Wednesday, September 28, 2005
However, I must confess, that I do like him. It is not because the Tories are a dissembled bunch of rudderless opponents of Labour – the Tories have never been socially liberal, and struggle to maintain economic liberalism consistently. It is because Blair shows two qualities that place him in the league of Thatcher, and place him light years above Clark, Brash and indeed any New Zealand Prime Minister in my lifetime.
1. Blair is principled;
2. Blair is unashamedly willing to confront those who oppose him and argue out of principle.
Yesterday I watched Blair’s speech at the British Labour Party Conference on TV (the BBC still covers political party conferences for nuts like me), and I came away inspired.
Now there is an enormous rider in all of this – I don’t approve of the social engineering, the growth in the state, the willingness to limit civil liberties and the many of facets of what are “old labour” that the Blair administration has been a part of. I would not have voted Labour in the last UK election – largely because I could not have brought myself to do so, and because the Tories need new blood to succeed Labour in due course. On top of that the emphasis on “spin” and controlling the language used by the (until recently) Blair friendly British electronic media, is at best hiding from debate and at worst deceitful.
So what did Blair say and what has he done?
I could go on about his confrontation of the barely shrouded Marxists in the British trade union movement, in pushing for private sector provision of health care, something National feels very brave to campaign on in New Zealand. He also stated that the future for energy was technology, and nuclear power – something that the luddite Green movement would be aghast at. Both are worthy of praise.
However, nothing matches his willingness to defend the UK presence in Iraq, and the war on terror. He declared, in no uncertain terms, that the so called “grievances” of the terrorists have to be exposed for what they are – the use of 21st century technology to fight the religious wars of the dark ages – their attack on 9/11 was an attack on our way of life, on the values of modernism – it is NOT about Afghanistan or Palestine.
He cited how awful Afghanistan was under the Taliban, and how the terrorists and their supporters used Afghanistan and now use Iraq as excuses for waging their war of hatred on modern civilisation. He stated how the UK presence in Iraq is welcomed by the democratically elected Iraqi government, and the UN, and the UK could NOT sit back and let other countries carry the burden. He is unashamedly proud of the British role in overthrowing Saddam Hussein, and providing Iraq with a freer democratic government – and it is time to finish the job, confront those who want Iraq to become a terrorist run state and spread liberal democracy to Iraq.
This is light years ahead of the mealy mouthed pragmatism of Clark and Brash on this issue, Clark happily lets NZ free ride off of Australia and the US for defence – Brash knows better, but panders to the mindless anti-Americanism that braindead journalists and the Michael Moore sycophants adore.
You see, Blair does not give one inch of credit to Al Qaeda or any other terrorists for their behaviour. He does not surrender the fundamental morality of Western liberalism –a liberalism that protects individual rights (albeit inconsistently), that guarantees plurality of speech, guards against extreme abuses of power and welcomes reason, science and diversity as being the beauty of what humanity is. Blair is a staunch defender of those fundamental freedoms, the ones that the apologists for the West use blatantly to attack it, the ones that Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and yes the Mullahs in Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and elsewhere exploit to wage war on civilians. Nothing is more unspeakably loathsome than the apologists for deliberate murder of people and of civilisation, reason and the belief that all human beings are created equal and because they are human have inalienable rights. Have no question about it, the Islamic fundamentalists would not for a moment tolerate any of the women protesting for THEIR rights, doing anything short of being virtual slaves to their husbands – and if humanity had followed their path then the dark ages would be upon us – remember these are people who ban music!! Think about it – Nazi Germany, North Korea, the Khmer Rouge – three of the most despicable regimes in human history, were not so utterly without a shred of any joy to ban music.
This is not a war against Islam – individuals in a free society have a right to peacefully practice their own religion, and market it – Islam does need to go through its own enlightenment, and perhaps Turkey shows one path for it to go down. It is a war against those who seek to turn government and society back to premodernity, to the caves, to the savages of mysticism.
Back to Blair – his other statement was shorter and more pithy. He talked of those wanting to oppose globalisation as being as pointless as wanting to oppose autumn following summer. He talked of Britain embracing globalisation, and competing using knowledge, skills and being better and smarter at producing goods and services. He reflected on how India and China were embracing globalisation, and it was lifting many in those countries out of poverty, and how Asia and Latin America were better off with trade. Africa would have to be next. While talking about debt relief and fighting poverty in developing countries, he did point out clearly that one of the most important steps was for Europe and the USA to reform trade in agriculture. This meant explicitly abolishing export subsidies and curtailing the Common Agricultural Policy of the EU. Such steps, which the leftie Green socialist luddites will probably resist, will make it easier for poorer countries to compete fairly in world markets, and reduce the price of food in the richest countries. He pointed directly at the economic failures of France and Germany, for having too much angst to undertake serious reforms – and rightfully so.
Blair sees clearly the future agenda in foreign affairs on two fronts: the war on terror and trade. The war on terror is just, and remaining in Iraq is just. Yes foreign affairs is about realpolitik. The opportunity to overthrow Saddam Hussein was taken, when he was flagrantly ignoring UN Security Council resolutions time and time again, he was militarily weak, and there was every good reason to believe he had weapons of mass destruction (as he clearly had before and was prepared to use them on civilians to suppress dissent). He ran a brutal illegitimate regime than nobody in their right mind could possibly excuse – except his mate George Galloway of course – and the chance was there to remove a defence risk, a brutal regime and to institute a peaceful liberal democratic government – you know the sort that allows protest marches, a free press and women to have the same rights as men.
His advocacy of eliminating agricultural export subsidies and cutting back the Common Agricultural Policy is also moral – the average cow in the EU gets more in subsidies than the average person earns in developing countries for income per annum.
Most importantly, he does not shirk from his principles, and he knows what matters first and foremost – survival and freedom. He will not sell out the defence of the UK because of self imposed guilt about what others think about western civilisation, and he believes that markets work (most of the time he does anyway). Don Brash could learn a lot from Tony Blair, and the idea that Helen Clark shares with Blair anything besides his obsession with spin - is ludicrous!
Friday, September 23, 2005
I have not been blogging because I have shifted lock stock and barrel to London the day after the election - I had to leave - Clark and her minions seduced the sheeple to believe they needed her and couldn't handle having some of their own money back - Brash nearly did show that a plurality wanted change. However, combined with the luddites, the racists, the middle mediocrity muddlers and Winston First, Clark will no doubt form another administration to run your lives for you.
Until special votes are counted, I wont be commenting further - as that WILL make a big difference, but I do want to reflect on what did happen last Saturday night.
The statist, socialist bullies got scared for several hours that they could not bully you, scare you into giving up more of YOUR money, for three more years - until the sheeple gave them the chance. This election was almost entirely about National rebuilding itself - and decimating the third parties on the right that had been the repositary for protest votes. Labour lost very little, its main loss went to the Maori Party - but that is another story.
For Libertarianz? a poor result, partly due to non appearance in 2002 on the list, but also due to the resurgence of National - ACT suffered just as humiliating a cut in the vote.
Anyway, I have far more interesting things to talk about than NZ politics in the coming months, but as I said - until the votes are counted, the true situation is not entirely clear. If National and Labour have the same number of seats - who will Winston choose?
Thursday, September 15, 2005
The Greens are bullies, and their facade of peaceful friendly animal and tree loving hippies simply does not wash. There is NOTHING peaceful about using state threatened or actual violence to get what you want, and that is everything the Green Party stands for. If it thought otherwise it would use persuasion, not politics, to change people's behaviour - it uses force.
The Greens use language like "fund", "mandate", "provide" and "ensure" - all euphemisms for force. All the want to do does NOT grow on trees - it is taken from YOU.
The Greens fund through taxation - legalised theft - and will tax you more, will take more of YOUR money to do what they cannot convince you to do yourself - because they believe in Nanny State. The Greens know best what you should buy and sell - don't even think about disagreeing because if they get their way you get arrested, fined or imprisoned for not obeying what they want - and don't even start to expect you to have rights to your body, property or ability to freely interact with other adults.
Lets take some examples:
- Legislate for pay equity and establish a Commission to reduce the gender pay gap by 50% within five years. So you'll make employers pay women more - you interfere with a contract between a supplier of employment and a supplier of labour, and make them be paid more, regardless of whether the employer sees value in doing so.
- introduce stronger foreign investment and ownership laws and regulations. Dont' even think about selling your business or property to whoever is willing to pay the best price, it isn't yours it is the Greens who hate foreigners owning anything you own.
- Create a legal obligation on the government to ensure housing needs are met. Ok cool, why don't we all give up our houses and rentals and tell the government to do it - make other people pay for it.
- Provide sabbatical leave for teachers after 6 years of service at 80% of salary. Why? Do they all deserve it? Why can't every business person get this paid for by other people?
- Restrict land ownership to citizens and permanent residents living in NZ for at least half of each year Damned foreigners, can't let them buy from a willing seller can we now?
- Establish an Access Commissioner to negotiate rules and routes for public access. It isn't your land you selfish farmer, any fuckwit can cross you land with the Greens using their brute statism to back it up - hopefully you can get access through Jeanette's house on demand as well!
- Require land use to better match land type. Oh thank you, I can't decide what to do with my land, I need nanny to tell me - why don't you just own it all to make it easier?
- imposing requirements on imported goods to meet standards for durability and repairability Oh I'm so stupid, I want to buy crappy goods that don't last and can't be repaired? Can't wait till the computer I buy that is obsolete and useless within five years can't be imported anymore - or do I then buy an ultra expensive crappy locally made one that lasts for decades, sort of like how the Cubans patch up their 1950s vintage US made cars.
- restrictions on what can be put into landfills so valuable materials aren't wasted like what? where do i put what you deem to be valuable? What will you do to me if I don't obey?
- Ensure the voices of children are heard when laws are made. going to have them witter on in Parliament are we?
- Reduce violence on children’s TV and introduce ad-free children’s television. Can't show the violence of the state arresting people for disobeying all your foreign ownership/ import restrictions can we? More taking other people's money to pay for something people are not willing to pay more.
- Support the right to strike for political, economic and environmental reasons - not just on employment issues. Oh so an employee can cease working because they feel like it, but the employer can't shut up shop if he hates the government and wants to tell it to fuck off. I guess Telecom, Microsoft, Mobil and others could just close for a day, switch off their services and say they are on strike.
- End the discharge of sewerage and toxic waste into our waterways, lakes and sea. OK so where does sewerage go then? Wellington's treated sewerage is cleaner than the sea, shall we just dump it on you?
- Introduce Universal Student Allowance for all full-time students at the rate of the unemployment benefit.Brilliant! So more money taken from other people to give students some help before you fleece them with exorbitant taxes, except the lazy unproductive ones who get a loan, stay in NZ, do "unpaid work" get it written off, and basically got a degree for the hell of it, without paying for it.
We don’t need to import:food we can grow and process ourselves, manufactured goods we can make for ourselves. No we don't need to, but why don't you just fuck off? I WANT to. I LIKE foreign chocolate, I LIKE foreign stereo speakers, I LIKE foreign shoes - You don't need to be in politics, you don't need to breed, you don't need to listen to music - this is so fascist it is beyond description.
- Give parents the legal right to have more flexible working hours and encourage child friendly workplaces. AH again forcing one party in a contract to have what the other party demands, and I can see Air New Zealand making the cockpits of their planes "child friendly" so the pilots can take Bubba to LA. Why not give employers the legal right to terminate employment which is not contributing to the viability of the business? Why dont people have the right to negotiate now, or do they need nanny state to bully employers?
- Ensure workplaces provide work breaks and areas where mothers can breastfeed. Going to do this for the self-employed? or entrepreneurs or others who work their arses off to make businesses, create wealth and jobs? More forcing people.
- Introduce a student debt write-off scheme - one year's debt for one year's paid or unpaid work in New Zealand OK so you can go to uni, borrow to the hilt with other people's money and you'll USE other people's money to wipe it while they deliver Green Party leaflets, work for Greenpeace, or do just about anything nobody else is prepared to pay them to do.
- Set a national target of 10% of farmland in conversion to organics by 2010 oh really? So how will this happen? You will make it happen?
- Clean up the air, water and soil we depend on to grow food Is it dirty? How will you make this happen? Whose private property will you interfere with?
- Create a National Nutrition Fund to encourage healthy eating Oh more fingers in my wallet. Why not create one now with your OWN money, do it without the state
- Require food labels to list any GE ingredients, country of origin and the means of production, e.g. eggs from caged hens. Why not let consumers decide and choose what they want, are they too stupid?
- Insulate and damp-proof more homes around New Zealand, reduce vehicle emissions and exposure to hazardous chemicals, improve children's health by encouraging them to eat healthily How? You going to make it happen, going to use other people's money to pay for those who didn't use their own money to insulate their homes? How are emissions going to be reduced - by force again?
- Work towards a ban on GE food imports and, in the interim, improve the labelling requirements Oh thanks, I can't choose GE food - I'm too dumb to know what I want, thanks!
- matching land use to land use capability such as reafforesting highly erodible hill country Whose farms are these? Why is it your business?
- addressing the impacts of rural land use on climate change Address? How? What are you going to ban, or compel, or tax or use other people's money for?
- Introduce vehicle fuel efficiency standards and a carbon tax, and end the tax exemption for diesel Oh so I can't buy a Ferrari any more, even though I am prepared to pay for the petrol? What tax exemption on diesel - diesel vehicles pay for road use through road user charges, that is what petrol tax is meant to be for too - but hey thanks for pilfering more from my wallet for what YOU want.
- Get trucks off roads by shifting freight to rail How? Going to make it illegal like it was ages ago? Going to tax trucks to pay for what you want, or take money from other people to make rail compete below cost?
- Invest in locally made biofuels, and electrification for rail, to help keep costs down Go ahead, invest with YOUR money, not mine. Since when did electrification keep costs down, since it costs MORE? Oops its not your money so you can just take more from us and we lie down and accept it.
- work internationally to share the remaining oil without going to war. besides being really funny, whose oil is it? Why can't people buy and sell it by choice? Why do you oppose war, when you support the state fining and punishing people for opposing what happens under the RMA, or breaching your bans on GE.
- Get half a million solar hot water panels onto homes over 5 years OK so you take my money to make someone rich from supplying their product to the state - great, any more businesses you can prop up from legally stolen money because you really love their products? Or are people too stupid to buy what you want?
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
It talks like a party of the centre left, but its philosophy is very clear - besides the fact that the obvious URL for the maori party aint bad, it is the policies and philosophy on its real website that are of concern.
Besides the usual leftie promises of free health care and education for all, there are some interesting little twists. The following are quotes from the website:
The Māori Party will speak with a strong, independent and united voice on all aspects of the social cultural, economic and political life of Aotearoa to move our Nation forward. So I guess government is all encompassing then, not much room for life outside politics.
Attaching tangata whenua and others to their ūkaipō, tūrangawaewae, takiwā and rohe; and expressing the authority that whānau, hapū and iwi have over their ancestral land, resources and wellbeing. Hmmm so where are private property rights or have they been abolished?
Defining Māori and others through links to their ancestors and heritage. So we are defined not by what we do, or our accomplishments, but the accomplishments (and presumingly) the crimes of our ancestors. So I am guilty for what my ancestors did and proud of it. In fact I am neither - I am not responsible for the actions of others, especially the dead!
Rising educational and health levels and diminishing poverty will be achieved because, regardless of the ability to pay there will be
opportunities for everyone to be successful to the highest levels of their potential; and
timely access to high quality and appropriate health care. Brave indeed, so from each according to his ability to each according to his needs. How will everyone have these opportunities?
Growing and sustainable prosperity, measured by a genuine progress index, will be maximized and shared through employment, entrepreneurship, support for voluntary activity and social services. All whānau will have the opportunity to participate fully in society and in decisions that directly affect them. Whanau run society? So I run a business but the families "directly affected" can participate fully in my decision to expand, change what I sell, close, hire or fire people?
To resource whānau to develop strategies that promote wellbeing of whānau members as a reflection of good education and health health Resource whanau? So families get funded to do what?? with whose money?
To encourage early childhood and compulsory education on the economic, social, cultural and environmental history and evolution of Aotearoa as a nation guess what view that will be!
To audit all agencies who provide services against kaupapa Māori So next time you get your water supply connected, ensure they respect kaupapa Maori or else!
To ensure that all peoples enjoy a fundamental right to clean air, land, water and food Really? Air is nice, water and food aren't free, but land? How is my right to land to be fundamental? I just sold my house, can I come back because I have a fundamental right to land??
To empower Māori to make decisions on the application of genetic engineering, modification and emerging technologies Nobody else, just Maori - anything else would be racist eh? Emerging technologies, sooo those 4th generation mobile phones, solid state ipods, fuel cell powered cars - can't let us choose them can we? The dictatorship of the Maori must make decisions.
To establish trade relationships with other first nation peoples What is stopping you?
To provide support for community activities, so that gambling machines can be removed or reduced more money taken from the unwilling.
To respond to the global call to action against poverty, with particular focus on eradication of child poverty So we extend the welfare state to other countries then? Or advocated unfettered free trade? or is it more marxist nonsense?
To promote land diversification based on kaupapa Māori principles where land is both a commercial and a spiritual and cultural asset wtf? So it's not my land anymore. Diversification of what? oh i get it, this is when your mates get to assert their fundamental right to land. great!
To promote the collection of statistics that allow for the identification of Māori ethnicity in economic activity Why not blondes? I bet they are under represented in high income brackets.
We will see
the presence of the Māori Party in Parliament enhance decision making for the Nation;
kawanatanga finding ways to fulfil the guarantees of rangatiratanga through participation in the annual budget process and the unbundling of departmental budgets;
the equality of rights and privileges for everyone in this Nation. Ok so they want special treatment and equal privileges - though a privilege could be the use of my land, or my money, or my body.
Enough of all that. The Maori party seems to have two overwhelming goals -
1. growth of government to fix everything, fund everything and give "whanau" the power to veto anything in their communities - a sort of Maoist party cell model, where you can't do a damned thing unless your community says so. They see it as harking back to a golden age of Maori participatory government - if it ever existed.
2. Maori deciding all sorts of things for us. Basically an advocate for some theoretically "Maori world view" which supposedly is genuine. Remember how the Marxists believe in the "general will", in other words what the working classes would have wanted, had you asked them and they really known what waas best for them - of course asking them was too hard, so you set up a party to communicate the "general will"- anyone against it was against the will of the workers, and that had to be bad, they were the enemy. Anyone working against Maori values, is anti-Maori and racist - easy isn't it? Even if the person is Maori.
In short, collectivism through and through. Subscribe to the pre-modern values of "Maori" (or rather those who purport to be the custodians of this philosophy) and it is ok. Reject them and you are racist, not genuinely Maori, and get compared to Hitler.
Nice really.... but you wont hear anything or anyone debating that seriously on Maori TV or radio will you now?
He has done it by being upfront, largely not obfuscating issues and being prepared to confront the wholesale evil snake oil which is sold by Labour, the Greens, Maori Party, most academics and the trade union movement. That snake oil is that it is necessary to grant special legal or financial status to Maori in specific circumstances that - if the people concerned were NOT Maori - they would not have the same rights. It is the snake oil that it is "the system" that is to blame for Maori failure when it happens, that the state fixes things rather than fucks them up - the idea that Clark, Cullen, Hodgson, Swain, King, Goff, Anderton and co somehow know best how to spend YOUR money.
I remember the howls of indignation when I confronted quotas for Maori and Pacific students at a tutorial at Vic University - the wimmin (and I DO mean that) branded me as white heterosexual male = the problem, the oppressor and stereotyped me, just in the way that they would have hated if someone else said a Muslim man was a terrorist. I was racist if i thought anything special for Maori was inappropriate - I pointed out that the reason most Maori are in prison are because they committed crimes, against other people, often Maori - stunning really!
Anyway I digress, Brash exposed this and outed it - and after calling it racist, the left learnt it was calling many of its supporters racist - blue collar workers want everyone treated the same way - it is moral and it is right.
Brash was assaulted and abused and misquoted by those with an agenda, and unwilling to listen. The Maori seats SHOULD go - the Maori party will then not hold us to ransom by the overhang of winning these racist seats. He is at best risking abuse, at worst risking a level of uprising and violence - but it will show the true side of those he confronts - the ones who do not believe in freedom, do not believe in equality before the law and do not believe in democracy.
The second reason Brash gets my respect is because he is unashamedly supporting tax cuts, not the tiny 1% cuts National pathetically campaigned on in 1999, but a lifting of thresholds and lowering the 21% rate to 19%. The numbers are not great, but the principle is - National believes the state can let you keep more of your money IN THOSE WORDS. That is important, Labour doesn't believe in holding your own money, Labour believes your life is linked to everyone elses and you are obliged to pick up the tab for anyone it thinks is unfortunate.
I will be pleased to see the back of Labour - big sister government par excellence - it has at least provoked National to get some backbone, soft though it is, it is still more backbone than it has ever had since 1993 - and more honesty than it has had since Muldoon. That honesty is refreshing given National's blatant deception at the 1990 election sowed the seeds of NZ First and MMP - National has some dignity again, and some principles... but
they don't go anywhere else. Some examples of the lack of backbone and the obfuscation. You don't see this in the Greens, and dare I say it even Labour:
- Arts and Culture : retains funding at existing levels. Why? Why keep funding these business beneficiaries, the people who have consistently voted Labour to give them the state tit because they WONT lower their own fees to perform at a price people are prepared to pay. Funding arts on a merit basis - says who? Why can the government judge this?
- Defence : Wont commit to rebuilding the strike capacity of the RNZAF, wont commit to allowing nuclear POWERED vessels in- not prepared to argue on principle about this point. The Nats fought this in 1984 and 1987 with principle, during the Cold War, why be scared of the Green hysteria?
- Environment: establish a New Zealand Environmental protection Authority. Why? Why have more bureaucracy? What is wrong with using private property rights more?
- Education: Besides trust schools - which has some modest promise, there is no commitment to genuine choice. Where are vouchers? A key part of 1987 policy, what is wrong with letting funding follow kids to independent schools. Where is the vision that parents know best?
- SOEs: Oppose Kiwibank and hang onto it? It has been a net drain on the taxpayer (in real terms). Why not sell electricity generators or at least a cornerstone shareholding, these assets need serious capital investment to provide capacity? Most funny is saying the rail network needs to prove itself - it cost $1 to buy because the government promised Toll NZ a virtual monopoly on freight and to plough $200 million into it- great investment, it couldn't be sold to anyone. Where is the attitude that the state doesn't need to be involved in business?
- Communications: So we hang onto the Telecommunications Commissioner, after 9 years of opposing a regulator - Maurice Williamson should remember that, he was at the forefront of it. The regulator that officials recommended against establishing originally.
- Broadcasting: Not selling TVNZ - though unclear why. Retaining NZ On Air, to fund more of the people who never vote National- why does the state fund this industry, why doesn't it fund book publishing or online publishing? If it was canned, hardly anyone would notice.
- Local government: Nothing about repealing the power of general competence - Labour's plans for big local government that can do anything it wants are NOT repealed. Besides some tinkering, the knife is not out to slash away one of the most pernicious, cancerous growths on the country - petty local planners and bureaucrats who love ruling how people live. It is time local government was slashed back and rates were capped, National will allow the growth to continue.
- Infrastructure: Appointing a Minister of Infrastructure. Why? Why not let the electricity sector invest and grow? Why not allow roading to be corporatised like you once proposed? What good will a Minister do directing infrastructure like some Stalinist central planner?
- Health: Besides contestability, no chance to opt out of the state system and insure yourself with YOUR money for non-critical care. Not even starting to confront the enormous growth in spending and drop in productivity - National is scared of the health lobby, which begs for more and gets it from Labour.
The others in the National caucus include Nick Smith - a man who is as committed to Nanny State as some of the Labour caucus, Tony Ryall - who doesn't believe that victimless crimes should be abolished. Yes John Key is probably one the best they have, but I am still disappointed.
Brash has let pragmatism slide in everywhere, and he is more popular as a result - popular because he is largely supporting no change where change is needed. He could attack local government, cut funding for the arts, NZ On Air, sell minority shareholdings in SOEs, not bother with an Infrastructure Minister - and support would hardly be touched. Brash has been got at by his centrist pragmatist colleagues - who could easily sit with Peter Dunne and the United to do nothing party.
That is a pity. He could do better.
Sunday, September 11, 2005
There is plenty about this scandal, which scares state house tenants through propaganda, on Aaron Bhatnagar's blog here and here.
So has David Farrar here
Gman has a good summary as well of the double standards
I believe all state houses should be flogged off, the state shouldn't be providing housing, the accommodation supplement should be phased out too. I couldn't care less what happens to state housing - but I do care that the media does not seek out stories of the Labour Party scaring the people it is meant to care about. It proves to me that TVNZ is largely run by a bunch of statist sycophants to its owner and TV3 news are even bigger arse lickers to the status quo than TVNZ (I gave up on John Campbell when he admitted he supported the Alliance).
TV3, of course, is entitled to have any bias it wants, it is privately owned. TVNZ on the other hand should provide even handed coverage - the Brethren matter was not a "debacle" it was an issue. At worst, Brash did not admit that he had a hunch who was responsible for "shock horror" anti-government leaflets.
One point - anyone who thinks the Exclusive Brethren influence National Party policy is clearly nuts or creating mischief, unlike the CTU which DOES influence Labour policy.
This is NOT North Korea (see my links list), anti-government leaflets are legal, and who really cares who Don Brash meets and gets support from? This is a liberal democracy, it is ok, get over it!
1. No interest on student loans for NZ based graduates. Oh there is no money for tax cuts! Why should students get interest free loans, why not young people who set up businesses, own farms? Why should students get money they can use for holidays, deposits on buying houses, cars? Why should they get to borrow for free? How good a deal is it to get an interest free loan and pay 33% on every extra dollar you earn when you graduate to your first job at $38000 p.a.?
2. 7500 more cataract operations and 10000 extra major joint operations in the next term. So no commitment on other medical procedures? How about heart bypasses? How about glue ear? Maybe they will be cut, as productivity in the health sector continues to plummet as Labour feeds the unionised monopolised public health behemoth. Besides, since when do we know that that is the right number, and couldn't more people buy health insurance if you gave them their money back?
3. Final date for lodging historical Treaty claims by 1 September 2008, and commit to finish all settlements by 2020. Notice the word "historical". There will be modern day ones, like claims for radio spectrum, so they will continue. Besides, isn't this sort of policy "racist" to post-modernist cultural relativist lefties like Helen Clark? How can Labour commit the government to 2020? Would Labour have done this had Brash not made his Orewa speech?
4. Increase the maximum rates rebate to $500 and increase income eligibility thresholds. This wouldn't be an issue if Labour hadn't taken local government off its leash with the "power of general competence". Councils can now enter into any legal activity they wish, giving them carte blanche to waste ratepayers money, and compete with the private sector. Rates are inherently unfair, and bear little relationship to what local authority services you consume - user pays is fairer, and capping council spending would help.
5. $1000 kick start for everyone joining Kiwisaver and up to $10000 as a grant for couples ($5000 for single people) saving to buy their first home. Welfare for everyone, why first home? Why continue to fuel demand for housing as an investment? Easier and fairer to give people their money back in decent tax cuts, instead of a new bureaucratic system for helping people - Nanny State par excellence!
6. 5000 extra modern apprenticeships. Nanny State increasing her grip on education. This is something that the private sector COULD and WOULD do, if taxes were lower and the regulatory compliance hassles of IRD and OSH didn't make it costly to do. The demands for tradespeople are high, and the supply can be met privately - however it wont happen if the state does it.
7. 250 extra community police on the streets. Actually agree with this, as long as they aren't pursuing adult cannabis users or growers, or other victimless crimes. 1 out of 7 Labour!
1 out of 7 for Labour.
National's commitments tomorrow.
For the electorate vote it is relatively easy - either vote to oust Marian Hobbs as local MP (but not list MP) and vote for Mark Blumsky, or vote for someone I like. Given that Marian and Mark are both assured election under the party vote (assuming the Nats pull in 35% plus), and that I don't think Blumsky is much more than a marketing showman (though a clever one and certainly with more neurons than Hobbs), it was easy to choose Bernard. He's a nice guy, I like him a lot and he has had the balls to run in an electorate where the Greens get over 10% of the vote as a matter of course - and I want him to beat Stephen Hay the Communist, and hopefully the Social Credit, Progressive and Alliance candidates too - though it might be a big call. Stephen Franks honestly doesn't want the electorate vote, so I think it is time for every liberal rightwing voter to tick Bernard - Blumsky is in anyway.
For the party vote- the argument usually is "if you are so against the Clark government, why don't you vote National to change the government?" ACT supporters also ask, why not support ACT - ACT has more often than not led support for a liberal view in Parliament.
To that I say, hmmm sometimes.
I'm voting Libertarianz because I believe the only legitimate role of the state is to protect citizens from each other and invasion - in other words, defence, justice, police. I am willing to debate ways of transitioning to that - about privatisation, education, health, welfare - as long as the trend is for the state to get out of the way. I want a shrinking government, central and local, and I want to elect politicians who will do that, consistently, in ALL areas. Economic, social and personal freedom being enhanced.
I am NOT voting ACT because, despite Rodney Hide being a man who I respect and trust, and who is light years ahead of Richard Prebble (who I did vote for in 1996 and 1999 for my electorate candidate), because ACT does NOT believe the state should shrink in all areas of life. ACT MPs in the last term voted on the civil union bill and prostitution reform bill by conscience - never did ACT state that prostitution (adults only) should not be a matter for the criminal law, never did ACT state that marriage or civil unions should not be a matter for state prescription, but simply contracts between consenting adults, of EITHER sex. ACT does not support the decriminalisation of cannabis.
So why does that matter? I don't use prostitutes or work as one, I am not gay, and I'm not a drug user. However, all of these are very important as they cut to the heart of being libertarian and being human - it is about the state telling adults what to do with their bodies or their relationships, and that offends me more intensely than having public hospitals, owning Air New Zealand or the 111 system. How DARE politicians tell me I cannot act in a way that does not hurt or harm anyone else- it is NOT their business whether I want to pay for or sell sex, get married or ingest something into my body. How COULD it be? If ACT declared that, I'd feel Libertarianz had done its job. I know ACT has done much to outline poor government spending, but it never says the state should get out of so many areas - have you heard ACT advocating an end to state funding for the arts and broadcasting?
So I cannot vote for ACT. I voted ACT for party vote in 1996 because it had a flat tax policy, and had been saying most of the right things up to that point, and I wanted to give Prebble's lot a chance. They delivered on responding to the left, but not in advocating freedom - I voted ACT for the party vote because Libertarianz did not stand (the Secretary of the day was incompetent with the paperwork) and there was some hope that Rodney Hide would shift ACT closer to individual freedom, he sort of did - but not enough for me.
PC has suggested what ACT could do now to gain some true freedom credentials, but I doubt it will happen. It would grab some headlines, and make me think carefully about voting ACT, because ACT would truly believe in freedom then. I'm not holding my breath.
I'm not voting National because I want more than shifts in tax scales, I want a commitment to getting rid of the envy tax rate of 39%, I want schools to be controlled locally by parents and teachers, and the state to work its way out of its social engineering through that system. I want a commitment to shrinking the state, and I do NOT agree with toughening up the war on drugs. Don Brash is a good man, who would be the best Prime Minister in many years, but he is surrounded by too many petty fascists - like Nick Smith, Tony Ryall and Brian Connell - men who don't understand freedom one little bit. National is a conservative party led by a liberal man, advised by conservative pragmatists.
So back to the main point - why isn't a vote for a party with bugger all chance of getting into Parliament this time, a wasted vote? The only reason it is seen as wasted is because of what others do - for your vote not to be "wasted" around 100,000 others have to vote the same way - your individual vote makes virtually NO difference to the election, the marginal effect is tiny. The total effect of all votes cast is immense - so your vote is a chance to be honest with yourself and what you believe in. Many people will decide whether or not to vote ACT PURELY on the polls - If ACT rises to around 5% or Rodney looks like he will win Epsom, more will vote ACT than otherwise. If ACT looks like a lost cause, it wont do more than 1% - sort of where Libertarianz is aiming at. If Libertarianz get 1% this time I will be thrilled, though 0.5% is a more realistic goal. Think that is a joke? Peter Dunne's United Party got about that in 1999, barely enough to justify him not being an overhang MP.
So I am voting Libertarianz because it is what I believe in - in its own marginal way, I am telling the main parties that I believe in freedom, and I know several thousand other New Zealanders will do the same - at a time when there is immense pressure to vote for National to get rid of the People's Republic of Clarkistan - I will vote according to what I want, not third best!
Saturday, September 10, 2005
I am sick and tired of the concern about the Exclusive Brethren - weird fuckers as they are - there is nothing wrong with anti-government leaflets, just like there is nothing wrong with pro-government leaflets. It is ok for the union movement to pour vast amounts of money from its members to keeping the Labour party in power, but somehow wrong for a religious group to do the opposite. grrrr.
The Families Commission is useless - we have had families for thousands of years and they are not more functional because a bunch of bureaurats have been hired to advise on family policy. One of the reasons I would PREFER National governing with just Rodney Hide and a couple of friends for a majority, would be to get rid of this stupid entity. Peter Dunne is NOT commonsense, he is headline grabbing opportunist pablum - he merges with a new party every year on average- no times does it do his party any good - United Future will hopefully be back to a reasonable level of support - 1% - this time round.
My extra questions:
Where is Mary Varnham, and why am I so happy she is invisible?
Whatever happened to Alan Duff?
Why does Headliners still get broadcast?
Who lets their twelve year olds go out at 1am in Courtenay Place unaccompanied?
Why don't Aucklanders tell their local politicians that they wont pay for the billion dollar passenger train system they wont use?
Why doesn't Don Brash point out that Labour were quite happy to have him look after inflation and interest rates for the first two years of their government, but say he can't be trusted on the economy now?
Why does Fiona Mckenzie get excited about United Future at Wellington Central candidate's meetings, when her party doesn't care which party leads the government?
Why do the Greens enjoy oil prices being high, do they just want to feel righteous or do they really hate the private car that much?
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
Now the question is - would the Greens regulate this or allow local government to do so? Why is it wrong for adult women to wear hotpants and tanktops while in someone's private property serving drinks and food for good wages?
The neo-conservatism of the "liberal" left merges with the fundamentalist right on this - Brian Tamaki no doubt loathes such blatant displays of human beauty (as did Graham Capill - these girls are adults after all), but I am sure Rodney Hide and Don Brash wouldn't object.
Does it exploit women? Well ask those who work there, and who were not forced to sign a contract and do the job. It is their choice after all - just as it is your choice to not go, or even protest about it.
Andrea Black from Rape Crisis claims that it perpetuates the myth than women are purely there for men's sexual pleasure. Some men think like that, some women think men are like that too, and some men think men are like that - but the bottom line is that adults can choose what to do with their bodies and what to wear. Any other approach is going down the path of the Taliban or Iran.
Women's sexuality is something to be celebrated, be it straight, bi or lesbian - as much as men's is. Most people feel if they are gorgeous, they are proud of it and feel great, and are not ashamed, nor should they be - as long as everything is consensual it is part of being human.
Would the Greens and Rape Crisis regulate what women wear in the street, on a Friday night, in a bar? What would they call men who want to regulate that?
You got the picture! So does David Farrar
To figure out where the public are likely to be heading requires a bit of sobriety and to look at past elections. Clearly the New Zealand public will flee from a major party if it particularly disenchanted with it - National at 21% last time and Labour at 28% in 1996 are two good example. However, this election the minor parties have been sidelined - there is only one contest and it is the Helen and Don show.
Labour got around 41% in the last election - which means it is highly unlikely to do BETTER than that this time round. There has clearly been some swing away from Labour- the only question is whether Labour has gained a few points from minor parties, like the Greens and even the 2% or so who will have fled the entrails of the Alliance/Progressives. I would be surprised if Labour reached 40% this time, but equally it is highly unlikely to drop below 35%. Labour won in 1999 with just under 38% of the vote- my pick is that Labour needs to get that to have a chance at government (38% + 1% for Jim + 5-6% for Greens + 3% Maori) and it will get between 36 and 40%. Less than 38% is a Labour loss. One factor not included in this is turnout - last time a Labour victory was pretty much assured, now it is not, and the party faithful (on BOTH sides) will turnout in higher numbers, the issue is whether Labour can motivate its crowd to vote, because they want to avoid a Brash government.
National at 21% last time is clearly, on worst estimates polling well above that. National has never had more than 34% in an MMP election, and even in 1993 only managed around 35%. For Brash to have rebuilt National to be polling above that consistently is in itself a victory. English, Bolger and Shipley couldn't manage that (excluding Bolger's 1990 campaign which saw pre-election and post-election policy not exactly matching!). National has clearly cannibalised the ACT, NZ First and United Future vote - there is about 15% of its increase simply in that. The rest comes down to Labour, and my bet is that National will manage to scrape into around 37-41%. I cannot see it doing much better than that. If National gets 40% and still does not form a government, Brash will still be the party hero - and will have let himself and the party down ONLY because he listened to the lilly livered quivering and flip flops that his advisors told him to do.
Brash believes in asset sales - he could credibly have said, why should the government own farms? Why not sell a strategic stake in Air NZ - Labour was willing to let QANTAS have part of it? Why not allow private capital to boost our SOEs?
Brash believes in education choice - why not advocate vouchers that allow parents to choose their school?
Brash believes in the defence alliance with the US - why not advocate improved relations and a referendum on the nuclear issue.
Anyway - both major parties will be close, unless one of them screws up badly. However, neither of them are likely to go above 41%
Where does this come from? Would YOU let Helen Clark take a portion of your income to buy your clothes, buy your groceries, buy your house? If not, why are you happy for her buying you health care, your kids education, helping other people's businesses, funding TV programmes you don't watch, paying for other people to not take the jobs they don't like?
Imagine if the government supplied you with a food hamper ever week, paid for by taxation, everyone got an allowance - except some bureaucracy would make you queue up for it, and decide at will whether you should get chicken, veal, fish, bread, eggs or kumquats. One week you might find there isn't much chicken, or maybe some group is "meat disadvantaged" and they get it, but you don't. Of course you can spend extra money and get what you want when you want - but the government isn't keen on it, it's the food system for the rich - and the food suppliers union says if the government gives you taxes back to buy your own food "it will disadvantage the poor, and undermine the public food system". Food is essential, it is more essential than healthcare. A person can live many years without seeing a doctor, but only weeks without food.
Helen Clark and Michael Cullen buy your health care and your kids education, based on what bureaucrats think is best. If you're lucky it will meet your needs, and at best if you are involved in an accident, you'll probably get good quality health care - but if it isn't critical at best you'll spend years waiting for surgery, at worst you'll die while you wait. For education, your kids might get a good teacher at a well run school, or a lazy one in a badly run school - and Labour doesn't want you to choose, because it wants everyone to have the same standard - sorry parents don't know what's best for the kids say Labour. Or rather, because a minority aren't very good parents, then everyone must be brought down to that level - keeps the union from losing poor performing members, and losing the best performing ones (who wont NEED the union if they had individual contracts with performance pay).
Anyway, back to the main point.
That is one of the fundamental points of THIS election. Don Brash, to his credit, says it is YOUR money - YOU earnt it, and he is prepared to let you keep some (modestly in my view) more of it than Helen is. Rodney Hide would let you keep a lot more, and of course Libertarianz would let you keep nearly all of it (as a transitional measure till you got it ALL back).
Helen Clark and Michael Cullen don't believe it is your money. I remember in a politics lecture fifteen years ago Steve Maharey said it was the price you pay for the social contract of everyone looking after each other - ever known a contract you didn't choose to enter, that you can't leave and which one party has the right to use force to enforce and change without your consent? Yep that's a socialist contract - they tell you what they will do and demand payment for it. If you want some back, you're greedy and you wont be able to look after yourself.
The world will end if the state doesn't increase expenditure as fast as Labour says. See National will grow state spending too, at a slower rate, which as limp wristed as it is, is still too scary for the kiwis who love Nanny Helen.
So why? I figure a good portion of the adult population have either not grown up, and believe they are not competent enough (or they are too lazy) to decide what to do with more of their own money, or they believe everyone ELSE needs looking after.
The first lot fear they can't buy healthcare, education, insure themselves against losing their jobs or sickness, and think the government is some big caring loving warm mother who they can run too, and Helen wraps her arms around them and says "there there, I'll look after you" as she slips her talon into your back pocket and takes what she wants. The victim feels comforted, and almost like an abused child, doesn't care that mum beats them and steals from them, just that she cuddles you at the right moment, and gives you the gruel and bare attention you think you deserve -AND she tells you "don't let that bad rich man next door tell you go over there, he wont love you like I do! He wont cuddle you, he'll tell you to get a job and gives you some money only if you are really really good, and those who are good are spoilt anyway! He lies, and you can't believe YOU can look after yourself, what would happen if I left you to fend for yourself?".
The second lot know they can look after themselves, but all those incompetent poor, low income people - well THEY can't. They wont send their kids to the best schools, they will not bother with health care, they wont save money, they are not as smart as you or I - so these people are prepared to sacrifice their freedom and money, to ensure the poor are looked after. You see, letting Helen take your taxes means you feel better - the chardonnay socialists of Wadestown don't have to give to charity, or help out at soup kitchens, or actually DO anything for the ones they claim to care for. The state does it for them, then they can drive past them, fly over them and generally completely ignore them. Nanny State is there, job done - doesn't matter than so many of the bureaucrats in the system don't have much incentive to really make a difference. Their jobs are secure, and it doesn't matter if you perform badly - the welfare beneficiaries are hardly going elsewhere for free money are they? More nauseating are the claims they want to pay MORE tax - but you don't see them donating that money to charities in the meantime - no, they have to be forced to care, or feel better than you are forced too - you greedy rich bastard earning more than $38000 a year! (you Montgomery Burns types on more than $60000 are doubly evil!).
So it's the self proclaimed incompetents, and the do-gooders - they will vote this election for you to lose more of your money to Helen Clark and her merry band. Do they get indoctrinated in this at our Nanny State schools that teach that education and healthcare must be state funded and run? Would they think the same about food, if that was state funded and supplied? Do they really think? or are they scared of the freedom and choice getting more of their own back would mean.
and why oh why, when Brash is NOT going to cut any services back, do they feel scared with his modest tax cuts?
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
Plenty of humour in the responses from candidates.
As was to be expected, Mark Blumsky, the National candidate got a hard time from the leftie audience, but managed the heckling well. Frankly it wasn't a great performance, even with the crowd (and there would've been a good 20% or so who were sympathetic), he could've been wittier and quicker in attacking the government, and defending tax cuts - but he didn't really shine. Maybe he needs more practice and gets rattled with an audience of a lot of heckling, but this wasn't where he'll get votes in Wellington. His second choice for party vote was United Future (but then he was Party President!)
Marion Hobbs as encumbent Labour MP had a reasonably sympathetic audience. Last election she was heckled largely because of GE - and she vigorously defended her record as an electorate MP, because she was successful convincing the government to fund local schools etc. - in other words we have a system of whoever shouts the loudest gets your loot. She conceded defeat on the Inner City Bypass (a roading project close to Aro Valley that the locals oppose and is now under construction), but defended Labour's record and public servants - which a lot of people weren't keen on! Marian's second choice was the Greens and Sue Kedgeley.
Sue Kedgeley as Green candidate always gets a rousing response here, though she confused locals by saying she opposed voluntary euthanasia. She trotted out her usual, more of other people's money for pet socialist projects. Her second choice was Marian Hobbs and Labour!
Of the others, Stephen Franks from ACT seemed more liberal than ever - advocated getting the state out of marriage altogether! He supported voluntary euthanasia, and quipped when someone said what he'd do when he was unemployed after the election "The capitalists will look after me"! His second party choice was National, but candidate was Bernard Darnton from Libertarianz! Maybe there is hope yet.
Funny money from Coralie Leyland, the elderly face of Social Credit, who got heckled with "print more money". She does need to go home and knit and stop finding foreign banking conspiracies. She wasn't the local candidate though, I guess there is only one straight-jacket in the party.
Kane O'Connell from the Alliance went on about socialism, and was cheered when he said it was good that Jim Anderton left and formed his own party. At least he was honest saying they had no help in hell of getting into Parliament, and his second choice was the Greens and the Anti-Capitalist Alliance candidate Stephen Hay.
David Somerset from the Progressives, whose best moment had to be that we should turn our back on the dinosaurs from the past, when someone heckled "like Jim!". He confused the audience when he had liberal views on social issues that bear little relationship to Anderton's.
God help us with Fiona McKenzie from United Future Outdoor Party (UFO party was a quick reference) she was passionate about a party that believes in nothing much really, and she couldn't bear to state her position on abortion - as it probably wouldn't have been in agreement with most of the audience.
Michael Appleby always amuses initially with his legalise cannabis to save everything policy, and something does appeal about a party that would do nothing once it was legalised (presumably they would sit around on Parliamentary salaries and get stoned), though you have to wonder why he bothers - ALCP didn't even get its act together to apply for broadcasting funding.
A good response was received by Bernard Darnton - Libertarianz Leader, especially when he said the Public Works Act would go, so compulsory land purchases for roads would end. He also declared Libertarianz would abolish the Marriage Act and Misuse of Drugs Act, which played well to the liberal leftie audience (though privatising everything else doesn't). He unashamedly defended capitalism, very small government and when the question was asked - What will you do for your electorate in Parliament - he honestly said that Wellington Central would do very badly under Libertarianz, as so many public servants would be out of work, but all the other electorates would thrive! Go Bernard!
Stephen Hay from the Anti-Capitalist Alliance had his own small following, though he could hardly reconcile communism - which he believed in - with letting people do what they want. I guess 100 million killed from the 20 or so communist regimes in the 20th century isn't enough. Sadly he has refused to debate Bernard Darnton one on one, in a contest I mentioned in an earlier post proposed by Gman. Damned shame really, be nice to see freedom vs. Marxism-Leninism debated.
All in all a great evening out, a wonderful chance to heckle and hear some bloody quick witted remarks from an audience that was not QUITE as leftwing as at previous elections.
Aro Valley will almost certainly vote Greens, Labour, Alliance in that order, and I'm not kidding, I'd expect National to come third at best in THAT booth, but I still think Hobbs has a tight race with Mark Blumsky.
Other write ups:
BZP with photos;
David Farrar, and links to more from those
Gman photos of it;
Luke's photos of Bernard Darnton and the crowd
and Kakariki and Keith Ng's reports of the meeting and after incident!
Sunday, September 04, 2005
so glad the Labour Party put us right on that one.
A victim of their success as a popular and competent government.
People surely don't want their own money back do they? Their OWN money - read it, THEY made it, NOT Labour.
- NZ First falls below 5% and Winston loses Tauranga.
Labour under that scenari0 needs Anderton, Greens, Maori Party, United Future to govern.
If NZ First makes it to 5%, then National needs NZ First to govern, but so does Labour, with four other parties!
Labour's bleetings about National borrowing for tax cuts are not going down well, Helen's humourless approach to the Air NZ pilot, National's call for racial equality, all of these have contributed towards a mood for change.
Given National got 21% in 2002, 31% in 1999, 34% in 1996 and 35% in 1993, if Brash can bring National above 40%, at a time of relatively healthy economic growth and low unemployment, he will have brought the party back to the political mainstream. All of the lies, unprincipled meaderings of the Bolger/Shipley era will be past once more - and if National IS elected, all of the MPs from that era should remember - Brash did it, you didn't!
On March 27 1986:
- Bolger selected as new National Party Leader, Geoffrey Palmer says "We are going to have a National Party which stands for a weak, protective, subservient New Zealand looking to the Government to solve every problem and not allowing people to stand on their own feet"... voting for ACT are you now Geoffrey?
- National and the New Zealand Party to merge. Bob Jones (who left the party the previous year) said it was a "cop out", the party was finished in July 1985 and Bolger is a "reactionary King Country farming Roman Catholic - everything that is out-of-date with the modern ethos, the things that are encouraging about this country" can't argue with that!
- Wholesale taxes on cars, stereos, radio, watches and TVs to be cut to 20% as a step towards moving to GST. remember tax cuts?
- The previous night the Homosexual Law Reform Bill passed its second reading. Fran Wilde's greatest moment
- Roger Douglas introduced 12 major principles to cut government spending including:
- "quangos would be reduced or abolished where their functions were no longer sufficiently relevant";
- "Departments would have to recover the cost of supplying goods and services from users, including government departments, instead of providing them free, or below cost, at the taxpayer's expense";
- 'Funding of departments will be reduced where the departments' functions are removed or reduced".
Well the Greens, Jim Anderton, Winston Peters I bet...
As a final aside, I noticed the National Bank on 27 March 1986 offering term deposits at 21% per annum. The use of inflation as a form of state theft of the public's savings is distant history, and Don Brash has been a part of consigning it to the dustbin of the lunatic left.
You are the best leader ACT has had or could ever have of your current crop of MPs. You actually do believe in ACT being the "liberal party", you believe in less government, less regulation and you believe not only in economic freedom, but personal freedom.
It is a shame that those who pull the strings behind ACT don't.
Rodney, even if you pull off winning Epsom - which I think you will - ACT will probably be left with just you and maybe Heather Roy. It is a mere shadow of what it once aspired to be.
So I propose you drop a bombshell, something that will change the base of ACT's support once and for all, it might frighten your Board, your funders and the party, but frankly what have you got to lose? ACT needs to be more than the party of Business Roundtable economics - sound though that is.
It needs to sell freedom.
You should state openly that you support the decriminalisation of cannabis for personal use by adults on their own property. It may not even be able to be ACT policy, but you should state this. Hand in hand with this is supporting the prescribing of cannabis based products for medical purposes.
Because there is nothing more fundamentally liberal, than asserting that adults own their own bodies, and have the right to ingest a substance on their own private property without the state criminalising them for it.
It would be a declaration of an end to the war on cannabis for adults. Supply to children would still be a crime, and rightfully so.
The Economist called for this two years ago - hardly a newspaper of the lunatic fringe.
You would be yanking from the Green Party one of its key platforms that attract new voters, dealing to the war on drugs. You would certainly frighten some of your supporters to National, but how many are left? It would differentiate National from ACT - Brash will deny that a National government would legalise cannabis.
More importantly, ACT could actually start to claim to be consistently a party of freedom and less government.
The war on drugs is failing, and you can challenge National, Labour and all of the other authoritarian parties on this issue - if they TRULY believe in the war on drugs, will they accept all of their family members who have tried pot being arrested and put in prison for smoking one joint at a party some time?
Most cannabis users use it occasionally, for a short time in their lives, and move on. Just like most alcohol users don't abuse it regularly.
Tell those who think it will see a jump in stoned driving or people being stoned at work, that such behaviour will still not be tolerated - people have freedom AND responsibility.
Just like drinking alcohol or any other activity.
Tell those who think it makes smoking dope cool for kids how it could possible get MOREso?
but most of all - ask every single candidate why an adult should go to prison for peacefully smoking this substance on their own property when no other person has been harmed?
This isn't about whether smoking dope is good for you or not - eating loads of butter isn't good for you either, neither is getting drunk every day - but the state doesn't put you in prison for doing it. It is about freedom.
Then, if you are brave. Support voluntary euthanasia, retention of the drinking age at 18 and maybe even say you support allowing gay couples to marry - even Labour wont do that.
Political correctness? Hardly.
I know you understand why this is philosophically and morally correct, and I know how hard it is for a good portion of ACT members to swallow.
Give it a try. What have you got to lose?
However there are electorate races worth being interested in.
Epsom is clearly one, with ACT calling on National supporters to tick Hide for local MP (which makes sense), and Labour starting to call on both of its voters in Epsom to tick Worth. Enough has been said about that race!
Tauranga is the next one worth watching, as everyone who doesn't love Winston, loathes him and both National and Labour would love Bob Clarkson to defeat him. The fact that NZ First looked increasingly like National's most likely coalition/support partner further mobilises Labour supporters, who would love to see National cast adrift with insufficient friends in the house to form a government. Now if NZ First manages 5% party vote (which I suspect is likely) then him losing Tauranga will be a boon for the Nats - as he will feel psychologically damaged in his heartland - will not be able to demand as much from the Nats as he did in 1996 (where it was 34% Nats vs. 13% NZ First, rather than 40 odd for the Nats and 5%!). Brash may fear Winston not winning Tauranga and not getting 5%, but even under that scenario as long as the Nats get well over 40% AND beat Labour, the NZ First vote will be redistributed proportionately, meaning National would probably get about 3 more seats. Of course I'm expecting Russell Watkins to stir Winnie up a bit too!
However, there are a few other electorate races worth watching.:
Tamaki-Makaurauwhere John Tamihere, besides being a prick with his cats will give Pita Sharples a good run for his money. The only reason I want Tamihere to win is because he pisses off the politically correct anally retentives in the Labour caucus, and he can go "told you so" when Labour loses.
Wellington Central, where Bernard Darnton - Libertarianz Leader, will give the Anti-Capitalist Alliance candidate, Stephen Hay a run for his money. Gman reckons this is the REAL contest, and given I know Bernard very very well, I'm encouraging him with this.
Who frankly cares if Boo Boo Hobbs, and "let them rates rise" Blumsky win the seat - they are both in on the list, and if any constituency least needs representation in Parliament it is Wellington Central. The electorate is loaded with policy wonks, public sector managers and co. who have more influence on government than half of Parliament does. I know plenty of people in core departments who have more influence than most MPs, I was one of them!
I'd like to think Wigram and Ohariu-Belmont would be races, it would be very satisfying for Anderton and Dunne to be removed by their electorates - but it wont happen.
Auckland Central, where the ACT candidate - Helen Simpson is the only intelligent attractive woman standing, vs Tizard, Wong and Nandor. Parliament needs more attractive women, they are grossly under-represented.
Napier I just want to see that defender of the vile -Russell Fairbrother - lose to local businessman Chris Tremain. I know criminal lawyers are needed, but it is one thing to do your job, another to think that the scum of the earth are victims.
Friday, September 02, 2005
Compulsory pay tv from your taxes, whether you want to watch the TV shows or not. It doesn't matter that no TV channel would buy the programmes themselves because not enough people want to watch them, it doesn't matter that not enough people will use pay per view to watch them - it is just about TV producers and all the others in that industry sucking off the state tit to support their chosen career and lifestyle.
Around a third of New Zealanders choose to pay every month to Sky TV and Telstra Clear for a wide range of channels that they want! People WILL pay for TV they want, but they don't want what the bureaucrats are using other people's money for.
One of the beneficiary produced projects is an "edgy, urban drama series called Ducks and Geese. It features an unlikely group of twenty-somethings sharing an old villa. And they’re all involved with the law in one way or another. You’ll have to wait and see how, though. " oh PLEASE! Why don't you give me my money back, and I'll take a digital camera and find a flat somewhere and Dunedin and film what they get up to. I'll do it for nothing if they are interesting!
What nauseates me the most is how the bleeting bludgers in this industry paint a picture of cultural doom and gloom if we strangle their supply of other people's money. There are two answers to that:
1. Go out and ask people if they will pay for your wonderful "cool" productions, like Melody Rules. A lot of people like Eating Media Lunch, so maybe they will pay for it. If they don't want to pay for it, then tough - it's called life, don't make them pay; and
2. Cut the price. If you are the bastion of Kiwi Kulture and identity then do it out of love, do it for New Zealand, do it for free or at least minimum cost. Don't pretend you work for Warner Bros. or Grundy. Rent cheaper rental car, buy prepacked meals from New World, so like every other business person and economise. People may be prepared to pay for your product then.
Unfortunately the Nats are unlikely to cut this piece of corporate welfare, but if they cut Te Mangai Paho, they should cut NZ On Air. We'll get over it, there isn't a NZ in Print, or NZ Online.
Thursday, September 01, 2005
All men wanting to use more or less of your money for their own purposes.
- Rod Donald willing to be in Cabinet with Labour promoting free trade. Seems the LTD and the power are enough to sell out to the anti-globalisation slobberers.
Beyond that, Cullen couldn't really answer the challenge that one day there isn't enough money for tax cuts, then there are buckets for special government middle class family welfare schemes. He can't answer it because the REAL answer is that Labour believes in socialism, the state taking money from the successful and giving it to the less successful, and making more and more people dependent on the state for their incomes. That is it, nothing to be ashamed of is it???
Nothing else new at all really. The old left-right divide was clear, with the Maori party (oh yes there was some guy from that) Donald, Anderton and Cullen wanting to run your life more, Winston predicting doom and gloom, Cullen claiming that the era of tax cuts in the 80 and 90s (he was a Cabinet Minister who supported the Douglas flat tax in 1988!) saw Australia outgrowing New Zealand - that is about as relevant as claiming that bread causes people to commit crime because most criminals have had bread at least 24 hours before they commit their crime! John Key seemed comfortable, and would no doubt have loved to rip into Cullen more, as did Hide. Two of the brightest cookies in Parliament, frankly I'd be happy if the new government had a Cabinet of those two plus Brash, most of the rest are less than star performers.
How quaint... his Ministry of Economic Development, full of bureaucrats half of whom exist to hand out money to people who ask for it... produces nothing.
How delusional is the left that it thinks government produces anything? Just because the government happens to own some trading activities, doesn't mean these wouldn't exist if the government didn't do them.
His tiny party was beaten in 2 out of 5 electorates Libertarianz contested in 2002, outside Wigram, that is where his party is - Progressive? Irrelevant thank you, and please will the people of Wigram give him and New Zealand a boost by forcing him into retirement?
National is evil if it talks to the Business Roundtable - an organisation that the outgoing CEO of Air New Zealand used to lead - after it became majority state owned again. Labour was happy with what Ralph Norris did with their investment of YOUR money. The Business Roundtable represents successful people and companies, people who create wealth, people who are on the right side of history, who didn't fight for an authoritarian bland grey society of lies, unlike the Council of Trade Unions which has spent much of its history being led or driven by Marxists who warmed to the Soviet Union - the greatest evil empire in modern history.
The Business Roundtable represents much that New Zealand should aspire to -wealth creation, creativity, productiveness, innovation and NOT stealing other people's money. Selling goods and services to people who choose to buy them. It has put out many serious, credible policy proposals for government in recent years. It has never asked for privilege, subsidies, regulatory protection or YOUR money - so it doesn't fit with the Nanny State that Labour is selling to voters.
Even more evil is Labour pandering to the brainless proletarian slopeheads who think that private enterprise is somehow a great international conspiracy of moustached cigar smoking bankers out to oil the wheels of their business with the blood of workers. So National might privatise ACC (I thought it would only open it to competition - more outrage!), whoop de fucking do.
ACC is a state monopoly. It can be as inefficient as it wishes, provide shockingly poor service and you must pay it. You can't buy other insurance instead, you can't sue whatever retard's negligence caused you to be injured. ACC is fundamentally flawed and no other country has adopted this insane socialised insurance system as we have. It's main problems are:
1. It is a monopoly, so efficiency and service incentives are low. There is no way anyone else can compete with it, so if you are a low risk employer, motorist or individual, you don't pay less than a high risk one. Oh ACC classifies you into employment categories, but if you drive the recidivist drunk driving daily accident pays the same as the accident-free motorist. That is socialism, ironing out differences so everyone faces the same incentive - don't change your behaviour.
2. It only pays out well if you are employed in the best job in your life. The dentist injured who cannot be a dentist anymore gets 80% of a dentist's salary, the dental student gets 80% of the job at Burger King they have to pay their way through university - thanks Labour!
3. It pays out to everyone, including people who cause accidents. So that stupid fucker who crossed the middle of the road and paralysed you, also gets money for breaking his arm - thanks Labour!
4. It doesn't cost the people who cause accidents any extra, because ACC doesn't penalise bad risk takers. The bar which neglects to maintain a balcony and it falls down, faces none of the cost of compensating those hurt. The driving idiot doesn't pay the lifelong cost of paralysing the innocent victim. This is an excuse to have OSH, draconian regulations on safety for just about everything, as Nanny State bans people from being stupid or choosing to take risks. The insane laws on fencing swimming pools being a classic example.
5. You can't sue wrongdoers. Not only do ACC levies not increase for the negligent and reckless, but you can't get compensation from the fools who hurt you. The threat of being sued is a great incentive to behave well, but it doesn't exist in socialist NZ.
National will probably open ACC up to compensation, which might fix problems 1,2 and 4. If it was privatised then ACC might have to operate efficiently, and can't be bailed out by everyone else. It is a first step, but the right to sue should be reinstated. No fault compensation is socialist nonsense, and should be ended.
Wait for the next Labour evil... it is racist to treat everyone the same way under the law.
They are trotting out that tax cuts will require borrowing - no, they require you to spend less of the money of the people you have taken it from!
It is time to tell Nanny State to fuck off - and Labour, Anderton, Greens, United and NZ First are all flagrantly pushing for more of Nanny!