John Key has just announced a dramatic change to the governments approach to the massive drought that has swept across the nation: This from Stuff:
'The most severe drought in about 70 years is expected to slash some farm incomes by up to $300,000 a year and is likely to leave some farmers making a loss for the year.
Federated Farmers president Bruce Wills says the cost of the drought will be about $2 billion.
That would flow through to lower spending in provincial towns on things like fertiliser, plant and machinery and maintenance, and eventually into the main streets of the big cities'.
To carry out the governments strategies the government has decided that the industry of farming needs a strong and forceful Minister in charge, one with a narrow and powerful ability of reducing quickly the possible chance of farmers becoming beneficiaries and ending up liking the life style and thereby become a burden on the state purse.
The PM looked across all the elected and list members in or out of cabinet from which to find his finial choice and using some new techniques in the selection processes he said that he was looking at new ways of installing backbone into the industry so that the new rules and regulations would be accepted. He felt that the best method would be ‘shoulder tapping’ as per the Ian Fletcher of GCSB fame.
The skills he was looking for in his new appointment were vital if success was to be assured. One skill needed is ‘Cold heartiness’ that matched with ‘good rule making’ and ‘punishment leaning theory’ should help keep demand from farmer beneficiaries down to acceptable levels.
Examples of the required conditions needed [according to the PM] were:
1. All applicants must be available for work.
2. The applicants partner / wife must also be work ready tested
3. Both must be looking for work and registered with the Welfare Department.
4. Any children of applicants must attend early childhood from age three.
5. No child of school age can attend private schools.
Now selecting a minister who will enforce these strict conditions on farmer applicants limits some government MP’s from being included. Farmer members are too close to the problem because they may show some sympathy or even empathy and this could weaken the punitive effect of the planned regulations.
There was also another factor too, the public relations aspects are particularly important because farmers are the major base of support for the government. Already some myths are being exposed by the media that has watered down past excuses used: This from stuff about the effects of the present drought:
That’s not far from the $2.8b seen in the 2007-08 drought, which was a key factor leading the economy into recession, but that was coupled with the global financial crisis and mortgage interest rates above 10 per cent.
The PM quickly recognised that Paula Bennett was ideally suited for the task; her Germanic approach to getting beneficiaries off benefits was a shining example of a heartless approach to a social problem. But she was dealing with non-government voters and farmers would react most unfavorably to these changes.
So Paula Bennett is out…He thought about Steven Franks or Muriel Newman…but they were ex Act MP’s and any one linked to John Banks is a step to far…so he looked in his phone book to see if there was anyone who might meet his criteria but all the names were residing on Wall Street or the London stock exchange or were old school chums.
Suddenly he got a wonderful inspiration and thought…Oh it's so obvious this person is ideal for the job in hand and he is a good National supporter and
he just loves sticking the boot in, and while he does have a slight connection to farming, he wouldn’t let that effect his judgments, he has proven that over and over again. So he is my choice the PM thought as he agreed with himself…so he’d give good old Garth McVicar are quick call…then he’d get Ian McKelvie from Rangitikei to resign for medical reasons and pop Garth into that seat and Bob’s your uncle…then give him a couple of weeks with Paula Bennett to hone his discipline skills…create a new ministerial position and it will save the country millions…we need farmers to buy into the assets sales.
Oh what a wonderful country we live in thought John as he planned his next trip to