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I'm posting this here for future reference: Penny Red on the London… - Tactical Ninja

Aug. 9th, 2011

02:31 pm

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I'm posting this here for future reference: Penny Red on the London riots.

"Months of conjecture will follow these riots. Already, the internet is teeming with racist vitriol and wild speculation. The truth is that very few people know why this is happening. They don’t know, because they were not watching these communities. Nobody has been watching Tottenham since the television cameras drifted away after the Broadwater Farm riots of 1985. Most of the people who will be writing, speaking and pontificating about the disorder this weekend have absolutely no idea what it is like to grow up in a community where there are no jobs, no space to live or move, and the police are on the streets stopping-and-searching you as you come home from school. The people who do will be waking up this week in the sure and certain knowledge that after decades of being ignored and marginalised and harassed by the police, after months of seeing any conceivable hope of a better future confiscated, they are finally on the news. In one NBC report, a young man in Tottenham was asked if rioting really achieved anything:

"Yes," said the young man. "You wouldn't be talking to me now if we didn't riot, would you?"

"Two months ago we marched to Scotland Yard, more than 2,000 of us, all blacks, and it was peaceful and calm and you know what? Not a word in the press. Last night a bit of rioting and looting and look around you."

Comments:

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From:t_c_da
Date:August 9th, 2011 03:23 am (UTC)
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Certainly an interesting read...

One wonders just how far away from that sort of situation is li'l ole Enzud?

And note that someone (no, not Ben as far as I'm aware) has been chalking around Wellington CBD "15% GST Thanks John".
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From:tatjna
Date:August 9th, 2011 03:28 am (UTC)
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I'd say if anything would spark rioting here, it'd be related to this.

I found out the other day that there are places in Northland (our most depressed area) that you're not allowed to move to if you're on a benefit. And people who already live there are being forced to move to places like Auckland to try to find work that isn't actually there. Young people separated from their families, living on benefits in rundown areas of expensive cities? Hmm..
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From:pythia
Date:August 9th, 2011 03:41 am (UTC)
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"I found out the other day that there are places in Northland (our most depressed area) that you're not allowed to move to if you're on a benefit."

WHAT?! Is that even legal?
Oh god if National gets in again I don't know what I'm going to do.
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From:tatjna
Date:August 9th, 2011 03:49 am (UTC)
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This isn't the article I read (which seems to have disappeared), but it mentions it near the bottom. WINZ is denying it.
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From:pythia
Date:August 9th, 2011 03:57 am (UTC)
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That marae is a cool idea.
Anyway, when I went to a WINZ meeting to see about the benefit when I couldn't find work, there was a girl who had moved from Christchurch out to Cheviot (small farming town roughly halfway between Chch and Kaikoura). She'd moved there with her partner, because he had a job there. They told her "Well, you were the one who made the decision to move from Chch, where there are jobs, to Cheviot, where there aren't, so we wouldn't pay out."
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From:tatjna
Date:August 9th, 2011 04:00 am (UTC)
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And with the 'relationship fraud' angle being taken by the government, I can see a lot of separation of families going on, which is a really fast way to lead to dangerous unrest.

I live with a flatmate. We rent a house between us, share all bills, share chores, live together like a family. Except if we were on a benefit and also sharing a bed, they'd use it as a reason to pay us as if we were one person, at a lesser rate per person.

I question in what way sexual/romantic love lowers one's living costs.
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From:pythia
Date:August 9th, 2011 04:02 am (UTC)
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Yeah, I agree. And for people stuck in less than desirable relationships, it just gives their partner one more aspect of control over them.
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From:tatjna
Date:August 9th, 2011 03:54 am (UTC)
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Here we go, found it.
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From:pythia
Date:August 9th, 2011 03:59 am (UTC)
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Yep, sounds pretty much exactly what we got told. And that was probably...3, 3.5 years ago?
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From:t_c_da
Date:August 9th, 2011 03:51 am (UTC)
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Unfortunately it's those on a benefit who generally seem to be not bothered to express an opinion come November (I know I'm generalising and yearn for the day when one is required by law to front up and express an opinion as is the case in .au) or else it's those who think national is a shoo in, so why bother? when in fact if they bothered national wouldn't be a shoo in.

Unfortunately I was raised to be grateful that I had an opportunity to express an opinion, in secret*.

*In both .uk & .nz ballot papers are numbered and the numbers go against your name on a piece of paper. In .au the ballots are un-numbered and processes exist to ensure one doesn't cast multiple ballots, or fail to front and cast a ballot - there is no requirement for that ballot to be validly completed, however. I could go on for some time about the differences and methods, but won't bore you here...
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From:tatjna
Date:August 9th, 2011 03:55 am (UTC)
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[citation needed]
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From:pythia
Date:August 9th, 2011 03:57 am (UTC)
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*like*
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From:t_c_da
Date:August 9th, 2011 08:10 pm (UTC)
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Quote I know I'm generalising... unquote

Which renders the statement as readily deniable and disprovable...

Also I lack the information (electoral rolls with who did & didn't vote correlated to WINZ records of who was on a benefit) to prove or disprove my statement...
Don't you think the result of the last election gives a hint as to which part of the population bothered to vote? I know you (based on your public statements) and I didn't vote for them...
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From:tatjna
Date:August 10th, 2011 06:24 am (UTC)
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There is research out there that indicates that the largest non-voting group is found among those 18-25ish. And yeah, I'm thinking a lot of them would potentially not vote for the current government - but that's just speculation.

I just get tired of the 'unemployed can't be bothered.. (x)' trope. Having been unemployed long term and knowing how bothered I was. It wasn't lack of effort, it was lack of power.
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From:bekitty
Date:August 9th, 2011 04:50 am (UTC)
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It's called the Remote Area Policy, and it's been in force since about 2004, I think. As far as I'm aware, though, it's Work & Income policy and not actually law (i.e. not part of the Social Security Act 1964). They use it as part of the work-test for unemployment benefit.
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From:tatjna
Date:August 9th, 2011 04:58 am (UTC)
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It's weird you know, when I finally kicked the benefit for good I was living 65km from the nearest town, and I got off the benefit doing casual work for an hourly rate. I worked maybe 20 hours a week doing a variety of things to make as much as I would have on a benefit, and this allowed me to have a better lifestyle than I would have on a benefit in a city.

Thus, I believe preventing people from living in remote areas is not necessarily conducive to their getting off a benefit.
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From:bekitty
Date:August 9th, 2011 05:19 am (UTC)
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[puts benefit rights advocate hat on]

Here's the policy sheet in Work & Income's "Manuals and Procedures" deskfile.

Also, with regard to relationship status: the relevant bit of the legislation (which is extremely unclear) is section 63 of the Social Security Act 1964. There's also an extremely important bit of case law that quite a few people don't know about, called Ruka v. DSW 1993. In the decision handed down by the Court of Appeal, the judges basically stated what a marriage (or a relationship on the nature of marriage) is.

Both of the following two factors must be present: "...both the mental and emotional commitment AND the financial interdependence must be found to exist before a relationship can be said to be in the nature of marriage for the purpose of s.63(b) of the Social Security Act."

Before that judgement was made, Work and Income used a list of extremely intrusive questions that they'd ask your friends, neighbours and (occasionally) vindictive ex-partners before confronting you with the "facts". They still try and use that list, but they must abide by the Ruka decision if they want to win any kind of case against you.

Another thing? If a Work & Income case manager tells you something that sounds really dodgy, get it in writing. Write it down yurself if you have to. And always, if you're applying for something, don't accept a verbal denial. Fill in a form and get a date-stamped photocopy. That way they can't claim that you just came in for advice.

[takes benefit rights advocate hat off] Phew!
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From:tatjna
Date:August 9th, 2011 05:26 am (UTC)
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Hehe, thanks for that!

I do question the two factors for a relationship in the nature of marriage though. What exactly constitutes financial interdependence? If it's sharing bills, then Polly and I are half way there already. And if that's the case, I wonder what about the mental and emotional commitment part reduces the living cost - which is the only reason I can see it as ok to pay two people 'together' less than two individuals.

I am assuming they think it means you can rent a house with one less bedroom and therefore need less money or something. ;-/
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From:bekitty
Date:August 9th, 2011 08:41 am (UTC)
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"Financial interdependence" isn't just sharing bills. It's more of an understanding that if one partner were suddenly to lose their income or have it drastically reduced for any reason, the other partner would support them and any dependent children they might have.
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From:tatjna
Date:August 9th, 2011 09:47 am (UTC)
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Yeah I'd do that for Polly too.
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From:tatjna
Date:August 9th, 2011 05:30 am (UTC)
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Also, I see Tinui (the place I got off the benefit) is listed as a limited employment location.
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From:bekitty
Date:August 9th, 2011 05:34 am (UTC)
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Whoops, the Ruka decision was 1997, not 1993.
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From:pleiadeslion
Date:August 9th, 2011 11:25 am (UTC)
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Laurie's a great social commentator.
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From:t_c_da
Date:August 9th, 2011 09:26 pm (UTC)
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For contrast this went up on Flickr recently...

I'm sure Happy would approve!
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