Family First Midweek Update 16 August 2011

1.School Breakfast Clubs ‘Feed The Problem’ 
Family First Media Release Aug 11, 2011
Family First NZ is rejecting calls for more government funding for school breakfast clubs, warning that this will simply exacerbate the problem and ignore the underlying causes. “A child whose parents cannot even provide two pieces of toast in the morning or a bowl of porridge highlights a number of real concerns,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. “Firstly, if the children aren’t being fed breakfast, how do we know that they are receiving meals at night or during the weekend? The level of neglect may be far greater than just providing breakfasts and other basic meals. Secondly, 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? Are they receiving their correct entitlement? And in the case of welfare payments, will food vouchers solve part of the problem? READ MORE 
School breakfast clubs ‘feed the problem’
YahooNews August 12, 2011 Family First NZ is rejecting calls for more government funding for school breakfast clubs, warning that this will simply exacerbate the problem and ignore the underlying causes. READ MORE

2.Morality and Marriage ‘secondary consideration’ – ‘Child Advocates’
Family First Comment: Every Child Counts is a coalition of organisations and individuals formed in 2004 and led by Barnardos, Plunket, Unicef, and Save the Children. They have the laudable goals of eradicating child poverty, child maltreatment, and ensuring that every child is given a good start in their early years. Unfortunately, they led the charge to criminalise good parents who use a smack to correct behaviour. Anyway, they have released a report entitled ”1,000 days to get it right for every child”. While saying nothing new that previous OECD and UNICEF reports haven’t said, what really astounded us was their dismissal of marriage – despite the overwhelming evidence which shows that children do better emotionally, physically, and mentally in 2-parent married homes. Rates of child abuse and domestic violence are particularly low in 2-parent married homes compared to all other family forms. (READ the evidence) International research suggests that the private costs of sole parenting and unmarried childbearing include increased risks of poverty, mental illness, infant mortality, physical illness, juvenile delinquency and adult criminality, sexual abuse and other forms of family violence, economic hardship, substance abuse, and educational failure.
So what is the view on marriage in this paper that is supposedly trying to improve outcomes for children?
              “Bergman (1994) notes that an efficacious and humane approach to the cure of child poverty would be to take the weakening of marriage as a given and to look for politically acceptable ways of capturing more economic resources for children in single-parent families. Such policies may further weaken the incentives to marriage, but that may be unavoidable. If the priority is children’s development into self-actualised citizens, (whatever that is!!) personal preferences about morality and marriage are a secondary consideration.”
This week it has snowed in Auckland for the first time in 80 years. A great night to put the fire on – and I had the perfect paper to get the fire started 🙂 Why not snuggle up to your fire, read WHY MARRIAGE MATTERS (a comprehensive report from the social sciences summarising why marriage matters), and then reflect on why Every Child Counts will never solve the social problems we have in NZ.


3.Child Abuse Deaths – 12 Month Wall of Shame
Family First Media Release 14 August 2011
Family First has released the list of child abuse deaths in the past 12 months, and says that the shocking trend of eight deaths in the past 12 months is ample evidence of the need for a non-political Commission of Inquiry into child abuse. “We have had Commission of Inquiries this year into the Pike river tragedy, the collapse of buildings and consequent loss of life in the Christchurch earthquake, and previous inquiries into police conduct (2004), genetic modification (2000–2001), and Auckland governance (2007-2009) – yet no inquiry into one of the greatest social problems facing the country. The issue of child abuse deserves a high priority total focus which a Commission would give,” says Bob Mccoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. “The ongoing rates of child abuse are a wake-up call that children will never be safe until we are honest enough as a Country to identify and tackle the real causes of child abuse. An independent Inquiry free of political correctness and point-scoring is essential. We need long-term solutions to a problem that has existed for far too long.” READ MORE
4.Going to the Chapel
Salient – Victoria University Student Magazine Article 15 Aug 2011
The legalisation of gay marriage in New York has given momentum to the international debate on same-sex unions. Following euphoric scenes in America with tears, mass engagements and public declarations of love, countries across the world are reassessing their recognition of same-sex partnerships. Is conferring the legal rights of marriage on civil unions the best way to achieve justice? Or is the only path to equality down the marriage aisle with lace, church, priest and cultural baggage in tow? With these dilemmas gaining publicity in an election year, Salient feature writer, Selina Powell, talks to your democratic representatives about the issue.
Redefining Marriage?
Family First has frequently expressed opposition to same-sex marriage. McCoskrie argues that including couples of the same sex within marriage would infringe on traditional definitions of marriage. He contends that, “Equality does not mean we must redefine marriage for everyone.” McCoskrie does not think that prohibiting same-sex marriage discriminates against the gay community. He also questions whether the ‘all love is equal’ campaign is a sound one in support of same-sex marriage. “Same-sex people cannot now legally marry. But neither can a whole lot of people. A five-year old boy cannot marry. Three people cannot get married to each other. A married man cannot marry another person. A child cannot marry her pet goldfish.” (Green MP Kevin) Hague emphatically rejects the view that allowing same-sex couples to marry would undermine marriage. “On the contrary, I maintain that any state sanctioning of relationships that exclude some couples who love each other is cheapened by its embedded prejudice. READ MORE

 5.Schools fall to drugs
Dominion Post 13/08/2011
Drugs, including P, are increasingly available in schools, experts say, as official figures show a jump in the number of pupils being temporarily banned from school for drug reasons. Nationwide, there were 1591 stand-downs and 1166 suspension for drug-related reasons last year, details disclosed under the Official Information Act show. The figures stand in contrast to overall trends, which show falling rates of suspensions and stand-downs. Drugs were increasingly easily available, a Wellington drug and alcohol clinical director with more than 20 years’ experience said. READ MORE
6.Britain’s liberal intelligentsia has smashed virtually every social value
By Melanie Phillips –
Daily Mail (UK) 11th August 2011
So now the chickens have well and truly come home terrifyingly to roost. The violent anarchy that has taken hold of British cities is the all-too-predictable outcome of a three-decade liberal experiment which tore up virtually every basic social value. The married two-parent family, educational meritocracy, punishment of criminals, national identity, enforcement of the drugs laws and many more fundamental conventions were all smashed by a liberal intelligentsia hell-bent on a revolutionary transformation of society. Those of us who warned over the years that they were playing with fire were sneered at and smeared as Right-wing nutters who wanted to turn the clock back to some mythical golden age. Now we can see what they have brought about in the unprecedented and horrific scenes of mob violence, with homes and businesses going up in flames, and epidemic looting. READ MORE