Monday, May 18, 2009

Deja Vu All Over Again

Christine Rankin has some scary supporters, if comments on the MENZ website are anything to go by. Her appointment to the Families Commission is being hailed there ("This should put a bomb under the woofters. That only leaves the childrens commission and MWA!") by people who, like Rankin, object to the removal of the legal loophole allowing children to be hit. They also object to the current campaign against domestic violence, and to the existence of women's refuges.

Putting not just one but two dedicated supporters of the legal right to hit children (Rankin and Bruce Pilbrow, CEO of Parents Inc) onto the Families Commission looks like a clear message from National: it does not believe in the legislation it supported, and it will backtrack as soon as it gets the chance.

It was, of course, the Nats who appointed Rankin as head of WINZ, back in the heady days when Jenny Shipley was intent on getting us all to sign up to the Code Of Social Responsibility (which, strangely, did not include the government).

In another curious case of Deja Vu All Over Again, the Nats this week took the axe to the tiny (seven people) Pay and Employment Equity Unit. Back in 1990, the new National government's first act in office was to repeal Labour's pay equity legislation.

This bit of news was also about women. But it had none of the "sexy" appeal of the Christine Rankin fiasco, so it got almost no publicity. I mean, pay equity - equal pay for work of equal value! Like, say, social workers (mostly women) getting paid at similar levels to other people (mostly men) doing jobs that require similar skills and responsibilities - but are currently paid quite a lot more.

Who could possibly be interested in that? Well, me, for a start. You can read all about it in my new Letter from Elsewhere on Scoop. Then you can write to My Key and ask him what on earth his government thinks it's doing.

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