Title: The End of the Yellow Brick Cross? Credit: Craig Young Comment Saturday 5th March 2005 - 12:00pm1109977200 Article: 640 Rights
The Maxim Institute has finally said something about the Relationship (Statutory References) Bill, but it is little more than an acknowledgement of the inevitability of their defeat on this issue. What's going on here? Has the Institute conceded defeat over LGBT relationship equivalence already? Is that why it's concentrating most of its attention on possible hate speech legislation, or very weakly indeed on the NCEA controversy? If so, it would seem that it may have been instructed to concentrate more on the electoral prospects of the National Party, which seems to face an uphill battle, given two polls that show it trailing the Clark administration by a ten point margin. To do so, the Institute needs to show more expertise on areas like anti-welfare policy, tax and other issues that contribute to the centre-right's electoral prospects. But here's the problem. The Institute for Liberal Values does much better when it comes to criticism of government welfare policy than the Maxim Institute, or, for that matter, ACT's Muriel Newman, who is diverted toward quixotic cultural crusades against imaginary giant Maori lesbian deconstructionist DPB claimants waving pitchforks. Lindsey Mitchell is far more professional and does her homework on these issues, which renders her a more formidable opponent for proponents of centre-left welfare policies than her counterparts. The Maxim Institute consists of social conservatives who have no strategic professional skills to offer the centre-right. Instead, the Institute has left the Relationships Bill debate to the likes of Destiny Church and Garnet Milne's Reformation Testimony outfits, who are isolated from the political mainstream and alienate people through ill-considered belligerency. Granted, today's "Defending the Legacy" march in Auckland is trying to cultivate a more moderate image, but Brian Tamaki is still in charge, as are his cronies Peter Mortlock (City Impact Church) and others from "Enough is Enough" last year. Given that his belligerent Destiny Church broadcasts are offered on the Destiny Church website, we'll hear the same shrill, strident rhetoric, with the same consequences. As for Milne, he's a throwback to the days of the eighties Christian Right and he exists because Christian Heritage New Zealand doesn't soak up the extremist franchise for the rest of the Christian Right as much as it used to do. He uses outdated junk science from discredited sources and is poisoning his own conduit. But for non-fundamentalists he serves an important strategic role as the unfinessed real face of the Christian Right, and is akin to Sydney's Fred Nile as a lightning rod to mobilise our own communities. With him around, any social conservative political campaign will suffer guilt through his unsavoury association. With enemies like these, it'll all be over in a fortnight. Craig Young - 5th March 2005    
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