Search Browse On This Day Map Quotations Timeline Research Free Datasets Remembered About Contact

New National?

Thu 7 Dec 2006 In: Comment

Let's put it this way. I am encouraged by Key's prompt abolition of that ridiculous "anti-PC" shadow portfolio, whose end has been mourned with breathtaking silence from everyone else. I applaud his demotion of that talentless hack Richard Worth, the only National constituency MP to lose his seat to someone during the last general election. But... I see that National Deputy Leader Bill English is trying to "spin" himself as a European Christian Democrat. Uh huh. Well, apart from his hardline conservative Catholic opposition to abortion, voluntary euthanasia and civil unions, he was Bolger and Shipley administration Health Minister, and then Shipley promoted him to Treasurer. Sorry, but this bloke strikes one as having signed up to the New Right nineties full monty while the National Party was in power during the nineties. Sorry, Bill, but to be a convincing Christian Democrat, you'd have to do a hell of a lot more when it comes to Opposition anti-welfare and anti-union policies. And you haven't. Sorry mate, I don't buy your spin. However, Bill looks warm and cuddly compared to the dreadful Judith Collins, still lodged securely within the National front bench at number seven. How can Key say that his party has turned its back on the Christian Right when a hardcore Christian Right sympathiser and ideologue like her still occupies a front bench shadow cabinet portfolio? She's a powderpuff when it comes to her anti-welfare propaganda, but best to let community social service providers get together and target her on that front. Collins is also an anti-abortion fanatic, who launched the first anti-abortion private members bill in over two decades when she tried to prevent teenage girls having access to abortion services without parental 'notification or consent.' Ah, but there was a 'judicial bypass' option. To hell with that! What about dysfunctional families and incest, exclaimed the New Zealand Medical Association, which lobbied against this stupid private members bill, which was thankfully defeated. And what about lesbian and gay rights? Let's look back to the Care of Children Act debate in 2003. On September 3rd 2003, Collins stated the following: "Effectively it aims to define same-sex and de facto arrangements as equivalent to married and intact two-parent families. In reality this is simply not the case." "Accepting the diversity of New Zealand families does not mean advocacy for same-sex parenting situations. And it certainly does not mean a same-sex partner should have the same rights as a father," says Ms Collins. "Increasingly the Government's ideological agenda is being incorporated into its legislation, says Ms Collins." "When we look around, how many same-sex families with children do we see? The traditional family is being shunted out of recognition in favour of situations that are simply not that common. The bill advocates, even encourages, a type of family that is a very small minority in this country," says Ms Collins. It occurs to me that the National Party has a choice. Either it abolishes Collins' so-called family portfolioor hands it to someone more mainstream, or mainstream New Zealanders will continue to suspect that this particular shadow portfolio means that while John Key may well respect family diversity, not all of his party colleagues do, and this shadow portfolio is only there to pander to the likes of the Maxim Institute, Exclusive Brethren and other social conservative extremists. Recommended: Judith Collins' website Craig Young - 7th December 2006    

Credit: Craig Young

First published: Thursday, 7th December 2006 - 12:00pm

Rights Information

This page displays a version of a article that was automatically harvested before the website closed. All of the formatting and images have been removed and some text content may not have been fully captured correctly. The article is provided here for personal research and review and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of If you have queries or concerns about this article please email us