Home > Social Issues, The Body Politic > “Dopey is as dopey does”, according to Dear Leader

“Dopey is as dopey does”, according to Dear Leader



For a man who was raised in a state house; in a single-parent family; and who had all the benefits of a free tertiary education, John Key’s attitude towards those at the bottom of the socio-economic scale leaves a lot to be desired.

Let’s re-cap,

  • John Key’s father died, leaving his mother a solo-mum, to raise children by herself,
  • She would have received the DPB or widow’s benefit (and quite rightly so)
  • She would most likely have been eligible for the Family Benefit, paid to families with children until Ruth Richardson scrapped it in her  1991 “Mother of all Budgets”
  • John Key’s family  enjoyed a state house, with low-rent and security of tenure
  • And lastly, John Key was given a free, tax-payer funded University education (no student fees or debt)

When the Children’s Commissioner’s Expert Advisory Group (EAG) report was released, it’s recommendations included,

First, the group will call for a Warrant of Fitness for landlords. Given John Key has this weekend stressing the success of the Green-inspired home insulation scheme, but the disappointing uptake from landlords, it’s a timely bit of advice.

A WOF on rental homes would ensure poor kids don’t grow up in leaky, cold and unhealthy homes. Really, a safe, warm house should be a basic requirement if you’re going to charge rent. Who can argue with that?

Second, it’ll call for meals to be provided more widely in schools. Some, such as Deborah Morris-Travers from Every Child Counts says that’s a no-brainer. Children need food if they’re to learn and deal with the social demands of school. Some are less keen, however, arguing it takes the onus off parents and puts more pressure on teachers to feed as well as teach our children.

But another study shows this could just be the thin end of the school wedge. Every Child Counts’ Netherlands study this week talked about schools becoming a community hub, with not only meals but before and after school care, nurses, social workers and clubs.

It’s a bold prescription, but one that works overseas by helping working parents and keeping families connected to their schools.

Third, the EAG is expected to call for some form of long-term and universal state assistance for kids – maybe a Universal Child Benefit, or some money every week for every child born. Until 1991 we had such a thing – a Family Benefit. That went in the Bolger/Richardson years.

See: Tim Watkin: It’s time to talk about child poverty again

These three options could put a serious dent into child poverty. A Universal Child Benefit – along the lines of  the old Family Benefit – could add an extra $150  and  extra food on the tables of low-income families.

John Key’s response? In Parliament, responding to a point made by Greens co-leader, Metiria Turei [error correction], he bellowed with great gusto,

We are in an unequal society in New Zealand in her view because the rich are getting richer. And now she is on her feet telling me ‘give the rich families even more for their kids’. What a dopey idea that is.”

See: Key dismisses payment for all parents as ‘dopey’

What a mean-spirited, shallow-thinking man we have as a leader of our nation.

without a  doubt, John Key has a constituency of many other selfish, mean-spirited, short-sighted people in this country. There are a fair number of ill-educated and self-centered who think that the only solution to poverty is to do nothing, and let the poor struggle on. These people have no compassion.

That is the kind of  shallow-thinking that will eventually  doom a society to growing income-disparity; increasing gap between the Haves and Have Nots; and eventual social dislocation and violence.

Such people who think that the poor are poor because they deserve it are a far greater menace to the fabric of our social cohesion, than all the patched gang-members in our community.

For John Key to dismiss a proposed  Universal Child Benefit as “dopey” shows us only one thing; he has forgotten his roots. He has forgotten where he came from. He has forgotten not just the sacrifices of his family – but the strong community support that he benefitted from, and gave him the opportunity to make himself rich.

John Key is where he is because other taxpayers contributed to his housing, education, healthcare, and well-being.

He did not do it by himself.

This blogger does not begrudge Dear Leader’s bulging bank account of $50 million.

What I find reprehensible  is that he would deny other families the chance to access similar support to give their children a decent start in life.

Paula Bennett did the same with the Training Incentive Allowance. Bennett used the TIA to gain a free tertiary education for herself – and then cut the Allowance in 2009. Other solo-mothers can no longer use the same TIA to put themselves through University, and get of the DPB.

See: Bennett rejects ‘hypocrite’ claims

This blogger wonders at the like of John Key and Paula Bennett,  and  how they can deny others the same state-funded assistance that they themselves benefitted from.

What kind of human beings are these people?

How can they forget the assistance that they received when in need?

And what possible satisfaction  do they get when they deny state assistance to their fellow New Zealanders? Especially the same assistance that Key and Bennett personally benefitted from?

The greatest poverty that a society can endure is not monetary. It is a paucity of leadership. It is a lack of hope. And it is a disconnect in social compassion.

When we allow cruelty over compassion, then we are in deep trouble.

It is said that when facing a problem, the three challenges are,

  1. Identify the problem,
  2. Come up with solutions,
  3. Have the Will to implement those solution.

We know the problem.

We have the solutions.

Our leaders are still looking for #3.




Previous related blogposts

Once upon a time there was a solo-mum

Hypocrisy – thy name be National

Hon. Paula Bennett, Minister of Hypocrisy



= fs =

  1. 31 August 2012 at 1:20 pm

    Kiaora. The ‘Dopey Smiling Assassin’ who sacked hundreds of Merrill Lynch employees in the days before he entered New Zealand politics and is now New Zealand’s ‘Dopey Leader’.

    ” Just the type of person you would invite home to meet your mother? Yeah Right!”

    He doesn’t appear to have changed much, he’s still has that ‘Dopey Smile’ on his ‘Dopey Face’ and now he has added to his wonderful attributes, a ‘Dopey Smart-Arsed Mouth’.

    Now his former employer, Merrill Lynch are being sued left right and centre in the USA, post-2008 Financial Crisis, Commission of Inquiry – I have read many of those legal filings and it does not make for LIGHT reading either.

    • 31 August 2012 at 3:33 pm

      “Now his former employer, Merrill Lynch are being sued left right and centre in the USA, post-2008 Financial Crisis, Commission of Inquiry – I have read many of those legal filings and it does not make for LIGHT reading either.”

      It’ll be interesting if Key;’s name pops up. If it does, it’ll be worth while seeing where it leads.

      I’ve said in previous posts that this rotten government is hanging on by only one seat. All it takes is for one by-electkion in an electorate, and if National loses it – there goes their majority.

      If it happened to be Dear Leader…!!!

  2. 31 August 2012 at 2:06 pm

    “responding to a point made by Greens co-leader, Tariana Turia”

    wrong MP?

    • 31 August 2012 at 3:24 pm

      Kyle :

      “responding to a point made by Greens co-leader, Tariana Turia”

      wrong MP?

      *aaaargh!!* Thanks, Kyle.

      That’ll teach me to be in a hurry and not proof-read properly.

      If i had a “Frankly Speaking” prize for pointing out my “Frank Stuff Ups”, you’ve just earned it… 😀

      Correcting mistake now.

  3. John B
    31 August 2012 at 2:11 pm

    yes but he got look after bye rich benefactors

    • 31 August 2012 at 3:22 pm

      his mother lived in a state house, n worked as a cleaner, what n whoa’s the rich benefactor your talking about @ John ??

  4. 31 August 2012 at 2:21 pm

    Bloody right Frank. Good work!

  5. 31 August 2012 at 2:40 pm

    Its obvious, key n bennett have become successfull n by their metality its smells every bit of ”i succeeded why can’t you” like you said, they’ve forgotten about their roots, of cause they used the system to get where they r bennett being one of them, now they’re in a position to push their views n exploit n put down those of the underclass,kind of remind me of a russia, n hitler approach im sure the middle class have picked up on this kind of bully tactic, as some of them are still reeling from the sale of assets,as nationals continue to slide in the polls …i hope bennett realises some of those benefiaries could be those that r sons n daughters of the middle class, can’t see these ones wanting to support keys n bennett if their offsprings r cut off by the system with a future of no hope not a good move for national……just saying! orsom blogg frank u always get down to the nitty gritty n expose luv it .

    • 31 August 2012 at 3:30 pm

      “Its obvious, key n bennett have become successfull n by their metality its smells every bit of ”i succeeded why can’t you”…”

      I think there’s an element of that, Toko, to be sure. Unfortunately, neither seem to understand that their success came about because of our social support, through taxpayers’ effort.

      Their ”i succeeded why can’t you” attitude has overcome any semblance of common sense on their part…

      So, yes, Toko, well sussed.

  6. Ralph
    31 August 2012 at 3:14 pm

    Theres something awry in the empathy department

  7. Paula Fern
    31 August 2012 at 5:17 pm

    Hi Frank

    I was so incensed by the response the Metiria had to her question that I posted the video of it the other day. To quote just the end part of her question “… child payment for all children who are in the worst poverty. ” It was a carefully worded question and the ensuing rude response from herr Key was completely irrelevant. He showed what a right member he is, but we knew that already.

    • 31 August 2012 at 5:31 pm

      Hi Paula,

      Can you share the link with us? I can embed it in a follow-up blog-post. 🙂

      • Paula Fern
        31 August 2012 at 5:52 pm

        Hope that works;)

  8. 31 August 2012 at 7:22 pm

    Thanks for that, Paula. It was an interesting segment.

    I notice that at 4:40 and 6:29, Key yet again blames the Global Financial Crisis. National keeps referring to the GFC when criticised on their handling of the economy.

    Yet, when it comes to the unemployed, their atttitude is quite different and it’s the unemployed’s fault that they are unemployed. (Hence National’s plan to drug-test jobless New Zealanders.)

    See: https://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2012/08/29/drug-testing-the-unemployed-nationals-epic-fail-at-job-creation/

    At 5:04 Key sez, “this government has supported rheumatic fever“.

    Why, yes, they have. National has supported rheumatic fever.

    Considering that rheumatic fever is a symptom of ongoing poverty, their “support” of this disease was no slip of the tongue of Dear Leader. National does indeed support the conditions in which rheumatic fever flourishes.

    At 6:37, Key refers to the Report on poverty;

    “The report also sez the following that research indicates that parents obtaining full time paid employment is the most important event to lift children out of poverty…”

    And then adds,

    “… That’s why this government is focusing on areas like welfare reforms…”


    How does “welfare reform” provide jobs for the unemployed?!

    The unemployed need jobs. Welfare reform does not create jobs – it simply throws people from the welfare safety net into further poverty, crime, and hopelessness.

    This is unbelievable rubbish and yet again the mainstream media allow this sort of claptrap from our Dear Leader to go unchallenged???

    Good on Metiria Turei for dismissing Key’s reference to a “dopey idea” as a rude statement. She kept her dignity whilst Key looks more and more like an uncultured peasant.

    Key’s attitude toward quite legitimate questions surrounding poverty was utterly apalling. It’s obvious that this buffoon’s attitude troward poverty is derisory and contemptuous. Even Lockwood Smith found Key’s initial response to be unacceptable – and I noted Key’s “I-don’t-give-a-f**k” facial expression during his telling off by the Speaker.

    Truly, New Zealanders elected a very unpleasant man as our Prime Minister.

    • Paula Fern
      31 August 2012 at 7:32 pm

      Ditto 😉 Metiria is an awesome MP.

    • 1 September 2012 at 2:18 pm

      How does “welfare reform” provide jobs for the unemployed?

      It doesn’t but it does help drive wages down.

      • 1 September 2012 at 5:04 pm

        Indeed, Draco. The conclusion is inescapable that National wants to drive down wages so that New Zealand Inc. attracts foreign investment.

        That is precisely what the POAL maritime dispute was about; smashing their collective contract; contracting out the workforce; and casualising jobs.

        This has already started with certain Aussie companies relocating here, to NZ, chasing lower wages. Our Aussie working cuzzies should fight such moves, and fight back hard!

        Draco’s link to The Standard blogpiece;

        “John Key’s plan to cut your pay”

  9. Theodore
    2 September 2012 at 12:30 pm

    And we pay $400k a year for this idiot to be our prime minister? Shame on those one million voters who voted for this con artist. This country is fast going down the proverbial toilet and all because of those one million fools.

  1. 5 August 2013 at 3:34 pm

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