Friday, December 01, 2006



The end of eradication

National has released its new lineup, and looking at the full list [PDF], one portfolio is notable by its absence: that of "political correctness eradicator". Good. The position was a bad joke when it was established, and became a worse one when Wayne Mapp opened his mouth, spewed his ignorance, and displayed the bigotry and illiberalism which underlay his worldview. Worse, it suggested a conscious effort by National to roll back the increased equality, opportunity and erosion of privilege of the last 50 years and return us to some sort of idealised version of the 1950s when New Zealand was run by and for dead white males and anyone else (women,gays, Maori) could bugger off. I am glad those days are gone, and I am glad that the fringe loonies who wish to return to them no longer seem to be pulling the strings of our major opposition party. Perhaps now we'll have a serious opposition, rather than the bad joke Brash seemed intent on turning it into.

It is however apparent that women and young people still don't matter to the National Party, both portfolios being given to unranked newcomers. I guess old habits die hard...

20 comments:

Good!!! What a waste of space it was.
Interesting to Brash again this morning saying that it not a change from his direction.

Posted by Anonymous : 12/01/2006 02:19:00 PM

RE your youth and women comment, let's be fair, just who are the relevant ministers in the current govt, their seniority and just what exactly have all those millions spent on those ministries actually achieved?

Posted by Anonymous : 12/01/2006 02:29:00 PM

Anon: Women's Affairs is Lianne Dalziel; Youth Affairs is Nanaia Mahuta. Neither is front-bench, but they're hardly at the bottom of the cabinet either (and unlike National's spokespeople, at least they have a ranking). As for the "millions of dolars", Women's Affairs gets a budget of $4 million [PDF], which goes on policy advice to ensure that somebody actually looks at policies in terms of their impact on women. It's a similar story with Youth Development [PDF]; the ministry has service purchase and delivery responsibilities as well (which are imporant - anti-suicide programmes, for example), but their core internal deliverable is policy advice. You can argue "who needs to look at policy from the point of view of women and young people", but this would simply be confirming my point. Contrary to the attitude of the Mapps and Brashes, people who aren't dead white males do matter, and we do need to look at how policy affects them. And if we weren't doing it in seperate ministries (which is the NZ way of organising the public service, BTW), it would be being done in-house at Social Development, Economic Development, Education, Labour etc, and possibly duplicated into the bargain.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 12/01/2006 03:08:00 PM

According to John Key, "Foreign affairs and defence are very important to us and I think it's very important that you understand where I'm coming from, and I don't want any ambiguity."

Unfortunately Murray McCully, perhaps the most deeply tainted of all by the whole sorry Brash fiasco, gets foreign affairs.

Posted by Anonymous : 12/01/2006 03:21:00 PM

Somewhere Garth George has just shed a tear.

Posted by Sanctuary : 12/01/2006 03:54:00 PM

Idiot

I'll take it that means they've achived nothing identifiable...In fact wasn;t that pretty much what the SSC said after reviewing those organisations?

insider

Posted by Anonymous : 12/01/2006 04:28:00 PM

Does labour (or National) have a spokesperson on "New Zealand European/pakeha affairs" or "Mens affairs"? No. Not even an unranked newcomer in any of those positions. men and European new Zealanders don't matter much to Labour (or National).

Posted by Anonymous : 12/01/2006 04:36:00 PM

Unfortunately Murray McCully, perhaps the most deeply tainted of all by the whole sorry Brash fiasco, gets foreign affairs.

Ideally McCully would be told not to let the door hit his arse on the way out. On the other hand, the government is now guaranteed a free pass on foreign affairs in Parliament - even Winston is more than a match for Muzza.

Posted by dc_red : 12/01/2006 04:36:00 PM

I/S - one difference between being in Government and being outside government is that everyone outside government is a spokesperson for something. Yes, women's and youth affairs are held by lowly-ranked/unranked members of the National Party, you can rest assured that were National in government these portfolios would be held by other people.

Posted by Graeme Edgeler : 12/01/2006 04:46:00 PM

Has someone been charting the before-during-after levels of political correctness?

I strikes me we have an excellent natural experiment the effectiveness of the eradication programme.

Posted by Lyndon : 12/01/2006 05:32:00 PM

Ideally McCully would be told not to let the door hit his arse on the way out. On the other hand, the government is now guaranteed a free pass on foreign affairs in Parliament - even Winston is more than a match for Muzza.

McCully will probably be alright as Opposition spokesman, where he can snipe. The problem would be if he became Minister of Foreign Affairs. He was certainly the worst Minister of Tourism in the history of the portfolio. And yes, I will defend that statement on request.

Posted by Russell Brown : 12/01/2006 05:57:00 PM

Today's Graeme Lee, Richard Worth, appears to have been dumped from the Opposition justice portfolio too. If this is the case, wonder if it's a sop to Rodders in Epsom?

As for Muzza, Russ, can we call it equally dire between Muzza and John Banks within the aforementioned portfolio?

Craig Y

Posted by Anonymous : 12/01/2006 08:55:00 PM

I was right- Worth is Number 24, and no longer a primary portfolio spokesperson. Why is that talentless hack Collins ranked above Katherine Rich, though?

Craig Y.

Posted by Anonymous : 12/01/2006 08:59:00 PM

You should be noting Nick Smith's position.

Conservation, Environment, Climate Change and the Building Industry - at number 5. That's a hell of a high ranking for National's shadow-minister for winning-green-votes.

I think Keys might be serious about green issues: or about getting green votes, which comes to something similar.

Posted by Icehawk : 12/01/2006 09:09:00 PM

I was wondering the same thing about Collins. I mean, really? Seven?

Posted by Anonymous : 12/01/2006 09:48:00 PM

McCully is opposition spokesperson of Foreign Affairs solely because Peters is minister. In Government it would be someone else - perhaps Wayne Mapp, or Lockwood Smith (or a member from a coalition partner) for the first term while John Hayes is earning his stripes as Chair of the Foreign Affairs select committee before entering cabinet in the second term.

Posted by Graeme Edgeler : 12/02/2006 12:46:00 AM

Icehawk: I had noticed that. Also the high rankings given to all of the old "brat pack" (and their new allies). Key may be leader, but he's relying on English for talent.

Graeme: not Groser? Or was he too narrowly focused on trade rather than foreign affairs in general?

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 12/02/2006 12:55:00 AM

I wouldn't have thought so. I don't think it's his specialty and while I'm sure he could do it, as an interim measure you'd probably go with someone else. After all, the head of the Pacific Division at MFAT won't have entered politics without some idea that he'd get Foreign Affairs at some point.

Posted by Graeme Edgeler : 12/02/2006 08:39:00 AM

Hey, maybe he does want it - from Today's Herald (http://subs.nzherald.co.nz/section/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10413461 ):

"He has his sights set on becoming National's Foreign Affairs Minister in the next Government."

and:

"He is, however, annoyed at some of the "myths" around his involvement in leadership coups - he says he was only involved in one, when Mr English rolled Jenny Shipley.

Nevertheless, he jokes, he's sure some colleagues are relieved that he'll be travelling abroad frequently in his foreign affairs role."

Posted by Graeme Edgeler : 12/02/2006 10:32:00 AM

Ahem.
Judith. Collins.
Number. Seven.
Beneficiary basher, anti-abortion fanatic, homophobe.

Still look like a touchy feely New National to you, folks?

Craig Y.

Posted by Anonymous : 12/04/2006 08:54:00 PM