Why we must act against ter­ror­ists

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -

Thank you for pro­vid­ing a re­sponse to my crit­i­cism last week of Gor­don Camp­bell on ISIS ter­ror­ism and the risk of re­tal­i­a­tion should New Zealand be­come in­volved, and thanks to Mr Camp­bell too for such a thought­ful and well-in­formed re­sponse.

I had not picked up from his orig­i­nal col­umn that his point was ‘‘spread­ing the risk of re­tal­i­a­tion’’ by se­cur­ing United Na­tions en­dorse­ment, and I greatly re­spect that ar­gu­ment.

But this ar­gu­ment does cut both ways – a United Na­tions en­dorse­ment would, of course, im­ply well over 100 coun­tries ‘‘at­tract­ing re­tal­i­a­tion’’; but it does not re­flect well on New Zealand if the United Na­tions’ moral com­pass is bro­ken or de­ac­ti­vated by vested in­ter­ests on the part of veto-hold­ing na­tions like Rus­sia and France; a ‘‘coali­tion of the will­ing’’ is formed of na­tions that still have a moral com­pass, and New Zealand de­lib­er­ately chick­ens out even though we are in­su­lated from re­tal­i­a­tion by our very re­mote­ness and by the fact that 30-plus far more sig­nif­i­cant na­tions are more likely tar­gets.

Shame on us if Italy, the Nether­lands, Den­mark, Poland, the Czech Repub­lic, Ukraine, Ja­pan, South Korea, Thai­land, the Philip­pines, Ethiopia, Colom­bia, Hon­duras, the Solomon Is­lands and Tonga (among a few dozen to­tal) are pre­pared to sign up and we are not.

Have all th­ese been hit with re­tal­i­a­tion from Is­lamist ter­ror­ists yet? How long will it take them to work their way down the list to Tonga? strangers, which could re­late to many races in New Zealand to­day.

He then goes on to rant about the evils of white peo­ple, and the to­tally in­cor­rect view that only whites can be racist.

Maybe Mr Bor­rie should re­serve th­ese sorts of mad rants for his neo-com­mu­nist pul­pit.

Many peo­ple to­day find the term Pakeha out­dated, and more than likely of­fen­sive. We are all New Zealan­ders, and should stop look­ing to use any terms of ref­er­ence for other races that fur­ther an ‘‘us and them’’ men­tal­ity.

Maori choose to be called Maori; I choose not to be called Pakeha, as do many New Zealan­ders.

Cit­ing Sal­va­tion Army work­ers in provin­cial ci­ties, he sug­gested that ‘‘Tolley’s statis­tics (show­ing a 10,000 drop in ben­e­fit num­bers) could merely re­flect that re­cent wel­fare re­forms have tight­ened the el­i­gi­bil­ity cri­te­ria and placed many on lower pay­ment lev­els be­fore they drop off the wel­fare radar en­tirely’’.

The fact is there has been no change to the el­i­gi­bil­ity cri­te­ria for ben­e­fits. There has been no change to ben­e­fit rates.

Ben­e­fit can­cel­la­tions to take up work is at its high­est for years. In the past year, 38 per cent of all ben­e­fit can­cel­la­tions were to take up work, com­pared to 33 per cent in 2009-10.

Ev­ery week peo­ple come on and off ben­e­fit as their cir­cum­stances change – be­tween June 2013 and June 2014 there were 84,477 can­cel­la­tions off ben­e­fit and into work – which is 1600 a week.

The Gov­ern­ment’s wel­fare re­forms have placed more obli­ga­tions on ben­e­fi­cia­ries, but th­ese are not oner­ous and many of the new ones are about kids.

They in­clude things like wellchild checks, and en­sur­ing your child is en­rolled with a GP and en­rolled at school. If peo­ple don’t meet their obli­ga­tions they are be­ing sanc­tioned, but that doesn’t mean their ben­e­fit has been cut. Sanc­tions are in the most part warn­ings.

It is easy for peo­ple to re-com­ply and most do so with­out any im­pact on their ben­e­fit. While sanc­tions have in­creased since 2010-11, there has been a 34 per cent re­duc­tion in the num­ber of sus­pen­sions and can­cel­la­tions of ben­e­fits dur­ing that pe­riod.

Gor­don Camp­bell claims it is all spin. He’s wrong. He may not the like the fact that wel­fare re­forms are work­ing, but that is the re­al­ity.

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