Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Maiden Speech 3: Kevin Hague: Green and confused

In my ongoing series catching up with the new MPs, there is Kevin Hague. A new Green list MP. My hopes weren't high, but he was CEO of the West Coast District Health Board - you would hope someone of that position, responsible for a region's healthcare, would be clever.

His maiden speech is here.

So:
- He is keen on the Treaty of Waitangi (whatever rocks your boat, funny how the Green party does so badly in Maori seats).
- He doesn't believe in objective reality instead "a new economics that values intrinsic natural characteristics and recreational use". Presumably if different people value things differently, Kevin will sort them out?
- He doesn't believe that you can change your health by your eating, drinking, exercise, smoking, drinking and drug taking because "the health of a population group is largely a reflection of the power it has over its own circumstances, and the environment surrounding it, and that good health improvement can only result from political will". Yep, only politics can make you healthier. Idiot.
- You can only be happy once? "Growth achieved through the bubble economics of speculation is exploitation of another sort, where the non-renewable resource is human dignity and happiness". Happiness isn't renewable?
- Yet he is an atheist and proud of it. Wonderful stuff "I absolutely reject the idea that ethical or moral behaviour has its source in religious faith." I absolutely agree that it need NOT have such a source.

Then he goes off beam:
- "In the absence of such external power then the responsibility for determining how we should live together, and for acting to achieve that state, is solely, but collectively, ours". See no objective basis for it, people vote for how they should live together. Like some tribe.
- "Only two coherent philosophies are possible: survival of the fittest, with no regard to the effect on any other person, or a world in which we recognise our interdependence and respect for the equal and inalienable rights of every person. I have a passionate allegiance to the second of these belief system" Bollocks, there are other philosophies. People are not interdependent, but they can enhance their lives by trade and exchange and being social.
- Now we know what he means, he likes Marxism "It has echoes in ‘to each according to their need; from each according to their means’ or in my personal motivator "If not me, then who? If not now, then when?"

So it's Darwinism or Marxism - nice!

He goes on, he even thinks we should iron out everyone's opportunities to be the same "What are these inalienable rights that each person is entitled to? Eleanor Roosevelt (driving force behind the UN Declaration of Universal Human Rights, which we celebrated yesterday) referred to equal justice, equal dignity, and equal opportunity." How do you guarantee equal opportunity or equal dignity unless children are raised collectively in some Orwellian nightmare? I doubt he understands that though.

Yet then he just, for a few sentences appears to get it "I think another valuable right to conceptualise is autonomy, provided that the exercise of that autonomy does not reduce that of another person. For me the opportunity to make decisions affecting one’s own life, tempered only by the effect of those decisions on others, is driven directly from this central idea and is exactly the idea captured by the Charter principles of appropriate decision-making, and non-violence."

I'd like to hear him talk about that. The effects of the decisions on others though is not the same as not infringing on the rights of others. After all, if I decide not to spend money, or not to take a job or not to go out with a friend, it affects another - but I should have that right. Why should anyone else make such a decision?

Then we get into the envirovangelism: "My personal principle is to take only what resources I need from the natural world and to harm the natural world to the least extent possible." He wont be driving, flying or eating more than subsistence then. Look forward to Mr Ascetic's principle actually being proven wrong.

He remembers the death of Bobby Kennedy (sad but yawn).

So really, he's a bit confused. How the people of the West Coast coped when he was Chief Executive of the West Coast District Health Board is beyond me. He's a Marxist, a believer in armageddon and has many bizarre ideas (maybe he just doesn't pick his words well, which is particularly bad in a legislator).

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