Thinking Long Term

13 February, 2008

Helen Clark’s speech to Parliament overshadowed? Not if I can help it

Filed under: Uncategorized — alvera @ 12:40 pm
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How convenient that Rich has resigned right after Helen Clark has announced a series of fantastic policies including the issue of tackling housing affordability.  The media will probably be all over Rich’s resignation rather than focussing on the good work the Labour Party is planning to help people, including enabling people to own their own houses, the rolling out of “B4 School checks” to detect and assess how children will cope in school, “School Plus” – lifting the age of participation in school or other forms of education to 18, a new funding model to assist Non-Governmental Organisations working in our communities, support for victims of crime, and a whole host of other policies in other areas like health and supporting New Zealand families.

31 January, 2008

Politics is everything

I was thinking this morning about how much politics is a part of my life.  But really, it’s not just my life, politics is central to everyone’s lives, whether they realise it or not.  I realise this is rather a politically geeky thing to say – but hey, I figured if you’re reading my blog then I might be forgiven!  My family get irritated when I talk about politics at the dinner table.  They’re scientists – they like to discuss things like kidney ferns and isotopes and acute demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy.  Whatever that means.  I kinda wish I did biology in year 12.  The funny thing is, while most people profess to hate politics, they’re talking it all the time – whether it’s how much they’re getting paid, how well looked after they were in hospital, how many bloody pointless letters studylink sends them, what little Suzie learnt in school yesterday, or the weather (yes, weather is politics – climate change politics).  Most of these things I’ve mentioned are social issues – things that actually affect the way people go about their daily lives.   And it’s these things that the Labour-led government cares about.  Labour was founded on the principles of community well-being.  Labour cares about what we care about – whereas National instead has a focus on individualism.  Take John Key’s State of the Nation speech a couple of days ago.  While the first message people perceive (after the scaremongering about youth crime – ambulance at the bottom as usual from them) is that National supports free education, the hidden agenda is 1. Privatisation of year 12 and 13, and 2. cutting benefits to 16 and 17 year olds.  I.e. if you are 16 or 17 and you are pregnant, sick, disabled, or looking for work, you wouldn’t be able to receive the Independent Youth Benefit.  Good one, John.   And what exactly did he mean by “genuinely too sick to work”?  I was too sick to work recently, so I had to go on the sickness benefit.  I would not have been able to without a medical certificate.  Seems pretty genuine.  And I would have been earning about three times as much (in my near minimum wage earning summer job) if I had been well enough to work.  I really wish I could have been at work!  Sometimes, people are in unfortunate circumstances.  And that is when we should collectively support them.

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