On the Stuff website on Thursday there was a story about a woman and her sick seven year old daughter who appeared at a Green Party event. The woman claimed to have had all sorts of problems finding accommodation for her family.
But the story leaves unanswered a huge number of questions. I get really annoyed at the news media when they print stories without doing proper research. There are so many things that the journalists failed to ask, or that the woman refused to tell them. Such as:
- Why did she not disclose full particulars of her bank statements and income details to the media? Surely we have the right to trawl through every line of her personal finances to demonstrate instances where she could have been more prudent with her money. Let’s hope that Paula Bennett leaks this information to the media soon, so we can see for ourselves whether this woman’s circumstances really are as desperate as she claims.
- What evidence is there that her child is even sick? The photo in the Stuff story appears to show some sort of tube attached to the girl’s face, but she could just be pranking us. Surely as a minimum this woman should have made a panel of medical experts available to journalists in order to not only verify the child’s alleged illness, but to also answer questions about the girl’s prognosis, and how much of an ongoing financial burden she is likely to be to the taxpayer in the future should she be allowed to live.
- Why did nobody ask whether the woman was the daughter and sole heiress of a billionaire? Her father could be terminally ill and about to leave his fortune to her. The taxpayer may not need to intervene at all! Where were the hard questions?
- Why did nobody ask about the reason for the woman’s relationship ending? Did she turn her back on a perfectly good house? Maybe the relationship breakdown was all her fault. Maybe she was just impossible to live with. I mean, we all know what women can be like, don’t we? Where are the sworn affidavits and character references concerning this period of her life, including a detailed sexual history?
- Has she ever used recreational drugs, had a drink of alcohol or smoked a cigarette? Surely the public have a right to know.
- She was speaking at a Green Party event. Does this mean she is a Green Party activist? Because if she is, nothing she has to say on any subject (including the welfare of her family and the health of her child) needs to be taken seriously.
- What if in thirty years time this child grows up to become the 21st century’s equivalent of Adolf Hitler? If that’s the case, then surely we ought to be making life as difficult for these people as we can right now, in the hope that the girl can never reach her full evil potential. Yes, I know it’s unlikely she’ll turn into the next Hitler, but they probably said the same thing about the last Hitler. You just never can tell.
- Why is there no mention of the alternatives available to this woman? Why doesn’t she just start a new business selling innovative goods and services to wealthy overseas consumers? Why can’t she just ask her rich parents for money? Even if they aren’t billionaires, they might still be multi-millionaires.
And where was the balance in this story? The woman mentions having to sometimes sleep in a car, so why did the reporter not point out to the reader that the cost to register a new car is about to get cheaper? Owners of light vehicles will pay around a third less to register them from July 1. This means that for people sleeping in cars the cost of accommodation is actually coming down!
Look, there are a million or more reasons why we don’t need to take this woman’s story seriously. If we took her sob story at face value, it would only encourage more and more people to demand handouts from the public. Our welfare system is broken, and stories like these could potentially incentivise young children to fake life-threatening health conditions in order to earn public sympathy.
These sorts of stories could even lead the public to demand urgent solutions to the housing crisis, and that might even result in higher taxes. And nobody wants to see the taxpayer being fleeced even more than they currently are. Ask yourself this: what is more important to you? Keeping more of that money you worked so hard for by investing in the property market at the right time, or funding these bludgers who think they have a right not to be left to die in the gutter?
This isn’t a lack of empathy. It’s called tough love. I really feel for those people out there in genuine need, but the best thing we can do for them is just not give a shit. By collectively not giving a fuck about the plight of the poor or the sick, we will be discouraging others from making the wrong lifestyle choices. These people could have avoided the poverty trap if only they had displayed the wisdom of Solomon, had a dash of good luck, and not chosen to be born into the wrong environment. So let them suffer the consequences of their bad decisions.
And if a few genuinely sick children end up dying so that no silly little seven-year-old ever tries to fool the big people with her fake disease, isn’t that a sacrifice worth someone else making?