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Home » , » Werewolf Edition 20 Now Available! – The Politics of Welfare Reform

Werewolf Edition 20 Now Available! – The Politics of Welfare Reform

Written By Voice Of Baptist Papua on February 14, 2011 | 7:20 PM

Werewolf Edition 20 Now Available! – The Politics of Welfare Reform From Werewolf Editor Gordon Campbell
From Werewolf Editor Gordon Campbell

Hi and welcome to the first full issue of Werewolf for 2011. Every few years, governments like to create a moral panic about how welfare is corroding the moral fibre of the poor and – as this month’s cover story indicates – the real targets of this process are resentful low and middle income workers. Sure, a minority of beneficiaries do abuse the system – just as a minority cheat on their taxes or don’t pay their parking fines. Yet the vast majority of beneficiaries make ends meet with honesty as best they can, on very little. The bulk of them would much prefer to be working in jobs – but the government seems unable to manage the economy in a way that will provide them.
Last month, long time Werewolf contributor James Robinson took himself and his camera to Washington DC. James ran into CNN’s Wolf Blitzer going the other way, and took in the rest of the sights (big and small) of what Spike Lee and George Clinton used to call Chocolate City. With The Hobbit fiasco behind us, Werewolf turns to consider Treasury’s ingrained opposition to the subsidies that makes such productions possible, and examines how many US states are now re-evaluating the worth of schemes. Opinion remains divided. Tax credits and film production grants are either a terrible waste of money or absolutely essential to saving film industry jobs. Talking about polarisation, people seem to be widely and weirdly divided in their cultural responses as well. Things are either omigod/totally awesome/you must see it ! or ‘meh ” – a word of such steely indifference that Werewolf has written a totally awesome article about it, which was probably the most ‘meh’ idea of all time. Too late now.

In Milestone Movies this month we turn the spotlight on John Ford’s masterpiece The Searchers, in which the demonic character played by John Wayne takes racism and the patriarchy to the bitter limits. All part of why why this peculiar film has become one of the most influential movies of the past 50 years – and near the start, there’s a scene where a shadow falls on a little girl hiding in a graveyard that just about blighted my childhood. In The Complicatist music column, we resurrect ten or so lost soul music classics – some old, some new. Our children’s classics column this month is devoted to George Selden’s The Cricket in Times Square and – given Selden’s apparently lurid private life – we raise the question of whether children’s book authors should be expected to be any less rambunctious than anyone else.
In his satirical column this month, Lyndon Hood salutes John Key, the nation’s mercurial performance artist. Is being ” Prime Minister” his greatest conceptual work yet,or merely the latest bonbon from one our most talented natural clowns ? You, the audience must decide. In Cartoon Alley, we have a new round ofreviews by Tim Bollinger and new work by both Tim Bollinger and Brent Willis. We also outline the amazing parallels between an old Scrooge McDuck comic by Don Rosa, and the movie Inception and….(drum roll) introduce a fascinatingnew body of work by Mat Tait and Mike Brown, who are engaged on an ambitious project to render in comic form a number of myths and tall tales derived from our Maori/European heritage.
As always, Werewolf is a monthly thank you to Scoop supporters, and aims to provide a showcase for good journalism and cartooning. If you’d like to be part of it, contact me on the
address below and we can talk story ideas. Thanks to Alastair Thompson for helping me to put up the issue online.
Gordon Campbell
The contents of this edition are:
Ten Myths About Welfare 

The politics behind the government’s welfare reform process
by Gordon Campbell
Treasury Enters, Stage Right 

Treasury, not trade unions, poses the biggest threat to film industry jobs
by Gordon Campbell
…and from last month’s edition…
Record Shop R.I.P 

A few seasonal thoughts on the demise of ye olde record store
by Gordon Campbell
West Papua: from Morning Star to Mourning 

The freedom & democracy movement in West Papua is using non-violent action to advance its cause.
by Jason MacLeod
The Complicatist : Lost Soul Classics, Old and New 

How did Shreveport, Louisiana get to be the unknown soul capital of America?
by Gordon Campbell
Cartoon Alley : Mat Tait & Mike Brown 

Mat Tait is a South Island based cartoonist and illustrator. Mike Brown lives in Wellington and is currently writing a PhD thesis on New Zealand vernacular musics.
by Mike Brown & Mat Tait
Cartoon Alley 

Reviews, commentary and comics from local artists
by Werewolf
from Scoop General Manager Alastair Thompson
Werewolf is all about finding a new way to enable quality journalism to thrive in an online environment and a key part of that effort is soliciting support from our readers.
Our estimate is that for every 300 monthly subscribers we gain we will be able to afford to employ one professional journalist. We have a way to go – but it is not such a high mountain to climb.
Already several Scoop readers have decided to subscribe on a recurring monthly basis. We thank them greatly. But more are needed.
The links to use to make donations via credit card are.
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Or if you prefer you can set up an automatic payment to our bank account”
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We would also encourage you to consider approaching your friends to also become Scoop Sustaining Subscribers.
Become a Scoop Sustaining Subscriber – join the alternative to the mainstream media mind-set!
In the meantime we would be very keen to hear any feedback you have on the publication or this subscription project – please reply to this email or email with suggestions, bouquets or brickbats. This is very much a work in progress and we are very keen to understand the subscriber perspective on this.
Best Regards
Alastair Thompson General Manager
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