Over 120 delegates representing 70 family-focused organisations are gathering in Auckland today for the fourth annual NZ Forum on the Family, hosted by Family First NZ.But why? Why should Messrs Key and Goff collaborate in the hijacking of family issues by the Christian Right? Here, take a look at the agenda:
The Forum line-up includes the Children's Commissioner John Angus, Families Commissioner Bruce Pilbrow, Maxim Institute's Greg Fleming, Maori Child Advocate Bev Adair, Opposition leader Phil Goff, and the Prime Minister John Key.
"This will be the second time that John Key has spoken at the Forum but the first as Prime Minister," says Forum spokesman and host Bob McCoskrie. "It will be especially significant as many groups present have opposed the anti-smacking law and welcomed the Referendum result - a result which the Prime Minister has failed to act on. It will make for an interesting question time - both with the Prime Minister and also with Mr Goff. We are grateful that they have both been willing to 'front up' to these organisations.
Topics to be discussed include tax policies for families, the anti-smacking law and the Referendum, practical and relevant solutions to child abuse and domestic violence, support for beneficiary families, rights of the unborn child and the elderly, parenting and marriage issues, broadcasting standards, and acknowledging and resourcing the invaluable work being performed by our charitable organisations.In short, tax breaks for stay-at-home mothers, the right to abuse, abortion, euthanasia, moral panic and the out-sourcing of welfare. Regular readers of publications by the Maxim Institute (an educational charity) will recognise some of these concerns. And look who is coming:
Organisations represented include Family First NZ, Family and Child Trust, Sensible Sentencing Trust, Focus on the Family, Families Commission, For the Sake of our Children Trust, Vision Network. Royal NZ Plunket Society, FamilyLife NZ, Voice for Life, Family Life International, Media Matters, Maxim Institute, Right to Life NZ, and many others.Quite how Plunket got involved is anyone's guess, but the rest are the usual gang of moral thugs and hystericals.
These are the people who ensured that Labour lost the Election and that social progress has been put back a few years at least. It is not that smacking, lightbulbs and showerheads were distractions, it is that Labour and the broad left allowed the nasties to command the territory. It is not that Labour did not listen but that it did not listen to talkback radio. These people made sure their prejudices, panics and self-interest dominated the discourse. And now Mr Goff is "fronting up" to them.
Whatever next? No, don't tell me.