I really do hate to gloat, honest, folks. But it’s not that often that I get a four-month turnaround on my political prophesying.
See, back in March, I criticised Diane Vivian, chair of Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, for being a mouthpiece for Paula Bennett’s then-most-recent attack on beneficiaries. Ms Vivian, you may recall, said
“Parents are putting their own selfish wants and needs before those of their children. What I am seeing from our perspective is there is a whole generation of that,” she said.
And in step the brave grandparents to pick up the pieces. And good on them. It’s a tremendous job they do and one which, I noted, doesn’t actually get nearly as much support as it deserves. Like parents caring for their adult children with disabilities, our society likes to ignore the hard, vital work done by people when it’s family doing it.
Then, totally by coincidence, Diane Vivian got to head up a group doling out $35 million in extra funding to extended family members raising children.
At the time of my first post, Ms Vivian insisted
[Paula Bennett] is not using me at all I do this for the greater benefit of our people
And I surmised,
you’re not really getting the point, Diane. I’m sure it’ll click once grandparents are no longer convenient to push Paula Bennett’s latest spin.
And here we are today. A mere four months after Paula Bennett used grandparents who raise their grandchildren as a meat-shield, exploiting their hard work to build a case that she doesn’t hate all beneficiaries, just the evil bludgers, after she claimed
“In general I have found them to be remarkable people doing a job that very few would. When I added all of those things together I thought it was a fair spend for a small number of people,”
… suddenly, the worm has turned.
Diane Vivian Chair of Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Trust NZ says their phones have been ringing non-stop from upset grandparents who have received letters stating they now need to go into W & I for an appointment to seek work. Most of these people are aged 55 to 64.
Vivian says, it is time a Carers Benefit was looked at to enable them to safely care for these vulnerable children
Gee, Ms Vivian. Do you think that argument might have been more compelling if you hadn’t pushed Paula Bennett’s lines about evil bludgers? Hadn’t literally labelled an entire generation as selfish no-goods?
And now she’s come for your people. How much less damage do you think could have been done if you hadn’t laid the groundwork of beneficiary-bashing for her?