Monday, November 21, 2011

Forget roots, trees die, no longer Green

Russel Norman's quick as a flash decision to turn in Green Party member Jolyon White for political "vandalism" of National Party billboards was a slap in the face to the activists who have spent years building the Green Party from the grass roots to where it is now. There's three main reasons for this:

1) The defacing of political billboards is a New Zealand tradition.
When parties put up their billboards they expect a number of them to be defaced. Even National Party president Peter Goodfellow admitted this in an interview with morning report the day after the co-ordinated defacing of over 700 National Party billboards. The Sunday Star-times this week ran a good natured article on the different forms of defacing that have occurred so far and listeners to Radio Live are encouraged to send in photo's of defaced billboards. It can be a form of political activism, satire or art, but however you want to view it, it is a time honoured tradition of elections in New Zealand.

2) It had nothing to do with the Green Party.
Russel Norman went before the media and apologised "on behalf of the Green Party", but what did it have to do with the Greens? Nothing. That's why Norman also went on to state that White was "not an active member of the Green Party". By tying the actions of an activist to a political party just because that person was a member and then going a step further and expelling that person and turning them in, Norman essentially says that activists have no place in politics - the two cannot co-exist. Either you have to be an activist outside of the political system or join a party and behave. The problem with this stance is that it is inconsistent with previous Green Party stances.

3) Inconsistency
In 2002 the Green party copped a lot of flack for refusing to condemn activists who destroyed GM crops. They said they did not agree with the action, but Jeanette Fitzsimons made the Party's line very clear "we are not prepared to condemn in a blanket way all forms of non-violentdirect action" (and you can bet that a number of these activists were or had been Green Party members). In 2008 the Green's supported the actions of the Ploughshare activists who attacked the Waihopai spy base. Both these actions far outweigh putting some stickers on some billboards to make a political statement, yet Norman instantly came out and said the Green's "believe it [White's action's] is vandalism and condemn these actions".

So let's quickly recap. A popular past-time of activists and humourists is adopted on a large scale by someone who is a member of a political party that supports direct action. The activist takes part in direct action, but in no way under the banner of the party. Said party turns him in and takes responsibility for the action, apologising and paying for the damage. Confused? I'm sure middle New Zealand think it was the responsible thing to do, but I'm also sure there are a large number of dedicated Green Party activists feeling betrayed and lost right about now.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

John Key is right (for once) - we all have a socialist streak

John Key's secret discussions with US charge d'affairs about how to implement conservative policy in New Zealand are revealing, with Key stating that extremely conservative policies would not work in New Zealand because New Zealanders have a "socialist streak". It shows Key had a very deliberate game plan before the election to promote his party as middle of the road while slowly introducing more and more conservative policy. This has been much more successful than the smash and grab style of the Tories in England, whose harsh policies have led to the biggest protests and the biggest riots in a generation.

What's more interesting though, is Key's acknowledgement of his comments. Key says his "socialist" comment was merely referring to the caring nature of New Zealanders who did not want to see overt signs of poverty. "In that regard, I think New Zealanders do have a heart" Key said.What's so interesting about this statement is that what's inferred is that right wing policy, which is used to prop up free market capitalism, is unequal and uncaring. That Key seems happy to state so publicly says a lot about the man behind the smirk.

Key is right though. We all have a "socialist" streak because we have an evolutionary need for survival which centres around building stable communities. Sharing and promoting the welfare of others are key aspects of bilding strong stable communities.We don't want to see poverty because we know that it is wrong, we know that it will destroy families and communities. Capitalism on the other hand is the exact opposite. It promotes the individual over everyone else. It promotes inequality through a system that rewards greed, which can only come at the expense of others. It promotes an uncaring attitude which is seeing the decimation of community as we know it.

No matter how hard people like Key work to batter it out of us, humans care about each other. Let's just hope there's enough "socialist" left in New Zealander's come election time to do the right thing and boot out the people trying to turn us against each other, and our human nature.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Skateboarding as Street Art

"We are accustomed to understand art to be only what we hear and see in theaters, concerts, and exhibitions, together with buildings, statues, poems, novels. . . . But all this is but the smallest part of the art by which we communicate with each other in life. All human life is filled with works of art of every kind" - Leo Tolstoy

So said Leo Tolstoy back in 1897. Since then numerous people have tried to define what art is. Tolstoy believed that art must create a specific emotional link between the artist and the audience. My definition would be a lot broader than Tolstoy's. To me art is about seeing the world differently to how others see it and using that vision to create something new, something original. To me skateboarding is an art form, more specifically it's a form of street art - and here's why.

Firstly skateboarding is not a sport. There are no rules and it's not a competition. Two fundamental criteria for something to be considered a sport. You skate when you want to skate. You skate with whoever you want to skate with. You wear whatever you want to wear. You do whatever tricks you want to do. Most importantly, you skate wherever you want to skate. To a skateboarder, as to a street artist, the world is our canvas. Each new building, each new street, may contain a wall, a sculpture, a ledge, a rubbish bin, that can be utilised in a different way from its intended purpose. It's this deviation of purpose and creation of something new from that deviation, that defines street art.

"Remember crime against property is not real crime. People look at an oil painting and admire the use of brushstrokes to convey meaning. People look at a graffiti painting and admire the use of a drainpipe to gain access." -Banksy


If we examine the main aspects of street art, it becomes clear that skateboarding fits the  general definitions:

1. It takes place in public spaces and on private property, sanctioned or unsanctioned.
There is no space that is off limits. You are constrained only by your imagination (and maybe by a trespass notice)

2. It cannot be confined to one area (e.g.a skate park).
I think this is the one that confuses City Councils the most. They build a new skate park to get skaters off the streets, but can't understand why we don't stay confined to the park. The same goes for graffitti artists, you can set aside an area where it is legal to paint, but the artist will always wander, searching for new areas to create their art.

3. It makes use of public space and private property in ways that were not intended by the developers.
The art is in the creation. To be able to look at everyday objects and find a completely new and original way of using them. Turning a fountain in to a wallride or grinding a fence railing and so on. It's about creating something new, something original, out of an otherwise purely functional urban environment.

4. It's not necessary for the creation to be captured, or 'kept', the art is in the creation.
This last point is most important. The street artist is not concerned with whether their art lasts or not. It's the creation of the art that matters. Just as a mural may be painted over, a skate spot may disappear. The trick pulled on that wall last night may never be able to be repeated. It doesn't matter.

This is not to say that street art cannot be captured. Google Banksy and you'll find photos of many of his art works. Skateboarding is no different. Open Manual magazine and you'll see numerous tricks captured in photo. In fact this creates a whole new element of art, as the photo's themselves are artworks, thus creating art within art. The point however, is that the capturing of the art is not necessary for the art to exist.


"Think outside the box, collapse the box, and take a fucking sharp knife to it" - Banksy

The skateboarder, like the street artist, thinks outside the square. People often talk of skating as a way of life. There's a lot of truth in that statement, as cheesy as it sounds. Most life long skaters are drawn to the fringes because they see something inherently wrong, inherently boring with 'normal' society. You don't dress in a uniform, play in a team, within a boundary, at the same time every week. You go out and create, whenever you get the itch. This is skateboarding and this is art.

"Art is art. Everything else is everything else" - Ad Reinhart

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Productivity vs Morality

If I hear one more politician harp on about productivity I'm gonna have to poke their eyes out.

Productivity has become the new catch phrase for anyone wanting to talk economics and it seems that you just can't be taken seriously unless you mention productivity.

The problem seemed to start when National and Act started the '2025 Taskforce' whose aim is to show how we can close the wage gap with Australia by increasing productivity. That's right, not by increasing wages, but by increasing productivity. There is another name for this - Magic.

'Watch as wages increase by the shake of my wand'

Foolishly the opposition parties drew themselves in to the debate to the point where they had to mention productivity increases anytime they mentioned any other means of raising wages - like raising wages for instance. Both the Greens and Labour are guilty of being suckered in to the great productivity debate. Even the Council of Trade Unions is guilty of pandering to the 'productivity' brigade, stating that we need to "lift productivity and ensure the benefits flow on to both jobs and incomes". All this leads to ridiculous situations like Phil Goff stating in a speech "I note the facts on productivity that the CTU has published. These show that since 1980, labour productivity in New Zealand grew by 82 percent. But average ordinary time real wages in that period have grown by only 18%". His solution - increase productivity! Of course only "while making sure working people enjoy a fair share for their labour".

But this is the problem. All this talk of productivity is just a smokescreen to not have to talk about the real issue - low wages. The real reason that we now have a wage gap with Australia is because our unions were essentially destroyed during the 80's and 90's and our Award system, which set minimum pay and employment conditions for each industry, was removed. This did not happen in Australia. As clearly noted above, wages have not increased at the same rate as productivity. Not only that but our productivity over the same period was higher than Australia's. We are now in a situation where people are working harder for longer hours, just to try and get by. Meanwhile large companies are making increased profits every year, by increasing productivity, but not increasing wages. There is also another name for this - robbery.

The new CEO wasn't one for subtlety

The reason all this talk about increasing productivity bothers me so much is that I see the effects of 'increased productivity' every day. I've seen Bank workers break down in tears because they are working under such pressure, meanwhile the Banks are making staff redundant and making record profits. I've seen Hotel cleaners working three jobs just to feed their families. This is the human face of 'increasing productivity'.

Somehow morality and ethics just don't seem to matter when it comes to business. It's as if they are not compatible. What we need is a good dose of 'shock therapy' to set things right.

So here's my solution. Along with GDP we should also record GDM - 'Gross Domestic Morality'. This will be a measurement of all businesses in NZ and whether they are acting morally. Companies would be marked down for the following types of things: Not increasing employees wages to at least match inflation; making staff redundant while being profitable; seeking to remove current terms and conditions of employees etc etc. Each business would be given a positive or negative score and then all the scores compiled in to one. If the overall score is positive, then we can talk further about whether or not there is any room to increase productivity. However if the score is negative, then everyone is banned from using the words 'increase' and 'productivity' in the same sentence. In fact, an automatic go slow will be put in place in every workplace until the GDM returns to positive. Let's see how quickly we close the wage gap with Australia then.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Rich Men Don't Rape

Media outlets around the world are now gleefully reporting that the rape case against Dominic Strauss-Kahn (affectionately referred to as DSK by the media) is falling apart. Not due to a lack of evidence; not due to the Hotel Maid pulling out of the case; not due to any valid reason actually. No, the case is falling apart because Strauss-Kahn is rich and powerful and the Maid is not.

And the media goes along for the ride. Wouldn't it be nice if journalists for the corporate owned media had some integrity. Wouldn't it be nice to open a paper and read an article that went something like this:

"The rape case against Dominic Strauss Kahn is in danger of falling apart as Strauss-Kahn mounts a multi million dollar campaign to try and discredit his accuser.
Although the evidence clearly points to sexual assault: A distraught woman, a man with a history of sexual violence, injuries to the vagina of the victim, semen linked to the accused; Strauss-Kahn's crack legal team and a troop of private investigator's, including ex-CIA agents, will be trying to prove that the Maid, while working under the intense time pressure's and scrutiny that Hotel cleaner's work under, decided to stop work for a while to have violent consensual sex with a lecherous old man.

They will try and pull off this mammoth task by doing the only thing one can do when rich and powerful and accused of rape and all the evidence points to your guilt: They will buy their way out. Millions of dollars is being spent trying to discredit the victim and intimidate the prosecution in to dropping the case. Unfortunately for the defence team they can't find any holes in the actual rape case. That's because Strauss-Kahn is most likely guilty. Instead they are having to resort to trying to destroy the Maid's reputation by showing a dishonest past. So far the best they can do is show that she knows someone in jail, and didn't tell the whole truth on her asylum application when entering the US. As time goes by the stories will get more extreme though and it's already been enough though for the prosecution to get nervous. They don't have millions of dollars to spend proving the case and it won't take much for the case to get pulled."

The message to women is clear. Rich men don't rape. Sure they might force a woman to have sex against her will, but a few million dollars later the word 'force' will read 'entice' and the words 'against her will' will read 'consensually'. It's all semantics when you have enough money and power.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Meanwhile in the Fairfax Editor's office...

EDITOR: Didn't I say last week I wanted this Harawira blokes career destroyed?
SUB EDITOR: We've been doing everything we can, the problem is every time he appears on TV he seems so reasonable.
ED: That's why we're in the print media, we don't even have to prove he said anything...make something up if you have to.
SUB ED: We've already tried that...didn't you read yesterdays story?
ED: I don't read the stories dammit, I tell you what to write.
SUB ED: Why are we trying to destroy him anyway?
ED: Because he's racist!
SUB ED: Well if you actually listen to what he has to say...
ED: Then because he's not racist enough...racism sells dammit
SUB ED: So what now then?
ED: I want complete destruction. Link him to Al Qaeda, Print a photo of him bashing a woman...a white woman...and some animal cruelty...put in some dancing chains...ooh and something about cancer too, that always what were we talking about again?
SUB ED: Hone Harawira
ED: Forget him he's last weeks news...follow up on this story about dancing ponies...people love ponies

Sunday, May 22, 2011

3 Ways We Know Roger Douglas is a Zombie

The announcement that Roger Douglas would re-stand for Parliament in 2008 was a shock in many ways. Mostly though it was such a shock because no one knew he was still alive. There are three clear signs that prove the return of Roger Douglas must have involved some late night grave digging.

In the dead of night he appeared

1. He returned from the dead

While the exact date of his death is unknown, it is widely speculated that Roger Douglas died some time around 2004. Certainly no one seems to be able to prove he was alive any time between 2004 and 2008. Even his own profile and biography on Acts website mysteriously stops in 2004. No pictures, nothing.

When he was pulled out in front of the cameras in 2008, something didn't seem right. There was a certain 'non-living' quality about him that made many suspicious.

Before and after makeup
Not much different

2. He has all the hallmarks of a Zombie

First, his expression never changes. This is perhaps the clearest indication of Zombiefication. Second, he mumbles in an undead monotone and struggles to put sentences together, again a clear indication. Thirdly, he repeats himself over and over again. It's just that rather than walking down the street saying “eat brains, eat brains”, he stands inside parliament saying “free market, free market”. If you have any doubts watch this video clip and then tell me that the man you are watching is not a zombie.

Mmmm those brains look tasty

3. He wants to kill the poor

One thing all zombies have in common is a desire to kill. In fact it seems to be the only reason they rise from the grave. Roger Douglas is no different, except he seems to be a bit picky about what brains to eat. Leave the rich alone and kill the poor. But come to think of it this seems to be the case for most zombies. How many zombie movies have you seen where the zombies go marching down Rodeo Drive munching on rich people. No it seems to always be the common working class who get stuck with mindless brain eating zombies. Once again, Roger differs slightly from traditional zombies. Rather than ripping heads open and eating brains, he prefers the slow kill. Cut public services, cut welfare, remove minimum wage, cut state housing. Let the poor starve on the streets, then his zombie friends can come and clean up the remnants.

"Give me your brains!"


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Another year another rapture

Well raptures nearly over for another year and I'd have to say I'm quite disappointed. I'd left out a glass of milk and some cookies and set up the tree, but woke to find no presents.

God, this is not the first time you've let us down and I'm sure it won't be the last. Still I would have liked to have had the opportunity to sit down with you and have a palaver. I imagine it would have gone something like this...

GOD: Hey Duncan
D: Cookie?
G: Thanks, I'm famished. Just finished giving a few thousand people cancer, aids and a bunch of other diseases. Tiring work.
D: I can imagine..
G: No you can't, you're not God! You could not conceive of what it's like to be the almighty.
D: All right, chill. Eat your cookie.
G: Don't tell me what to do!
D: Sorry God.
G: That's better. Now tell me, why have you chosen the middle of the rapture to start a conversation with God. Don't you realise I'm busy.
D: Seemed a good a time as any. Now let's get one thing straight God. Obviously you're not really going to go through with this rapture business.
G: And why is that?
D: Because then you'd have no humans left on earth to torment.
G: True, true, though I could just create some more.
D Come on God, there's no way you would create more humans. We're a fun little experiment gone wrong. You despise humanity, admit it.
G: Well, I wouldn't say despise...that seems a bit harsh.
D: God, you're a king size jerk who despises humans and gets kicks from finding all sorts of ways to maim, torture and kill us.
G: What makes you think you can talk to the creator this way!?
D: Because its the rapture. I'm screwed anyway.
G: true enough, true enough.
D: So here's the question I have for you big G. If you're so almighty how come there is so much war, disease, rape, torture, poverty and other injustices? How come even many of your devoted followers, even the ones that don't sin, how come even they get struck down by a Bus, or die slowly of cancer, or have to live on the street, or get raped or have some other horrible thing happen?
G: It's a test
D: It makes you an arrogant jerk.
G: Everyone must prove themselves worthy through trial and tribulation. They must pass the test.
D: God, if I was a teacher and I set a test for my students, but randomly picked what grades to give people so that no matter how hard someone studied, they never knew if they'd pass or not, do you know what my students would call me?
G: I don't see how...
D: They'd call me an arrogant jerk.
G: This is outrageous, I created you, you can't speak to me this way!
D: See here's the thing God. You keep claiming to be the almighty, but if you can't stop me speaking then it doesn't look good for you.
G: I could stop you if I wanted to.
D: Go on then.
G: I'm not in the mood right now, I've got my mind on other things.
D: Like the rapture?
G: Yes exactly, like the rapture.
D: God, the closest you'll ever get to the rapture is listening to a bad Blondie song. Let me lay it down for you. Either you don't have control over what happens on Earth, in which case you're not the almighty and there's no point believing in you, or you do have control over what happens on Earth in which case you're a sick sadistic jerk and there's no point in believing in you. You may have noticed less and less people at Church these days?
G: Well I thought that was just because Churches are cold. People don't tend to dress as warmly these days.
D: You're deluding yourself God.
G: How can I delude myself, if I am all powerful?
D: If you were all powerful then you would have the power to delude yourself.
G: Yes I guess I could...
D: But if you were all powerful, wouldn't you also have the power to stop yourself being deluded?
G: Stop you're confusing me, how can it be one and not the other?
D: It can't.
G: But that would mean...
D: That you don't really exist?
G: Aha I've got you there. If I didn't really exist how could I be talking to you right now?
D: Are you talking to me?
G: Didn't I just say I was?
D: Or am I just writing this all on a computer right now, inventing the whole thing?
G: You'll see. If you wake up tomorrow and the rapture has taken place, then you'll know I exist.
D: God, I'm willing to take my chances.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

An Open Letter to Prime Minister Dead Eyes

old dead-eyes has done it again . . . rob from the old and poor and give to his mega-rich mates. Get used to seeing beggers on the streets.”
  • Dominion Post reader when asked for comment on the governments plans to increase GST

Dear Prime Minister Dead Eyes,

In the run up to the 2008 election, as often as you could you told New Zealanders that you understood the hardships they faced, that you understood what it was like to be poor and to struggle. This was an interesting approach seeing as you are a multi-millionaire and probably the biggest hardship you face is when the BMW is in for a service and you have to drive the Golf. Still you reassured New Zealanders by talking about your upbringing; how you grew up in a state house with a solo mother who worked part-time to supplement her benefit.

It was a nice story and no doubt it did the job of convincing many voters that you weren't just the “smiling assassin” who never lost his jovial demeanour, even when laying off hundreds of workers at Merril Lynch. You weren't just an investment banker who made millions off of taking other peoples hard earned money and moving it around. No, you were a man of the people, and under your leadership the National Party would be there to make things better for the Average Jo.

But the truth is that the National Party, under your leadership, is making things much worse for the Average Jo, while those at the top – the richest of the rich – laugh all the way to the bank.

The fact that you may have come from somewhat humble beginnings only makes your betrayal of the average Jo that much more deceitful. You cannot plead ignorance through privelige. You are enacting a disgusting and deliberate attack on the majority of New Zealanders by taking away the very opportunities you were afforded in life; the very opportunities that led to you becoming the Prime Minister of New Zealand.

Prime Minister Dead Eyes, you have shown your true nature. You despise the poor, you are sexist, you are racist, you are homophobic and you are extremely selfish and contradictory.

Prime Minister Dead Eyes, let us examine some of your contradictions.

You grew up in a state home. This meant that your mother, who was widowed when you were just 6 years old, was supported by the state and given decent affordable housing so that you could grow up in a healthy and stable environment. And back in the 1960's a state home was very different to today. Rent was cheap and the houses were good. Today rent is unaffordable and the housing is poor. Not only that but there are 10,000 families on the waiting list just to get in to this sub standard housing. Yet you and your government have cut the state house budget from $120 million dollars to $18 million dollars. Won't this make it harder for families to try and improve their lives?

Your mother was on a benefit. This meant that your mother was able to take care of her children so that they could live in a healthy and stable environment. And back in the 1960's the benefit was very different to today. For a start it paid more. Yes your mother also had a part-time job to supplement the benefit, but if she had been paid the value of todays benefits you would probably be in a very different position today. That's because the National government slashed the benefit during the 1990's until it was so low that all it could do was keep people in poverty. Now you and your government are proposing further hardship for those on a benefit. Worst of all is that some of the harshest policies are aimed at solo mothers, just like yours.

One of the worst of your hateful ideas, Prime Minister dead eyes, is forcing solo mothers in to paid work. You seem to dismiss the fact that being a solo mother is a full-time job (and possibly the most important and hardest of jobs). Plus, of course, the only paying jobs that are available for solo mothers are low paying part-time jobs with casualised hours, no guarantee of income and often irregular shift patterns. I really struggle to see how this could be of any benefit to a struggling mother or her children. Plus you cut funding to early childhood education so that mothers will spend half their earnings on childcare! It certainly doesn't fit with your own familiy's philosophy on the importance of having a stable home for the children. Yes that's right Prime Minister Dead Eyes, in your two parent home it was decided that it was more important for one parent to stay at home and spend as much time raising the children as possible, rather than both of you being at work and having to put the children in to child care. Wouldn't it be far better for the government to recognise that solo mothers are working and give them the ability to stay at home and raise their children if this is what they feel will be in the best interests of their children? We all know that the more love and stability a child receives growing up, the better this is for the child and therefore society as a whole. You know this and that is why you chose to have one parent at home full-time.

I guess that a big part of the problem is that you don't respect women. And I'm not just talking about the fact that you don't see anything wrong in joking with a long term domestic abuser about how it would be great to be Tiger Woods, because you get to have affairs with lots of women and treat them like objects. That was pretty blatant, but it is the policies you have enacted that have shown just how sexist you are. As you know the first thing the National government did when getting in to power in 1990 was to reverse the Pay Equity Act. If this hadn't been reversed things might just look a little different for women today. That of course was a reactionary extreme right National government. Not like the 'moderate' 'centrist' government lead by yourself, Prime Minister Dead Eyes. So what was one of the very first things you did after being elected? Interestingly enough you stopped all the pay equity investigations that were taking place in the public sector. Your government really is determined to ensure women never gain equality in the workforce!

And going back to benefits for a moment. I notice that you said you felt “a bit queasy” at the idea put forward by your carefully selected mates in the welfare working group, that women should be forced in to work when their baby is 14 weeks old. So you should. Of course you didn't seem to have a rumbling stomach, as I'm sure hundreds of thousands of women in New Zealand probably did, at the other anti-women idea put forward by the welfare working group, that women on the DPB should be encouraged to take up “long-acting reversible contraception”. Regardless of the fact that there can be all sorts of complications with these contraceptions and regardless of the fact that there was almost nothing in the report stating that men also have responsibility for their children (in fact the word 'fathers' only appears twice in the 189 page document.

I should note that your disrespect for women isn't actually contradictory as I can't recall you ever having said anything positive about the role of women in society.

Prime Minister Dead Eyes, you say that you have “a strong committmernt to the safety net that welfare provides”. That same safety net that was used by your family when you were growing up. Unfortunately Prime Minister dead Eyes, the only real commitment you seem to have is removing that safety net for as many people as possible. As we all know, the majority of people on benefits are there temporarily, very few stay on welfare for a long time. There are those, like many of the solo mothers mentioned above, who need to be receiving welfare payments for a longer period of time and of course there are the hundred thousand or so people who have some work, but not enough to make ends meet. However your welfare policies seem to say that anyone on a benefit is a bludger who is making “poor choices”. You bring out the odd example of someone who has cheated the system in one way or another, but the fact that you can only find a handful of these people amongst approximately 300,000 people who receive some sort of benefit, really speaks for itself. Most people on benefits want to move in to decent paid work, they want to be provided with the opportunities you were afforded. Unfortunately, Prime Minister Dead Eyes, all you want to do is get rid of the “safety net” without giving providing any option for people but to be up on the tight rope in the first place.

The fact is, Prime Minister Dead Eyes, that there aren't enough decent jobs out there. In fact there aren't even enough jobs full stop, including the shit ones. When you were growing up the government had a policy of full employment. When jobs started becoming scarce, the government created more jobs. In this way New Zealanders knew that they would be looked after, they knew that they were part of a community. But your government hasn't created any new jobs. Instead you've cut jobs, made many more people redundant and forced them on to a benefit. You proudly talk about the 5% of public sector employees who you have thrown on the scrap heap and then to add insult to injury, you tell these hard working people who had stable and steady employment (until you came along) that they have made bad choices and that their lives will be made as difficult as possible whille they are on a benefit. The only jobs the government has talked about creating are temporary construction jobs. So the great master plan to lessen the wage gap with Australia is to throw people out of stable, decent paying jobs and give them the choice of either going on a benefit or working in a temporary unstable job and then going on the benefit. Hmmm...logic seems to have gone out the window some time ago.

And what about all the people in Christchurch. Already floods of refugees have arrived in places like Nelson, Dunedin, Invercargill and other South Island towns. People don't feel safe in Christchurch and have moved elsewhere, but these towns don't have work for them so they need financial assistance. And what about the thousands still in Christchursh who will be facing redundancy as ruined businesses are unable to reopen? They will soon all be on welfare, and there won't be enough jobs available for people to move in to for quite some time. Sure, your mates that have enough money to invest in Fletcher construction are no doubt rubbing their hands with glee, but the majority of people in Christchurch are rubbing their heads in despair, wondering how they are going to get by; wondering how they are going to be able to give their children the same opportunities in life that you were afforded. As those redundancies loom, they will not take much comfort in the fact that your government, under your instruction, voted down a private members bill last year, that would have provided mandatory redundancy pay for any employee made redundant. At present, very few workers in New zealand get any redundancy pay, which of course means that the only way for them to get by until they can find other work is to make “poor choices” and go on a benefit and seek help from charities that provide food parcels.

It is disgusting, Prime Minister dead Eyes, that you have taken advantage of an unprecedented disaster and used it for political gain and ideological agendas. Your government has announced that to pay for the rebuild of Christchurch you would look at cutting valuable social services such as Working for Families. You seem to have ignored the fact that many people living in Christchurch rely on these services and need them now more than ever. And asset sales would, of course, be a much easier sell than when you first announced your plan, because the last thing a government wants is a steady supply of income for the years ahead!

Excuse my ignorance Prime Minister Dead Eyes, but I thought we already had an Earthquake Commission that was estimating paying out around $1.5 billion dollars and would still have plenty to spare. Plus all the buildings that have private insurance on top of that. So won't most of the costs of rebuilding already be covered? I understand that there are many infrastructure costs on top of that (the total rebuild is estimate
d at $5 billion, though that is spread over the next few years) but didn't we only last year cut tax for the wealthiest earners in the country in what was labelled the great “tax switch” (read screw the poor, to give more to the rich). Considering these high earners had been paying the higher tax rate for years and had still managed to be rich with lots of disposable income, surely they would be quite happy to add some of this tax back on to their incomes to help rebuild Christshurch and rebuild peoples lives. Especially seeing as this would generate another couple of billion dollars. So you see Prime Minister Dead Eyes, there is no need to cut social services, all you need to do is put the top tax rate back to where it was a year ago. No one loses, everyone gains. It would only be to implement a purely ideological agenda that you would go ahead with cuts to Working for Families, Student Loans or Kiwisaver. And that would be taking advantage of a distraught country in shock, which would not only be unethical, but just downright nasty.

Before I finish up I think its worth pointing out to people that while you clearly despise the poor and don't value women, you have also shown that you are racist and homophobic. I think this needs to be pointed out because you try to put yourself forward as the bloke next door, the all inclusive man who gets along with everybody. You have even said in the past “I've made it clear that I want to run an inclusive society and that means inclusive from an ethnicity and from a sexuality point of view”. You've backed this up by attending events like the Big Gay Out and making bold political moves like including the Maori Party in your government even though you didn't need them.

Of course the symbolic action of including the Maori Party doesn't mean much when you implement policies that will hurt Maori and Pacific Islanders the most. You cut almost all the funding for Adult Education night classes so that those who weren't lucky enough to get an education growing up are not able to get the extra help now. Instead they will be stuck in their minimum wage jobs or on the benefit, until they get thrown off by your government. You took the money from Adult Education and gave it to private schools, the majority of whose students are white (and rich). University study is unaffordable. Student Allowances pay even less than the unemployment benefit, thereby punishing those who try to get an education and upskill so they can improve their lot in life. You are about to implement further attacks on those reeceiving welfare payments. Its hard to not see these actions as racist, but I suppose you could try and claim that these policies are not directly aimed at Maori and Pacific Islanders (It's just an unfortunate side effect that they will suffer the most!).

Your personal statements and actions give you away though. In fact they probably tell more about the real you, the man behind the 'man of the people' grin.

You have stated recently, Prime Minister dead Eyes that you believe 'white' countries are superior to 'brown' countries. Not in those exact words, but not far off. Firstly, two weeks ago, after inviting Julia Gillard to speak at Parliament you stated that other white countries would be welcome to speak as well “clearly if the Prime Minister of Great Britain or the President of the USA or a senior European leader came to New Zealand, we would consider that”. Perhaps this was just a slip of the tongue though, maybe you actually meant to include other nations that have a majority of 'coloured' people living in them? Unfortunately no. The following week, while making a speech on the Christchurch earthquake you stated “Our Australian neighbours, our British and American friends, the great countries of this world.” Imperialism at its finest. Its no wonder that you refused to give Tuhoe their land back. That would be admitting that there is something inherently wrong with the idea of white supremacy.

And as for the homophobia. Well first and foremost you voted against the civil union bill. Sure you don't mind the odd gay hanging about and those drag queens are actually kind of amusing. You probably wouldn't even move house if one moved in to your neighbourhood. But just so long as they don't have equal rights. Those queers need to know their place. Kind of like your views on women huh? Secondly what was with the camp little prance down the runway a couple of weeks back? Did you really feel so emasculated at being a model for an hour that you couldn't take it seriously? I can imagine your mind ticking away “But if I model on the cat walk people might think I'm gay! Better go over the top. If I poke fun at gay people then all the blokes will know I'm one of them. Hmmm maybe I should do a few more interviews with Veitchy too. Make sure people know I'm down with rugby and wife beating like the real men”.
I apologise if I have gotten a bit carried away, Prime Minister Dead Eyes. I'm sure it would have been enough to simply point out your contradictory, hurtful policies. But the more articles I read the more and more information that came to light about how bigoted you are.

Because the truth is Prime Minister Dead Eyes, that you are a very selfish man. Your generation, the 'baby boomers', had it all. Decent housing, low interest home loans, welfare that paid the bills, a job for everyone, free university education. You were given all the help you needed from society to make sure you could achieve all you wanted to achieve. And you did just that. And now that you have got to where you want to be, you are determined to make sure that future generations don't get that same chance. Those of your generation who have made it rich (i.e. most of the National Party MP's) should be re-named 'the selfish generation'. I can only hope that in November the people of this country have enough sense to see through your smirks and empty promises and make sure you don't get a chance to destroy even more lives.

Yours very sincerely,
Duncan Allan