Knock me down with a feather, I agree with Soper

Barry Soper took off his pink-tinted glasses for just a moment and managed a semi-literate article about bludgers and the indolent.

Over the past couple of weeks a bloke, who some have no doubt written off as a whinging Pom, has appeared on telly telling us kiwis are lazy.

They can’t be bothered turning up for an interview to work at his little flooring company for twenty bucks an hour and if they do turn up, they don’t last in the job. They’d prefer after a couple of days, in his rather indelicate words, to grab a slab of beer and go off on the piss.

The job’s not that taxing, a bit of elbow grease may be required. A 24 year old former supermarket checkout operator saw the item and she’s now gainfully employed learning a trade and earning better money than she could ever have thought of by sweeping groceries past the bar code.

So what’s wrong with our young, have they lost the ability to work?

No, they’ve all been told they are winners, special and can all go to university.

A figure Labour likes to wave in the Beehive’s face is from the immigration stats where six thousand foreign labourers were given work visas over the past year while more than fifteen thousand kiwi labourers are listed as being out of work.

It’s a mismatch that shows the immigration policy’s not working, the foaming Andrew Little barks.

Did I just read that right? He would never have said that about Dear Leader Clark.

He vehemently rejects his analysis is too simple. Surely that’s the case given that he doesn’t know what our unemployed labourers are prepared, or more importantly not prepared to do, while those coming into the country are obviously filling jobs that are vacant.

Little was right on one level that the numbers of the face of it don’t tell a good story but he refuses to buy the argument that young people aren’t working because they’re drugged and lazy.

He doesn’t know and neither do we because we’re not at the pit face. But the Labour leader reckons he does know what’ll get them establishing a work ethic and a habit of getting out of bed in the morning.

Some who’ve been written off by others are being picked up from home by employers who make sure they have a cut lunch and get to work on time. After a couple of months they get into a work habit and they turn their lives around rather than being written off by what he says is an uncaring Government.

To suggest a Government, regardless of its political hue, doesn’t care is just plain silly. And shouldn’t those who’re sitting at home picking up a dole cheque be required to show more initiative?

They’re obliged to look for work, or train for it, which could mean little more than dabbling on the web each day. And they’re required to have “regular,” whatever that means, meetings with the pen pushers.

Unlike many other countries New Zealand doesn’t have a finite period for how long the dole can be claimed, change that, and you may change some attitudes. That may sound hard but the real mismatch is the number of foreign workers we’re required to bring in to fill vacancies, compared to the number of locals on the dole.

I think a finite term for benefits is a great idea. The wonder is that Barry Soper said it out loud. He will probably be shunned by the gallery for a day or two.

It isn’t often I agree with Soper, but today is a red letter day.


– NZHerald

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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. 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 who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

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

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.