Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Universalising to prevent stigma - dumb idea

The Left's favoured method for describing a social problem is:  name neither offenders nor cause.

That then carries through to their policy solution: apply the balm universally and no group will be stigmatised.

In the parliamentary exchange below we see how school's practical application of non-stigmatisation results first in unnecessary outlay, then ends with a group that could probably have been identified from the outset and is still potentially subject to stigmatisation.

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: Yes. There are approximately 2,550 schools in New Zealand. In the time that I have been the Prime Minister, I have been a prolific visitor to schools, and for the last at least 3 or 4 years, from memory, I have asked this particular question to pretty much every principal I have seen. The feedback that I constantly get from them is that the extension of breakfast in schools under a National-led Government has been a good project. The extension of fruit in schools has been a good project, and while they offer breakfast in schools to—
Hon Annette King: It wasn’t an extension; it was a continuation. You just continued it.
Rt Hon JOHN KEY: No, it was extended. Keep up; it was an extension. If you look—
Hon Annette King: No it wasn’t. You were going to get rid of it. You were going to dump it. You’re on your high horse.
Rt Hon JOHN KEY: You go off and be Mayor of Wellington and Phil can be Mayor of Auckland.
Mr SPEAKER: Order! [Interruption] If the Hon Annette King wishes to remain in the Chamber, please cease when I rise to my feet. Would both the Prime Minister and the Hon Annette (uncorrected transcript—subject to correction and further editing) King stop the interaction and exchange across the House. If the Prime Minister wishes to complete his answer, would he do so.
Rt Hon JOHN KEY: In discussions with those principals, what is clear is that, because they do not want to stigmatise children who might go on a breakfast in schools programme, they offer it, generally speaking, to every child in the school. On average the feedback that they give me is that about half the children go on the breakfast in schools programme as a starting point, and over time that number reduces, more often than not, to a core group of about 10 or 15. They then make sure there is also food for them at lunch if they want it. The advice of the principals that I have spoken to—and I have been to a huge range of schools—is that very few do.

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