Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Sack Bennett now!

For the past few weeks, Te Puea Marae has been doing the work the government has refused to do in helping the homeless. There's strong public support for this work, and even the government has been forced to contribute. But its also very obviously embarrassing for the government to have such a visible symbol that the public believe in a decent society and want homes for all. So, after doing a quick photo op for the papers there this morning, Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett had her press secretary leak information that the marae's chair was under police investigation.

This is fucking low, even by Bennett's standards: someone is doing good, but their doing good makes her look bad by comparison, so she abuses information given to her in confidence to smear them. And there's no question that she did it: press secretaries don't do this sort of thing without instruction, and Bennett has past form for exactly this type of dirty bullying. That sort of behaviour is simply unacceptable for a Minister (or, indeed, a human being), and she should be sacked for it.

Also worth noting: Paula Bennett is one of the Ministers responsible for the government's Social Investment Unit, which will be the primary customer of Stats NZ's "big brother' Integrated Data Infrastructure. So the person responsible for the agency which collects and trawls through our most intimate secrets is also the Minister with the worst record for abusing that sort of information. And that just doesn't seem safe at all.