Both as bad as each other

I love it when politicians bicker and argue and call each other names in the house. It fills me with such an endearing sense of pride in our political system.

My last complaint about a politician was directed squarely at Tau Henare for once again being a poo. But now ACT are accusing Labour’s out gay MPs of being complicit in their own party’s homophobia.

Labour’s Trevor Mallard says he shouldn’t have called Attorney-General Chris Finlayson “Tinkerbell” but denies there is problem with homophobia in the party.

ACT’s Wellington central candidate Stephen Whittington yesterday accused openly gay Labour MPs Grant Robertson and Charles Chauvel of covering up prejudice among their caucus.

Hutt South MP Mr Mallard likened Mr Finlayson to the Peter Pan fairy during a parliamentary debate in October 2009. Waimakariri MP Clayton Cosgrove twice called Mr Finlayson Tinkerbell in the House in July 2009.

I do believe ACT are blowing this somewhat out of proportion (and can’t really talk so long as Banks is in their party), but if Labour MPs are going to call out people like Tau Henare for calling Charles Chauvel “Miss Daisy”, then they also have to own the shit within their own party, and both the names “Tinkerbell” and “Miss Daisy” are on the same level.

Labour MPs responded to the news by pointing out that Mallard was one of the stronger proponents of Homosexual Law Reform. This doesn’t change the fact that he called an openly gay MP a name belonging to a female fairy. They may support our rights to exist, but they’re still making homophobic slurs, which makes me question the validity of their support of our rights — especially since Cosgrove voted against Civil Unions.

It would be nice if we had politicians who would focus on the arguments at hand instead of reducing the discourse to a series of ad hominems and personal attacks. Unfortunately, in this political climate, we have to take the allies we can get — I’d rather take an arsehole who will vote for us over an arsehole who won’t, but the lesser of two evils is still evil, and just because you voted for our rights, doesn’t make you not a douche.

Labour look to shake up adoption laws

by Mr Wainscotting

Jacinda Ardern, the Labour Party’s Youth Justice spokesperson, sent out a press release today announcing plans to table a Care of Children Law Reform Bill to modernise New Zealand’s adoption laws.

“The current Adoption Act needs changing. It is over 50 years old. It was written at a time when we had far more ‘stranger’ adoptions than we do now. It discriminates against prospective parents, doesn’t take into account whangai adoption and prevents children from being cared for in the best possible family environment.”

Also included would be opening adoption up to same-sex couples. Something that is long overdue in any state, let alone New Zealand.

“It also fails to take into account the number of legislative changes introduced over the past decade areas such as assisted reproduction technology, surrogacy and the legal status of de facto relationships and civil unions.”

Though the press release only implicitly references same-sex adoption, Ardern confirmed to me in a tweet that it would be the case. Continue reading

Pandering to Family First?

by Mr Wainscotting

Actually, no.

It’s been difficult to find any media reports on what Key and Goff told Family First. Patrick Gower from 3 News gave us a little, but only seemed interested in what Key had to say. I’ve had to find most of my info from (gasp) the New Zealand Herald. If I come across anything else that refutes what I’m about to write, I’ll update this. From the looks of it, my cynicism was proven wrong, which can only be a good thing.

Continue reading

Will he challenge them this time?

by Mr Wainscotting

Phil Goff, along with John Key, has been invited to a meeting of the fundamentalist Family First to answer questions on his personal stance on abortion, and marriage, among other things. While Idiot/Savant over at No Right Turn takes the view that Goff shouldn’t give them the time of day, and I’m also inclined to take this position (and have just been doing so on Twitter) given Goff’s track record, it is an election year, and they were invited.

Family First were founded on principles of traditional, heteronormative marriage and also campaigned heavily against the anti-smacking legislation, costing us $8 million to hold a pointless, poorly worded referendum. They also fiercely oppose abortion rights and sexual freedom.

So, what are we likely to see? He’s being asked for his personal stance on these topics, but as a party leader in a party-political system, it’s not his job to promote his personal opinions — his job is to promote those of the Labour Party. It is yet to be seen how he will respond to their questioning, and the ball is squarely in his court. But I can guess what he’ll do.

Back in May I tore up my Labour Party membership card after Goff said Damien O’Connor’s ‘gaggle of gays’ gaff would “probably get him elected.”

Goff frequently asks people to submit questions to him on Facebook, the questions with the most ‘like’s will be answered. Goff was asked “If the Labour Party are elected into Government, will the Party be looking at the issues Trans men and women face? If so, how? If not, why not?” Despite this question getting plenty of ‘like’s, Goff chose to ignore the question entirely.

Goff has also stated that he opposes same-sex marriage.

I can hope that he openly opposes Family First on matters of abortion, marriage, etc. and that he doesn’t obfuscate his opposition with political double-speak in the interest of pandering to their votes, as so often happens with politicians.

By the time I hit ‘Publish’, the meeting will be well over, and a follow-up should be hot on the heels of this article. Ball is in your court, Goff.

The correct collective noun is ‘Pride’

by Mr Wainscotting

This is a little overdue, but here it is anyway.

Until very recently, I was a Labour Party member. But, finally, after a long series of screwups, gaffes and idiotic statements, I withdrew my membership. Not formally, I’ll be quick to add. I tore up my membership card, and posted the picture online. I had more fun this way.

Animated .GIF FTW!

So, what set me off? Well, there were a lot of things that did. Continue reading