The Press reports, Parliamentarians will form a group to combat child abuse as a new report shows it costs the country about $2 billion a year.
Well whoopty do.
This is typical modus operandi of the left. A lobby group commissions a report to show how much some form of dysfunction is costing society. Then they use that cost to lobby for more money to be spent trying to reduce it.
Child abuse is apparently costing $2 billion. Infometrics is a credible outfit so I don't doubt the figure they have arrived at.
The report recommends a $1b trust be set up from which private and public groups can apply for money to do innovative child-abuse prevention work.
This assumes that we should simply continue to encourage the creation of at-risk children through unpartnered and, under critical analysis, unwanted childbirth. After which we should pour rescources into intensive monitoring and guidance of mothers who aren't ready to be mothers.
This is how it works. These girls - and older women who started on this pathway years earlier - have all these talking heads coming into their homes telling them 'how' and then going away. But nothing happens. Just as people had previously told them they had to go to school, they didn't and nothing could be done about it.
The best hope for change is that a volunteer goes in, rolls up their sleeves and works alongside them. You can't help get someone's life on track until their physical environment is liveable and healthy for the child. It takes a fair bit of nose-pegging and good humour to get through just that process. Paid social workers , community nurses, plunket nurses, etc don't fulfil this role and neither should they. Hence there is a limit to what paid workers can achieve. A very low limit.
Yet people like Deborah Morris Travers, the lobbyist who commissioned the report, cling to this belief that it's all about a lack of money. That saves them actually confronting the truth. That the only way to help people live better is to get in there and show them how. It's about finding time, having goodwill and hope. That's how to deal with the current crop.
Then we stop growing more. Take away the cash incentive. For goodness sake. The last thing we should do is up it, which is Ms Morris Travers other big idea.
I am so weary of this grand self-deception and grand gesture. Another cross party committee is going to make not a blind bit of difference. It could even make matters worse.
Samizdata quote of the day
46 minutes ago