Tapu Misa gets it wrong and plays the race/victim card.
People keep telling me what a nice man John Key is. The jovial Christchurch taxi driver told me the National Party leader was the nicest politician he's ever met. Key was so casually dressed and unassuming the driver almost didn't recognise him.
The perpetually grinning Lockwood Smith seems a nice enough man, too. But his comments last week about the smallness of Asian hands and the toilet training needs of Pacific migrant workers betrayed a world view that continues to prevail in the National Party...
So it's become harder for poor kids to escape their lowly position. John Key was fortunate that he was poor before the 1980s, when we were a more equal society, and the welfare system was considerably more generous than it is today.
Government policy matters.
The policies of the 80s and 90s made New Zealand one of the most unequal countries in the OECD.
But since 2000, under Labour, that gap's been closing. Not enough, thanks to Labour's resistance to restoring benefits to pre-1991 levels, but progress.
She jumps right on board the Labour KiwiRail train going to nowheresville.
Unfortunately Misa is lying to her readers here. John Key would be far better off today in terms of welfare than he would have been in the 1970s because New Zealand is in the grip of record welfare numbers, when Working for Families welfare and a whole host of other new welfare packages are taken into account.
Another key difference that Misa ignores completely is that because welfare wasn't seen as a right back when Key was a boy he was able to escape its evil clutches and become a successful man.
He would have great difficulty doing that under today's conditions where Labour inspired incentives are instilled to remain on welfare instead of working hard to get off it.
Shame on Misa, she wears her "culture" like a badge but here fails to inspire only mediocrity and dependence, something that her culture is unfortunately not short on.
c Political Animal 2008