriously punitive welfare system.

More than half of all that country’s benefit claimants owe money to their work and income department, in what appears to be a version of Gordon Brown’s working family tax credit overpayments, where you identify the country’s poorest families, pay them slightly more than you intended by a metric you haven’t really explained, then saddle them with a debt they have no hope of repaying. When you get to the point that these debts affect 60% of claimants, this is no longer a glitch in the system: this is the system.

As the journalist Giovanni Tiso described in a moving essay, “once the blood was in the water, the sharks had to do as nature commanded them” – her admission of guilt was deemed not quite penitent enough. The media set out to “investigate” the extent of her fraud, and found that she had also had support from family members when she was young, so couldn’t possibly have been as destitute as she claims. Read the rest of this entry »

A group of artists are continuing the conversation Metiria Turei MP started – demanding a more compassionate social welfare system. They asked artists who have been on a benefit in NZ (DPB, sickness, invalids, jobseeker, whatever) to draw a picture of themselves, and write a couple of sentences next to it about their experiences.

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Check out their messages https://www.facebook.com/WeAreBeneficiaries/

The following statement is from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, August 15:

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine mourns the martyr Heather Heyer and wishes speedy healing to the wounded anti-racist protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia in the United States as they confronted a racist, fascist rally on Saturday, August 12. The martyr and the wounded are part of the global list of those who have fallen in the struggles of all peoples to confront racist powers and they will always be remembered as such.

Contrary to the assertions of some corporate media in the United States, the fascist rally in Virginia in “defense” of a Confederate statue is not a divergence from U.S. ruling politics but a reflection of them. The United States has always been built on the genocide of Indigenous people and the theft of Indigenous land, the genocidal confiscation of Black lives and Black labor and the globally murderous power of capitalism and imperialism.

The rise of these kinds of demonstrations of racism are also an expression of the crisis of U.S. capitalism and imperialism in the Trump era, as well as the “debate” of the two Read the rest of this entry »

Under the 5th Labour government beneficiaries were left in serious poverty following the extreme cuts imposed by the previous National government. Helen Clark refused to reverse the cuts, and Foodbanks grew as more people were unable to cope.

This woman’s story is a reminder that Clark was no champion of women especially those in hardship.Screen Shot 2017-08-21 at 6.32.25 PM

A group of artists are continuing the conversation Metiria Turei MP started – demanding a more compassionate social welfare system. Read the rest of this entry »

A group of artists are continuing the conversation Metiria Turei MP started – demanding a more compassionate social welfare system. They asked artists who have been on a benefit in NZ (DPB, sickness, invalids, jobseeker, whatever) to draw a picture of themselves, and write a couple of sentences next to it about their experiences.
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Check out their messages https://www.facebook.com/WeAreBeneficiaries/

212 pages; softcover.  Price: $20.00 USD (plus shipping: $5.00 US, $22.50 int’l); published by Marxists Internet Archive; ISBN: 978-0-692-88676-2

Orders:  http://www.erythrospress.com/store/mariategui.html

José Carlos Mariátegui (1894-1930), the founder and director of the seminal journal Amauta and of the Peruvian Socialist Party, is regarded as one of Peru’s, and Latin America’s most influential and original Marxist thinkers.  Indeed, in the three-quarters of a century since his death, interest in Mariátegui and his ideas has waned but little, if at all.

The main selection in this volume, History of the World Crisis, consists of a series of lectures delivered to workers’ schools by Mariátegui upon his return to Peru after a four-year stay in Europe.  In those seventeen lectures, delivered between June 1923 and January 1924, Mariátegui insightfully and incisively examines the post-World War I world crisis, the weakening of Read the rest of this entry »

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Jacinda illustrations by John Moore)

Jacinda – Labour’s most pleasant leader

Jacinda redefines fairness

Jacinda’s aspirational fluff

Jacinda’s plan of hitting workers with more indirect tax

Jacinda’s party and bourgeois respectability

and for our wider collection of articles on Labour see: Redline on the Labour Party