Kiwis sometimes debated the legal age of consensual sex (as paroled paedophiles roamed, protected by name suppression, and the sex-trade boomed in Manchester Street with under 18 year old girls soliciting and being pimped), and whether 18 year olds could buy alcohol. Despite debauches in Hagley Park Classical Sparks Shows, the legal drinking age was dropped, with a concomitant rise in teenager boozing, hooning and car crashes. In 2007, three 15 year old school girls were killed in a road crash near Lincoln, and months earlier two street-partying schoolgirls were killed, and others injured, by a booze-fueled hoon in Edgeware Road.
Cigarette sales to under 18s were forbidden. Those "children" could be in the army; incurring huge student-loan debts; working; driving a car; pregnant. At Age 15 Jake and Luke could get restricted learners' drivers licences, like asking a kid to play with a live hand grenade.
Car driving youths (expediently designated "Youth Rates" for employers' payroll purposes), forbidden to smoke or drink, could pick fruit in orchards, and work in businesses, supermarkets and fast-food joints. After school hours, supermarket counter-attendants prettily improved. Jake picked and packed raspberries and strawberries during holidays, working with adults doing an adult job, yet was paid Youth Rates. (Tim McBride, NZ Civil Rights Handbook, Legal Information Services Inc., Auckland, 2001). During high school, Jake earned pocket-money as a kitchen-hand in a Scenic Circles hotel. By ages 14 and 9 Jake and Luke both received their Inland Revenue tax numbers. Inland Revenue prided itself as an efficient tax department.
Computer job-searches in libraries attested to low Youth Rates and low wages paid to job-seekers. Some employers didn't advertise hourly rates, but advertised "wages negotiable." Employer evasions I heard: "Sorry no money... No funding... Wasn't budgeted for... Your contract says... We regret... Sorry on this occasion... No jobs... CV too long... CV too short... You're too old... over qualified... under qualified... It's good for NZ... We're researching... We advise..."
Tourist information didn't describe child abuse; youth suicides; youth sleep-outs - excuses for weak parenting ("Mary sleeps at Wahine's house, so Mary needn't catch the late bus home;") sleep-out boozing, drugging, fornication, fights, cops; abortions; boy-racers; Christchurch early 90s Civic Creche parents', children's, and supporters' mass-hysteria about alleged child abuse; over-40s unemployment; low dole; teenagers and "partners" flatting on the dole; high rental and mortgage costs, and low wages; whore taxation; refugee unemployment; bureaucratic inertia; cannabis; gangs; infanticide; unsolved murders; Maori and Pakeha fears, abuse and dumbing-down of immigrants; dobbing-in Kiwis in the Roaring Forties; earthquakes; North Island Flooding; Mainland freezing; tsunamis; eutrophic lakes Forsythe and Ellesmere; sewage in Kaiapoi River; high Eschericia coli count in Selwyn and Avon Rivers; fatty sausages; fat Kiwis...
March 1999. Alleman's dispatch: "At a Pretoria bus-station, two vagrants raped a white student, who was then raped by 12 drunks, vagrants, out-of -works as well. She's alive, but probably got Aids. About quarter of the population will get Aids [1.5 million deaths are predicted over the next 5 years, with over 30 000 deaths per month in KwaZulu-Natal by 2005: Another friend's letter, December 1999.] Our medical-aid contributions will soar, as formal-sector employees must belong to medical-aid schemes. We'll pay for millions of Aids patients. Almost anyone qualifies as a 'family member.'
Why I won't vote for the ANC in the 1999 election: It won't be a free-fair election, as millions of disqualified voters didn't have the right ID books. It's their right to vote, but ANC doesn't adequately administer their right. What's the point of the 'struggle' if black suffrage is blocked?
ANC government brought apartheid back disguised in a new language. Remember 'apartheid' changed to 'separate development? Apartheid was bad because it was done by whites (minority), but if it's done by blacks (majority) it's OK. ANC government states it's lawful to discriminate against white males, making them second-class citizens. When apartheid government discriminated, it was 'morally offensive,' but now a black government discriminates, Big-Business and intellectuals can't 'Ja Baas' quick enough. Just as Afrikaners cooperated with the Nats, so blacks cooperate with the ANC.
ANC voted into government, huge majority, immediately 'contracts' government to the SACP. Communists hold every power-position in the ANC government. There's so little difference between the two political parties, almost every power-position is given to the SACP. ANC states it doesn't support communism, but ANC doesn't differ greatly from it. ANC has few competent people, while communists have many. Maybe the 2004 election will show the real ANC. [ANC was involved with SACP decades before apartheid died: RW Johnson, South Africa, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 2004].
SA turns tribal - the essence of New SA's problems. No one in power has done an apprenticeship. SA is run by people learning while they're earning. [Like finance minister Manuel: Allister Sparks, Beyond the Miracle, Profile Books, London, 2003]. Corruption, inefficiency, violence, lawlessness have escalated. In local government there's inefficiency and wastage. An 8 year old drives pop's Ford V6 140 kays per hour, smashing everything. If you criticize you're a racist, or a counter-revolutionary. Pick!
They talk about democracy, but power is centralized. Millions of jobs are destroyed in the first- world economic sector, (there're millions unemployed) because of labour laws that kill initiative. Like the old Nats, ANC doesn't understand business. ANC sees 'profit' as a dirty word. A new agreement between municipalities and unions makes it impossible to privatize. One clause specifies a contractor must declare profit, ensuring he isn't making 'too much.' Why do people with no initiative try to punish prosperous risk-takers?
ANC has improved control of central government finances. ANC refused to overspend on the budget. ANC removed high-interest-rate Stals from the Reserve Bank, replacing him with Mboweni. ANC hasn't prioritized spending. While ANC refused to overspend at central government level, cop-shops have no vehicle petrol. Schools are without water and electricity. Government departments are locked -out of buildings, as they haven't paid rent.
SANDF blackens fast, a shadow of the former SADF. Will this cause a coup de etat like in other African states? I don't believe new soldiers have the neutral professionalism we inherited from Britain."
Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.