|The New Zealand Christian Right is in hibernation, apart from a few odd exceptions.
Of the rest, they can be summarised as follows. Future New Zealand has now accquired enough members to register as a political party, while Gordon Copeland failed to prevent someone sensible and pro-choice being appointed to the Abortion Supervisory Committee (68-31). Copeland also rationalised his betrayal of UFNZ, while Peter Dunne voted for the sensible pro-choice candidate for the Committee, earning him a tongue-lashing from Right to Life New Zealand.
Meanwhile, Taito Phillip Field was interviewed within a certain tragic tabloid gutter glossy. He spent about fifteen pages defending himself against charges that he had taken improper advantage of his ministerial role for financial reasons which allegedly involved employment malpractise. Oh, and he also sledged an anonymous gay Labour caucus member, hinting that his social conservatism had led to his exclusion from Cabinet. Actually no, because Harry Duynhoven is almost as socially conservative, yet he has had a spotless record as Transport Minister.
The Maxim Institute is trying to reawaken interest in the prostitution law reform debate, and has argued that the current decriminalisation of adult sex work is 'encouraging' child prostitution. Sorry, but I think that recriminalisation will solve nothing. If kids are turning to street sex work to support themselves, then there is a list of possible partial solutions. One is that they probably live in a seriously dysfunctional family environment, so CYFS needs more funding and specialist social work staff. The Independent Youth Living Allowance needs to be increased and/or made more accessible. There needs to be greater funding for youth alcohol/drug awareness and prevention services. There needs to be stronger anti-bullying emphasis in schools, and more money needs to be allocated to remedial education programmes to keep kids in school.
How could the Maxim Institute object to the above? Well, according to the UK Centre for Social Justice, that would require redistribution of income through increased taxation, and the centre-right doesn't like the idea. Tough. If we are serious about tackling child prostitution, band-aids won't help. There needs to be an integrated, systemic approach to this problem.
Meanwhile, Auckland is about to see a stoush over the issue of Muslim inclusion within western societies. UK Respect Party MP George Galloway has been invited to New Zealand to talk about Islamophobia/anti-Muslim racism. Meanwhile, in the fundamentalist conspiratorial corner, there's a rather unpleasant little conference entitled "Mosques and Miracles." Evidently, their 'case' is this- Muslims are 'pretending' to be peaceful and law-abiding citizens, but their real objective is infiltration of 'our' social institutions and takeover, turning 'our' western societies into Islamic ones, where Christian religious freedom will be abridged. The 'answer?' Why, we should restrict Muslim immigration. Excuse me, is that the Nazi Horst Wessel refrain I hear in the distance?
Fortunately, Kiwis are relatively laidback about religious pluralism, as evidenced by the failure of Muslim-bashing at the last general election. As for Australian Baptist Peter Robinson, dare one say that Australia's current problems with defensive Muslim fundamentalism are largely attributable to the likes of Pauline Hanson, and John Howard's continued pandering to her disgusting racist fraternity of racist pond scum?
In the cheap entertainment corner, Family First is once again irate at Hells Pizza. The naughty infernal snack food vendors in question have included a risque tabloid supplement to their pizza deliveries, and our self-appointed guardians of 'family values' have taken up cudgels once again. Please support our friends of the fiery crust against these fundamentalist fulminations.
Oh yes, and fundamentalist Steve Taylor, bizarre Aucklandian letter writer has reappeared as leader of the binding citizens referenda outfit, the "Direct Democracy Party." Complain to the Advertising Standards Authority, he counsels. Hmmm. I wonder if we should do likewise if some of us find "Mosques and Miracles" adverts to be offensive? Feel free.
Family First http://www.familyfirst.org.nz/
Future New Zealand http://www.futurenz.org.nz/
Maxim Institute http://www.maxim.org.nz/
Unfit for human consumption: Ian Wishart: "Taito Takes the Field" Investigate July 2007: 26-40. Strongly Recommended: Hells Pizza http://www.hell.co.nz/ Craig Young - 19th July 2007