Dr Sharples said there was too much dependency on welfare in Maoridom - something Labour had not addressed. "It's like a kid - if you keep giving your kids everything, at the end of the day they don't have the skills and knowledge to do it themselves." More prisons and welfare agencies were not the solution, he said.Says Mitchell: "He is right. The proportion of Maori on benefit is steadily rising. Four in ten single parents on welfare are Maori. And that will affect coming generations. But this isn't the first time Pita Sharples has made these encouraging noises." No, it's not, and neither is it the first time commentators have taken Maori Party utterances at face value.
Speaking to the Listener last year for example, Sharples's co-leader Tariana Turia said their party
is telling people they have to stop allowing the state to take over their lives... Labour has always believed the state will provide. Labour has kept our people trapped in dependence. This so-called welfare state has not done us any favours. We didn’t want welfare. We wanted independence.Great stuff. Except for one thing: neither Tariana nor Sharples means by that what they've been taken to mean, as I pointed out at the time:
[Tariana's] idea of ‘independence’ is one that is funded by taxpayers. She still wants Maori to suck off the state tit, she just thinks the manner of the suckling needs to change: "[W]e believe we have a right to rangatiratanga, as guaranteed under Article Two.” What exactly does she mean by that? “It’s our firm belief that money being spent on Maori needs to be unbundled. It is being spent on them, on behalf of them, but not effectively. It’s a waste of public money… We’re just tired of it. We also think there is a more effective way of spending that money.”What's new is that everyone seems to want the Maori Party to be saying what they want them to say. But these puppies are not the people that some of you would want them to be. It's worth re-reading LibertyScott's fisking of the Maori Party platform for the last election to remind yourself what they're really after. And don't forget Sharples's denial in his maiden speech that Maori are privileged before the law -- "It strikes me as somewhat amazing that half the country and probably half of this House actually believes that Maori are the privileged group within our society," said he before the House and truckloads of cheering tangata whenua in the gallery.
Well, she’s partly right. It is a waste. As Charles Murray pointed out in 1984, from the late sixties to the early eighties the so-called War on Poverty in the US spent almost the equivalent of the country’s entire Gross National Product on ‘relieving poverty’ and it didn’t. “That’s $3,800,000,000,000 – enough to give every poor person in America $117,000 [in 1984 dollars] to start his own war on poverty.” It didn’t. A similar calculation here would I’m sure show a similar result. Said PJ O’Rourke of the lesson learnt: “You can’t get rid of poverty by giving people money.”
And you can’t pretend it’s not welfare just by calling it rangatiratanga. Whatever 'unbundling' might mean it's clear she's not calling for welfare spending on Maori to end.
So the Maori Party is in favour of race-based funding, then? “For sure. Unabashed, upfront,” says her co-leader Pita Sharples. So it's clear what the Maori Party wants is independence and ‘rangatiratanga’, and they want someone else to pay for it. So much for independence. Rongo Wetere has recently given a master-class in what this kind of independence means. So what's new?
Amazing. No, what he and is MPs are after is more legal privilege and more "resources" for tangata whenua -- ie., more taxpayer dollars -- just spent in "a more effective way."
What they're after in short, what they've always been after, is Rangatiratanga -- ie., independence -- but at someone else's expense: Yours.
UPDATE: Oh Crikey comments on Sharple's latest:
Fighting words and a laudable aim but somewhat hypocritical, IMO, considering his party voted FOR Labour's Working for Families package which further entrenches welfare, even for middle income earning families.Another fair point, although I would lose the word 'somewhat,' and even the word 'hypocriticat.' The man knows what he's about. As Ayn Rand used to say, don't bother to examine a contradiction, ask yourself only what it achieves -- what Sharples is after is a Browntable of influence with himself and his colleagues sitting at the head dispensing the scraps.
Links: Sharples vows war on culture of dependency - Herald
Modern Day Maori Wars - Lindsay Mitchell
Maori Party declares war on dependency culture - David Farrar
Rangatiratanga - at whose expense? - Not PC
Maori Party = Marxism - LibertyScott
Sharples talks shit - Not PC