Suffer the little children to come unto … a brand new Government minister, all of their own.
Labour Deputy Leader Annette King proposes that a senior minister – and also that must-have accessory that no minister should be seen without; a ministry – be created to co-ordinate and focus all that national goodwill we have towards our kids in a more coherent, rewarding way.
The immediate sniff is that what kids really need isn’t more bureaucracy to lumber around on their behalf.
I am sure kids around the country are celebrating that they mey get their own ministry.
Ms King says the new ministry’s job would be to make sure “that children are a priority not just in theory, but in practice”. This would clearly distinguish it from the agenda of the Families Commission and the Children’s Commissioner, which was to fatten them up to be baked into pies.
And the Children’s Commissioner is independent – can attack the Government. A CEO of a Ministry for Children can not.
Neither will it pass without public comment that Ms King proposes a minister and a department in advance of any new policy regarding what they would do. It is a terribly hard sell to convince the public that ministers and ministries are a good idea in and of themselves. Or that it’s one of those Field of Dreams deals. If you build the ministry, the smart ideas will come …
It reminds me of the Yes Minister episode – a hospital with no patients. Instead it is a Ministry with no policy.Tags: editorials, Labour, Southland Times