I want to introduce a new feature, ‘Clown Politics.’ I’m not sure how regular it will be, but this week in politics was amazing and hilarious so I can’t help myself. I can’t help but feel like something is going down the tube in a magic bullet, but at least we can laugh our way along it.
So on Monday Kim Dotcom’s hit song, ‘Amnesia‘ hit the web, it even got into the UK press. For all the slaters out there, Dotcom is the sizeable German whose family home was raided, blockbuster movie style after the FBI asked our government to help them out with some copyright charges. Dotcom ran Megaupload, known to many for it’s irritating 72 minute limit but is now being treated like a deadly virus by his once chummy politician friends. One of these were John Banks, lover of the phrase, ‘I don’t recall.’ And so with a little help from Black Eyed Peas songwriter Printz Board, ‘Amnesia’ was born.
Another big mention in the news has been changes to student loans. Stephen Joyce, Minister of Tertiary Education has announced a number of changes, which are going to cause a lot of damage for a lot of hard working students – limiting student allowance to 4 years, increasing the repayment schedule, changing eligibility oh and then there’s the underfunding for arts and humanities to focus on sciences. It’s a fun situation for students, on top of the whole issue of this generation having greater costs and less potential for income than any generation before.
It’s not really that funny, just irritating. What is funny is the comment boards on the NZ Herald website. This one, on the article ‘Loan debt is costing too much,’ was my fave.
“Student loans” should be abolished. They can go to a bank, like the rest of us, or get their parents to remortgage their house, or, work their way through Uni themselves. It is no good raising the repayment amount when they don’t repay it anyway. They just steal our money, by heading off overseas, and never repaying it.
Let them try stealing from a bank, that would be interesting.
Great solution Bill, I’ll try suggesting to my parents that they remortgage their home to pay for my university education. That will be taken seriously. I find it funny really that my generation is heralded as ‘Generation Me’, yet parents are expected to support their children for university up until the age of 25. That will produce self sufficient reasonable adults right? And don’t get me started on paying our way through uni – the university expects that I spend 65 hours a week on class and study as it is.
Amnesia and student loans is nothing really though in comparison to the great budget foil, Contraception for Beneficiaries. This is where Paula Bennett declared that the Ministry of Social Development would provide free, long-term reversible contraception for beneficiaries and their teenage daughters. The general consensus has been that yeah, contraception is good for everyone but it should be a doctor thing, not a WINZ thing. And where do the lolz feature? Out of contraception for bennies, rose the ‘Great New Zealand Slut Debate of 2012.’
“We certainly have concerns about children being born to those on welfare.”
“Ultimately if people have unplanned pregnancies and are solely dependent on the state, you the taxpayer have to pay for a long period of time for that dependency and we know the outcomes aren’t terribly good.”
The debate began to heat up when Colin Craig, leader of the (not in parliament) Conservative Party chimed in. Thank the lord for the conservatives, halllellujjjahhhh!
“We are the country with the most promiscuous young women in the world. This does nothing to help us at all.”
“Why should, say, a 70-year-old who’s had one partner all their life be paying for a young woman to sleep around?
Thanks Colin, you have a point. But you (and everyone else crying out sexism) encouraged Paula Bennett to try and justify herself with this bizarre and totally unqualified claim.
“We talk about teen mums a lot and yes, they are left with the babies. But you hear of older men with multiple children and they actually prey on young women as well…I’m not sure we actually identify that as the problem that it is.”
Thanks Paula, so the problem is not beneficiaries, it’s middle aged men. Castrate them all! The best bit of all though has been twitter. Jackson James Wood (of Dr Brash fame) was possibly one of the funniest.
“Since superannuation is technically a benefit will we also be dishing out contraception in old folks homes?”
“National to start selecting two beneficiary children from each WINZ office to compete in our very own Hunger Games.”
“Winner’s family gets the dole for life.”
Oh and this one from Rachel Smalley is worth an honourable mention.
“Why is it only New Zealand women who’ve become promiscuous? Has the country been overwhelmed by rampant lesbians?”
All up, the losers in the ‘Great New Zealand Slut Debate of 2012’ is the New Zealand public as this story also got UK airtime.
You’d think that that would be enough right? Surely, our politicians couldn’t give us anymore cannon fodder? Nup.
Earlier this week Barack Obama announced that he was for equality of marriage. Our politicians sprinted to get public approval by agreeing. Shearer got a bit of flack for saying on twitter,
“I fully support marriage equality in principle but would like to see the detail of any legislation before giving formal support.”
But he then cleared it up with this tweet,
“Great to see the conversation. For absolute clarity I personally support marriage equality.”
Colin Craig also threw his opinion in when noone wanted it by saying that,
“Legalising gay marriage is social engineering.”
But what really got people whutting was John Key’s response that there’s no real clamour for gay marriage in New Zealand. We can pin that up to John Key’s, not really a big deal pin board along with NZer’s opinions on asset sales, and inequities all over the place.
But it’s okay New Zealand, don’t worry about the fact that our politicians are fools and a fat German is now making hit pop songs about it. Or that in 2012 contraception can start a major sexist/moralistic/nutty debate. Or even that all the students are probably going to go bankrupt at some point (We have great role models, *coughfinancialcrisisfools*). At least on Wednesday night you can all snuggle up and watch The G.C. Oh and apparently the Ridge’s show is getting the greenlight.
Oh happy days.