Monday 30 August 2021

Discordant Realities.

When Reality Goes West: New Zealanders unrepresented by the Mayor of Westland, Bruce Smith, might struggle to accept the proposition that their fellow citizens are kept alive by businesspeople rather than health professionals.

THERE ARE MOMENTS when the existence of many New Zealands, as opposed to just one, becomes undeniable. The presence of these many, often discordant communities, all claiming to represent the “real” New Zealand has seldom been made plainer than during Saturday morning’s (28/8/21) riveting interview between Newshub Nation’s, Simon Shepherd, and the Mayor of Westland, Bruce Smith.

“Discordant” is an altogether inadequate adjective to describe the forthrightly delivered views of the Westland Mayor. What the viewers heard was a description of a world radically at odds with the one inhabited by New Zealanders living in the major urban centres. Reality, as understood by these city-dwellers, was given short shrift by Bruce Smith. His world, the world of the West Coast, is “real” in a way he clearly believes the big cities are not. It was the Mayor’s certainty, and the confidence it imparted to his pronouncements, that made the interview so compelling.

And what pronouncements they were:

“It’s a bit frustrating you know, to have Wellington, with say 14 active cases, and the South Island with none, and for us all to be at the same level doesn’t make a lot of sense to me”, Smith told Shepherd. Adding for good measure: “I have to say my thoughts last night were with the business community. We see lots on TV and it’s always health professionals – we don’t see our business community that keeps us alive. My thoughts are with them.”

The inference here is that unless official guidance makes sense to the Mayor of Westland and, presumably, to the no-nonsense people who elected him, then a very good prima facie case exists for rejecting it.

A politician less immersed in his own narrative would probably have left it at that. After all, the Government makes no secret of the fact that it is guided by “the science”. It’s a pretty big call for a lay person – even one referred to as “Your Worship” – to dismiss expert scientific advice as not making a lot of sense.

But the Mayor pressed on, declaring that his thoughts were with “our business community”. How much better it would be, he inferred, if instead of health professionals clogging up the airwaves, New Zealanders were allowed to hear the views of businesspeople – the group that “keeps us alive”. Those same New Zealanders, or, at least, a good portion of them, might have a little difficulty accepting the proposition that their fellow citizens are kept alive by businesspeople rather than health professionals. What exactly was he saying?

Well, Mayor Smith was almost certainly expressing sentiments not dissimilar to those printed on placards during last month’s “Groundswell” protests. “No Farmers, No Food” declared the cockies who paraded their tractors into the provincial towns and major cities of New Zealand. This rather brutal example of rural reductionism was intended to remind the sort of townie who thinks milk comes from the supermarket, that, ultimately, everything that keeps humanity alive is derived from the land – and the people who bring forth its bounty. The sub-text being: piss-off the nation’s farmers at your peril!

Whether Mayor Smith’s claim that the “business community” enjoys a life-sustaining status comparable to the people who grow our food isn’t quite so incontestable. After all, agriculture preceded capitalism by several millennia. What’s more, the specialisation that gave rise to artisanal production and trade – “business” if you like – was inconceivable without the food surpluses produced by farmers. Never forgetting that makers need users, and sellers buyers, a fact that confirms the indisputably social character of commerce.

So, if it is true that the “business community” keeps “us” alive, then, equally, it is true that without “us”: the people who work in the factories, offices and shops; the people who drive the trucks and trains; the people who operate the warehouses and stand for hours at the supermarket checkouts; the users, buyers and consumers of the nation’s production; the business community would perish.

Hence the wage subsidy offered by the Government. Hence all the other measures to keep the workforce safe and reduce to a minimum the length of time the nation and its regions are kept in lockdown. A point the Newshub Nation’s presenter attempted to drive home to the Westland local government leader. But, Mayor Smith wasn’t having a bar of it. Those who advocated the Elimination Strategy that had kept New Zealand’s Covid-19 death-toll to a world-beating 26, were not to be trusted:

“I think the people who say that are all being paid by the state. They get their pay every Thursday, doesn’t make a lot of difference to them. Coming out into the real world, you’ll find it’s totally different.”

This was the point in the interview when it became clear just how many New Zealands there are out there – and just how hostile some of those New Zealands are to the rest of us. Listening to Mayor Smith unleash on the likes of Ashley Bloomfield, Michael Baker, Sir David Skegg, Shaun Hendy – and all those other New Zealanders “paid by the state”, one was reminded of just how easy it is for people to surrender to the siren-songs of sectoral chauvinism. It requires an effort of imagination to grasp just how interdependent human communities are; to understand that epidemiologists paid for by the state are playing a vital role in making sure that the small-scale, private tourist operator in Westland gets back to business in the shortest possible time.

For Mayor Smith, however, a more “balanced” response is required from the Government. The mix between “our economy and our health”, he suggested, needs a course correction. The Government was too bound up with the threat to people’s health. Insufficient attention was being paid to the business community. The public’s wellbeing was being protected at their expense.

Once again Mayor Smith appealed to a “reality” dangerously divergent from any condition recognisable to science:

“The reality is Covid is with us. It’s no different to polio back in my grandparents’ days. The only way that we can fix it is we’ve got to be vaccinated. I’ve encouraged everybody to get vaccinated, but even then it’s still going to come in. It’ll come in from overseas. It’s part of our lives from here on in and we need to adapt.”

When Simon Shepherd objected that those who talked about “living with the virus” were leaving unspoken the epidemiological certainty that hundreds – perhaps thousands – would be “dying of the virus”, Mayor Smith responded with the observation: “There’s lots of people who have different opinions, different agendas”.

It is against this New Zealand that all the other New Zealand’s must, for their own safety, unite. The New Zealand that rejects “the science” as nothing more than someone’s “opinion”, or, worse still, someone’s “agenda”. The New Zealand in which only those inhabiting the “bubble” of business have any interests worthy of protection. The New Zealand in which all those unfortunate enough to exist outside the “real world” of “our business community” are reduced to mere means to its ends. The New Zealand in which life continues only for so long as there are profits to be made and unavoidable losses to be accepted without complaint. The New Zealand in which no real Kiwi would wish to be found dead – or allowed to die.

This essay was originally posted on the website of Monday, 30 August 2021.


Tom Hunter said...

I'm amused that people who vote for this guy also vote Labour in on the West Coast as regularly as clockwork, not to mention the fact that the Left has successfully screwed much of the Coast's traditional businesses into the ground, leaving them with tourism and farming.

You should him talk or read what he has to say about the 3-Waters stuff though, he sounds like a New Zealand that's on your side, plus on other issues.

Besides, he speaks a truth about a new class in NZ that foreign Lefties have noticed, especially in this pandemic, the new "laptop class", working for the likes of Amazon, Google, Facebook and such, who have really not been affected at all by lockdowns and the like. Whereas the working classes, who can't work from home, have been badly hit financially, even with government help.
I've pointed out to you before how all these Covid-19 responses have resulted in Big Business becoming even bigger as their small competitors are shuttered, with their owners like Bezo's rapidly increasing their already huge fortunes.

And that's before we get to the other classes of people he's referring too: employees of local and central government who see their wages drop into their accounts with monotonous regularity, whether at work or at home. Or all the super-annuitants who have the same and with no small kids and no jobs to worry about anymore, have faced lockdown restriction calmly, since it has meant very little change to their lives.

In short Chris, you're defending a hell of a lot of people, possibly the majority, who are more than happy to promote lockdowns, among other restrictions, because they suffer no consequences from those rules.

It used to only be the very rich and the aristocracy of whom that could be said. The Mayor of Westport and the little businesses he's talking of, are far from being those people.

Barry said...

The reality is that Covid will become endemic. There will be new mutants.
Anyone really thinking that elimination is possible in the long term is on cloud 9.

The Governments problem is that when we were told by Hipkins back around May last year - that we were "at the front of the queue" for vaccine was a lie. The responsibility to get the vaccine was not given to Pharmac or to the Ministry of health, but to MBE - the ministry of business and development. Put that on the top of the "front of the queue" rubbish and the supply was bound to be screwed up.

The country cant be freed up until all who want to be vaccinated have their shots. There is no sense in maintaining lock-downs after vaccination.

Another very interesting detail will be to see if in fact there are any deaths from Delta - I mean really caused by Covid - and not people who are over weight or have diabetes, and other under-lying conditions and die WITH Delta - not from Delta.

At the moment the Level 4 in the S.Island is totally without merit. It should be at level 2 with real closing of the 'border' between N and S Island - as with Auckland and the rest of the N.Island.

I can see civil disobedience like they have in Australia breaking out if the current conditions continues. The only way the Government can prevent this is to come clean about vaccine supply and set a deadline such as "when everyone has been offered the vaccine all restrictions will be removed".

Kat said...

With the wearing of masks in certain public situations becoming mandatory we can now easily identify the ignorance of those not willing to wear them. Likewise one useful outcome with interviews, such as with the mayor of Westland, is the identity of those who refuse to accept the health implications of living with the virus are on full show. Interesting that these people should want to advertise that they support being on the wrong side of history.

Patricia said...

I have a brother, who lives in Sydney, for gods sake, who would agree with the Mayor of Westland. My brother is tertiary educated and yet he too spouts this nonsense. He told me when the outbreak started that I should be prepared to die for the economy!! I was even told that we should stop reporting the number of cases. It is very hard to have a conversation of any depth. My daughter in Victoria is not as bad as he is but she certainly is on the spectrum.

oneblokesview said...

Day by day, it becomes glaringly obvious to me that the slogan "follow the science" is used by those wanting everyone to follow ""their science"".

As always in science there are very well qualified individual scientists who take a different view. However the PR machine clicks in to action to try and discredit them as quacks, conspiracy theorists, paid by big oil/big pharma, or some such.

The biggest crock in my view is that annoying PR phrase.
The science is settled.

In my life's experience the big picture science is rarely settled, especially in the forecasting models environment...Why don't people understand that modelling is barely one step up from reading tea leaves when projecting out more than the near future.

I well remember the fearmongering when peak oil was forecast for 1976!!!
In 2021 we are told known reserves will supply us for another 47 years>

None of the Climate change forecasts have been accurate when looking back to those forecasts of 2000. I remember 1989? when Manhattan was going to be under water by 2019 and the Maldives underwater by 2018.

Most anyone will tell you about accuracy of weather forecasts one month in to the future, in NZ one week is enough to evaluate the inaccuracy of weather forecasting, even with the most powerful computers in the world.

Financial forecast a year out by smart people motivated by money are also notoriously in accurate.

So why on earth to we cling to some blokess guesses about covid?
Which leads me to that stupid statement by Simon on the weekend.
the epidemiological certainty that hundreds – perhaps thousands – would be “dying of the virus”,

Of course nobody seems to have consulted Mātauranga Māori to see what they say

Nick J said...

I can see where Bruce Smith is coming from on a business level. What I think he failed to convey adequately is that we are all being asked to make a sacrifice for the good of everyones health. Its just that as Bruce sees it some have to sacrifice more. He is questioning how fair Robertsons measures are.

To double check what was available I read through the Covid relief measures. The most generous is the wage subsidy that targets paying employees, but that does not help businesses for loss of income and profitability which is needed to cover set costs such as insurance, rates, rents, etc for which relief is limited to small grants and loans.

So if you are a business owner or sole trader it would become very easy to get resentful and say that your sector is being asked to make a greater sacrifice. "But no", might say a government employee, or a Leftist, "going into business involves risk for which you get higher rewards". Its easy to see how this argument can degenerate so quickly and get very emotional.

What I believe Chris column misses is that whilst the employee class can all sit at home inconvenienced by no access to retail etc, the employer sole trader classes contain large numbers for whom this could prove to be financially ruinous. Many years of doing it hard to get ahead is often the way with small business, to see that crumble through government fiat is political dynamite. And if you dont believe that this can happen check out the tourist and hospitality businesses that no longer exist or are for sale.

To date I have been impressed with how Robertson has handled the pandemic but he may soon realise that if economic casualties grow then his ability to borrow against future tax revenue might diminish. How he responds may indicate how "kind" Jacinda and he really are able to be.

Jens Meder said...

While Major Smith's "unleash" on govt. employed health officials etc. is just as irrational as the (social?) disgust of certain "have-nots" at the "greed" of the wealthy, the reality should not be forgotten that -

it was the greed (or need) of many for a better life which initiated the saving and investment (capitalism) needed for agriculture, with the profitability in it encouraging and enabling the practice of capitalism to satisfy any other human needs, greeds and dreams on the material level.

So, without individual and got. capitalism there would be no employed health officials, drivers, workers, buildings etc., but only hand-to-mouth survival at a close to starvation level.

If we want better health services in a sustainable way, it cannot be done without directing more resources (i.e. capital or savings) that way. but that might become an unsustainable burden if we first do not succeed in establishing a higher rate of profitable wealth ownership creation.

John Hurley said...

 Those who advocated the Elimination Strategy that had kept New Zealand’s Covid-19 death-toll to a world-beating 26, were not to be trusted:
This crowd

The Barron said...

The economic arguments regarding Covid strategy has been limited to the short-term.

I mentioned in a previous post the potential of Long Covid as Chronic fatigue syndrome. It is thought that 1/3rd of the American population has been exposed to the Covid virus. Long Covid is thought to effect between 10% and 30% of the infected, meeting the Canadian Consensus Criteria for CFS / ME after 6 months.

Prior to Covid it was estimated by the US government that up to 2.5 million Americans have CFS / ME, at a cost to America of between 18 and 24 billion dollars.

Australia had a pre-Covid CFS / ME estimate of 250,000, at an economic cost of $14,499 million annually. Scott Morrison has been warned of 200,000 Australians with Long Covid if his plan to open up is followed.

This does not include the possibility of vaccinated Australians being vulnerable to Long Covid.

Presently, NZ has a relatively healthy workforce for the post Covid world.

Anyone putting forward an argument that the economy is the important factor in decision making like Bruce Smith is economically illiterate if they think short-term.

greywarbler said...

NickJ at 14.53
The rhetoric about sole traders and micro business is true. People have been encouraged to make their own jobs, chance their own security by a profligate government. It has thrown controls of our own economy away, gone out into Wealth Street like hippy cultists and given our substance away in a sort of 100% Pure gesture. Micro businesses get upset when they see how tiny doesn't count to govt. NZ the land with fault lines through everything.

Tom Hunter said...

God, you read the depressing comments of a partisan fanatic like "Kat" and you realise how totalitarian governments (and societies) can take hold. It's just a matter of finding the most powerful fear factor.

In the future I'm going to laugh whenever any Lefty, and more than a few Righties, talk about "our freedoms" and how much we cherish them. Clearly we don't.

Brendan McNeill said...


I have a good deal of sympathy for the West Coast Mayor of Westland. Stuff recently published the list of thirteen people who make up the Prime Ministers Covid-19 response team. They are all on the Government’s payroll. The decisions they make have no economic impact upon them whatsoever.

This is not the case for small businesses, many of which are sole trader self employed whose income ceases during lockdowns, but whose overheads keep running. The idea that a few hundred dollars per week wage subsidy makes a meaningful difference to their circumstances is absurd. For those who are employers the losses are even greater. These are people who have often mortgaged their home, or foregone home ownership in order to start and run a small business. The majority live from hand to mouth, and for many their employees fare better than the business owners who don’t get guaranteed sick leave or holiday pay. In extended lockdowns many of these businesses go broke, and their families suffer with them.

We know that most school children do less well with remote learning caused by lockdowns, some schools are are better at delivery than others, some families are better resourced than others. These social costs are just the tip of the iceberg, and do not take into account the mental health of those who are lonely, sick, or otherwise isolated during lockdowns.

There are no business owners in the PM’s Covid-19 response committee, there are no self employed, no one who is livelihood is threatened or substantially impacted. No one like the Mayor of Westland, no one from small town rural New Zealand. The PM’s Covid-19 committee lives in a semi-delusional self affirming bubble.

Now for some facts. With few exceptions Covid-19 kills the elderly and those with significant health issues. The average age of death from Covid-19 is in the 80’s. It’s actually higher than the average age of death in western countries generally. In other words you are more likely to die from old age than from Covid-19.

The older and most at risk have already had every opportunity to be vaccinated in New Zealand. If you are under 50 and catch covid-19 your symptoms generally will be milder and you will recover. You will recover with natural immunity. Natural immunity is significantly better than vaccine immunity. Natural immunity would bring us closer to herd immunity.

We should therefore:

1) Ensure the elderly are vaccinated (those that want to be) and by all accounts they are already.

2) Make the vaccination available to everyone else under 50 who wants it but probably doesn’t need it.

3) Stop the lockdowns and allow heard immunity to develop in the younger unvaccinated population.

4) Provide early treatment for those who catch covid, to keep them out of hospital.

5) Open our borders.

The chances of this happening are close to zero, because the PM appears to have staked her reputation on zero covid, total elimination. A strategy more likely to harm us than Covid-19 and all its variants.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

"As always in science there are very well qualified individual scientists who take a different view. However the PR machine clicks in to action to try and discredit them as quacks, conspiracy theorists, paid by big oil/big pharma, or some such."

That's because they usually are.Big tobacco hired hack scientists to do "research" showing that smoking didn't cause cancer. Some of them moved on to vaccination. I've studied this, you can have a bibliography if you wish.

"None of the Climate change forecasts have been accurate when looking back to those forecasts of 2000."

Yes and you obviously don't know how science works. They were going on the best information at the time, as the information changes and gets better then the predictions change. That's what science does. However there are certain broad areas – like evolution – where the science can be regarded very broadly as settled. Climate change is one of these. The details might change that climate change is here.

"I remember 1989? when Manhattan was going to be under water by 2019 and the Maldives underwater by 2018."

I doubt if scientists actually said this. Where you probably got your information from was the MSM – or for that matter other media, and they almost always exaggerate scientific claims to garner clinics. Scientists have been complaining about this for years.

"Financial forecast a year out by smart people motivated by money are also notoriously in accurate."

Economics is not a proper science. :) But even so, it's beginning to get out of its closely structured and strictured ways of thinking and beginning to take into account things like psychology. Which they should have done years ago, because psychologists have been saying for years now that people don't behave the way economists suggest they do.

"the epidemiological certainty that hundreds – perhaps thousands – would be “dying of the virus”,"

I don't quite understand your point here – millions have died.

"Of course nobody seems to have consulted Mātauranga Māori to see what they say"

Good of you to play the race card.

Kat said...


Hang in there Tom, things can get depressing but you can get help. Suggest you have a look at this site:

Nick J said...

Indeed Barron, the equation gets very sticky if Long Covid gets included, which is why lockdowns are a good thing if they prevent infections and therefore prevent the large potential cost of long covid.

Theres another long term cost that we may suffer too. That is the unknown but very possible long term affects of vaccines that have not been through full clinical trials before release. Due to "emergency" conditions Covid vaccines have bypassed the usual 5 years of exhaustive trials most drugs and vaccines are required to pass. What governments have done is taken an advised actuarial position on this risk without any established clinical position (because that information takes years so is not available). Who knows if this will occur but it is definitely a possibility, to say otherwise is to call into question why we have standard drug testing procedures.

On Bruce Smith to damn him as an economic illiterate is to cast his and the opinion others like him as unworthy of consideration. It is really easy to do that when your pocket is taking no impact nor your financial future thrown to the wind. Is this how we begin as a team of 5 million and whittle down the numbers into Team Elite and Team Damned?

oneblokesview said...

Always am amused when people attempt to discredit others by cherry picking and ridiculing.

Guerilla Surgeon appears to be great at this technique.

I was talking about models. He deflects on to the Tobacco Industry.

I refer to an interview with the scientist who presented to congress in 1988 ob climate change.
GS poo poos as some MSM story.

A great attempt at validating as to why the Climate change modelers got it wrong..They didnt have the information that is available today!!!!!!!!!!!
duh. My point exactly. They got it wrong.

Love the Economics is not a proper science. GS we are talking about modelling for goodness sake.

Yet another deflection? lack of understanding.
My quote was From the TV Presenter talking about NZ.
So why respond...millions have died?

And finally(there are many other rebuttals which I will let alone)

My attempt at humour. Met with the silly wokeism response playing the race card.

Tom Hunter said...


Thanks for that. Always good to know that depression can be treated with laughter, including laughing at the depressed, especially when you've made them depressed in the first place.

Actually you need to look at this site. life

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Ah, One bloke. If you had actually said that you were referring to an interview with a scientist, you might have a case here. You didn't. It was just a general statement and no idea as to where it came from except "very well qualified scientists".
I could have gone on and on about modelling, because it has got better over the years – did I not say that? Again – that's the way science works. Science often gets it wrong but it's self-correcting. You're obviously still don't know how it works do you?
You are the one that mentioned economics. In AFAIK, the reasons why its predictions aren't that good are not necessarily the modelling. But a complete misapprehension as to how people behave.But also theirmodelling has been out of date for years.Because unlike proper scientists they haven't bothered changing it for years.
And Simon was correct. If we take in the course of Sweden, thousands would have died. And millions have died worldwide in countries that mismanaged it.
Christ on a crutch, if you actually wrote clearly people might be able to respond properly.

The Barron said...

Smith put forward an economic argument which was entirely micro economic, critism that he fails to have any grasp of macroeconomics is entirely valid. This does not mean his experience or views do not count, but if he cannot understand wider and longer-term economic impacts, he is indeed economically illiterate. While as a behavioral science, economics is never exact, but it is a discipline and Smith claimed authority he laced.

In regard to whether the vaccines may come with down the road problems, it is 'possible', but hardly probable. The vaccines were able to be developed as quickly as they were because they were variations on vaccines already developed and many approved for Ebola and other epidemics. They had been in development of these for decades. While approval was rushed in relation to normal process, the approval was still by the agencies that had the independent skills and knowledge to evaluate.

David George said...

Yes Tom, as we stumble forward trying to understand you really do have to admire the level of conceit required to say, of your ideological opponents that they are "on the wrong side of history".

We don't live in a predictable linear world. We live in a chaos system, a system subject to multiple unknown and unquantifiable feedbacks, forces, fractures and events almost beyond imagining. There's always the proverbial snake in the garden to challenge our foolish certainties; just not in Kat-land apparently.

Nick J said...

Barron, can I ask, have you ever owned your own business? The reason I ask is because as you correctly state economics at an academic level is theoretical. Practical economics 101 is owning your own, and I'd contend Smith has too. Thats also why I give Jan Meder credence, you have to have done it.

On the downstream effects of the vaccine I hope beyond hope that you are right. When the person creditted with the science behind these vaccines says the opposite you may pause your judgment.

Nick J said...

Grey, I get concerned by the new politics of the professional middle classes that they fail to understand how divisive they are. I dont fundamentally agree with Barron but appreciate that his arguments have merit. So keeping dialogue open helps. None of us hold the entire truth.

Fern said...

Re the first comment: “Or all the super-annuitants ... with no small kids and no jobs to worry about anymore, have faced lockdown restriction calmly, since it has meant very little change to their lives.”
It is not unusual for grandparents to be very involved in their grandchildren’s lives. During lockdown their loving support is sorely missed.

The Barron said...

Always appreciate the exchange Nick. I acknowledge that is Napoleon had made his way to 20 Century NZ he would've noticed we are petite bourgeoisie, even after the 'reforms' which lead to small businesses and farms often absorbed into large, often foreign owned, corporates. Regardless, small business with less than 10 employees remains part of the backbone of the economy.

I believe that the government has significantly mitigated some of the Covid consequences for the small business and employees. I think issues like business rent, grants, loans and employee subsidy are important government initiative.

The problem with Mayor Smith is that rather than work with government to hold up business until it is safe, independence for his 'real NZ' is short-term business need having rights that may compromise community safety.

The mandate for this government's response was overwhelming in the election. Rural and provincial NZ voted for a strategy which would follow the medical science advice for the protection of all, while resourcing small business to get through the greatest public health crisis for a century.

greywarbler said...

Brendan McNeil has advice about reaching heard (sic) immunity. He heard it no doubt 'on the grapevine'. Why don't we all have some tipples of the grapes and stop trying to think our way through our problems? The all-knowing have it worked out so PM Jacinda et al and Dr Bloomfield should listen to the media pundits etc. and let them have a go.

Jens Meder said...

Nick J - if you think there are any doubts about the widely accepted reality or truth that on the material level nothing can be created without saving or sacrificing for it at the expense of hand-to-mouth consumption potential, then please let us know about those doubts for examination and discussion.

Kat said...


It appears you may be conflating authoritative with authoritarian. If you however genuinely regard this govt as authoritarian and totalitarian then you surely do need help. My opinion of course but then the support for the govt in the way it is handling the pandemic and covid response is well in the majority.

@David George

I would rather put may trust in a leader and govt that listens to scientific advice and acts based on that advice as opposed to all the 'reckons' and opinions that pop out of the woodwork with monotonous regularity. If being informed and collectively acting on the best advice available is conceited then you and the Westland mayor have a lot in common.

Jens Meder said...

Well David George - for your own welfare, do you put more trust in your own savings towards what you want to achieve or obtain, or in what you might be entitled for in welfare benefits ?