This is part three of the continuing series Pimping the Poor, where I explore how the media in collusion with shameless politicians Pimp the Poor in order to manufacture stories of misery.
After Tania, utterly frustrated with an intransigent WINZ office in Pukekohe and seemingly being ignored in her plight, sent out an email to all parties she was contacted by two politicians. The attitude and behaviour of those two politicians are in stark contrast with each other.
One shamelessly shopped the story to the media and the other actually treated the issue as any competent MP should.
As they say…Do you want the good news or the bad news first?
Help from The Greens
Let us look at the actions of Jan Logie first. The good news.
Jan Logie is a new MP. She lives in Wellington. She stood in Mana electorate against Kris Fa’afoi. Whilst Fa’afoi is invisible Jan Logie is extremely visible and has got involved in a case way outside of Wellington, in South Auckland. I asked Tania Wysocki to rate her interactions and resolutions with Jan Logie and she have her an 8 out of 10. Jan has kept in contact, emailed, phoned, sends txts as well as arranged a flight to Wellington to attempt to get some resolution to the issue.
Credit where credit is due, this new MP is actually trying to make a difference. Even during no doubt what is a busy time as she tries to get her mind around being a new MP and the responsibilities and workload that brings in a small Party.
No Help from Labour
Now for the bad news.
When Jacinda Ardern received the cry for help from Tania Wysocki she made a phone call to Tania. It was a short call. In that call she didn’t garner extra details, she simply told Tania that she had “friends in the media” and that Simon Collins would giver her a call.
She was true to her word on that Monday. Quasi Electorate agent for the List MP, Simon Collins called a short time later and arrange to drive out with a photographer for his scoop of the week, a beneficiary who wants to prostitute herself to pay for vocational training.
Simon Collins did attend Tania’s modest house in rural South Auckland. He then proceeded to actually ignore the issues regarding training and child care, focus only on the prostitution angle. He ignored Tania’s back story, clearly he didn’t deem it relevant to the picture he was trying to portray of an uncaring government expecting women to prostitute themselves to pay for training.
We know that Simon Collins doesn’t care about his subjects because he threw Craig and Carla to the wolves without a simple background check on Facebook and other social media and dating sites. Had he done even the basics he would have realised that in that case Carla was hardly a fit subject for his touching stories. She suffers from severe depression, from her own Facebook updates has a marriage on the rocks as she looks on dating sites for some comfort, and had discussed suicide. I can’t imagine how Carla now feels after having been shamelessly pimped out by Simon Collins in his manufactured series on misery.
He didn’t care because he had a story about misery to manufacture. He aslo didn’t care about Tania Wysocki either, because he printed the names of her children, the area in which she lives and worse, the only contact he has had since the story was a quick email to let Tania know just how many people read the article online.
How touching. No comments about how she was doing. Nothing about if there was any progress with the authorities. Nope, just how many views his cool article Pimping out the Poor, manufacturing misery had got.
Worse though is that Jacinda Ardern followed up with a single phone call about how awesome the article was. That’s it. One phone call before the article to sell tania out to Simon Collins and one phone call after to congratulate herself ont eh publicity coup.
All the while Jan Logie is doing what Jacinda Ardern either couldn’t or wouldn’t do….actually try and help.
How do I know she couldn’t or wouldn’t help?
Well because yesterday I contacted the Minister’s office for a comment and to ask some questions. My questions were simple. Has either Simon Collins and/or Jacinda Ardern been in contact with the Minister’s office, or with the Ministry of Social Development with the case of Tania Wysocki or with the case of Craig and Carla Bradley?
The answer was an emphatic no in the case of Jacinda Ardern. Labour’s vaunted super star, who leap-frogged over all the women in the caucus to take this portfolio, appears to have been too lazy to care about people she is the opposition spokesperson for. Instead she was highly motivated to shop the stories to her quasi-Electorate Agent Simon Collins. In the case of Simon Collins, he only contacted the MSD regarding Tania Wysocki and that was only to ask about her entitlement and confirm details for his manufactured story. He has never contacted the Minister’s office for comment on any of his articles about poverty, the very areas that Paula Bennett is the Minister responsible for.
We now know that Labour, especially Jacinda Ardern is closely working with and feeding stories to Simon Collins. Even if Simon Collins won’t confirm his source for the stories we know that the story about Tania Wysocki was directly fed to him by Jacinda Ardern.
The most shameful thing about Jacinda’s actions is that she either couldn’t or wouldn’t travel 35 minutes from Aucklad Central to at least visit Tania. The best she could muster was two short taxpayer funded phone calls…plus the one to Simon Collins of course.
Jan Logie meanwhile, from Wellington has managed to provide a level of pastoral care to Tania Wysocki that would put most MPs to shame. It really isn’t any wonder that The Greens are currently out-performing Labour in parliament and acting as though they are the real opposition. It isn’t really a surprise that whilst Jan Logie scored an 8 out of 10 for her help Jacinda Ardern was rated by Tania Wysocki at a very low 2 out of 10 and then only barely scraping through to that level.