The real damage benefit fraudster Metiria Turei has done to the Greens

Haha, still laughing about ripping off the taxpayer

The real damage Metiria Turei did after admitting to being a low-rent, common or garden benefit fraudster is outlined by Rob Hosking from NBR:

Her revelation dwarfed the Green Party’s actual policy announcements on the weekend – does anyone remember what they were, in any detail?

One involved a large infrastructure fund, to fund clean energy.

The other involved a large increase in benefit payments. You probably picked up the general vibe of that one, even if you didn’t necessarily absorb the numbers.

That is because of Ms Turei’s announcement about her benefit fraud during the 1990s when she was, she says, desperate and had no other option.

There has been a wave of support for her on social media and in similar places. Twitter is full of supporters going “Squee” like 10-year-olds at a One Direction Concert.

But it is noteworthy that wave is support she probably would have had anyway. We won’t know until the polls come in but I strongly suspect she has not converted a single voter to her cause with the announcement – except, maybe, a few Labour voters.

This is what I believe. She may have shifted some of the bludger class from Labour to Green, but I reckon she lost middle NZ with her announcement.

 

Ms Turei’s ploy, like a lot of what the Green Party has been doing the past fortnight, is aimed at hoovering up left-wing voters in New Zealand who have looked at the surge in popularity of an alternative, radical UK Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn, and decided they want some of that.

The group is vocal, highly politically engaged, despairing of the New Zealand Labour Party and, for that matter, has been dubious about the Green Party since James Shaw became the other co-leader in 2015.

That is why Ms Turei has been so prominent in recent weeks.

The ploy is a dangerous one for the party: It makes a number of assumptions that are probably not going to be borne out about New Zealand voters.

I don’t think the Greens will go up in next polls. I think they will drop significantly.

The first mistake is one that is endemic among left-wing political activists in New Zealand right now: colonised minds.

The tendency to look at what is happening in the UK – or, from the US, last year’s socialist insurgency candidacy by Bernie Sanders – and simply apply that here, having absorbed it all in fairly undigested chunks via the Guardian Online, the New Statesman, and the New Yorker, has if anything grown worse in the past year.

There is a mesmerising quality to the recent chaos of US and UK politics, and for those who hanker for similar disruption here, it is all too easy – if intellectually lazy – to emotionally, simplistically and wrongly, apply parallels here.

There are no parallels here. It is vacuous to suggest conditions that lead to Brexit and Trump exist here. Worse there is no evidence to suggest it is even close. Most Kiwis think Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn are dickheads.

All this stuff is noisy but it is, mostly, a numerically small cadre of activists talking to each other.

I’m pretty sure it is going to be the same for Ms Turei’s beneficiary fraud.

Watch for it to turn people off, especially but not exclusively those who vote for Mr Peters’ party.

There is no shortage of core Labour voters, too, who resent beneficiaries ripping off the system.

In the end, people elect people, not policies.

Ms Turei’s admission, as lawyers say, “goes to character.”

It is going to hurt not just her, or even her party, but the broader Left.

Good.

 

-NBR


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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.

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