Poetry

Socialist poet in Dunedin bites back at Taxpayers’ Union attack

Dunedin writer Victor Billot has responded to a bizarre attack by the Taxpayers’ Union with a simple message: “get a real job."

Dunedin writer Victor Billot has responded to a bizarre attack by the Taxpayers’ Union with a simple message: “get a real job.”
Mr Billot says a statement today from Taxpayers’ Union spokesperson Jordan Williams attacking him and his poetry was ludicrous and dishonest .
He says the Taxpayers’ Union had accused him of political bias in a series of satirical poems he was commissioned to write for Newsroom website.
Mr Billot was paid $2000 for twenty poems this year, of which withholding tax was then deducted, after Newsroom received a Creative NZ grant for a wider series of creative work.
He had started the series previous to the grant and had initially done the poems for free “as a public service.”
Mr Billot says the Taxpayers’ Union had also insinuated in their social media posts that he was paid a much larger amount than this, though this may have been due to their poor writing skills rather than a deliberate slur.
He was amazed at the Taxpayers’ Union staggering hypocrisy after it was revealed earlier this year they applied for and received a grant of over $60,000 for staff wage subsidies from the Government during COVID-19.
He says the Taxpayers’ Union received the subsidy for nine employees and told media it had “determined the welfare of our employees to be a more pressing immediate concern than ideological purity.”
Mr Billot says it is now possible that the Taxpayers’ Union had spent more taxpayers money on criticising his poetry than the poetry had cost the taxpayer in the first place.
He strongly rejected the claim his Newsroom poems were pro-Government as he had satirised all parties and politicians inside and outside Parliament.
“My political views are socialist, they always have been. I am not an active supporter of the current Government, in fact I am openly critical of many of their policies. Not that my political views are any business of the PC thought police at the Taxpayers’ Union.”
“I agree with the wise use of taxpayer’s money. However, the Taxpayers’ Union has a completely different agenda – it is a front for far right political interests who are opposed to taxes in principle and I would argue they are anti-democracy itself.”
Mr Billot says he finds it vastly amusing that his poetry is referred to by Mr Williams as “childish screeds.”
“Every press release and childish screed the Taxpayer Union has released since lockdown has cost the taxpayer far more than my poems, and they don’t even rhyme.”
Mr Billot encouraged Mr Williams to buy a copy of his forthcoming poetry collection The Sets, which is being published by Otago University Press in February 2021, and which would be available in the free market.

3 comments

  1. Good on Mr Billot. I love how he pricks the fat bloated rotting hides of the pompous greedy hypocrites who suck on the public purse!!
    I think Jesus summed them up as rotting corpses in whitened sepulches!!!

    Like

  2. Nancy MacLean (Democracy in Chains) pointed out to me the New Zealand Tax Payers Union refuses to divulge its funding but you can be pretty sure it’s from Right Wing sources possibly US.
    It is part of the Atlas Project with its Ayn Rand connotations.

    Like

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