And how did that No Hopey, Changey stuff work for you after 1991, National?
Widowed Kylee Guy and son following the murder of husband Scott Guy. Her future is tougher under National. Image TV3
The "Benefit Slashers" image was probably the single biggest factor in losing the 1999 election and 2002; in 2005 it was the second biggest factor after Don Brash and his mates: The Exclusive Brethren.
Watch history repeat itself later in this decade. John Key could do a great big cakewalk down the middle of New Zealand; he could do a big cakewalk with Gerry through Aotea Square, down Lambton Quay, through the Octagon and pull Jesus out of a freshly resurrected Christchurch Cathedral and Shearer is still a shoe-in if the economy doesn't improve and hardship stories from kiwi battlers become pronounced.
Every good conspiracy theorist who voted for Winston Peters "knows" that JK is the smiling assassin and was just biding time to take it to the poor.
It's a little more complicated. No offense to anyone who voted Winston and I'm a conspiracy theorist myself but instead of inhaling the old vox pop stories offered up by the 'traditional' News Media, APN and Fairfax, I use my Housewife Logic to work out the "truth".
One truth is, women did nothing for wonen in 1991 and they are doing nothing now.
For overseeing the legendary welfare cuts of 1991 as Minister of Social Welfare, Jenny Shipley is considered one of the most malignant women in the history of New Zealand to 50% of the population. She is surpassed only by Ruthanasia Ruth Richardson in the "Women Who Throw Other Women Under The Bus', stakes. I guess Paula is in line for the bronze.
In 1991, huge social shifts had just occurred. Women were leaving their loser husbands in droves. Most of them had children and with little access to work and wage inequality, they were reliant on the DPB. They were just able to survive on this welfare and had the ground ripped from them when benefits were slashed. That's when, for a myriad of reasons from the political spectrum, New Zealand no longer became a great place to live. Instead of targeting the child-bashing losers, and supporting real life families with re-training, punishing women for the red-neck vote became a blood sport. Everyone was treated the same and every woman on the DPB became stigmatised. After all the ballyhoo, National did a tits job at creating placements for beneficiaries; socialism gained a greater toehold and National was eventually booted.
I can't believe there were no other solutions to the universal policy of cutting entitlements and targeting women. Probably there was a benefit bubble where this group of babyboomer women could have raised their children and had access to re-training with free education. New Zealand would never have been exposed to divisive anti women baby-factory rubbish. And it should have been the women who pointed this out to the class of 1991.
Same scenario, different generation and this time it is the children of those same baby-boomers who are now being targeted across the board as bludgers.
From the Herald today: "Nothing arouses popular ire quite as much as the possibility solo mothers can have more babies on the domestic purposes benefit".
Me: This says to a certain element in society: "A woman's place isn't making mistakes or requiring help. A woman's place is cooking my eggs Biarch; on the back of my fist, or in the grave".
And once again a woman is wheeled out to try and sell us what the same class of 1991 have prescribed. We know the current crop of women in the National Cabinet are just the fluffers for the main stars, but we love to hate them anyway. Perhaps we hate them because they have no real power.No matter how they are spun to us as Tuff Luvin, Green Hotcakes, we know they aren't doing it hard like some kiwi women and they seem to be ignoring the pain being caused by new policies. We know they wouldn't act anyway, because of some unseen greater cause. We tolerate the do-gooder younger breed who are just weaning and we have a xenophobic paranoia about the Bennett's and the Collins of politics. They have broken ranks with the sisterhood with across-th-board changes to benefits that treat a widowed 40 yr old; a divorced stay at home Mum, with the very few problematic young un's.
You should have staged the changes John and Co. Now you have several PR problems on your hands.
Anti Women PR Problem 1.
How does National sell canning the widows benefit? The widows get shifted over to the all-purpose benefit on a lesser rate. You know, so they can wait it out until they too die, or go on the super, on a bit more hardship. Big fail. Women alone tend to help in the community and whatever the savings, the PR cost for National will be great. Perhaps this benefit should be means tested (life insurance payouts can be substantial) but until women have similar pay and job prospects as men, it does no harm to retain it.
How many millions of dollars can the Kylee Guys of the world possibly cost? Maybe she will support herself. What if she has no education and her husband and her were planning to farm together. With no husband and no father for the children it may be at least 14 years before she can re-train. If you are in this bracket you inevitably fall through the cracks, and for no lack of hard work.