Home > Social Issues, The Body Politic > Back to the Future?

Back to the Future?

This piece in the media reminded me of issues in the late 1990s…


Full Story


Some things never change, it seems. Tides. The rise and setting of the sun and moon. Human nature. And politicians who cut social services,  because they harbour the naive notion that money is more important than the health and well-being of our young and elderly.

As the following media articles, from 1997 and 1998 show, National has not changes any of it’s stripes or spots,


Otago Daily Times


Otago Daily Times


The Dominion


Thirteen years later, and nothing has changed.

What is surprising is that people seem to forget National’s policies of cutting social services. Really – what were voters expecting, in 2008?

And what services will National cut, if they are voted back in, in November?

Finally: note who the Minister of Health was, in 1997 – Bill English.



  1. Deborah Kean
    9 October 2011 at 2:45 pm

    The day after the election my son Leon asked one of his fellow students, who was rejoicing at the result on Facebook, which social services she wanted cut. “Bludging beneficiaries” she said. He pointed out to her that her patients (she worked as a mental health nurse) were for the most part “bludging beneficiaries”.
    “Oh, I didn’t mean them!” she whined. Presumably, she has learned her lesson since then…

  2. 9 October 2011 at 3:48 pm

    I’ve struck precisely that same attitude and response, Debbie.

    Someone cricises solo-mothers for “bludging”. I point out two friends of ours; both solo-mums. The husband of Solo-mum “A”, with two children, committed suicide (he suffered from clinical depression).

    The husband of Solo-mum “B”, with three children, ran off with his work colleague.

    Both had no choice but to go on the DPB.

    When I mention those two instances, the response is always, “Oh, I didn’t mean them!”.

    Funny how critics of “bene bludgers” always mean someone else…

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