It helps to get words like “nun” and “masturbating” into your lobbying pitch to grab public attention

February 14, 2015

The Family First mob – an admirable outfit in most respects  – should consult with the Taxpayers’ Union on the small matter of  attention-grabbing.

Both organisations are complaining (and rightly so) about a t-shirt that some tossers regard as a legitimate museum piece.

Alf will be going out to argue for a t-shirt burning, should his help be needed, and he will certainly be asking questions in Parliament of our Minister of Arts, Culture and What-have you and/or Minister of Local Government.

He will also be thundering his outrage in a speech to the House, should he be given the opportunity.

But he knew nothing about any outrage,  despite  Family First being the first to post a press statement on the matter at Scoop.

Not until the Taxpayers Union posted its press statement on the same matter.

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Backing down on drug tests in schools would be good – but let’s hear it officially

March 14, 2013

Are we Nats backing down from opposing the use of sniffer dogs and drug tests on students?

Alf isn’t sure.

This issue hasn’t directly involved him and he hasn’t been chatting about it with his back-bench mates. Maybe he should.

If we are backing down, Alf will be delighted.

He is uncomfortable about going out to bat for policies he disagrees with.

And he can never enthuse at pantywaist policies for dealing with drug-taking brats.

But any suggestion we might be backing down comes from secondary school principals (here) and Family First (here).

Mind you, Mrs Grumble has limited research resources and might have missed more reports from the government or select committee.

The Secondary school principals told Radio NZ yesterday they were convinced the Government would abandon its opposition to the use of sniffer dogs and drug tests on students.

They have made submissions to the Education and Science select committee on the Education Amendment Bill.

Among the bill’s measures, it would prevent schools from using dogs and carrying out drug tests on students.

As Radio NZ explained, the Ministry of Education has said schools should leave drug searches and tests to the police and the proposed changes reflect the Bill of Rights.

The principals aren’t too happy about that.

Principals have told the committee that employing private firms to conduct searches and tests deters students from bringing drugs to school and gives them a good reason to turn down drugs.

Committee chair Cam Calder says he cannot comment because the committee is still considering the bill.

However, the Secondary Principals Association says it has been told the Government will change the clauses.

Its president Patrick Walsh says principals want a clear statement about what they can do to keep schools free of drugs.

Next thing you know, Family First New Zealand is welcoming a Government backdown.

They don’t seem to be waiting to find out if there is one.

“Schools need to be supported in their fight against drug use and dealing by young people – not disempowered. This proposed policy was dangerous because it would have made it far more difficult for schools to detect and prevent drugs being used, carried and distributed in schools, and would have created an unsafe environment for the whole school community,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“Hundreds of students are being caught with drugs in high schools each year according to official figures, and principals have said that enhanced detection efforts are the main reason for students being caught with drugs. Why would we take away the ability for schools to create a safe environment?”

“Ministry of Education figures also showed that there are three times more drug incidents than ones involving alcohol at primary and intermediate schools. Once again, principals acknowledge that a zero-tolerance policy is the best response.”

McCroskie said parents and schools were trying to give children a zero-tolerance message on drug use.

Alf agrees with him that their efforts should be reinforced, not undermined and weakened, by government social policy and laws.

“We need to focus on the effects on health of using drugs, links with mental illness, high use by school pupils, driving under the influence of cannabis, and the progression from lesser drugs to more dangerous drugs like P,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“Taking away a key prevention tool used by schools was a dopey approach.”

It is.

But let’s wait to see what the select committee has decided…

Value Your Vote ratings look like a load of tosh without honourable mention of guess who

January 7, 2013

Dunno how Family First NZ has worked out its pecking order.

But it has released an Interim ‘Value Your Vote’ report card (here) which rates the politicians and the political parties on how they have voted on key family and conscience issues during 2012.

The issues included reducing the harms of gambling, improving the child support scheme, increasing paid parental leave, banning street prostitution, raising the drinking age, changing the definition of marriage, Easter trading, and toughening bail laws to protect families from repeat violent offenders.

The press statement notes that gambling harm, street prostitution, drinking age, same-sex marriage, and Easter trading are traditionally conscience votes, although in some cases, politicians were voting along party lines.

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Teenagers’ secret abortions: Crusher was right about that privacy pap back in 2004

May 16, 2011

Alf is somewhat gobsmacked by the involvement of school counsellors in the business of secretly arranging abortions for the daughters of the taxpayers who pay their salaries.

Pro-choice and pro-life groups are wrangling over a teenage girl’s decision to have her school organise an abortion for her without letting her parents know.

Arguments on whether the school’s actions were appropriate flared after a report of a woman’s horror that her 16-year-old daughter was able to have an abortion arranged by a school counsellor with no parental input.

It’s not often something happening Down Under makes it on to Fox News.

But this furore has put us in the headlines there:

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Burgered by its WiFi policy – McDonald’s must be careful not to re-ignite protests back in the USA

January 11, 2011

McDonald's will be mindful of this as they muse on allegations of discrimination Down Under

Alf is appalled by the gall of some people (poofters and lesbians, in this case).

They are able to take advantage of a free service, but complain they have been short-changed.

These contemptible ingrates – when they go to McDonald’s restaurants for a burger and fries or some of that good-health tucker now available – can tap into the internet if they want. For free.

It’s a nice little extra service that the food chain provides.

But are the poofters pleased?

Nah. The buggers are dismayed to find they can’t tap into so-called “gay” websites.

So they are publicly denouncing the restaurant for the shortcomings in a service that is provided for free.

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A strapping idea with good support – legislate to restore the cane and bring discipline back into our schools

May 15, 2010

Welcome back, Wackford Squeers.

Alf takes heart today that we New Zealanders aren’t quite as daft as he feared in tolerating the sparing of rods and the spoiling of sprogs.

At least, not all of us are daft.

We learn today that – according to a national survey of 1000 people – half of New Zealanders support the reintroduction of corporal punishment in schools.

The poll, by Curia Market Research, asked: “Do you think a school should be able to choose to use corporal punishment, if the board, parents and principal wish to have this as an option for school discipline?”

Fifty per cent agreed, 44 per cent disagreed and 6 per cent were undecided.

The survey findings are timely. This was a week in which violent incidents in secondary schools and publicity about brats brandishing knives demonstrated the folly of banning the strap, the cane and the birch.

Alf actually fancies bringing back the stocks and the ducking stool for good measure.

The Herald reminds us that –

This week, maths teacher Steve Hose, of Te Puke High School, was stabbed four times in the neck and shoulder by a 13-year-old boy in Year 9.

Mr Hose was rushed to Tauranga Hospital and the boy was put in the care of Child, Youth and Family.

On Thursday, Hamilton Girls’ High School was locked down for about half an hour after a 15-year-old student walked into a classroom hunting for another pupil.

Police said the incident seemed to be in response to bullying.

The caning survey was conducted in March.

Alf reckons we who favour a good flogging for schoolchild miscreants would get even more support if it was conducted now.

Family First wants the results considered by the authorities and a review of silly anti-smacking laws that forbid corporal punishment.

Bob McCoskrie, the spokesman for lobby group Family First, claimed violent incidents in secondary schools this week were proof of a need for stricter punishments.

He claimed that the removal of corporal punishment had resulted in “more dangerous” schools that were tolerating an unacceptable level of violence and offensive behaviour.He claimed that the removal of corporal punishment had resulted in “more dangerous” schools that were tolerating an unacceptable level of violence and offensive behaviour.

Alas, the teaching profession is dominated by mamby-pamby do-gooders nowadays. Hence even if we parliamentarians did pass laws to permit corporal punishment, the buggers would decline to use the restoration of the cane to bring good old-fashioned discipline back into our schools.