Thursday, April 19, 2012

Paula Bennett Digresses All Over the Buffet Table

Address to New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services

E nga mana, e nga reo, e te iwi o te motu, tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa

Hello. I’d like to start with some solid ass kissing where I describe how wonderful you all are and make a bad joke that will have you politely laughing, but more importantly, warm you towards me and have you on my side. 

As long as you’re not still standing there once I reach the buffet table, because that gets messy.

Who were we?

We are a proud people because we have learned to stand.

We believe that this is a land of hard work, work being defined as working for commercial interests and reward for effort being defined by the amount of one’s pay packet.

Flashback: Think of our ancestors.

From Maori who looked after each other and fought for what they believed in, whatever that was.

To our first visitors, who chopped down all the trees, lived off it and then forgot to leave again.

But are we still proud? 

We are proud of the All Blacks...when they win. *pause for laughter* We are proud of our flora and fauna. *pause for standing ovation, hat throwing*

But are we proud of each other? *pause for head scratching, murmurs of confusion*

Is our society really as simple as the haves and have nots? 

Do we like each other? 

Do we have to? 

Should we wish for society to always remain how it was? 

Personally I think not. We shouldn’t be proud of each other, divisions of wealth is made up commie crap, let’s punch our neighbours in the face and set fire to our history books. 

To stand still is to stagnate, so surely we should take the best of what we have known, the best of who we were and look to who we can be… But I digress. Sorry, nipped over to the buffet table.

We used to have a benefit system that provided for a few because only a few needed it.

We were a nation that saw welfare as a backstop, as something you went on if you hit dire straits, cracking your favourite tape and needing a replacement.

Welfare was for sympathetic figures like beaten women or widows, so that was okay then. 

But what about today?

In the context of welfare; who are we now and why am I shouting this?

Now we have 220,000 children living in welfare dependent households. 220,000 teeny tiny parasitic leeches suckling on the teats of the nation, stealing the milk from those that are worthy of not having been born into the homes of the poor.

We have nearly 7,000 babies born to teen mums, most of who will be on a benefit for at least seven of the next 10 years and many for a lifetime. I think we all just threw up a little bit in our mouth out of disgust.
One third of women currently on the DPB started on the benefit as teen mums. That is more than 30,000 people and I refer to them as people lightly.

Is this the system we envisaged? Giving welfare to people who need it?

It is not who we were. It is who we are. But is it who we want to be? Who are you and why am I at the buffet table again?

I am the Minister of Social Development. I probably should have explained that earlier. You probably thought I worked as part of the catering crew.

I head up this mammoth beast we call the welfare system and I will not sit back and accept that this is the best we can do by people.

I do not apportion blame because I certainly hint at it and it starts with p and ends with oor people.

I think no less of someone on a benefit than I do on any other New Zealander the parasitic greedy low lives.

In fact I often think more of them because I acknowledge and respect how damned hard a life it can be since we make it so.

So, I will believe in them, their ability and their contribution. For they certainly exist, we know this because of statistics pointing out how many of them there are.

I will believe in their path out of welfare into a path with opportunity. An opportunity of removing welfare.

I will reform the system. Just me. Because we fired all the public workers.

Welfare reform
Solo parents. Nobody likes them, so I’ll bring them up. Nobody likes snooty ‘thinks they’re better than everyone else’ UE grads, floating back in from overseas, using the system to get jobs because they’re too lazy to do it themselves. They probably even ask for a handout for clothes and they’ve already got a wardrobe full of recent purchases when they weren’t filling up their suitcases with duty free. Bastards.

Just in case you’ve got a kid that’s an unemployed recent graduate, I should mention that I’m not talking about your kid. Just those other ones, the ones that are using a service we provide when that money could go to sick, disabled children with wracking coughs who have a puppy with only three legs.

We need to help people off welfare and what better way to do that than to stop giving them welfare. No welfare equals no welfare dependency. We’ll having finally won the war against welfarians.

Benefit changes for those on DPB
Historically the system hasn’t expected sole parents to look for work but legislation is changing this by creating more jobs and providing affordable childcare. *pause for laugh*

It is time to make the hard calls. Not the hard calls of tackling the reasons behind welfare dependence such as the poverty cycle, alcohol and drug dependency et el, that would be too hard. But telling people that they have to be ‘work ready’ by sitting by the door with an empty briefcase ready in one hand and a one-paragraph CV in the other, that’s doable.

This is just the start. Invalids can get off their asses as well.

Transforming contracting
Government is no longer going to be providing services because by the time National is done there won’t be much of Government left. This is why we’re going to be contracting work out so that taxpayer money can go towards funding ideologically driven organisations to get their hands on the most vulnerable of our society. We won’t tell you what to do, because we don’t really care.

Family Start
We’re paying $5 – 6k per baby under Family Start when babies would only be worth $300 - $400 in the private sector as they’re terribly unproductive. 

Some providers are doing a great job, but some aren’t. Instead of implementing what works across the board we’re going to close sections down and contract it all out to the private sector. 

I know what you demand of me as your Minister. Mind reading just being one of my many skills.

You demand that I provide quality services to those families that need it most and that I do it in partnership with you, Christian Social Services.

Green Paper to White Paper and Action Plan
We’ve used a lot of paper during my term as Minister. Some of it green, some of it white, a lot of it money coloured as we pay out massive amounts to consultants so we can delay any kind of action plan.

So who do we want to be? 

A society that stands next to each other, that supports those who need a space to learn. Henceforth the poor will be used as desks.

A society that develops and brings out people's potential. The poor will be used as human bras.

A gutsy, smart little country that thrives and develops. Giant human bras and human corsets.

It’s who we were, who we should have always been and who we will become. Who? Also: What?

It’s time to make the hard calls. Let’s cast the poor adrift and use their children as pet food.

Original Speech:

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