Tuesday, June 14, 2011


One of the more odious beliefs of the right is their view, expressed everywhere in the sewer at the drop of a hat, that beneficiaries are not entitled to have political opinions, and that any one of them who expresses a political view should be investigated and persecuted for daring to do so. This isn't just a denial of freedom of speech and the right not to be discriminated against for your political opinions; its a throwback to the comfortable nineteenth century prejudice that government was the domain of the rich, or at least "decent people" with property and a job (who could of course be trusted to vote the "right" way). It is thus a denial of our basic moral equality and a rejection of fundamental democratic norms - the idea that everyone, rich or poor, employed or not, has a stake in our society and a say in its government.

So its especially disappointing to see The Standard spewing this shit, and attacking Cameron Slater for being a sickness beneficiary:

National knows that the public oppose its agenda of asset sales, lower wages, and service cuts. So they’re going to campaign dirty. They’re running this week’s muck-throwing via sickness beneficiary* Cameron Slater.


*for a sickness beneficiary, Slater’s pretty active, eh? Full-time blogging, breaking into websites, hunting, cycling (well, if you can call only being able to cover 20km in 50 minutes on a brand new racing bike ‘cycling’). Might be time for WINZ to take a closer look at this guy who’s living off the public teat.

There are many good reasons to attack Cameron Slater, but this is not one of them. No matter what you think of him (and personally, I try not to), he is entitled to express his political views without fear of persecution, regardless of his socioeconomic or health status. Those attacking him in this way might want to consider what they're opening the door to, and how they'd react if the political affiliations were reversed and the boot were on the other foot.