Some years ago in a regime that sometimes seems not too far away, the Soviet regime instituted neighbourhood and 'block committees' that had almost unlimited powers of retribution over residents. These committees had literally the power of life or death.
We now have something almost similar in New Zealand, as erstwhile developer George Shaw has now found out after cutting down a tree on his own land -- ie., his own tree -- and being forced to face a "restorative justice meeting" so that a legalised lynch mob could propose suitable punishment. All this under a law called the Resource Management Act that ensures trees have rights while humans don't, and that allows for a fine of up to $200,000 and a punishment of two years in jail for offences under the Act.
"It's only a tree," said one of the meeting's attendees trying to give the meeting and this country some much-needed perspective. Responded one of the fascists goons out for blood: "But he's only a human"! Sums it up, really. [Listen here to a rational account of the meeting by blogger Duncan Bayne.]
As Julian Pistorius says on his blog, "join the dots" between the loony property law we have in this small, authoritarian backwater, and the report out this week showing that cities in this backwater are rated 'severely unaffordable' due to excessive land-regulation.
Links: Public pillories tree destroyer - NZ Herald
Radio interview re. restorative 'justice' meeting - Duncan Bayne
Property Developer Almost Lynched - Julian Pistorius
Tree Frenzy - Not PC
Housing un-affordability - denying the obvious - Not PC