Family First wants more regulation – again

I generally agree with Family First on most issues. But Bob McCoskrie does seem to like regulation too much sometimes in my mind. After calling for more bureaucratic hoops to jump through before you can put up a billboard, he is now criticising the Government’s plan to allow workers to choose whether to have their fourth week of annual leave or get a cash bonus instead.

Family First’s press release states:

Family First NZ says that cash payment provisions on the 4 week of annual leave proposed by the government will harm family time as the temptation to have immediate cash will be too great to resist for some families.

Sounds reasonable, but what does he actually identify as the real problem:

“Poll after poll has shown that both parents and children want to spend more time together doing family things like picnics and holidays together. However, this is becoming increasingly difficult as the retail industry is required to work almost every day of the year, and other industries expand to six and even seven days per week.” …

According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) report, New Zealanders work longer than any other nationality, apart from the Japanese. 21% of NZ workers work more than 50 hours a week. In most EU countries the number of people working 50 hours or more per work remains well under 10%. Just over 1% workers in the Netherlands work longer hours, while only 6% in Greece and Ireland do so. In Australian and American the rate is 20%.

If the big problem is number of days worked per week, and hours per day, how do statutory holidays affect this?

If you assume the same amount of work still has to be done, people will just have to work harder every other week, so will have less time to spend with their children for most of the year. Frankly, I’d prefer having a few extra hours with my son each week than getting one extra week’s holiday to try and make up for the time I missed with him during the year.

But that should be my own choice. This is a non-issue.

There are very important things that Family First does point out – this week in their email (which you can sign up for here) we have the smacking issue reigniting, informed choice on vaccinations, the EU banning the use of “Miss” and “Mrs”, and other interesting stuff. Family First is a great lobby group, if you aren’t signed up for their emails yet do it today.

I just sometimes wish they’d pick their battles more carefully.

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Family First calling for more bureaucracy

DB has agreed to take down a billboard that, according to Family First, “glorified pornography”. Great, there is some stuff your kids just don’t need to read.

But Family First is going further than that, from their email:

Family First has called for a committee to be established to pre-approve billboards. Mr McCroskie said the committee should include specialists to advocate for the protection of children and families from offensive billboards. “Families are sick to death of being confronted with offensive material as they drive along motorways and through city streets.”

Do we really need another bit of bureaucracy to go through before you can advertise? It would be just a nuisance for the vast majority of advertisers who were not intending to have anything offensive on their billboards anyway.

And it would do no good (and possibly even do harm), because in the long run it could end up being stacked by government-appointed left-liberals, who would have a completely different idea to Family First about what is “offensive”. We could see stuff currently considered obscene approved due to it “becoming accepted in popular culture”, but Christian content repressed to not offend Muslims or some such nonsense. Who knows? Why risk it?

If the “Advertising Standards Authority is a ‘toothless wonder'” as Mr McCoskrie says, wouldn’t any government appointed authority just end up the same?

The billboard is being taken down. The current law therefore seems to be working. Let’s be happy about that, not make up more laws.

Or have I missed something?

Bob McCoskrie threatened as result of EFA

Bob McCoskrie (director of Family First) has had a thousand knives stuck into his front lawn, and a threatening note left by four women dressed in black. It is presumed they obtained his address from an authorisation statement, probably on the Value Your Vote website.

A thousand knives in the lawn of Bob McCoskries house

A thousand knives in the lawn of Bob McCoskrie's house

This is what happens when you require residential addresses to be published. The Libertarianz are making the strongest stand on this issue so far, and are including the phrase “As demanded by: Helen Clark, 4 Cromwell St, Mt Eden” in all their authorisation statements. However Helen Clark is pretty safe, as No Minister points out:

It’s a generalisation , I admit, but decent right-thinking people don’t do things like this, while left-wing troublemakers do.

So seeing no-one on the right would ever condone or even consider such behaviour, it is perfectly safe for me to repeat (hang on, I’ll just let you get your pen and paper) that Helen Clark’s address is 4 Cromwell St, Mt Eden.

I will let Bob McCoskrie have the last word (from the Family First weekly email):

THE BOTTOM LINE IS THIS we will not be silenced . Whenever we speak up on issues like marriage, the breakdown of family, the anti-smacking law and the role of parents, the pornography industry and public nudity, prostitution, pro-life issues including abortion and euthanasia, and many other topics that families are concerned about, we are going to make enemies . I’m the first to admit that we don’t always get it right, but we cannot afford to walk away from the opportunity we have to speak up from a family perspective on these crucial issues.

What keeps us going is knowing that there are many many of you who are standing with us on these issues .

UPDATE: The vandals have apologised, with an anonymous note that says:

I see you didn’t take our little prank as it was intended, just as a little bit of harmless fun, just some plastic and spare time, I hope you could see the funny side of it…

Never-the-less were truly sorry if this has in anyway, offended or scared you emotionally physically or mentally…

Were Sorry,

Must be some young pranksters, as the note has the excellent command of the English language you can expect from school leavers these days. But good to know they are polite young pranksters.

Teacher working as prostitute

An Auckland teacher is working as a prostitute to get extra cash. This should be entirely unnecessary as teachers are paid reasonably well anyway in my opinion, but that is not the issue. This is obviously entirely inappropriate behaviour for a teacher, who should be a role model for students.

However, with prostitution being legal now, the board may struggle to find legal grounds to dismiss her, even though most people would probably consider that to be the best thing to do.

The simplest option as I see it if they cannot dismiss her would be for the board to tell all the parents. The parents then refuse to send their children to school. The teacher has no students so is made redundant. The parents then send their children back to school. Suddenly there are all these students to teach and they need to hire a new teacher…

Hat tip: Family First