Is the war on child abuse any different from the war on drugs or the war on poverty? They all feature escalating measures and escalating failure. Yet governments doggedly persist, doubtless justifying their actions internally by speculating that the statistics would be even worse if they did nothing (and that they need to be seen to be doing something or what rationale for their very existence?)
Pause for a moment. In the war on child abuse, what would a do nothing approach look like? Governments doing nothing sounds like a unthinkable abdication of responsibility. That is what you have been trained to think.
Fact; Most of the abuse goes on in beneficiary homes. Who or what created these homes? The bricks and mortar is often owned by the government and the occupants are paid to live by the government. These are homes created by social policy.
So the first do-nothing action could be to stop paying people to have babies they have no means of supporting. That would reduce the number of people doing just that, although some babies would still be born into untenable situations. Left to find their own solutions, people would sort out themselves who was best placed to care for and raise the child. That already goes on to a certain degree. Without any state benefits only the most motivated would be stepping forward. The most motivated would coincidentally also provide the best care.
Where children are still being subjected to abuse or neglect, the state then has a role in protecting that child's legal rights - but that's all.
Instead we get the Minister of do-something, as well as keeping current social policy settings unchanged, launching a whole new campaign against child abuse. She says she doesn't care what it costs. If it saves just one child it will be worth it (heard on TV last night). Of course Pharmac doesn't have the luxury of sitting around the table deciding which medicines to fund on this basis - just the Minister of do-something. Then she says it would appear a whole new generation of parents needs to relearn that shaking babies is dangerous. That means this exercise has to be repeated every generation because the state has to step in and do what the failed parent-educator (also a product of the state) doesn't.
You see. It's just a nauseatingly endless self-feeding cycle. Paula Bennett is like the mouse inside the tread wheel. Time to get off.
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1 hour ago