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:

[blackbirdpie id=”158481997646405632″]

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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  • Michael

    Bang on, Cam. Ben Hana never wanted to dry out, it was a waste of time treating him. When Muriel Newman wrote to Steve Maharey and asked why Hana was allowed to camp just outside Parliament Maharey wrote back and advised that MSD staff had tried many times to help, but were always refused.

    Ben Hana may have been many things, but welfare bludger was not one of them.

    • Unless of course you call the prison ‘welfare’…..he was a frequent visitor to Rimutaka in winter. And then there was the Sallies caravan which is welfare in another form.

      I think it is sad that anyone would choose to live this way, but while I have empathy, I never appreciated walking past him & his ilk & used to do my best to avoid them. People always claimed they were all harmless but as a lone woman I wasn’t going to take their word for it.

      As for Grant – a tool but a predictable one.

    • Troy

      And labour continues to push its social engineering policy of… labour knows best, regardless of what you think.  They still haven’t realised that life ain’t fair, nobody says it was but they continue to what to “be all to all”.  Robertson is a goat’s cock in any case and i’m salivating for when question time opens again in parliament – goats to slaughter.

  • Hollyfield

    Also interesting is Grant Robertson’s inability to spell “its” correctly. Add to that Sue Moroney’s inability to use “too” correctly.   

    @suemoroney Sue Moroney
    Rap: The Government response was to slow; from whoa to go; now many
    months later milk powder and oil still goes with the flow. #Rena

  • Kthxbai

    Mr Hana, like many homeless people, did choose to live on the street in preference to accepting accommodation.

    What does Grant Robertson want to do?  Force people back into appalling longterm accommodation for the psychiatrically impaired?  In the course of my work I spent quite a bit of time in 1998 at the longstay units at Porirua Hospital, and they were hellish places, really shocking to see, with cowed and miserable patients.  I later worked in an area where I dealt with quite a few of the Wellington homeless on a casual basis, and met again some of the patients released from the longstay units when they were closed.  They were much more interactive, less frightened and clearly happier, though physically in much poorer condition, of course.  None I saw posed a threat to anyone who treated them reasonably – the only threat was to the cleaning cupboard’s meths supply.

    Why shouldn’t they make their own choices?  They are entitled to self-determination and autonomy in decision-making just like the rest of us.

    Grant should get off his butt, stop bleating about ‘access’ – which these guys already have – and push for a wet night shelter.  The current night shelter does an outstanding job, but they don’t have the staff and facilities to manage frankly disruptive people.

  • Pauleastbay

    That wonderful descriptive  – ………………………………………would fuck a sick dog on a chain …….- applies here nicely to Robertson, these wankers have absolutley no shame nothing is too low to try and garner some publicity.

  • EX Navy Greg

    Grant Robertson clearly didn’t give a shit about Mr Hana when he was alive. To use the death of a man to score cheap points I find distasteful.
    The nasty party still hasn’t learnt has it.

  • Mark

    Great words on Ben, Cam. I used to see a bit of him when I was a policeman in Wellington.

    He was usually easy to communicate with and would say he was happiest on the street with his mates. He was intelligent and once told me he was incurrably addicted to alcohol, and that he saw no point in getting ‘help’ with that.

    I’m sad that Ben has died so young, as he was a real character. I definitely got from him, however, that Ben made very conscious decisions about his welfare and lived, and died, on his own terms. I doubt Grant Robertson would have any insight whatsoever into Ben’s situation

  • Alex

    I had no problem with Blanket man — lot less of a nuisance than some of his homeless confederates.  But I don’t get this “iconic” status he seems to now have attained (just as I didn’t get the Princess Di cult).   Seems to be yet another example of perverse idolatry that goes on in NZ. Unless their is some spiritual purpose behind it, I think willfully wasting your talents is worthy of disdain. 

    Had to laugh at Cecilia Wade-Browne’s comment:

    Wellington mayor Celia Wade-Brown said she was “very sad” to hear of the local fixture’s death.

    “He was a very well-known character who obviously lived his life in a very high profile way.”

    Even by her standards, that is vacuous.