18 December 2022

Iran is on the brink of a revolution for freedom.. and the world's politicians should be loudly in support

The Islamic Republic of Iran is an abomination, it is a theocracy that demands absolute obeisance to a collective of men who claim to be channelling the will of God, applying a branch of Islamism that in practice is just a form of medieval barbarism.

Have no doubt, Iran is the centre of a courageous struggle, led by young women, against a system that is specifically designed to ensure they submit to an authority led by old men.

It is the most irrational and mindless of governments - for it is theocratic. Not only do the mullahs claim they are following the "will" of their Almighty - but they alone are the ones with the "inspiration" to pass laws and compel and prohibit peaceful individuals to do as they see fit.

Iran may have scrapped its utterly immoral "Morality Police", but it is still a regime characterised well as Taliban-lite.  It is a death cult, that worships and commemorates those who spill their own blood, and blood of others for their superstitions and they should be called out on it by all leaders of liberal democracies.

However you don't hear or see much. Notwithstanding Jacinda Ardern's logical efforts to ensure Christopher Richwhite and Bridget Thackwray (posh wealthy young folk who have that utterly inane occupation "social influencers" - that role whereby you produce videos in the hope countless other airheads are attracted by your clickbait) got out of Iran safely, it is telling that the great heroine of leftwing women has not said much about Iran at all.

Given Ardern's remaining star power internationally (notwithstanding how much it has waned domestically) this is disappointing.  She's big on getting an international stage for climate change, notwithstanding her government has had little influence on policy on it, whereas influencing regime change in Iran that would literally liberate women is something she chooses not to do.

No doubt MFAT has told Ardern and Mahuta (noting Mahuta is much more socially conservative than Ardern) that it isn't wise to say anything, because of trade.  

MFAT sees Iran as a "sleeping giant" noting on its website:

 It remains an untapped market with a lot of potential, although financial and banking sanctions, the difficulties of doing business in Iran, along with a stalled Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA or nuclear agreement) and Iran’s blacklisting by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) will continue to affect humanitarian sanctions-exempted trade for some time.

Exports with Iran have dropped dramatically in recent years, but no doubt there is ambition to have it grow again.  I know from experience that the default position of diplomats is always not to "disturb" relations in the hope that it will make future trade fruitful, but bearing in mind Ardern has claimed to never be afraid to "talk tough" it's odd there has been no pushback.

After all by far the main reason the Islamic Republic of Iran is not a big export market is BECAUSE it is the "Islamic Republic" led by a death cult of misogynistic terrorism sponsoring arms proliferators.  The regime in Tehran is, on the face of it, antithetical to the values of Ardern and the Labour Party, because it is antithetical to the values of any decent liberal democracy.

Yet Ardern is saying little, no doubt because diplomats think there are "opportunities" for trade.  Mahuta, having demonstrated next to no interest or history in international relations, is hardly likely to push back, since her interests are much more focused on Maori nationalism, and by and large as Foreign Minister she parrots the standard MFAT line on every topic (which is low risk, but also low reward).

Revolution in Iran would have profoundly positive effects not just for most Iranian people (not the thugs, rapists and murderers who are the hand maidens of the regime), but also the Middle East more generally.  For Iran to no longer sponsor Islamofascist attacks across the region, including backing Hezbollah.  

However it should be first and foremost about Iranians and Iranian women and girls in particular. Unlike the unhinged ravings of leftwing woke university professors, Iran is a literal patriarchy, it has a literal rape culture.  It is a culture that punishes women for "immodesty". As Hammed Shahidian wrote "Modesty in dress, especially women's hejab, secures society against chaos and individuals against self-incurred harmful thoughts and deeds".

In other words women better cover up because men are too weak to control what's in their trousers.

Religion in liberal democracies is about freedom to choose and worship as you see fit, and freedom to leave religion if you see fit, but in Iran you cannot leave Islam.  It is compulsory.  

So it should be that politicians across the free world should be supporting the women protesting and calling for freedom in Iran, because it is morally right, and because these women are human beings with the same rights to choose how they live their lives as anyone else.  

The fact that so many politicians choose to keep largely mute on this, whilst demanding private companies address an anti-concept called the "gender wage gap" shows the depths of their hypocritical privilege (which they finger-wag about constantly) and the turpitude of their cultural tunnel vision to not even recognise women who are oppressed on a grand scale and deserve to be supported.

Finally, I'll give a nod to Green MP Golriz Ghahraman, whom I disagree with 95% of the time, who has been consistent on this in the past year. 

Iran's revolution is one for humanity, and of course it is telling that the jackbooted blood spillers of Beijing and Moscow are backing the regime. 

05 December 2022

The horrors of water privatisation are largely imaginary hysterics in the heads of leftwing politicians

What has been the biggest farce of the attempt to entrench an anti-privatisation clause in Three Waters legislation? 

The attempt by the Greens to entrench their policies in Parliament is not necessarily surprising for a party that regards private property, enterprise and individuals with scepticism, but state property, state enterprise and public servants with benign intent.  Eugenie Sage is hardly the sharpest knife in the kitchen from the Green caucus either.

Jacinda Ardern's claim to be ignorant of the proposal is also farcical. On the one hand is seems difficult to believe that one of the country's most centralising governments doesn't have a handle on the detail of policy of one of its most controversial proposals. On the other hand, if she doesn't then why not?

What virtually NO-one in the media has asked (certainly not RNZ), is why the fear of privatising water? 

You see it is precisely because of hysteria about water privatisation that New Zealand's fresh and waste water infrastructure was not substantively reformed (outside Auckland with Watercare Services) in the 1990s, and that hysteria was largely fuelled by the likes of the Greens in the form of the Alliance. The Alliance, along with the then "Water Pressure Group" (led by the completely loopy, and now late, Penny Bright) that painted a picture of doom and gloom from supplying water with user fees, in a commercial structure, that saw Auckland being the beginning and end of water reform.

It is thanks to muddled-headed Marxists like Eugenie Sage that water remained the most unreformed infrastructure sector, leaving it in the idealised world of "local democracy", "local empowerment" and of course largely staying far away from people paying for what they use, but rather taxing everyone so the biggest users of water (typically businesses) get subsidised by the smallest users (typically people living on their own). That's socialism for you.

Yet what does privatisation of water look like?  DIA's own report called "Transforming the system for delivering three waters services - The case for change and summary of proposals - June 2021" has a handy chart depicting the relative performance of ten English water companies, with government owned water companies in Northern Ireland and Scotland, and New Zealand council owned water providers. 

All of the private water companies outperform the others across a range of measures regarding customer service, and the conclusion of the report is:

• New Zealand has a long way to go, to catch up with the performance of more mature systems overseas

• We are at a starting position similar to Scottish Water, before the Scottish reforms. In the last two decades, Scottish Water has been able to close the performance gap and is now among the top-performing water services providers in the United Kingdom.

In other words, not only are private water companies in England performing better than the New Zealand council owned examples, but they have been outperforming Scottish Water - which has been the pin-up case study for the Ardern Government.

So let's be very clear.

Privatisation of water is not something to be scared of, in fact had it happened 30 years ago (not that it was even on the agenda) then there wouldn't be an infrastructure deficit in the billions for water.  Rates would be lower, yes you'd be paying a bill for water, but if it had followed the English model, there would be a water sector regulator capping the rate at which water prices could be increased, and ensuring that the natural monopoly water and sewerage companies had to meet key service standards.

Even the Government's own report acknowledges that it is PRIVATE water companies that perform well.

So what's actually wrong with private companies providing water infrastructure and services?

Why wont any Opposition MPs say there are benefits from letting the private sector take over?

Why do hysterical leftwing lightweights dominate this narrative and why do journalists never challenge it? (I mean it can't be because two of the major broadcasters are state owned can it?)