What to do about guilting and poverty

The poverty campaign continees today in the Herald: Lizzie Marvelly: The only debate is what to do about child poverty. Who is Lizzie Marvelly?

One of the best things to do about ‘poverty’ in New Zealand is to stop calling it poverty.

There are serious issues involving deprivation, hardship,  income and social inequities.

But in trying to frame it as poverty, in particular child poverty, campaigners have alienated people that would otherwise be more than happy to see real problems dealt with better by the Government.

Anti-poverty campaigners have overstated their case by using a term that is widely seen as inappropriate in New Zealand. They keep using a Godwin equivalent term and fail to see that it is counter-productive to their cause.

Marvelly says:

Poverty isn’t generally associated with the Kiwi childhood.

She’s right, and that’s the problem with trying to address it.

I… wonder whether the people asserting that poverty isn’t an issue in New Zealand have ever left the comfortable bounds of their own privileged neighbourhoods. I wonder whether they realise just how ignorant they are.

Marvelly is the one who is ignorant, of the problem she is a part of. Most people realise there are social and income and would like to see more done about them.

But they don’t like being preached ‘poverty’ and they are hate being guilted by those who are promoting a misguided agenda.

What is poverty? It’s a question that’s been given a considerable amount of airtime. While a number of thresholds and frameworks have been suggested, for a certain group of people, none will ever be good enough, for if we accept the validity of a measure we are then duty bound to accept what it is telling us.

That sounds like nonsense.

In a country where an unacceptable number of children live below the much-debated poverty line, we are becoming accustomed to hearing the lives of Kiwi kids and their families being thrown around as political hot potatoes.

While we can argue about poverty, its definition, origins, and how it is conceptualised until we’re blue in the face, such meaningless politicking does nothing to show people the reality of poverty.

But the reality of ‘poverty’ in New Zealand is that it is a term that is counter productive to addressing real problems.

The idea that people living in poverty are somehow to blame for their fate is attractive if one wants to absolve oneself from any sense of responsibility, but it is a notion that I find deeply sad.

I find it sad that Marvelly blasts anyone who is repelled by her own blame game.

When did we become so hardened and self-centred that we began to believe that those poorer than us deserve their suffering? When did we become so divorced from our own communities that we stopped caring about the families around us?

She is making things up about anyone who won’t buy into her narrative. This is not going to win over any support. It alienates people who care but don’t like being abused.

Our political parties found that they could shelve their disparate ideologies to sort out superannuation … why can’t they show our youngest and most vulnerable citizens the same level of care?

Mravelly must have missed all the party arguments over how to deal with the escalating cost of superannuation  over many years.

The wellbeing of our children should never be up for political debate.Nor should we feel disempowered.

The wellbeing of our children is our our responsibility – ‘our’ meaning parents and wider families.

Does “should never be up for political debate” mean that parents and families should be able to ask for and get whatever they want from the Government without any debate?

What the heck does ‘feel disempowered’ mean?

There are so many things we could do to make the lives of Kiwi kids better: feeding kids in school, bringing back a means-tested child benefit like the one scrapped in the “mother of all budgets”, requiring a warrant of fitness for rental properties to prevent children growing up in cold, damp, leaky houses, and simply helping out in our neighbourhoods.

The first step, however, is for us to look out into our communities and really see other people, to realise that even in the most privileged areas, poverty is just five minutes down the road. It’s not a conspiracy. It’s real.

The first step is to drop the ‘poverty’ framing. It repels rather than attracts support.

The second step is to stop guilting and blaming everyone who doesn’t accept the framing of people like Marvelly.

And then we need identify issues and problems intelligently and responsibly, and consider what might be the most effective way of dealing with them with limited and competing resources.

Macskasy: “innocent until proven otherwise”

Frank Macskasy is a stalwart at The Daily Blog. Yesterday in response to comments he said:

So, Jollo, the guy has been charged – but not convicted of any offence?

Does the term “innocent until proven otherwise” mean anything to you?

And:

Does the term “innocent until proven otherwise” mean anything to you?

I don’t determine a person’s guilt. That’s up to a court of law.

Or does several hundred years of jurisprudence meant nothing to you – especially when a “leftie” is involved? Hmmm, I thought you Right-wingers were big on Law & Order?

But he has different standards when it suits him, like in this post John Key: Profile of a trichophiliac.

There is nothing wrong, per se, in having a harmless hair fetish. Many in the population have fetishes – another example of the wide spectrum of human nature and sexuality.

Where the problem arises is when Key has harassed a cafe worker, and is also seen to have some sort of proclivity to touching other peoples’ children’s hair.

This is just not acceptable.

It must stop, or the Prime Minister must step down and seek professional help.

Meanwhile, the consequences of Key’s actions – if he doesn’t resign in disgrace – will be long-lasting. Just one implication of his behaviour, as I outlined in this letter-to-the-editor of The Dominion Post;

.

from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com>
to: Dominion Post <letters@dompost.co.nz>
date: Thu, Apr 23, 2015
subject: Letter to the editor

.
The editor
Dominion Post

.
Every parent in the country will now be keeping a wary eye on John Key whenever he’s around their kids or daughters…

I’m sure teachers will be hovering around in the background, along with journos and photographers. The moment he touches a kid’s hair, a dozen cameras will be going off like machine guns…

For the rest of his career, people’s eyes will be on him – and not in a good way.

.

-Frank Macskasy

It would appear that Macskasy’s standards of evidence and proof of guilt are different when demanding the Prime Minister resign are concerned.

That’s not a one off. For example: Are Cameron Slater and Judith Collins bare-faced liars?

“It appears that Collins has attempted to hide her Facebook tracks”

“It appears that Slater and Collins are being pathetic in their attempt to be ‘cute’”

Conclusion

It is simply not remotely credible that Collins and Slater did not converse via Facebook.

I’m not sure that Collins has been found guilty yet.

And somewhat ironically following his conclusion:

There must be something truly awful in the works if the Nats are expending so much effort to smear an anonymous leaker.

The propaganda mill has just be churned into over-drive.

Macskasy is also active in comments.  Like:

CLEANGREEN says:

Gobsmackinglly good tight critique of this cum Carpetbagger slimy operator.

The MSM orchestrated & carefully painstakingly massaged the PM’s “façade” or image as a friendly bloke the traitors.

This was never his real manner, which on any occasion in Parliament he displays everything else but this character which Key has carefully cultured since he was playing monopoly with his sister as he was cheating her at the same time.

No this man is a product of the far right and manicured to because “Our smiling assassin” by the Global elite at the Bilderberg “Club” he frequents just to rob our country of all our assets for them as they are doing to NZ and eyeing up Greece next.

Thanks for the laughter you engendered as I read this great piece of work Frank.

Who needs evidence? He thanks for Cleangreen for the compliment without any reference to the claimed MSM conspiracy theory and the Bilderberg  conspiracy theory. Funny.