Alf is damned glad he doesn’t belong to a party which serves up vegan food at its conferences and declares them to be a fragrance-free affair.
This, it seems, means party members are expected to eschew deodorants and perfumes, and so on, which in turn means those who turn up are exposed to the pong of the raw body odours of delegates who are apt to be sparing with the use of soap.
Because Alf would avoid such occasions, the Greens have been denied his advice on how to improve their education policy.
That policy was announced today, as you can find here.
The Greens want to install nurses in every low decile primary and intermediate school to tackle poverty-related illness.
Great. But it doesn’t go far enough.
A doctor should be part of the package.
And a dentist.
That would raise the cost, of course, but the Greens aren’t all that fussed about expense when taxpayers will be doing the paying.
Co-leader Metiria Turei reckons the $30 million-a-year proposal will give around 112,000 children access to basic health care services.
It’s a nice little job-creator, too.
Almost 300 new nurses would be required to staff around 656 schools – with one nurse to every 400 students.
The anti-poverty plan follows the breakfast-in-schools policy the government announced last week to feed hungry pupils.
Poorer children are less likely to have access to care because of the costs of getting to a surgery and seeing a doctor, especially when they turn six, Turei said.
Turei was banging on about a “major major gap” in the provision of health services to primary school age children. Those in deprived areas are three times as likely to be admitted to hospital for preventable illnesses.
And it seems the New Zealand Nurses Organisation recommended the policy in its submission to the Government’s Green Paper on Vulnerable Children.
The NZEI and anti poverty groups are also backing the move, a party spokesman said.
“We know that poverty, ill health and educational underachievement go hand in hand,” Turei said.
“Kids in the lowest decile schools are the least likely to get the medical attention that they need to stay well and do their best at school.”
We are told the nurses would not be funded out of schools’ operating budgets. They would work in every decile 1-3 school.
There would be enough for one nurse per large urban school. Smaller schools – oh what a pity – would have to share a nurse.
This discriminates against smallness, obviously.
Funding would be allocated to district health boards. It would
cost $17m to pay the nurses an average salary of $60,000 a year.
The party says 20 per cent of new graduate nurses are unable to find work, so there is capacity in the system.
Another $10m of the funding would cover the approximately $90 in medical costs per child and $3m would take care of admin.
Dunno if the Green have paid much attention, but kids in lower-decile schools happen to be poorly dressed, too.
This is bound to result in them being colder than other kids, which can’t be good for their health.
More obviously, it can’t be good for their schooling.
A smart kid looks smart – and vice versa.
So why not a bespoke tailor in the schools where the nurses are going?
Then there’s an inclination for these kids to be poorly shod.
A damned good cobbler is required.
Come to think of it, that sums up the Green Party policy rather neatly.
Its a load of cobblers.