Monday, 3 November 2008

wilfully blind

we have a tradition in hamilton every campaign of getting out onto the bridges with lots of people and signs. there are 5 main bridges in the city to get people across the river, and we target a bridge each morning with a team of enthusiastic supporters. the response this morning was great, with lots of toots of support.

tonight was a candidates meeting organised by NCW. this is an area where labour has made significant gains, from paid parental leave, flexible working hours, breastfeeding breaks at work, interest-free student loans (which affected women more, because they were more likely to take breaks from working but would still have interest being charged), the task forces on sexual violence and domestic violence, and so much more.

this link was sent by a friend this morning, and is well worth a read. and i have to agree with the standard that john key visiting the progressive enterprises factory with mr jones and mr tuigamala was an act of extreme hypocrisy. it's hypocritical for two main reasons.

first, the national party has consistently opposed any measures that support lower paid workers. they have voted against raises in the minimum wage, the employment relations bill which strengthened collective bargaining, compulsory tea breaks, flexible working hours, cheaper doctors visits etc etc etc. national's tax cut package makes no difference (and in some cases worsens the position) of those 70% of kiwis who earn the average wage or below. should national get in to government, these workers will be considerably worse off.

second, the main issues raised by mr jones were conscience issues around prostitution law reform and civil unions. dr brash voted in favour of prostitution law reform, as did lockwood smith, rodney hide, heather roy, deborah coddington, and maurice williamson. mr key voted in favour of civil unions for the first and second reading of that bill, but changed his vote on the third reading as a result of the national party securing significant funding via an anonymous third party campaign from the exclusive brethren. he and all national MPs voted in favour of the repeal of s59. he has clearly stated that he has no plans to repeal any of these bills. he opposes moves to restrict the number of liquor outlets in the suburbs. he voted against the bill put forward by gordon copeland that would have banned same-sex marriages. he supports the current laws on abortion. he supported the bill on voluntary euthanasia. on what basis are these two rugby players siding with mr key when it comes to these "moral" issues? it surely can't be on the basis of facts and nor on mr key's voting record. it can't be for the attention, they've had plenty of that in their lifetimes. it makes no sense whatsoever.

it's sad to see people voting against their own self-interests, but it happens way too often. i know that labour has strong pasifika candidates, and i'm sure they will be getting the message out there about not only the above industrial relations and conscience issues, but all of labour's other policies from working for families to investments in health and education which have hugely benefitted this community.

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