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Muriel Newman on Social Engineering

Filed under: General — miss mug @ 9:04 am Sun 2nd April 2006

Seems Muriel (ACT) has a firm grip on the situation. From her latest newsletter (New Zealand Centre for Political Debate):

“With the Domestic Purposes Benefit already incentivising the massive breakdown of the family, these more recent changes are making the situation worse by giving rise to more unstable, transient relationships. It is therefore little wonder we are seeing an escalation in child abuse and domestic violence as well as the fall-out from the breakdown of stable families – marginalized fathers, alienated children, and excluded grandparents.

Just this week, New Zealand’s top Family Court judge said that violence in the home is blighting the country’s image as a good place to raise children. Yet I do not hear the Judge — or any of the other professionals who work in this field – calling for a change to the policies that are driving this social collapse.

And, with Labour’s new family welfare package coming into effect today, resulting in 350,000 families receiving income support, we urgently need to review the wisdom of massive government interference in the family, before more lives are damaged or lost.

A new publication released by the British think tank Civitas this week, examines the wisdom of state interference in the family from an international perspective. In her book Family Policy, Family Changes, Patricia Morgan compares the state of the family in Sweden, Italy and Britain, and concludes that families thrive in countries where there is less government interference.

In Britain, where an anti-marriage agenda is being strongly promoted by the public service, universities and government funded social agencies, family problems are rife, with Britain topping the league tables in several of the most worrying indicators of breakdown, including divorce and teenage pregnancy. In Sweden, where a comprehensive social engineering programme has transferred many family responsibilities to the state – to a degree unseen outside of the Soviet bloc – there are even higher rates of out-of-wedlock births and cohabitation than Britain.

Italy, however, has effectively had no government intervention into the family, and is still the home of the traditional family unit. Divorce rates and out-of-wedlock births, including teenage pregnancies, are extremely low. Cohabitation is so rare as to be difficult to measure. Young people live with their parents until they get married, and, for most women, marriage will represent their first living-together relationship”.

from Joy Liddicoat (NZ Law Society) on the other hand comes this:

“Imagine a woman arriving home with her flatmates to find her ex-boyfriend forcing his way into her house and killing her in front of them. These cases are real. While the full stories are yet to be told, these are just two cases where women in this very city have been killed by their former partners.

But when these things happen they are not just a tragedy for those involved. They strike a deep chord of fear and hopelessness in all of us. Research in New Zealand shows that the most dangerous time for a woman and her children is when she separates from her partner. Yet Muriel Newman’s recent article in the Evening Post would have us believe that the risk of violence and even death when couples separate is a fiction invented by vindictive women who maliciously want to deprive their former partners of access to their children.

In fact, such violence is a reality for all of us and especially for the thousands of women and children who seek to escape family violence each year in New Zealand, as women’s refuges throughout the country will attest.

New Zealand has strong and effective domestic violence laws for a very simple reason: to keep all of us safe. The Domestic Violence Act also aims to make sure that violent partners and parents who want to can take steps to change their behaviour (such as by attending counselling and programmes to take responsibility for their own actions). Almost without exception men who attend and complete these programmes say they are a positive experience.

Yet research from women’s refuges shows that most women go to great lengths to stay with their partners even when there is violence. They get protection orders because they want the violence to stop and they desperately want to believe their partners when they tell them that it will. Yet women who stay with violent partners, who try to keep their family together, are blamed for staying. Now Muriel Newman would have us blame them for leaving”.

actually, a mate of mine who attended an anger managment programme said he found that almost without exception the men who attended the programme he went on, including himself, found it complete garbage and sat around rolling their eyes and shaking their heads.

Muriel Newman’s Centre for Political Debate would be a good website for victimised fathers to make themselves heard.


  1. Is Muriel Newman still with ACT? It appeared to me that Katherine Judd and Roger Douglas tried to set up an alternative political debate forum under the Roger Douglas Foundation, because they were not happy with the NZCPD. Looking at comments from one ACT site —

    There’s a difference between a think tank and a mind dump, which most of Muriel’s columns appear to be. The quality of the other contributions on nzcpd varies a lot and Muriel’s penchant for pandering to militant men’s rights groups is all too evident, both in her own writing and her selection of contributions. I’ve never been able to understand why she spends so much time on such a tiny group — the active members seem to number considerably less than 500 nationally.

    Is it reasonable to argue that there are larger numbers of liberal feminists who could potentially be drawn to ACT’s pro-liberty policies, but are put off by the anti-feminist bias of spokespeople like Newman? Or is it much too late for that?

    The content of NZCPD is not greatly different from this one, but perhaps a little more diverse. I suspect both are the home of conservative people, who no longer feel represented by a political party.

    Comment by Bevan Berg — Sun 2nd April 2006 @ 1:26 pm

  2. In Grey should end at the next paragraph (that?)
    My comment is last paragraph.

    Comment by Bevan Berg — Wed 5th April 2006 @ 12:53 pm

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