So is Shearer clear where he met the man who was so upset about the sickness beneficiary painting his roof? This is what Shearer said in this recent speech:
Last year before the election, I was chatting to a guy in my electorate who had just got home from work. In the middle of the conversation, he stopped and pointed across the road to his neighbour.
He said: “see that guy over there, he’s on a sickness benefit, yet he’s up there painting the roof of his house. That’s not bloody fair. Do you guys support him?”
The Labour activists complaining about David Shearer’s ‘sickness beneficiary’ comments shouldn’t be surprised. The invisible Labour Leader has made the comments a number of times before, including before the 2011 election. However, when Shearer mentioned this issue back then, the sickness beneficiary wasn’t painting his roof he was cleaning it.
And when he told this story in 2011, it was an anecdote, not a real story.
“[T]here’s a number of people I meet in the streets and they’ll say, and we’ll talk about inequality of the tax system, and they’ll say “Yeah mate, but I’ll tell you what, that guy down the road he’s a sickness beneficiary and I saw him up there cleaning his roof the other day and you’ve got to go nail him.”
Note that the man was cleaning his roof, not painting it. Has Shearer told this wee story so many times that he thinks the whole scenario is real? No doubt we’ll find out soon just who Shearer was referring to in his speech a couple weeks ago.