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War on walfare, state services, state assets, justice and Pharmac

May 31, 2011
Must be time for a bit of cosy PR from Fairfax to distract their readers.
Don’t want the sheep getting freaked before the election.
At the risk of quoting Mr Martyn Bradbury twice in as many days, I think he said it best: “I can just imagine the press conference: “Hi all. Having a good day? I had a sausage for lunch. It was yum. Now I’m afraid we have to fuck the poor and the sick and the mentally unwell and the solo mothers up by forcing them all back to work in a 6%+ unemployment labour force because our raising GST to subsidize a tax cut for our rich mates didn’t turbo charge the economy like we said and in fact left a billion dollar deficit in revenue we need to fill with the hopes, dreams and aspirations of an entire class of New Zealanders. Here’s a picture of my son planking”.”

To be fair, there is a report on benefit changes on page two of today’s Dom, but as usual, none of the major Opposition parties are quoted. No disrespect to the hardworking Sue Bradford – who I have a great deal of time and respect for – but she is a polarising figure, and it seems she has simply been quoted at length here to marginalise the case against these changes. Why else would there be no comment what-so-ever from the many centrist voices speaking out against these archaic reforms?

Also in today’s edition, Phil Goff’s genuine concerns about the United States’ pharmaceutical companies targeting Pharmac gets literally buried in the middle of page five, surrounded on all sides by other stories, so most readers will miss it entirely. Obviously, Fairfax don’t want us realising that National’s US free-trade deal is looking like a one-sided con-job which will be terrible for New Zealand and New Zealanders.

And, in today’s editorial, Fairfax predictably jump in to support their mate Simon Power. The Justice Minister’s attack on legal aid will clearly put justice out of reach for many New Zealanders, but according to Fairfax’s editorial “Power is right to shake up legal aid” and the industrial action being threatened by lawyers opposing the changes “is primarily motivated by the same reason behind most industrial action – money.” Erm, that’s what they said about teachers too. And radiographers.

It seems that to a media company with no principles other than the almighty dollar, it’s very easy to tar everyone with the same brush. God help unions and employees trying to get any kind of fair deal with this lot!


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