The Vote, Electricity, and Sex! (That’ll grab your attention!)
Question: How would it feel to be pregnant?
Answer: No idea. I’m not a woman.
Question: How would it feel to be a billionaire?
Answer: No idea. I’ve never had that kind of wealth.
Question: How would it feel to be intellectually handicapped through foetal alcohol syndrome.
Answer: No idea. I’m not intellectually handicapped, nor affected by foetal alcohol syndrome.
Question: How would it feel to be in a warzone, as a combatant, killing people?
Answer: No idea. I’ve never been in a warzone, as a combatant, killing people.
Yet, TV3 is asking viewers – many of whom are reasonably well-off, comfortable, secure, well-fed, warm, middle class families – to understand the effects that long-term, ingrained poverty has on families?
The question tomorrow (19 June) will be;
Our kids – The problem’s not poverty, it’s parenting. Do you agree?
It a ludicrous question, of course. Those who’ve never experienced poverty have little idea what it’s really like.
What is even more stomach-turning is that the debating team that supports the Question – that The problem’s not poverty, it’s parenting – are these following characters,
Bob McCoskrie has a background in teaching and accounting, having graduated from Auckland University in 1986 with a Masters of Commerce with Honours, and a Diploma in Teaching from the Auckland College of Education. He lectured in accounting, taxation, and commercial law at Manukau Polytechnic for four years, before becoming Director of Youth for Christ (YFC) South Auckland in 1990. In 1994, he set up the Papatoetoe Adolescent Christian Trust (PACT) working with at-risk youth and their families in schools and the South Auckland community. In 1996 he was appointed a Justice of the Peace. In 2002, he joined the Rhema Broadcasting Group as Breakfast / Talkback Host on their nationwide programme, and Television presenter on their Current Affairs show “NZone Focus”.In 2006 he left RBG to establish the advocacy and research organization Family First (NZ) and is its National Director. Bob is married to Tina, and they have three children.
Hannah is the co-founder of Destiny Churches New Zealand with her husband, Bishop Brian Tamaki. The church movement possesses one of the largest Maori memberships in the country. In addition to being a grandmother of 10 adoring grandchildren, Hannah’s role involves senior level leadership as well as ground-floor mentoring and counselling with families requirement spiritual and practical input and guidance. Besides running a very successful and well attended women’s ministry, Hannah founded Healing Hands Trust which assists women and their whanau with acute medical conditions requiring urgent surgery, and she has played a lead role in establishing a school and early childhood centre. Hannah’s unwavering passion for people is evident in everything she puts her hands to.
Christine Rankin is a former Families Commissioner, CEO of the ‘For Sake of Our Children Trust’ and has recently taken up the position of CEO of the Conservative Party. Christine was on a Domestic Purposes Benefit and had no University Degree before taking on a temporary job with the Department of Social Welfare in 1978. By 1998 she had worked her way to the top, becoming the youngest director in the country. She was later appointed General Manager and then Chief Executive of Work and Income New Zealand, responsible for around 5500 staff. Christine is committed to the well-being of children and is renowned as a speaker on leadership, culture change and political/social issues, as well as sharing her own story of making it against the odds.
Acknowledegment: TV3 – The Vote
Why are three middle class, affluent, well-resourced, high-income earning individuals pontificating about the effects of poverty on this country’s poorest people? What the hell would they know?
It’s like having men debating the effects of pregnancy and/or abortion on women’s bodies and minds.
It’s like having white anglo-saxons denying the existance of racism.
And really, none of those three are in any position to moralise.
One is an advocate of beating children and is openly homophobic.
Another has grown bloated-rich on the backs of her poor (often Maori) congregation.
And the last – well, I’ll keep my knowledge of the “Ear-ringed One’s” past proclivities to myself.
The question is utterly meaningless in the wider context, and the “Yes/No” nature denies the complexities of the problem (I refuse to call it an “issue”).
For what it’s worth (admittedlynot much), we’ll be voting a firm,
Or, vote on-line.
If only to show that there is more to this than playing the ‘blame-game’.
As for Rankin, Tamaki, and McCoskie – I don’t expect much from them except tediously-repeated prejudice, rhetoric, and stereotyping.
Prove me wrong, you three.
Hardly surprising then, that the Nats would prompt him to try to condemn Labour-Greens “NZ Power” single buyer desk.
Unfortunately, Layton cannot ignore the fact the electricity prices have soared since Max Bradford’s “reforms” – by over 75% – and he has done nothing to alleviate price rises.
Ministry of Economic Development (MED) statistics show average power prices rose from 13.9 cents per kilowatt-hour on average in May 2001 to 26 cents in May 2011.
Acknowledgement: NZ Herald – Power prices double over decade
Low and middle-income families have been the ones paying higher and higher prices – whilst industry and commercial users have had cheaper tariffs. The reality is that, we, the public, have been subsidising business. (On top of which, electricity costs for business are tax-deductible – unlike for residential users.)
Acknowledgement: Ministry of Economic Development (MED) – Prices
The MED graph above is fairly crystal clear.
So much for Layton’s scare-mongering bullshit – some of which was published on the right-wing publication, the NBR (National Business Review).
Grey Power is 100% when they state;
“We can argue about the reports and validity of the data but everyone knows electricity prices have continued to rise at an alarming rate over the last decade, and the profits of the electricity sector have been far in excess of what is reasonable and in some cases quite obscene.”
As such Layton, as a government mouth-piece and cadre for the “market”, is part of the problem.
This consumer can hardly wait for NZ Power to come online. It can be funded by getting rid of the useless Electricity Authority – and sacking Layton.
Acknowledgement: NZ Herald – Sex report slams Kiwi lessons
On the issue of Bob McCroskie and his ultra-conservative, right-wing group, Family First, they have released a report called “R18: Sexuality Education in New Zealand – A Critical Review”.
The report criticises sex education in New Zealand, with the author, United States psychiatrist Dr Miriam Grossman, stating,
“A premise of modern sex education is that young people have the right to make their own decisions about sexual activity, and no judging is allowed. Risky behaviours are normalised and even celebrated. Children and adolescents are introduced to sexual activities their parents would prefer they not even know about, let alone practice. It’s reasonable to ask: is the ‘comprehensive sexuality education’ foisted on young people all over the world about sexual health, or sexual licence?
While most of these resources claim to promote sexual health, we find, overall, little encouragement of restraint or self-discipline. Instead, students are informed that at any age, sexual freedom is a ‘right.
The information is not accurate, comprehensive, or up-to-date. Sex is seen as risky only when it’s ‘unprotected’. The efficacy of condoms is overstated, in some cases vastly so. The quantitative data about their use is absent. The vulnerability of the immature cervix and the hazards of anal intercourse are omitted. Chlamydia is incorrectly described as ‘easily cured’. Young people are led to believe that sex is easily divorced from emotional attachment. Worst of all, critical life and death information is distorted or ignored.
Students are left misinformed, and with a false sense of security. Surely this is the last thing parents want.”
Acknowledgement: Scoop – Sex Ed Preaches Sexual Licence, Not Sexual Health
The Scoop press release issued by Family First describes Dr Miriam Grossman thusly,
“Miriam Grossman MD is known internationally for her courage in breaking ranks and calling foul on the sexuality education industry. She has lectured at the British House of Lords and the United Nations. Dr Grossman is board certified in psychiatry and in the sub-specialty of child and adolescent psychiatry. Dr Grossman visited New Zealand last year.”
So who is Dr Miriam Grossman? And why has she provided an anti-sex education report for the ultra-conservative Family First?
Because Dr Miriam Grossman herself is an anti-sex education, ultra-conservative.
Without re-writing what has already been written about this person, instead I will quote from GayNZ. Their comments mirror mine precisely,
For a change, Grossman isn’t a fundamentalist Protestant or conservative Catholic- although she is a religious social conservative, namely an Orthodox Jew. It should be noted that not all Orthodox Jews subscribe to co-belligerency with the Christian Right, wary of the troubled fundamentalist and Catholic pasts insofar as anti-Semitism is concerned. However, Grosssman doesn’t fall into that category- she is a regular guest of US Christian Right organisations like Focus on the Family and participates within the World Congress of Families, a US Christian Right-centred international networking annual conference, to be held in Madrid in May 2012 this year.
And as one might guess, the “World Congress of Families” is fixated on a narrow range of religious social conservative obsessions- opposition to feminism, opposition to LGBT legislative reform, opposition to abortion rights, opposition to comprehensive sex education and nothing that really affects real families all that much. According to the March 2012, our own beloved Family First isn’t a ‘partner’ like notorious antigay organisations Americans for “Truth” about Homosexuality, Focus on the Family and Family Research Council (US), Christian Concern (UK), Endeavour Forum and the Australian Family Association (Australia), REAL Women (Canada), Human Life International and Tradition Family and Property.
Grossman’s forte is attacking comprehensive sexuality organisation as produced by mainstream evidence-based organisations like the International Planned Parenthood Federation and our own Family Planning Association. This involves indoctrinating young women with propaganda about STIs and psychological stresses involved with initiating and maintaining sexual relationships, while neglecting important correlates like self-esteem education and information about contraception. These ‘fear-based curricula’ don’t actually prevent teenagers from having sex, and they do lack information about how to protect oneself from HIV/AIDS and STI through condoms and other forms of contraception. Needless to say, Grossman toes the religious social conservative party line when it comes to homosexuality too- on the basis of extremely biased ‘evidence’ from the exgay NARTH organisation, she argues that sexual orientation can be easily modified. She herself is associated with the Clare Booth Luce Policy Institute, a US antifeminist research organisation. People For the American Way has excellent articles on insight into their agenda on their website, which provide useful rebuttals of the ‘science’ involved.
It’s easy to speculate what sort of ‘research’ will be cited at this event. We are supposed to be blinded by the fact that Grossman has professional qualifications without asking whether her particular opinion is congruent with evidence-based research and practise from mainstream professional opinion and practise. Whenever one encounters religious social conservative professionals, one is met with badly designed ‘research’ methods and practise, selective citation or distortion of others research if it contradicts religious social conservative dogma and ‘cherry picking’ of selective data sets compared to a wider body of research that shows some inconvenient conclusions that refute their case. In two words, junk ‘science’
No wonder Family First invited her to their Forum. I would also hazard a guess that her involvement suggests that Family First may be becoming increasingly dependent on the US Christian Right and its Canadian, British and Australian satellites for its survival in terms of propaganda, tactics and strategy. I could only count four fundamentalist small business donors for the Forum this year- Business and Tax Advisors, FetchALamp, Pharmabrokers and Leaning Options. Obviously, the recession is biting deep into their pool of available donors, judging from the meagre nature of this list. Family First is also actively involved in propagandising for one of her books, of which there are two, published by conservative US imprints Regnery and Sentinel.
How convenient to be so forewarned.
Acknowledgement: GayNZ – Who is Miriam Grossman?
Dr Miriam Grossman, Family First, and Bob McCoskrie – all advocating that when it comes to sex education, ignorance is bliss.
And McCoskrie is appearing on Third Degree The Vote, tomorrow night, debating against the concept of poverty’s affect on children?
More ignorance is bliss no doubt.
Ideologically Impure: Dr Miriam Grossman: when you want some fear-mongering in your sex ed
= fs =
For a better New Zealand…
~ Cleaner rivers
~ No deep-sea oil drilling
~ Less on Roads - more on Rail
~ A Living wage at $18.40/hr
~ Marriage equality - Yay! Got that one!
~ Strong, effective Unions
~ No secret free-trade deals
~ Breakfast/lunches in our schools
~ Introducing Civics into our school curriculum
~ Cut back on the liquor industry
~ A fairer, progressive tax system
~ Fully funded, free healthcare
~ Ditto for education, including Tertiary
~ Fund Pharmac for Pompe's Disease medication & other 'orphan' drugs
~ No state asset sales!
~ Rebuild public TV broadcasting!
~ Keeping farms in local ownership
~ Reduce poverty, like we reduced the toll for road-fatalities
~ Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!
~ Being nice to each other
- I’ve voted – have you?
- John on John…
- A letter to the editor…
- Bring in the clowns…
- Radio NZ: Politics with Matthew Hooton and Mike Williams – 2 December 2013
- The ChCh by-election – a letter to the editor…
- Another “satisfied” WINZ client…
- Full access for everyone!
- Geoff Robinson – an era ends.
- Radio NZ: Politics with Matthew Hooton and Mike Williams – 25 November 2013
- Radio NZ: Focus on Politics for 22 November 2013
- 2013 – Ongoing jobless talley
- One Dunedinite’s response to the passing of the GCSB Bill…
- Random Thoughts on Random Things #5…
- Random Thoughts on Random Things #4…
- Random Thoughts on Random Things #3…
- Random Thoughts on Random Things #2…
- Random Thoughts on Random Things #1…
- Another good poll for a LabourGreen government
- Radio NZ: Politics with Matthew Hooton and Mike Williams – 30 September 2013
- Endorsing Celia for Mayor
- How To Guide: Voting in Auckland
- Guest Author: Dunedin election – my guide to who’s left and who’s not
- Endorsing Jeanette for ADHB!
- Endorsing Ariana for Wellington Regional Council!
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