Oh no, if David Cunliffe was grinning yesterday it had nothing to do with voting for marriage equality. It was the giant sword in his hand that he is deciding now what to do with.
The “man on the roof” Rufus Paynter does not actually exist. We all know it so does non-VRWC blogger and tweeter Giovanni Tiso. David Shearer has been cornered on the topic again this time by Radio One and admits to not actually caring if Rufus is real,it was just agh…..ergh…… how “New Zealanders feel about fairness”.
Shearer: Yeah, yeah, I was going around the streets before the last election, knocked on a guy’s door, he walked out on the lawn with me and pointed over and said this guy supposedly – I think he said he had a bad back or a bad something or other – and the point was, I mean, wasn’t actually… whether this guy was right or not I don’t know, but the point is, what I was trying to make is the point about fairness and the way New Zealanders feel about fairness. They don’t want… this guy in particular said look I’m working hard, I pay my taxes, I’m doing all the right things and this guy – in his opinion, and that’s what I said in my thing – is ripping the system off. Now I don’t care if you’re a millionaire not paying his taxes or somebody on the benefit who shouldn’t be getting one. The way that New Zealanders see that is that it’s not fair when somebody is not doing the right thing. That’s the point of what I was saying.
The interviewer kept at him
Hawkins: So you don’t know if it’s true, at no point did you go talk to the beneficiary in question?
Shearer:No, the point was Aaron – the point was how people perceive others not playing by the rules, that’s all I was saying. So I mean that’s a story – the account of this guy, if what he was telling me is true, but I didn’t do a police investigation on somebody, but the point was how do people perceive others, and I think overwhelmingly in New Zealand we don’t like people who are not playing by the rules, in a sense not adhering to what I call the social contract.
And Shearer keeps digging, not a political platform? Hello.
Hawkins: I don’t think it’s the equivalent of a police enquiry to simply fact-check an anecdote that you are going to turn into a political platform.
Shearer:It’s not a political platform, the whole point of it as I keep saying to you is illustrating how people feel about others. That was all it was saying. It was somebody relating something to me and I was relating that on. It is about how people feel about others not playing by the rules. And we have a very highly developed sense for that in New Zealand, for good or for bad, and I actually think it’s good. But what does happen is that if people have that perception it means that everybody who legitimately receives a benefit – and overwhelmingly New Zealanders support that as well – they actually get tarred with the same brush. It’s really important that we make sure that the system works well and that people have confidence in it.
And the final hit
Hawkins: Isn’t that what Paula Bennett was doing, using a couple of examples of people not playing by the rules and not playing fairly within the welfare system to show up its flaws?
Labour caucus will be interesting. So will
The Standard Lynn Prentice’s hate blog if they have not been muzzled spoken to by Trevor Mallard. A man who last week admitted to being a roofist.
I still have my doubts even about the neighbour. Shearer thinks it is okay to pass on anecdotes about beneficiaries without fact checking them. Can we make up more anecdotes for Shearer to pass on to rile up audiences? At least Paula Bennett fact checked the beneficiaries in question against the files in her case. And Shearer accused Bennett of “dog whistling” with drug testing beneficiaries.
Wonder what the neighbour thought of drug testing Rufus Paynter?
He would have thought it was a great idea.
Perhaps that is an anecdote Paula Bennett can now use, you know, because it is all about “the way New Zealanders feel about fairness”. And they do not think it is fair to pay Rufus Paynter from their taxes to smoke weed while he is up there “a bad back or a bad something or other”, painting the roof.