Saturday, 23 June 2007

John Dierckx in My Journal - Helen's Fingers in My Kid's Pie: The Price of a Welfare State

Helen's Fingers in My Kid's Pie: The Price of a Welfare State
By John Dierckx in My Journal
Published: Friday, 22 June 07 - 09:29 PM (GMT +12:00)
Last Updated: Saturday, 23 June 07 - 01:22 AM (GMT +12:00)

11 June, The NZ Herald covers a new ban, introduced by our government: this time it is a ban on schools to sell healthy food (or reduce availability substantially) and replace it with healthy alternatives.

See the story here.

Now of course we cannot deny that in New Zealand there is, like in many western countries an obesity problem. And no one will deny that it needs to be addressed. But what are we really seeing here?

What is the main theme here: is it really the genuine concern of the government, of Helen for our children? Helen, the childless mother of all of us here in New Zealand?
Are we seeing a pattern here?

What struck me most is the remark that instead of guidelines this ban has now become a government directive. For this unaware what the difference is: in the latter case compliance to this ban, regardless of its contents will turn into a compliance issue. So what can we expect here? The tuck shop Police? I can just hear Helen repeat that famous words again in the not so far away future:

"I am fully confident that the police will use their discretionary powers wisely"

Please not again. And seeing what has happened with the anti-smacking bill what is next? A bill making it an offence for parents to provide children unhealthy food in their lunch boxes?

"I am fully confident that the police will use their discretionary powers wisely"

The Price of the Welfare State
Taken away from the spotlight is what motivates the government to think they can and will interfere with for now schools, and you bet ya, within the near future parental interference in what we give our kids to eat: it has nothing to do with genuine care. It has to do with tax money and government spending.

When being asked questions, Hon DAMIEN O'CONNOR replies on 26 July 2005, when this issue was discussed:

We are not in the position where we can tell schools what they should or should not sell in their tuck-shops. One thing I would say, though, is that if the National Party and its “Tax Cuts-Education Cuts” policy ever comes to bear, schools will be forced to sell high-return, high-sugar products in their tuck-shops.

Unhealthy food - Obesity - Medical Problems - Health Care - Spending Tax Money

I am not here to deny that getting people to eat healthy is not important, especially our children. But does that allow for a government to intermingle with the already overfull and compulsory extra curricular and curricular agendas of schools?

Look at the anti-smacking bill, now this good directive, and many other legislative and policy initiatives over the past years and what do you really see? You see a government that is making us pay the price for the welfare state we are living in. In part by keeping the taxes up, but more importantly by nibbling away on our individual, parental, organisational and community freedoms.

These freedoms are all making place for an ever expanding government body required to ensure that compliance with the authoritarian and absolutist government agenda is ensured.

Does this remind you of something?

Probably not, cause when facts based education was being replaced by issue based education and a monitored mainstream media:references to anything that might make our children and us as grown ups think or doubt are either taken out completely or dumbed down to useless or even false information. I get the feeling that we are seeing the recreation of a Marxist dream here.

To extreme for your taste? Than at least keep in mind that this welfare state or as some call it Nanni state has a price: the price of losing our rights and freedoms, and let's be honest: we are not just spending tax payers money on "welfare". More and more is required to have all those government workers that are paid from these same tax payers monies to ensure compliance with the ever growing red tape and directions of the government.

Has anyone ever checked how much the size government related organisations have grown over the past periods? I didn't but I bet my bottom dollar that it has been substantially in the past years. And what a great illusion: these expanding government agencies need to be occupied by government workers that will need to be recruited and thus the repression helps to promote the idea of a healthy economy with ever decreasing unemployment rates. In that sense your dear earned tax money is spent on creating a myth. Besides that and what's even worse we are now actually paying money to have our freedoms cut down and to ensure deeper and deeper government interference in our daily lives. So when we talk about a welfare state: who is actually faring well from it? Are we not actually paying for being repressed?

I would like to close of with a free translation of a quote from the well acclaimed Dutch Professor G. Peter Hoefnagels in his book People, fraud and the state, Ambo Baarn 1987 ( People, fraud and the state):

It does not get more symptomatic (blogger adds: of wrong state intervention in our daily and economic life) The emotional need for repressive reactions arises when the power feels the need to affirm itself. The ruler serves two needs by that: it leads the attention away from the real problems by focusing on the incidents and it exemplary demonstrates its power via an individual (blogger adds: offender, non compliant/deviant individual or party).

Have a great weekend and enjoy that fish and chips while you still can.

Have your say on this article at:

No comments: