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Let's make room for the important stuff

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    Let's make room for the important stuff - 25-Sep-2008
    Get a room!
    This is the latest craze at our very own Parliament. Yesterday, the most important thing our top politicians did, seven weeks out from a general election, was dedicate a select committee room as the Rainbow Room.

    They didn't hang pretty wallpaper, the sort you put in little girls' nurseries, with the soulful puppies and cute kitties. And it's not raining in there. There's no diffraction of sunlight through water going on at all. Nobody, and this is important to remember, is getting wet in there.

    Just the long-suffering taxpayers, who pick up the tab out here.

    The Rainbow Room is about "recognising gay, lesbian and trans- gender New Zealanders and their contribution to society and Parliament". That's a quote from Speaker of the House Margaret Wilson.

    Darned right, Marge. Way to go. Good people who contribute to society should be recognised. We should be proud that legal discrimination against other-gendered folk has been wiped in New Zealand.

    And there's nothing like a bit of rainbow wash and PC feel-good to deflect attention from real issues in New Zealand, especially seven weeks out from a general election. Families are going belly up because the economy is foul, we've got some of the worst child abuse and family violence statistics in the developed world, we've got kids falling out of school unable to read and write - but we've also got a Rainbow Room.

    Happy glow.

    Ms Wilson's press release went on to tell New Zealand that the Rainbow Room wasn't the only one dedicated to special-interest groups at Parliament.

    We've also got the Maori Affairs Committee Room, a Pacific Room, a Suffrage Room and an Asian Room, all busily recognising important contributions to New Zealand society.

    We've got entire South Auckland families squished into garages because they can't afford homes, but New Zealand's big House, Parliament, has all this going-spare space where politicians can slap a sign on the door and make a special room for a group.

    When this happens in a business, you downsize. Premises too big? Paying too much rent for space you don't use? Shift somewhere cheaper.

    There's an empty freezing works at Dannevirke just now - 466 jobs down the gurgler this year. It'd give the struggling Tararua economy a shot in the arm to have a bunch of sign-brandishing politicians descend, looking for rooms to label.

    Our friends at the Family First party predictably came out snorting about this Rainbow Room stuff. The gay word never gives FF a happy glow. But they want a room, to be in the fashion. A room dedicated "to parents in recognition of their unsung heroism and efforts in raising great Kiwi kids".

    Raising kids is the most important job, period. Dear Politicians, instead of rooms, how about a society where all our children can be raised safely and well?
    Ref: - Manawatu Standard

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