Saturday, 23 April 2005

Libz Conference 4, The Business End

The afternoon session begins with Terry Verhoeven presenting ideas for a national campaign, and money is pledged. Webmaster Richard Goode introduced his plans for the website in election year.

Toastmistress ‘Susan the Libertarian’ – well-known to Leighton Smith’s listeners - told candidates how to ‘Enhance Your Communication Skills,’ and warned about being ‘too well-read’ for your audience – something libertarians and Objectivists are prone to – and need to ensure they present their ideas clearly and simply, and argue with passion. Package properly. Repetition and Alliteration/same phrases over and over: Comrade Clark; Socialist Sisterhood; That Silly Cow Steve Chadwick, Nanny Government, Get the Government out of your face, out of your wallet and out of your life. Feminazi. Heil Helen. Marxist Wilson. Helengrad. Ministries of Mis-education, Injustice. Government Slavery Tax, Child Molesters of the Mind. And introduced some ‘scare words.’ NCEA: National Communist Education Agenda.

Much interest in the candidate policy debates coming up – especially to watch candidates follow Susan’s tips.

How should we remove state welfare? What transitional policy is the best? Nik The Negative Income Tax (NIT) proposal was put by Nik Haden and team (the Nits). I confess the idea still leaves me mystified, but apparently it’s something both Milton Friedman and Sue Kedgley approve, so … Bernard, Sally O’Brien and team (The Nitpickers) argued that the idea is ‘bollocks’ – complicated and intrusive. Sally argued for the privatisation of welfare. As chairman, I tried to remain neutral. The audience disagreed, and the Nits voted down.

Luke and Philip Howison outlined what they’re up to with Libz on Campus at Victoria, and making it a marketplace of ideas for students coalescing under the Voluntary Student Membership(VSM) banner – the VSM argument is a ready-made one for radicalising young students for freedom. Even Young Nats and young ACT people are radicalised by the VSM argument, and many are realising that in areas of personal freedom such as recreational drug use and the like, both ACT and the Nats are just not up to it.

Sean Kimpton told us his experiences campaigning for VSM, and told us we need to get excited about being successful in a campaign. Auckland’s VSM campaign was successful, and Sean was and is a part of it. To win the VSM campaign, they engaged in guerrilla activism on the moral front. It was intellectual activism – eight-hundred word leaflets arguing the issues! And winning on it. High quality literature. Printed out the opposition’s lies in a series – people wanted to ‘collect the set’ from 1-12. But they told many more than twelve lies.

Compulsory Student Membership (CSM) ran a crap campaign. Leafletting from 6:30am every day by the VSM team outstripped the CSM campaign’s sloth. Chalking, postering, leafleting, and lecturing … Sean argued for freedom of association in ledcture theatres across campus. No more commies and jobsworths at Student Union. Student Union has to provide a service – and student attitude is different. Student polling shows students expect to pay for their own education now. Remember when campaigning that reality is on your side … and you can win.

Robin Thomsen blasted through the campaigning that Tim Wikiriwhi and he have been doing with their team in Hamilton. It’s hard campaigning when unlike the socialists and government employees you actually have jobs. But in the last council elections they planted the seed of liberty in numerous Hamiltonians, some already partial to it by the earlier efforts of the likes of Steve McClennan.
Dire Despot Yates is now being targeted by Robin; Tim is targeting MP Martin Gallagher who, according to Tim, is one of the best MPs since he generally does nothing.

Robin called for a National Day of Action for Budget Day, protesting against government theft on the steps of Parliament, and then concluded with stories from their New Freeland Show on 1206AM.

An inspiring afternoon, with another debate to come!

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