Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Mojo Mathers pays for being deaf

Quick hit - this is disgusting. Even Stuff is being deluged with comments highly critical of Lockwood Smith's decision to make Mojo Mathers pay out of her own budget in order to be able to participate in Parliament (the electronic note-taking equipment she needs, as a deaf person, costs $30,000).

It gets worse though - apparently Lockwood would make sure someone with a physical impairment who needed wheelchair accessibility was able to participate fully, out of Parliament's budget.

So it's only an issue if you've got a certain kind of physical impairment then. Or perhaps if you come from a certain kind of political party?

Lockwood, look it up - discrimination on the grounds of disability is clearly prohibited under the Human Rights Act. Not only is this blatantly unfair, it's surely not even legal.

What a marvellous way to ensure people with impairments are even less likely to attempt to participate as representatives (you know, aside from managing generic discrimination and blocks to participation, lower average incomes if you're able to find work, accessibility issues in joining and being involved in political parties, the whole world being set up with non-disabled people in mind.....)


homepaddock said...

It's not nearly as bad as you paint it - it's not that the speaker won't pay, it's that he can't and he's trying to get funding so he can:


"The Speaker's office said Dr Smith and Parliamentary Services did not have the authority to approve the extra funding.

"He would have to go to the Parliamentary Service Commission, he'd have to go to the Government and ask for additional funding to do what she wants because its not part of the appropriation,'' a spokeswoman said.

Dr Smith would raise the issue at next month's Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) meeting."

Merrin said...

I got so annoyed about this I made a petition:
Please sign it!

stargazer said...

@ ele: i'd refer you to this comment by toad:

Mojo made it known to the Parliamentary Service what her requirements for participation in House debate were almost from the day she was elected.

If it is the case that it require Parliamentary Service Commission approval, it is shameful that the Parliamentary Service and the Speaker have sat on their hands all this time and only now notified her that it would require specific approval from the PSC.

After all, the PSC is actually just a collection of MPs appointed by the various parties, and could have been urgently convened to address this long before now, given that they are all at Parliament anyway.

and also this:

Lockwood also said that he can’t unilaterally change the appropriation funding system. Now hang on a minute… the only requirement of Treasury under the Public Finance Act 1989 is that they have to provide the amount of expenses and capital expenditure authorized to be incurred and then the amount that was actually incurred. There appears to be little limitation to additional costs. Therefore there is really no issue in funding Parliamentary services to provide the required service. It is of course a parliamentary purpose to ensure all MP’s are able to work effectively.

Lockwoods misrepresentation of the Public Finance Act 1989 and Appropriations Act 2010 is clearly discrimination against a duly elected representative.

LudditeJourno said...

Nice one Merrin.

James said...

Being disabled does not impose an unchosen obligation upon anyone else to aid you in some way.

This issue is a Green beat up.

LudditeJourno said...

James - being disabled should not impose restrictions on your ability to live in our world - and yet it frequently, relentlessly does. Your argument basically implies there is a "standard" level which if you can't meet, you don't get to participate. So does that mean we shouldn't have an education system, because if you're not born being able to read, why should the state support you to do so? The state makes all kinds of choices to allow us all to participate, this is no different. In fact, all the issues which prevent people with impairments from participating are no different.
The Greens - and I'm not one, btw - are not beating this up. They are naming it. Discrimination.

James said...

The Greens new this was coming and have played it for all its worth. Mather's new this would be an issue long before seeking office and it need never have become this beat up issue.

The states role is not to make us all equal,feel warm and fuzzy and bolster our "self esteem"....its role is to be a cold and objective protector of our individual rights....

Its hardly discrimination...just reality.

James said...

Whaleoil pooints out....

"Why are the Greens not telling anyone that she worked for 5 years as a senior policy advisor for The Greens?

She was also a parliamentary advisor at one point.

That means she was well aware of the Parliamentary environment.

I wonder whether she or the Greens have previously paid for her to have an electronic note taker in that environment before?

Clearly the Greens are using disability as a means to grandstand."


LudditeJourno said...

Sorry James but I think you'll find everyone knows Mojo Mathers working history because....she tells the truth about it. Whaleoil hasn't uncovered DeafGate.
I'm finding your venom on this quite astonishing - what exactly is the problem, for you, with parliament ensuring it is accessible for deaf mps and people with hearing impairments in the community?

Cara said...

For some reason, I always find it concerning when people start quoting Cameron Slater to back up their points!