There must surely be many more useless government departments than the Fatuous Family’s Commission, and there is surely fierce competition for the spot, but the government department created by the Clark Government as a bribe to keep Peter Dunne on side (and to foster the illusion that his years in parliament had actually achieved something) must be the most well known as a prime candidate for the chop.
What has it actually achieved? Nothing. What was it supposed to achieve? To fool Done-Nothing's supporters into thinking he'd achieved something in his career.
So when former bureaucrat Christine Rankin was appointed to the position of head of the Fatuous Commission yesterday it hardly made my heart sing. Yes, she took the right stand on the anti-smacking bill promoted by Sue Bradford (who yesterday was disgracefully characterising Rankin as being a promoter of violence towards children) but she’s still just a wasteful bloody bureaucrat in charge of a department that should not exist.
So that’s what I was thinking as I listened to her interviewed on Newstalk ZB last night. That anyone who could make both Sue Bradford and Peter Done-Nothing expose their true character can't be all bad (and aren't they nasty when they're crossed) , but this is still just another high-spending bureaucrat in charge of just another useless quango.
But then she said something that made my jaw drop. Larry Williams put to her that very point – that the Families Commission was nothing more than a political creation, by expediency out of MMP, and a complete waste of time, space and money – and she agreed. And she said that if after examination she still held that view, then she would be working to close it down.
I’ve never heard a bureaucrat say that before – even with those few weasel words. So just this once, I’m going to support the appointment of a new bureaucrat, no matter how wasteful she's been in the past. Well done Ms Rankin. You now have a year’s grace before I see you as just another jobsworth.
Here’s a song which may or may not be related to this discussion:
UPDATE: Oops. A commenter points out that Rankin isn’t boss, “she's only one of seven. Also look up the FamCom website to check out the drivel they produce. The thing should have been abolished....full stop.”