Cuddling Corpses for political gain

Ben Hana aka Blanket Man has died. Sadly this was a slow sad spiral towards death marred by mental illness, alcohol and drug abuse. Ultimately though it was about personal choices in life, and he made bad ones.

There is no excuse for homelessness in New Zealand, none whatsoever. We have a welfare state, we have care facilities. If Ben Hana wanted to get dry, wanted to get off the streets he could have.

So it is with incredulity that I saw his MP tweet last night, as Labour MPs are prone to do, politicizing the death of one of his constituents:

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As I pointed out to Grant, Ben Hana had choices, he made bad ones, but they were his choices. I also pointed out that Grant Robertson was his MP and wondered just what he did for Ben Hana when he was alive rather than politicizing him now he is dead. He could have for instance given him a bed in his state funded Maritime NZ building office…but he didn’t.

There is no need to for people to live on the streets, but they do. No amount of wailing or gnashing of teeth can obscure the fact that we live in a state with a welfare system that Ben Hana could have but didn’t avail himself of.

Is Grant Robertson suggesting that if citizens do not want to enjoy the largesse of the state that they should be forced to? Frog marched to camps to be dried out? If he isn’t then quite what he proposes to do after Ben Hana has died is akin to shutting the stable after the horse has bolted.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.