Wednesday, 1 April 2009
Kev's MP childcare service
April Fool's Day....
The ABC reports that "MPs around the country may find themselves handling hordes of screaming babies after a letter from "Prime Minister Kevin Rudd" offered up their electorate offices as a child-minding service.
The April Fool's Day advertisement, on page five of today's Australian newspaper, has a fake Mr Rudd saying he has directed all MPs to babysit newborn babies.
The fake Mr Rudd says the new service is part of "Labor's commitment to working families."
"Before my election, I promised a form of paid parental leave. This new service demonstrates that Labor is a government that delivers on promises," the letter says.
The culprits of the ruse - advocacy group Get Up - have already owned up to their mischief which they are using to prompt the Federal Government to implement paid maternity leave.
GetUp spokeswoman Meredith Turnbull says Labor needs to deliver on its promise to support working families.
"The research tells us paid parental leave is good for parents, good for babies and good for the economy," she said..."
Now OK, we may not all think that better childcare or paid maternity leave is the most important priority in relation to support for families. Nor would most people consider most MPs suitable babysitters...Still I have to say that I think this is a great April Fool's Day joke, not least because it indirectly makes the point that children are our future (as commenters on the ABC site have quickly picked up).
The greenies of course claim that the world is overpopulated - but Australia isn't, it just needs to actually invest in some infrastructure (like water) and learn to be a bit less greedy!
And leave aside the moral arguments for a moment, and think about the pragmatic ones! As the previous Government pointed out, Australia's population is rapidly ageing - which, given our unfunded pension system is going to put huge pressure on Government outlays in the not so distant future. And we need more workers in order to maintain economic growth - that's why we've been so busy importing them through immigration.
So go Get Up!
And Happy April Fool's Day.