Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Down and Out - and on Top of the Heap!

I wish I didn’t have a job.

I wish I couldn’t afford to rent my own place.

Then I could do whatever I wanted, confident in the government’s willingness to give me dole money AND a house.

I am always interested to see how many of the ‘assisted housing’ projects have Sky satellite dishes on the rooves. I can’t afford Sky - and if I could, I’m working too hard to get to watch it, other than the occasional rugby or cricket highlights if I was lucky. Yet somehow the bottom rung of society lives a better life than I do.

Now, apparently, not only do they NOT have to get jobs and actually contribute to the society which looks after them, but they can also do whatever they want, whenever they want, however they want, without fear of being thrown out of the house which the state has provided them.

The Auckland Tenancy Tribunal decided that Sharon Salt and her family, who were accused of terrorising the neighbourhood, can stay in their state house. Apparently, there was ‘not enough evidence’ to enforce the eviction sought by Housing NZ.

Somewhere, some loose connection is ringing out. Oh, yes. At least one of the suspects from the recent terror alert in London had previously been investigated, but not held ‘due to insufficient evidence’. Trial by jury, habeas corpus, and all that lovely ‘innocent until proven guilty’ stuff was all very well for a while, but now it is destroying our society. Unfortunately, until we have an impeccable and incorruptible police force and judiciary, we can’t get rid of it.

Back to the Salts. (And if any decision was an ‘assault’ on reason, this would be one!) Apparently some good has come of all this - Mrs Salt now no longer allows the worst of her nine children (NINE? Where are we, the African jungles in the 12th century? Population control, people - this planet isn’t big enough for us all to have NINE children!) to live in the house, and apparently the family’s behaviour has improved. Some say, however, that this is the result of media scrutiny - so maybe the NZ Herald can permanently employ a photographer to stand out on the public footpath and monitor the family for the next two decades, just to ensure some peace?

Oh, and this HAD to happen - Mrs Salt's lawyer (I can’t afford a lawyer! How can people who can’t afford a house somehow afford a lawyer? Oh, I forgot - Legal Aid. We’re paying for her lawyer as well. Isn’t life grand? No, apparently they are not using Legal Aid - so WHERE is the money coming from?) indicated that they were thinking about seeking compensation for police harassment, and considering action to recover the costs of fighting the HNZ eviction. A lawyer specialising in humans rights issues (therefore costing MORE money than a normal lawyer) has also been asked to review the case. (Where have they found all this money if they are not using Legal Aid? And if it was that easy to find, why can’t they rent their own house rather than a State House?) And we all know what this liberal ‘I feel so guilty for being well-off’ lawyer will come out with.

Would anyone else like to join me in seceding?

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