Labour’s welfare split

August 15th, 2012 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Claire Trevett reports:

Mr Shearer was also expected to be criticised – it is understood some caucus members were upset about Mr Shearer using the example of a person on the sickness benefit to state he did not approve of fraud. Mr Shearer used the anecdote in a speech to GreyPower last week and yesterday said he stood by it.

It will be interesting to see if Shearer ever uses it again in a formal speech. If he does not, that will signal that doesn’t support work testing for beneficiaries and is happy for people to remain on a benefit even if they are capable of working.

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20 Responses to “Labour’s welfare split”

  1. Keeping Stock (9,381 comments) says:

    Shearer has created a situation where he is damned if he does, and damned if he doesn’t.

    And hot on the heels of the Stuff poll that showed Someone Else as the overwhelming choice for Labour leader last week, he won’t be liking the poll that Stuff has today:

    http://keepingstock.blogspot.co.nz/2012/08/quote-of-day-15-august-2012.html

    It’s almost enough to make you feel sorry for the bloke :D

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  2. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Oh what rubbish. If he doesn’t use it again, it might be a sign that he doesn’t feel the need to repeat himself.

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  3. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    KS

    You really are scraping the bottom of the barrel. You’re giving credence to a Stuff poll? Yeah it’s not like those opposed to Labour can vote in such a poll…

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  4. hmmokrightitis (1,596 comments) says:

    ross69:”Oh what rubbish. If he doesn’t use it again, it might be a sign that he doesn’t feel the need to repeat himself.”

    Has it ever stopped you?

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  5. Keeping Stock (9,381 comments) says:

    Oh ross69; how quickly you rise to the bait! But don’t you think that David Who might catch on?

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  6. speters (108 comments) says:

    “It will be interesting to see if Shearer ever uses it again in a formal speech. If he does not, that will signal that Labour doesn’t support work testing for beneficiaries and is happy for people to remain on a benefit even if they are capable of working.”

    That’s simply not true. It’s entirely possible that on reflection, Shearer might realise he doesn’t know enough about this so-called bludger to call him that. As others have pointed out, he could well be on the benefit for mental illness, etc.

    I support more stringent requirements/testing for beneficiaries, but your statement is just spin as usual.

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  7. joe bloggs (126 comments) says:

    Yeah it’s not like those opposed to Labour can vote in such a poll…

    So you DO have a sense of humour Ross… what’s the bet that all those votes for Someone Else were the onanists from The Stranded making their feelings known?

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  8. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    > Has it ever stopped you?

    That’s because some of you don’t get it the first time. :)

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  9. Cunningham (846 comments) says:

    Only the Labour party would be angry when someone points out people who are fucking over the welfare system. And they wonder why most kiwis think they are a bunch of wankers!

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  10. Cunningham (846 comments) says:

    Actually I am incorrect. No just Labour but any party on the left!

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  11. Alan Johnstone (1,087 comments) says:

    It’s the key issue that will define his leadership. Labour can not win if it is not seen to be on the side of working families.

    If it’s viewed as a advocacy group for people on benefits, then it loses. simple as.

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  12. UpandComer (537 comments) says:

    It’s true though Ross. If he doesn’t say it again, obviously it is because he has been cowed by the weeping wankers in his party who think that beneficiaries are the most virtuous people in society bar none. If he says it again it means he is sticking to his guns and exercising leadership, because now it has become a thing.

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  13. Nostalgia-NZ (5,320 comments) says:

    Why don’t caucus get upset with themselves for living the dark ages. Time for rationalising the ‘gravy train’ along the lines of what Shearer pointed out are the purposes of welfare. You’d have to be some kind of dumb f by criticising your own leader in a party that is treading water rather than bringing initiatives to the electorate. Especially when it looks like National are prepared to be ‘steady as she goes’ into the next election avoiding one of the monkeys on the country’s back – welfare.

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  14. tvb (4,556 comments) says:

    Welfare with no obligations and no questions asked sits badly with people which are in jobs and struggle to make ends meet. How labour reconciles the two takes quite a lot of political skill and much deception. It is not unusual for labour politicians to say different things to different audiences.

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  15. trout (957 comments) says:

    This speculation throws light on the major difference between the Right and Left; the Left like to believe that everyone has noble intentions and would only rort the system if forced to; the Right know that given the opportunity most people will rort the system and that there is a need for regulation and vigilance.

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  16. Bob R (1,420 comments) says:

    The attitude of some is summed by the moronic, knee-jerk reaction from cartoonist like Trace Hodgson who depicted Paula Bennett as a nazi for offering free contraception to beneficiaries and their teen daughters.

    With fools like that allowed to smear politicians for a perfectly reasonable policy, it’s no surprise there is a reluctance to impose any reciprocal obligations for welfare.

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  17. Monique Watson (1,062 comments) says:

    Yeah – it’s about 3/4 greenies/union outlook/welfare advocates, the labour caucus at a guess:the rest are perhaps Waitakere man/women wannabes. Key players will be playing both roles to see where sympathies lie: Housewife logic:
    http://nowoccupy.blogspot.com/2012/08/garnering-support.html

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  18. kowtow (8,945 comments) says:

    This is partly what’s wrong with the new Labour, middle class , intelligentsia etc who don’t really represent the working man,like in the old days ,new Labour represents certain client classes and “benes” are one such class.

    “Benes” generally are not working class, they are an underclass who refuse to take their part in society. Firstly by not striving in the education system, by becoming criminals and drug abusers ,by being unmarried single mothers etc

    Any one of the left who dares raise this issue is labelled an enemy(when in fact they are not) and the punishment for treachery has always been particularly severe.

    If the guy in question is fit enough to paint a roof,then he is ipso facto fit enough to work and earn.

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  19. Pete George (23,821 comments) says:

    Alan Johnstone at 12:49 pm is right. And it would appear that Labour strategists understand this, hence the attempt to appeal to workers. And hence upper Labour shunning and ignoring lower Labour at The Standard

    But it’s a political tightrope for Labour to walk, and Shearer only has training wings to try and keep his balance with.

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  20. hmmokrightitis (1,596 comments) says:

    If Shearer had any nuts, he would use this to define – redefine – what Labour actually stand for, but he will not.

    “Yes, we need a social policy that acts as a net to catch those who fall. But I will not allow that to be abused, and Labour does not stand for that” Watch how that would resonate with people.

    But he will not, and they will not. He because he cannot lead, and chances are the story is bullshit anyway, a made for media bullet point. And they will not because they will do anything, anything at all, to regain power – other than what is right and wanted by NZ’ers.

    Without a spine, the lot of them.

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