If you’re anything like me, you were rolling your eyes at the television last night, wishing John Key’s charm and swagger wasn’t so appealing to so many New Zealanders.  Election 2011 with John Key leading the popularity polls, it’s like watching an episode of X-factor, I half expect Key to mouth  ‘Vote John’ to the screen.  Maybe he’ll bring in text voting.

I get it, I do.  He’s charming, he speaks well and always looks and sounds like he knows what he’s talking about… but does he?

It’s the selective reasoning that does my head in.  Premier House hadn’t been painted for 11 years folks – it needed doing.  Well yes John, and there are a fair few folks out there in middle income New Zealand who’s houses have gone a lot longer than 11 years without a lick of paint.  I’m actually all for protecting our heritage buildings, and if paint is what they need, that that’s what they should get.  I just whack into a great big judder bar when I hear they replaced the carpets and the curtains as well.  I know it’s a bit like a state funded daycare centre at times, on fancy dress day… hobbets holding hands with oil bosses, the odd police officer and body guard to keep it interesting, but I’m betting my local Kindergarten would be a lot worse off for carpet than Premier House.  If we were in secure times, well go forth and interior decorate, but when you’re shoving the words “fiscally responsible” down my throat, you sure as hell better be living by them too.

The same goes for the limo’s.  I know Labour signed up for the deal yonks ago, but things were different back then, and I find it very hard to believe that no one pushed the “hold” button.  A few more years with the older model vehicles surely wouldn’t have been the end of the world?  I would dearly love to trade up from my wee Nissan Sentra, but you know what John Key, it’s not going to happen any time soon.  I mean if IRD can put a 21 million dollar software project on hold, surely you can sort out a few cars?

Now these things inevitably come across as sounding petty, and they might be a drop in the bucket compared to the amounts we spend on other things, but the point is they speak of culture, of attitude, of double standards.  If you want the people of New Zealand to suck it up, you better suck it up too cupcake!

I could probably write a wee novel on my feelings regarding the changes to Kiwi Saver and working for families, but I sum it up with what I yelled at my television last night,

COME ON JOHN, DO YOU THINK I’M STUPID?

Yes Mr Prime Minister, there was an earthquake in Christchurch, and you know what, much of New Zealand dug deep and raised millions of dollars in charity donations.  But you know what mate, if you hadn’t kicked off New Zealand’s entry into the world recession with high income earner tax cuts, we might be a bit better prepared and better able to afford to rebuild Christchurch, without asking the middle income earners to take a cut.  Yes PM, it really rips my undies every time you say “the earthquake” because you selectively forget, you omit the part where you gave all the top earners a nice wee tax break, assuring your adoring fans that it would trickle down.

Well where is it John?  Where’s this reinvestment in the country?  This economic growth that was all going to be so wonderful?  Now instead we have a promise of growth that starts with the rugby world cup, and then rides on the coat tails of the Christchurch Earthquake.  Then what John?  Oh that’s right, you’ve got some energy resources and some oil drilling going on, somethings sure to pop up from that.  100% pure… speculation?

My wee co-operative family unit have been clambering up the Working for families ladder from theearly days.  At the beginning, when we were struggling somewhere under $40,000 a year, and Working for families gave us hope.  The reality of being a low to middle income earner isn’t flashy.  When the hubby needed a hernia operation and couldn’t lift a child or even a bag of groceries, we decided not to flounder on the waiting list.  We cashed in our super to pay for it, put the expensive pain killers on the visa.  You do what you do to get by.  But at that time, Working for families gave us a bit of hope.  Now of course you can say we chose to have children, therefore we should suck it up, but I’d say in reply to that,

a) is having children now only a right for high income earners?

and

b) for all those people who simply choose not to have children, when you are 95 and living in a rest home, it will be the children of today who are wiping your bum and feeding you with a spoon.

We are lucky enough now to not need Working for Families, but I tell you what, I am so deeply grateful that we had it when we needed it.  It brought milk and bread and petrol, it paid for Ashton’s soy formula when he couldn’t have dairy, and you know what – sometimes I even managed a spare $8 for a tshirt at the warehouse.

I agree that there needs to be caution at this time.  There is no room for fancy trips overseas or flights in helicopters.  We need to save more and spend less, I get it.  But I want to see those at the top doing their fair share.  And I want to see National stop hiding behind half truths and start standing up to your big business buddies.  If you can organise a trip to meet Barark Obama in a couple of months, then I’m sure you can deal with taking the GST off fruit and veges.  You might even find your way clear to taking the 50% extra funding you’ve given to the promotion of mining in New Zealand, and redistributing it within the education sector, so that our kids and their teachers and parents aren’t forced to get on their hands and knees and beg for trained staff, and for resources that meet the needs of our youngest members of society.

National blazed into office on the slogan “It’s time for a change.”  How are you liking those changes so far?

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