Family First, the 'family values' lobby group, is now a well known name to New Zealanders. But did you know Family First is an Australian political party? I didn't. Here they are in trouble because one of their candidates demanded a Liberal candidate make their sexual preferences public.
I am also left speculating as to whether New Zealand's Family First will register a political party next year.
John Key wants to give police the ability to issue temporary protection orders on the spot. Everybody seems to think it is a good idea - the Women's Refuge, the Police Association and civil libertarians. And it's difficult to understand why anyone would deny protection to women and children (or even a man). But here's the sticking point:
In 2005, 4236 people were charged with breaching protection orders.
Is this another instance of doing more of what doesn't necessarily work? Or are breaches a measure of 'success' because they enable the police to then arrest the offender? In which case, why not go straight to an arrest? Instead of a temporary protection order being issued, why not the power to arrest for a temporary period of detention? Isn't waiting for people to breach protection orders a risky business?
And if you can't arrest someone on the word of another why can you issue a protection order? Can't protection orders be provocative and worsen the situation?
Then we have people who abuse the protection order facility already, making false complaints or exaggerated claims. I was told of one woman who routinely picked fights with her partner and then called the cops to 'punish' him. In reality the children were at risk from her - not him.
I am sure this area is a minefield - one which I do not properly understand. Help me out if you can.
Oswald and Gavin would like to see the letter I received warning of my imminent arrest. Here it is - all seven pages. If you can understand it you are doing better than me. (Left click on images to enlarge).
I am very skeptical about this. Researchers claim that violent crime is linked to consumption of lead.
Among the most startling findings:
* A pair of studies by economist Rick Nevin suggests the nation's violent-crime rate in the second half of the 20th century is closely tied to the widespread consumption of leaded gasoline. * According to Nevin, the trend lines match almost perfectly -- Leaded-gas use climbed in the 1940s and fell in the early 1970s; 23 years later, rates for violent crime followed in near unison. * Its gradual demise in the 1970s, he says, did more to stop violent crime among people who came of age in its wake than any social policy.
So why is violent crime more predominant amongst men? Why is it more predominant amongst lower socio-economic groups? And why is it once more on the rise in the US?
And what the heck happened HERE?
The researchers "stunning trendline" also matches the rise of welfare and fatherless families and the increasingly liberal justice approach, causes which have far more plausibility.
Having looked into Ella Henry a little further and finding she claims Maori child abuse before 1987 was no worse than Pakeha, I did a bit more digging and came across this, from Class Struggle No 73, July/August 2007;
Look at the facts. Before 1987 Maori child abuse was no worse than Pakeha child abuse. Neither was in the news because it wasn’t newsworthy. Today after 20 years of social abuse, destruction of jobs, falling wages and rising cost of living, many families cannot cope. The violence that society inflicts on them is turned inwards onto their families. It comes out as a cocktail of wife beating, child abuse, car smashes and suicides.
This is a complete fabrication. Child abuse started making the headlines during the 60s. Even then it probably (almost certainly) wasn't new but the attention it was receiving was. The first survey I am aware of covered cases in 1967 and showed Maori children were 6 times more likely to suffer abuse. This survey is documented in Bronwyn Dalley's book, Family Matters.
What is it with Marxists that they have absolutely no compunction about making stuff up and labelling it "the facts" to boot.
Yesterday in Otara there was a hui held by a group newly-formed to fight Maori child abuse. Initially I felt some interest that Maori were picking up the challenge... but not for long. If this attitude is typical of the other participants then it's going nowhere fast.
Ella Henry said, "Together with the dual evils of colonization and urbanization in the 1950’s which has resulted in an intergenerational cycle of poverty, alcohol & drug use, hopelessness and frustration, these are all contributing factors. We say this not to excuse the actions of child-abusers but more as an analysis of what has happened to te iwi Maori over the last 150 years”
The Australian Baby Bonus has failed. Their national fertility rate has climbed from 1.79 to 1.81 (New Zealand's is 2.10)
I predicted it would fail because those younger women who could be 'incentivised' to have children were already taken care of through welfare - the Parenting Payment (single). In 2006 433,000 were in force.
All credit to the Minister of Maori Affairs for this statement.
These words especially hit the spot;
"And as we enter a new era we need to acknowledge the bonds that have been forged, sometimes painstakingly, between Māori and non-Māori.
We also need to acknowledge that there is no one Māori voice, but a range of different voices. That no one individual and no one political party speaks for Māori. Despite claims to the contrary, there is no one “authentic” Māori voice.”
Here Gordon Copeland is getting exactly the same run-around I get from the Ministry;
17347 (2007). Gordon Copeland to the Minister for Social Development and Employment (Acting)
Please advise how many DPB clients left benefits as a result of their employment related earnings, making them eligible for the In Work Payment over the past (a) six months (b)12 months.
Hon Steve Maharey (Minister for Social Development and Employment (Acting)) replied: People leave benefit for a variety of reasons, not all of which are advised to Work and Income. As such, I am advised that the Ministry does not record information in a way that allows a meaningful response to your question.
It is just not credible that a government introduces a scheme specifically aimed at getting beneficiaries into jobs and then makes no attempt to monitor the success of that scheme.
My advice to Gordon is to try your ex-boss, Minister of the Inland Revenue. The IRD is responsible for administering the In Work payment. You'll no doubt get a very similar answer, as I did. But you could use it to embarrass your ex-party who would be less keen to convey an impression that they are as 'careless' (or conniving) as Labour.
Latest September figures show a rise in working age beneficiaries when compared to June but a drop when compared to 1 year ago.
Sept 2006 282,147 June 2007 261,009 Sept 2007 263 234
These figures exclude those on benefits aged under 18.
The In Work tax credits and strong labour market continue to have a positive effect but the problem areas remain with the seemingly unstoppable growth of sickness and invalid benefit numbers and young people going on the DPB. There are still many regions and service centres seeing DPB growth reflecting the rise in young Maori uptake. Against the national trend over 5 years these are some Auckland centres which have seen increases;
Clendon Glen Mall and Kelston Mangere Manurewa Otara Papakura Manakau District
There are a few other predictable pockets in the Waikato and Northland.
So, yes, overall numbers are going down but the drop tends to mask the deeper problem of welfare dependency among the uneducated and unskilled, and disproportionately, female and Maori. There should be no expectation that the social problems associated with non-working lifestyles - drug and alcohol abuse, crime, mental unwellness, child neglect and abuse, (and growth in govt services) - will abate.
Lindsay Mitchell has been researching and commenting on welfare since 2001. Many of her articles have been published in mainstream media and she has appeared on radio,tv and before select committees discussing issues relating to welfare. Lindsay is also an artist who works under commission and exhibits at Wellington, New Zealand, galleries.