Tuesday, February 14, 2012
"Careful," Cliff Robinson tells his son and daughter as the three wait to cross the road outside the Court of Appeal in Wellington.
As the green man blinks, Robinson grasps Johnny and Marita's hands tightly before they step out.
Safely seated at a cafe up the road, he supervises as they eat pizza, wiping sauce from their faces and patiently responding when they break into the conversation.
It's not an uncommon scene – an attentive father taking his two children out for lunch – except that Robinson is 75, and Marita and Johnny are 45 and 42.
Both are intellectually disabled. Johnny also has schizophrenia, diabetes and is on medication to suppress his sexual urges.
Since 1975, Robinson has been their caregiver – and he wants the Government to provide a bit of financial help in recognition of that role.
At 75, most "Kiwi jokers" would be enjoying their retirement, he says. Instead, he follows nearly the same routine he has for 36 years..."
One of the reasons I get so pissed off with BLUDGERS that rort the welfare system, is because these sort of folks are dragged down by the indolent hordes!
This man has worked day and night for 36 years and in all probability will do so until he dies- having fought death to try and care for his kids for just a bit longer.
To institutionalize his children would cost the taxpayer thousands of dollars a week. He isn't asking for that. Him and many like him just want a bit of help with the extra expenses and a bit of home help. If we are to help a welfare system THESE are the ones in need. Not a serial breeder or drug-addled work-avoider - dammit, they can bloody starve- not that they will.
We hear much about 'Heros'- usually well-paid sports personalities and it's fashionable to label them role models.
Try looking to men like Cliff Robinson instead. 36 years of hard grind with never an end in sight.
That means a bit more than a good game of rugby- in my world.