"I don't want to have to rely on Filipinos to plant my pine trees".
Shane Jones is always good for a one liner, and he was out over the weekend promoting his work for the dole scheme.
He started that campaign on this show shortly after being elected. I spoke well of it then, and I am speaking well of it this morning, and will continue to do so because it's a good idea that's years overdue.
It's not called "work for the dole".
There are limits as to how much you should expect people to do. There must be dignity in work, all the usual hot air that's held us back. And the great tragedy of the Labour stance on this subject is that they're the ones who argued black and blue during the campaign that we don't need the immigrants, because we'll just get the jobless to do the work instead. So which is it? The ones without work do the work. Or are we treating those without work with kid gloves and cotton wool?
You'll note the Government, mainly in the form of Labour, have back tracked if not run for the hills on their migration crackdown. Listen next time it's raised: the 30,000 cut back will no longer be mentioned.
It'll be the line "we're not fixated on the numbers".
And the reason they're not fixated is because they've finally worked out what the rest of us already knew: their promises were delusional and we do actually need people to swing hammers.
Anyway, back to Jones.
Welfare is a two-way street. We simply cannot hand out money for nothing the way we do.
There are sadly people in this country who do not want to work.
This is still an economy with myriad jobs for those who want them. If you don't have a job, it may be you're in a tiny town, or you have no skills or you have no desire.
Either way, if the Government can get you to dig a hole and put a pine tree in it, then why not? You're outside, you're working in a physical environment. You might develop an appetite for work. You might find the inspiration and dignity that comes with work.
It is a sensible solid and good idea, and Shane Jones should hold his coalition snow flakes to account.
He should stare them down if they offer up excuses and reasons as to why this sort of idea shouldn't be adopted and promoted and spread throughout the country.
There are a lot of issues in life that are complex and detailed and hard to nail. This isn't one of them.
If you don't have work, the Government has some for you. It's quid pro quo: you want the Government's help, they want yours. How hard can it be?