Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Welfare Nazis a big hit in Aotearoa

Revival of old hit by the #Welfare #Nazis coming to Aotearoa soon. Sponsored by NACTs, Maxim Institute and UK Centre for Social Justice. Lineup: Ian Duncan-Smith, Paula Rebstock, Paula Bennett, Janet Grossman. First came to prominence as the Chicago Boys in the '70s, with smash hit 'Pinochet', then the Reaganites Contra band in the '80s with No1 hit #WisconsinWay. Went on in the '90s to record "Welfare to Work" a cover of the 1930s Depression hit by Fred Hayek. Revived for current world tour by global crisis, rising austerity, impending bankruptcy to raise the stocks of the declining old bands, and try to counter the popular appeal of the new genre of #indignatos sweeping the world #worldrevolution.#fb

Ian Duncan-Smith, founder of the British think tank Centre for Social Justice, visited Aotearoa recently as guest of the Maxim Institute. As the Con-Dem Minister of Work and Pensions he is now responsible for implementing the policies generated by his think tank. Basically these policies are summed up as 'work-fare'. The NACT regime is basing much of its approach to welfare on the same politics of welfare-to-work. This originated in the US in particular the ‘Wisconsin Way’, and was picked up by a 1997 “Beyond Dependency” Conference in NZ. These ideas are derived ultimately from the revival of ‘liberal’ political economy of the Austrian school, in particular Von Mises and Hayek.

Today, the NACTs are drawing inspiration from British neo-liberal theory on welfare being implemented by the Con-Dem regime. They have head-hunted one of the UK senior officials, Janet Grossman, responsible for implementing a shift from Jobcentres to Callcentres, cutting jobs, saving money by putting services online and creating financial disincentives to getting benefits. Here's a quote from a British parliamentary committee before which Ms Grossman appeared:

"...let us congratulate Ms Grossman, shall we - if we read her CV we see that: "Under Janet's leadership, the Pension Service operations have improved efficiency and customer service, reducing staff numbers by 26% whilst improving service levels in the last 18 months". She has done a fantastic job and I pay tribute to her. When we need to summon you back in a couple of years' time, which I will obviously do, will you be able to tell us that Ms Grossman has been promoted and received a pay rise but those responsible for a lagging performance elsewhere have been sacked and moved on?"

The transcript is hilarious, especially the cross questioning by one Austin Mitchell, Labour MP for Grimsby (of Quarter-acre-Pavlova Paradise fame) who asks are the customers told midway thru their phone call how much it is costing them?

That was 2006, so it’s likely she has probably turned 100s of jobcentres into callcentres to get people to chase jobs over the phone or online (with services contracted to the private sector where Ms Grossman has much experience).

Sounds like she's been head hunted to do the same job here getting people off welfare and  into...workfare!

Which Paula Bennett is already doing eh? When 2/3rds of 'youth not working' are not registered as unemployed. There aint no jobs! The pay off here will be outsourcing IT solutions, forcing customers to pay for long phone calls assuming you have a landline, and why would you with a cellphone anyway. Its keep your cellphone lose your benefit. Then there's the compulsory detox or else. Then employing Union-organised security guards to harass them off the streets. Crazy capitalism where efficiency is chopping people off the books while outsourcing the methods so that only social services that can make a profit survive.

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