Ralston on Ryall

Written By: - Date published: 11:32 am, February 12th, 2009 - 22 comments
Categories: national - Tags: ,

Ralston’s latest column – Ryall’s disabled thinking – covers Tony Ryall’s decision to ignore a select committee recommendation that National set up a Disabilities Commission, asking:

Why did he [Ryall] ignore the fact that National’s own MPs were on the select committee that agreed a commission was necessary?

Why did he think the mountain of submissions to the Social Services Select Committee that supported the idea of such an agency were worthless?

Why propose, instead, a ministerial coordination committee be set up to ensure the various agencies of state that juggle care for disabled people work better together when there is no evidence a committee like this can achieve the advances that a Disabilities Commission could?

How much of the cash he purports to be saving will be actually wasted by bureaucrats sitting around discussing what should be done, instead of actually doing it?

How often will this ineffectual ‘ministerial coordination committee’ meet before it is allowed to quietly lapse and, once again, the problems faced by New Zealanders with disabilities are swept under the carpet?

Will the government now scrap the multimillion-dollar Families Commission that was set up and is still maintained purely as a sop to United Future and Peter Dunne?

Why did the government recently ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities if it has no intention of seeking to improve the lot of this country’s disabled?

Ralston continues:

For someone who was a shameless publicity seeker in Opposition, now he’s a minister, Ryall is strangely silent.

I guess disabled folk can take comfort from the fact that while their position will not improve thanks to government inaction, at least Tony is not getting a pay increase this year.

Ryall’s dilemma illustrates what’s going to become an increasing problem for National: a tension between simultaneously pandering to their core constituency whilst maintaining their spin on ‘pragmatism and ambition’. I don’t think it’ll be easy. What’s ambitious about even more kids with diabetesa warmer planet, damper houses, and as in this case, sectors without the advocacy they deserve?

22 comments on “Ralston on Ryall”

  1. toad 1

    I’m predicting Ryall will prove to be one of National’s least competent Ministers – the Nats’ version of George Hawkins!

  2. lukas 2

    Toad, what did you think of Catherine Delahunty’s speech?

  3. Ianmac 3

    Perhaps Ralston has been replace with a ghost writer. Those questions are succinct and timely!!!!
    Poor old Tony. In opposition he was persistent and paid great attention to minute detail. So far he has scrambled his eggs!

  4. Quoth the Raven 4

    Another article critical of National from Ralston. Did this man/dinosaur forget he was cheerleading for and fawning over National right up to the election? If he had tried the critical thinking before the election maybe he’d be worth listening to now.

  5. Felix 5

    If he had tried the critical thinking before the election maybe he’d be worth listening to now.

    Yep, it makes me wonder how much of the media’s pre-election felating of the Nats was motivated by the desire to have some fresh meat to sink their teeth into.

    (Apologies for the mangled metaphor)

  6. BLiP 6

    This is the sort of consequence of having a National Party government that makes me the most angry.

    In some ways its okay for most of us so long as we are relatively educated, literate, and assertive. Sure, there will be victims among us but, largely, we’ll pull through. It is the most vulnerable of the population, including the disabled, who will bear the brunt of the suffering – perhaps they do already regardless of the government but, under National, the suffering is made made worse by the callousness that manifests as a result of their bumbling incompetence and groping stumble towards market solutions for social issues.

    I am still holding out hope that the media’s virtual felatio of Goober John Key and the rest of his white trash bunch will cum to an end after the 100 days – perhaps Ralston’s piece is a harbinger. Fingers crossed.

  7. Janet 7

    I predict there is going to be some significant dysfunctionality on disability issues in the National caucus. Paula Bennett has her heart in the right place but has a huge job and is not that interested in disability, is charged with keeping all those ministers with portfolio areas in disability eg Ryall, Nick Smith in line to implement the select committee recommendations. Meanwhile Paul Hutchison who actually knows about this area and its history was overlooked for any role.

  8. Janet 8

    Have you a link to Catherine Delahunty’s speech? Missed it as it was a bit earlier than advertised.

  9. higherstandard 9

    Bah …. just another in the long line of incompetent Minister’s of Health.

  10. lukas 10

    Janet, sure thing… http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0902/S00170.htm

    It is honestly the worst speech you are likely to come across from a politician in this parliament. If this is the 8th best that the Greens have, it bodes well for Labour, National and every other party in parliament

  11. Janet 11

    Thanks for the link Lukas but I would like the live version as the delivery is important too.
    I think it sounds great – good social justice, bicultural, feminist,eco stuff.

  12. Felix 13

    Anyone else wonder what the contraband passed behind her at about 50 seconds in was?

  13. lukas 14

    Anyone ever heard of a TAB before that speech? I mean seriously who comes up with this stuff?

  14. Janet 15

    Well I thought it was wonderful. If only more pakeha could use te reo and rhetorical flourishes so easily. And so great to have a staunch eco feminist in the House.

  15. higherstandard 16

    “If only more pakeha could use te reo and rhetorical flourishes so easily. ”

    Why ?

    “And so great to have a staunch eco feminist in the House.”

    Were they previously underrepresented and for the matter what the hell is an eco feminist ? ……… here’s me thinking all the left, right, tory, socialist labelling is pretty silly and eco feminist gets thrown into the mix.


    Felix .. Yes very odd !

  16. lukas 17

    More to the point, what are Sue Bradford et al? Would they not come under the same category?

  17. Jasper 18

    In future, can you differentiate between the two types of diabetes. I for one as a type one diabetic am heartily sick of having to explain to people that

    1) I’ve never been fat
    2) the sweet treats I eat are few and far between
    3) my diabetes mellitus was never caused by food, in fact no one even knows what caused my pancreas to stop producing insulin.

    Continuing with the MSMs hysteria about propogating diabetes as being something only ever caused by an overload of junk food is a fallacy and hugely misleading. Fat kids with type TWO diabetes still produce insulin, but it’s deficient in breaking down the 1kg of sugar they ingest every couple of hours.

    Rant over.

    As for Ryall, he’s never known his stuff. He doesn’t even know the difference between diabetes and what causes it, let alone acknowledge the fact that sign language is the third official language. Disabled people don’t factor in his blinkered view.. probably because hes disabled himself with his own self denial.

  18. Janet 19

    There are a variety of feminisms. There is the Ruth Richardson type of neo-liberal feminism (also Jenny Shipley, Judith Collins). Eco-feminism combines the social justice aspects (eg read Paulo Freire) of the other isms like racism and combines it with the anti-discriminatory aspects of feminism, and Green environmentalism. Not many represented in parliament. Most in the Greens.

  19. lukas 20

    Felix, do you know who the bald chap is? Looks a lot like Ron Mark

  20. Janet 21

    That’s Kevin Hague, new Green MP from the west coast, former head of the DHB, who could teach Ryall a thing or two about the sector.

  21. stack2 22

    Belated thanks to Lukas for drawing our attention to Catherine Delahunty’s maiden speech. I’m impressed – a great first speech, and a strong new personality in Parliament. I agree with you, it bodes well for Parliament as a whole to have strong, sensible people on board – or is that not quite what you meant?

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