Saturday, January 06, 2007

'Free' counselling

Advice for everybody (except Oswald who never stops) returning to work next week. Read it. After all, you are, in part, paying the salaries of these agony aunts.

Societal self-delusion

Apologies for the quality of this scan but enlarging the image will render it readable. It is an excerpt from a book published in 1977, Social Welfare and New Zealand Society. A series of contributions, this is from Family and Community, and written by A Webster, a (then) Senior Lecturer in Education, Massey and L Williams, a researcher/honorary probation worker.

It is, in a way, quite shocking, especially given the kind of policy they are criticising has developed substantially in the subsequent thirty years, as have the consequences;

And later in the same chapter;

And finally on what type of philosophy should inform policy;

Friday, January 05, 2007

Stupid statist 'solution'

Here's the problem;

A survey in November 2005 found that three out of four British companies actively discriminated against women of child-bearing age who applied for jobs. The report found a growing trend of rejecting women applicants because they might leave to have babies. Recent research suggests that more than a third of employers believe pregnancy is "an undue cost burden" and many pregnant women face pay cuts or hostile treatment on their return to work.

And here's the solution;

Every pregnant woman in Scotland will receive an employment "bill of rights" at her 12-week scan as part of a campaign to stamp out sex discrimination at work, The Scotsman has learned.

The scheme, to be introduced by the Equal Opportunities Commission Scotland early this year, is designed to bolster the rights of pregnant women across the country.

The document will provide a comprehensive guide to an employer's responsibilities, and includes a tear-off section for women to give to their bosses.

It explains how employers must conduct a risk assessment to protect the woman and her unborn baby while at work. She is also guarded against unfair treatment, including dismissal, connected with the pregnancy.

What's a bet the solution compounds the problem. Asinine stuff.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

"Beyond the spin-doctoring democracy is at work"

That's the title of this column by Nicky Hager in today's DomPost;

Refusing to financially support Hager I haven't purchased and read his book but have a couple of responses to this.

First, it further serves to highlight the urgent need to find out exactly how Hager got the information on which his book is based. His story continues to strongly contradict National's.

Second, the people who write best about any subject are those passionate about it. I can only think of one writer I can't place politically, whose work I read with interest, Colin James. And even he is now under attack from the left.

'Independence' is actually a construct of Hager's as I pointed out in this letter published earlier in the DomPost ;

That Michael Bassett is such a frank, no-holds-barred writer means we know exactly what he thinks and where he stands. He has long championed the same causes as Don Brash; welfare reform, one law for all, a resolution to the treaty settlement process and free market economics. The man can hardly, then, be accused of some sort of deception because, as Nicky Hager puts it, he presents himself as "an independent writer and commentator". That is a construct of Mr Hager's invented to suit his purposes.

Finally, if Hager's claims about the source of his material are true, and if securing democracy is a goal worthy of theft and deceit, having achieved the end by now justifiable means, why don't those "decent" and "concerned" people reveal themselves?

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Let's have gender before merit

If there is one thing I can't stand it's gender politics. National has a new champion of the cause, Jackie Blue. Here she is demanding an answer:

While my heartfelt congratulations goes to all those New Zealanders who received a New Year Honour, I’m personally disappointed that women were under represented says, National's Women's Affairs spokeswoman, Dr Jackie Blue.

"While women make up just over half of the population, a little over one third of the awards went to them. We need to know why this is the case."

Because, whoever compiles the list didn't sit down with a quota saying, give her an award over him for no other reason than we need to dish them out 50/50.

Perhaps this is how National plans to attract women voters from the left.

New Year activities

A Stuff Poll;

How did you spend your New Years?

A few quiet drinks with the family and friends (1152 votes, 40.2%)

Partying up large (319 votes, 11.1%)

In bed (1398 votes, 48.7%)

I started off doing the first early, to accommodate my parents who were off to do the second till late, and I ended up doing the third. No resolutions either. I enjoy my vices.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Digging 'dirt' on dancer

If I say I have sympathy for the subject of this witch hunt I suppose it will be misconstrued as supporting the Far Right. I DO NOT. I do however support people's right to freedom of belief and privacy. This high profile (probably naive) British ballerina has been 'outed' as a member of the British political party, the BNP. What if she was a member of the equally objectionable British Socialist Party? Who would have bothered to uncover that?

"As far as I'm concerned my conscience is clear. As for the journalist who spent months snooping around, he'd find more dirt under his fingernails than he'd ever find on me."

Which brings to mind Hager's book and how it was produced. Another case of immoral 'snooping' sanctioned by people who should know better.

(Note the membership fee to join the BNP - wow)

Sunday, December 31, 2006

New Year message from Pita Sharples

According to Radio New Zealand,

Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples has called 2006 "the year of murders" and says all New Zealanders have to turn things around next year.

He says there is too much tolerance of violence in New Zealand society and a tendency to blame other groups for the problem.

Just what is he saying here? As a New Zealander, with a piece of paper to prove it, I must give some thought to who I am not going to murder next year? And I should also stop relaying facts about where most of the violent crime comes from as that could be construed as a "tendency to blame other groups" instead of the obvious culprit - myself?

Did you have a reaction to this admonition?