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robson-on-politics 2 july 2004

Progressive: positive about people and jobs

Fri 2 July

Nurses are worth it

On Tuesday, MPs representing six parties that will be in the next Parliament (ACT missing in action), received a petition in support of fair pay for nurses and midwives. Progressive believes that it is in our national economic and social interest to pay nurses what they are worth and our coalition government is progressively reversing the damage of 30 years of under-funding of our health sector, as we are also turning the tide on our inherited education and infrastructure investment deficits. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storydisplay.cfm?storyID=3575575&thesection=news &thesubsection=general _________________________

Strengthening long-term relationships Part II

Progressive voted in favour of the Relationships (Statutory References) Bill. The Bill will ensure neutral laws on relationships so people in long-term relationships are treated the same in law in such diverse areas as health, commerce, education, tax, and social assistance. Progressive believes that any honest attempt to strengthen long-term, meaningful relationships deserves support because there is no doubt that society as a whole benefits from individuals being inside of caring, stable and long-term relationships because that delivers more social stability.

For individuals themselves, stable and caring long-term relationships deliver better heath and more happiness, on average, than unstable, uncaring and unsatisfying ones. Progressive on Civil Union and Relationships bills: http://www.progressive.org.nz/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1016 Hansard of the full debate on relationships (scroll down to link for Relationships):
6_29.htm _________________________

The anti-liberal ACT Party

Progressive last year voted against legalising prostitution: commercial, short-term relationships that are too often based on highly unequal economic power will undermine long-term healthy relationships. We voted against prostitution liberalization for the same reasons that we now support the Civil Union and Relationships bills.

It has been interesting to see ACT, an anti-liberal party, again missing in action. On Tuesday, seven out of nine elected ACT MPs, including 'Liberty Belle' Deborah Coddington, voted against the legislation which recognizes that adults are sovereign, moral and rational beings and promotes long-term relationships. The same Liberty Belle last year used her proxy vote all the way from the U.K. to give the vital casting vote Labour needed to enact its prostitution law change.

Surely only the most anti-liberal and incoherent of reactionaries could vote against strengthening long-term relationships between sovereign individual adults - while at the same time vote in favour or short-term commercial relations often based on inequality or the relative economic deprivation of one partner to the other. _________________________

Shudder, if National had led NZ into illegal war

The news from Iraq is hideous. Sensible people shudder at the thought a National-led conservative government could win the next election, because then our foreign affairs decisions would be made in foreign capitals. National and its reactionary allies last year were table-thumping, issuing press statements and making grand speeches demanding the Labour Progressive government surrender sovereignty and follow George Bush, Tony Blair and Australia into an illegal invasion of Iraq.

Fifteen months after the illegal invasion, the news from Iraq is all about a previously unheard of phenomena in once highly secular Iraq: Every hour seems to bring another random terrorist attack by reactionary fundamentalist organizations that are flourishing in the incoherent environment delivered by the Bush-Blair war.

The National Party and its conservative allies need to be challenged on what they said before the U.S.-U.K. invasion of Iraq last year. Where are the Weapons of Mass Destruction (except Israel and Pakistan)? Where is the evidence that the secular Baathist Dictatorship aided or abetted the religious fundamentalist fanatics of Al Qaeda? What protections exist for the Kurdish civilian populations of Iraq, Turkey, Iran and Syria as the governments of those countries increase their repressive policies because they fear Kurdish national aspirations? http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storydisplay.cfm?thesection=news&thesubsection=& storyID=3575273&reportID=562588 _________________________

Mon 5 July 7pm Otahuhu Town Hall is a South Auckland Progressive meeting to discuss proposed law changes on passports and citizenship. All welcome. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storydisplay.cfm?thesection=news&thesubsection=& storyID=3557607 _________________________

Remember! Tune in Sunday 12 - 1 for the Robson Hour on 531 AM.

This week: looking at foreign policy and trade issues affecting the Pacific and talking to Gerry Brownlee on telling the judge to "watch out." More on this week's news at www.progressive.org.nz > including higher paid parental leave, the Whanganui River Road, and celebrating public ownership of railtrack.


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