Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Winston: "The Force Is With Us"

Tribute from our good friends over at Punch Drunk Polity. 

Say what you will about these guys; they smashed the Separatists!

(and yes, "The Force Is With Us; For We Are The Force" is an actual Winston quote)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Interview with Critic Magazine

Recently Beau and I did an interview for Otago Uni's student mag Critic.

There's some golden quotes in there so check it out!

I also see they've identified me as "Leader and Troll-in-Chief".

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sunday, March 11, 2012

On National's Defence Cuts

Kipling's Tommy

"I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o' beer,
The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here."
The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:
O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
But it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, wait outside";
But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide,
The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
O it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide.

Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.
Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, 'ow's yer soul?"
But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll.

We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;
While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, fall be'ind",
But it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind,
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
O it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind.

You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
An' Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool -- you bet that Tommy sees!"

Monday, March 5, 2012

National's Nick Knacks

“Evil begins when you begin to treat people as things.” - Terry Pratchet.

What we have in New Zealand at the moment is a government that doesn’t see you as a human being, a person, a soul. We have a government that sees you as a consumer, a tax payer, a beneficiary, an immigrant, a net gain or a net cost. The problem with this is that instead of a government that is looking out for your needs and issues is you get a government that looks after the books and (depending on the year) treats you as a vote and a burden.

This has become apparent with recent moves by the government, namely welfare reform, benefit bashing with a John Key style “Smile and Wave” mask.

What we are seeing with the latest bout of welfare reform is the same ol’ same ol’ blame the parents: punish the children. As society has seen time and time again in the past this simply does not work. If a solo mother has more children on the DPB she is penalised, if she agrees to courses and further education she is rewarded. So instead of helping this poor woman, who surely has her individual problems, we treat her like an ingrate, a burden of society and we make sure to let the rest of society see her for the demon she is. Never mind that this policy takes more from the children this poor woman is trying to raise. It purposefully and unashamedly makes it harder for her to feed her children and labels it just punishment.

This is where, as Winston Peters put it in his last campaign, the welfare state has lost its dignity. Instead of using our resources to up skill and support people who desperately need state intervention. They treat New Zealanders as demons and ingrates, and if you treat people like trash for long enough you can’t be upset when thats what they become. How will the children of mothers who are constantly told they are worthless grow up?

The National government will have you believe that these people enjoy being on the DPB, that they are laughing at the hard working kiwis who go out of their way to starve their children in order to earn their below average income. The truth is these people have fallen through the cracks, and yes of course there are those that use these safety nets to their advantage, but punishing those who generally need your help is no way to stop the more opportunistic among us.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Leader of the Opposition

This morning's Herald Editorial Cartoon...

John Armstrong also notes that we've done more to be an effective Opposition in the last 3 weeks than Labour managed in the last three years!