[Daily Blog reposts] Family First: let the children go hungry

This post was originally published at The Daily Blog on 2 May 2013.

Lest you think this is some hilarious send-up, let me stick a link to the original press release right here at the front so all may marvel at it.

Yep, that’s Bob McCoskrie, who cannot jump up quickly enough when parents’ rights to whack children are threatened, actually arguing that we shouldn’t have food-in-schools programmes because … well, I’ll let the man speak for himself:

The danger is that we could be simply rewarding bad parenting.

Yep.  The danger is that, by ensuring children from low-decile neighbourhoods get a piece of fucking toast in the morning, we’re just encouraging their parents to … Bob?

there is a welfare system in New Zealand. Every home has a source of income. The important question is – what is the money being spent on, and is that appropriate?

That’s right, rip off the welfare system.  The generous, generous welfare system.  But hey now, he’s not heartless or anything.

Where there is genuine financial need – and there are sure to be genuine cases out there – WINZ should play a role

You can always spot the people who really understand poverty and need by the way they just have to make it explicit that they are totally sure there are real cases of poverty out there.  I mean, he’s never seen a really poor person, but they, like, must be out there.

This is the man, and his little marching band, who claim ownership of the moral/ethical/social high ground in New Zealand politics.  This is the group which screams bloody murder at letting loving same-sex couples raise children together, which wants to remove any hint of sex education from our schools, which campaigns tirelessly to restrict our already-onerous abortion access.

A group which pays God knows how much money to David Farrar to conduct rigged polls to generate endless Chicken Little the-moral-sky-is-falling headlines.

But when we’re talking about children going hungry, what’s Family First/McCoskrie’s first concern?  That we’re not regulating, monitoring and punishing poor parents harshly enough.

If anyone can actually point me to a single instance where Family First NZ has given the tiniest of fucks about structural causes of poverty, inequal wealth distribution, the failure of social welfare to keep up with inflation and increases in the price of living, do drop a link in the comments.

I’d prefer a unicorn, personally, but one can’t get too fussy when given an opportunity to see an imaginary creature.

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