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Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Rankling the Families Commission

If we must suffer the statist affliction on society that is the Families Commission (FC) then I am utterly stoked at the latest appointments to it of Bruce Pilbrow, my former neighbour at Bible College and Christine Rankin. Christine is of course the major controversy and if you are a kiwi you will be well aware of the things she is accused of and the stones being hurled, if you're an international visitor click here for The Press' report.

The FC was ostensibly created to monitor legislation and policy and comment on its impact on families and make recommendations for future policy but was, soooooo predictably, captured by anti-family lefties who have refused to define a family leaving the definition wide open and who championed the anti-smacking bill and so on.

United Future Party Leader Peter Dunne, who was key architect of the FC, is apparently angry at Christine's appointment and is calling for her to decline it, "Her taking up this role will seriously undermine the credibility of the Families Commission." Funny, amongst most families I know it has no credibility to undermine and having the likes of Pilbrow and Rankin appointed to it has been the only bright spark in an otherwise dim history.

The Greens' Sue Bradford, architect of the anti-smacking law, is claiming that National are "subverting the commission through political appointments" and is accusing it of "sabotage." I sincerely hope that this is precisely what National are doing but I doubt it because both Pilbrow and Rankin have spent the past years working in NGO's promoting family and researching real causes and child abuse and working to prevent it.

The opposition leader, Labour MP Phil Goff, former communist and a long time left-wing politician said "Ms Rankin aligned herself so exclusively with one side of the political spectrum [pot, kettle] for example attending Destiny Church and Families First rallies, that it was hard to see how she could be representative." Mr Goff clearly is not aware that members of his party have attended and spoken at the same rallies - someone should brief him better.

Further, Christine is not a Christian, something she openly speaks about at these rallies and she does not attend only those events on that side of the political spectrum and I fail to see how this is relevant anyway - does every appointee have to share Goff's politics or is it broader than that, anyone can be appointed but those tarnished by association with Christian groups? At least she has raised a family unlike the childless high-profile women on Mr Goff's side of the spectrum.

I really like Christine Rankin (I really like Bruce Pilbrow too but he is not controversial for some reason). I have heard Christine speak twice now and met her briefly and I have always felt a kindred connection, like if she and I knew each other better we would seriously hit it off. She and I both have had pasts as solo mothers who toughed it out on welfare and got ourselves out of it; She and I both have a somewhat abnormal (amongst women anyway) drive to do, to change, to get involved, and both of us have been famous for having amazing legs. We have both been criticised for being polarising and divisive - something I think most women in politics, particularly right wing women, get regularly accused of *yawn*. She is not perfect, none of us are, but she is strong at spotting PC crap and standing up to it and she is not afraid to be the only one in the room talking sense. The FC won't know what hit them and will have someone in there who will work hard and hold them to account and that can only be good.

So Christine, don't you dare even think about turning this role down - I am sure you are not anyway!

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