It's a phrase that honestly has become a parody of itself: "IT'S POLITICAL CORRECTNESS GONE MAD!"

It's not a phrase I like because it's so amorphous. You can be politically correct to conservative values in just the same way that liberals can be politically correct, but it's been co-opted to bash liberals in a display of linguistic political correctness that conservatives can be proud of.

But sometimes it's the only phrase that fits.

Yesterday, we learnt Counties Manukau Health has dropped plans for a Ronald McDonald house at Middlemore Hospital in Auckland. It's understood the decision was made because health specialists don't like money from fast food chains.


I guess it's dirty.

This despite the fact that four other DHBs are more than happy to take the money to help support sick kids.

Last year they helped 3700 families and provided over 40,000 nights of accommodation. I've helped at fundraisers. They do good work at no cost to the taxpayer.

But Middlemore Hospital doesn't want their help for their kids. They've looked a gift horse in the mouth and complained about its bad breath.

Let's get a grip. Ronald McDonald Houses support families with desperately ill children: kids with cancer or structural problems or the consequences of accidents. Problems you can't lay at the feet of fast food.

There's nothing wrong with McDonald's unless you eat too much of it and that's not the producers' fault.

Frankly, I'm still struggling to cope with the removal of McDonald food chains from hospital.

Sixteen years ago my son ended up at Starship because he had a hole in his skull which meant his brain grew into his nose. He had major surgery to repair it: three days in ICU and a week in hospital. And at the end we went down the lift, walked into McDonald's and had a fillet of fish hamburger. My 18-year-old doesn't remember the desperate fight for his life but he sure remembers that burger. It was a reward. It was a treat.

And that's the thing about fast food. It's a treat but some people are stupid enough to think it's a regular diet. But they are a minority.

Ronald McDonald House helps families fight for life. They're not there to sell burgers. It's even more important in South Auckland where there are less resources to support the families. Making this stand is, I believe, a gesture by comfortable heath professionals and the people who bear the cost will be vulnerable kids.

It's political correctness gone mad.