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Thursday, December 02, 2004

An interesting week

It is an interesting week in Politics. It was an interesting week last week. That's why I love it.

Firstly, about National and the superfund. I got a letter in the paper yesterday.
This is it:

I heard that Don Brash has signed up to the Labour government’s plan to tackle the growing question. I must say I am pleased he has seen the light. However I take Nationals acceptance of the scheme with a healthy pinch of salt. I still don’t believe National has credibility on the pension issue. Who can forget their promise to scrap the surcharge in 1990, only to renege as soon as they became government? Who can forget the way they cut people’s pensions later in that decade? People have good reason to be wary of this new announcement. Whilst Brash for reasons of political expediency may have signed up to the scheme now, who knows what he would do if he got into power. We know he doesn’t like the scheme. We know he hasn’t given true assurance to the millions of younger taxpayers that he would work to insure that their now work will afford them the security of a properly funded pension later. We know that we should continue to be sceptical of National when it comes to superannuation.
Conor Roberts
Arch Hill

I am glad that National has signed up. I just cannot shake the feeling that they would get stuck into it if they got into government.

This was of course Brash's first flip flop and is perfectly understandable and probably good politics.

The second one on the civil union bill is more problematic. I cannot believe he has changed his mind on this issue. Whilst saying that it is because the government is *rushing* it through parliament, I believe he withered in front of a conservative backlash - and that is disappointing.
Brash is by all accounts a committed liberal, hell he voted to legalise prostitution. However on Kim Hill he is now saying that that vote was a mistake in hindsight. One may say that they can see the hand of McCully and Long in this move.

I ask Don Brash to heed the words of the Rev Dr Alan A Brash, who wrote in his book Facing Our Differences: the Churches and their gay and lesbian members."Some of the people whom I most respect and love have shared with me that they are of homosexual orientation and have spoken of the agonizing problems that this creates for them in their personal relationships and social life and in the congregations of many churches. For me, these experiences have been more mind-shattering than any theoretical discussion of the issues could ever be. It has been confirmed to me again and again that discussions on the topic of homosexuality have little value unless the participants are personally aware that they are not talking of abstract ideas but of actual people, many of whom they know and admire. For whether we recognize it or not, discussions about homosexuality are about people -"

As for rushing it through. That is rubbish.
The government is taking its time. It has delayed the passage of the statutory references bill so that some of the problems around defacto relationships can be ironed out.
The legislation that will pass today has already been delayed for most of the latter part of this year. Further, this is an issue whose time has come. It has been in the pipeline for over a decade. Further still, this legislation is different than the previous legislation that passed recently under urgency. We know what this bill is about and all that it entails.
We know that at its base this is about removing discrimination, and that is what the MPs are voting on today.

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