Responding to such a serious and heartbreaking issue as child poverty with glibness is something Prime Minister Helen Clark should have stamped out well before election year. The sight of our most amply proportioned cabinet minister suggesting hungry children are simply dieting was reminiscent of a certain French consort’s exhortation to “let them eat cake”.
I think the TV footage would make an excellent political advertisement!
As subsequent reports revealed, recent surveys show half of Maori households are sometimes, or often, running out of food. One in five Maori families is sometimes or often using food banks. Forty per cent of Pacific children go to school without breakfast – and not for slimming purposes. Those figures will only increase in the current climate of rising food, mortgage and petrol prices.
Derek Fox will be happy Parekura is so out of touch.
The Minister’s gaffe, though, is symptomatic of Labour’s wider issues. The party of the left sounds increasingly smug or out of touch with its core constituents. During its three terms in power, a number of its MPs have forgotten who put them there.
No different to a year ago when they denied there was an underclass.