Wednesday, 15 February 2006

Greens - reading the bans

A commenter on yesterday's bottled water post took issue with my claim "that the Greens always want to ban things. Perhaps you could list all the things that you think the Greens want to ban," he/she challenges.

Well, I have to tell you that my commenter was right. The Greens don't want to ban everything, just this lot:
  • Californian grape imports
  • alcohol ads
  • ferrets
  • TV ads for kids
  • ads on TVNZ
  • growth hormones
  • native wood chip exports
  • native logging
  • pig swill
  • xenotransplantion trials
  • smacking
  • GE
  • field trials for GE
  • chemical trespass
  • property rights from the Bill of Rights
  • quick-fire logging
  • logging
  • fishing for toothfish
  • whaling
  • 'toxic timber'
  • set-netting
  • bottom trawling
  • feeding animal remains to farm animals
  • battery cages
  • CCA-treated timber in playgrounds
  • direct to consumer advertising of drugs
  • "the screening of programmes which sensationalise violence or use violence"
  • "the routine feeding of antibiotics to healthy animals"
  • GE maize
  • commercial releases of genetically engineered crops
  • "nuclear shipments from New Zealand?s exclusive economic zone"
  • sow crates
  • the dry sow stall
  • "weapons of mass destruction"
  • nuclear powered vessels in our waters
  • beef imports from Britain to other European countries
  • "Japanese fishing boats from New Zealand waters"
  • "the importation of all timber and timber products not certified as sustainable"
  • open cast mining
  • gold mining
  • mining
  • human cloning
  • food irradiation
  • spray drift
  • all ships carrying nuclear weapons, wastes and fuel from the EEZ
  • "backyard burning of rubbish such as plastics and treated timber"
  • "smoking in all workplaces including bars, restaurants and offices"
  • "new uses of coal for energy"
  • "factory farming"
  • "project-based approvals for the development of GE organisms"
  • "all further building of prisons"
  • free trade with China
  • junk food advertising to children
  • "the sale and long-term lease of New Zealand property to foreign investors"
  • "the sale of toy tobacco products to under 18s"
  • GM wheat
  • "environmentally destructive fishing methods"
  • "uranium shipments"
  • "the use of the antibiotic avoparcin in animal feed"
  • "imports of cars older than 7 years"
  • amalgam use in dentistry
  • the incineration of unsorted waste
  • "risky anti-depressants"
  • "import of tissue for sheep cloning"
  • 'trade in hazardous wastes"
  • "'super baby' selection"
  • shopping bags
  • live sheep exports
  • dihydrogen monoxide
So, you're right. Apart from those very few things the Greens are pretty much live-and-let-live, and I was very unfair to say otherwise. Very harsh.

My commenter continues that the Greens don't wish to have things banned. Instead: "I think we will find that ... the Greens want only to discourage their use [sic], say through additional taxes or education campaigns, or minimum standards or suchlike."

Well, let's do a rough check on the Greens's website. It's a fairly unscientific study (which is too be fair like much of the Greens's own literature), but a quick check shows that the word 'ban' appears 165 times -- in fact, that's how I made up my list above -- the phrase 'additional taxes' appears not at all, but 'eco taxes' shows up 16 times; 'minimum standards' 7; and 'educational campaigns' brings up the rear with only 6 appearances.

So it looks like my commenter was absolutely right, for which I guess I can only apologise.

UPDATE: I've added to the list, 'Ads on TVNZ,' since Sue B. Kedgley has come out this morning against these. It's just so hard to keep up with her Ban List!

LINKS: Green Party website: Search for 'ban'
Green Party website: Search for 'eco taxes'
Green Party website: Search for 'minimum standards'
Green Party website: Search for 'education campaigns'


  1. That's very funny. Funnier still will be Greens that flock to give you all the good reasons to ban the items on the list - and miss the point entirely.

    You can likely add:

    "Bottled" dihydrogen monoxide, given the recent debate.

    You may as well throw in: Exclusive Brethren (we know they want to), Americans (we know they want to), Free Speech (except for a pre-approved list of topics) and reprinting any facet of Green policy without giving them an opportunity to say "we don't mean it like that" - smacking and capital gains tax to nominate two memorable examples.

    The on flow from banning moves to include property rights in the NZ Bill of Rights is another goodie. I think the argument was "Yes, but"

    On the plus side, whilst they do not believe in property rights (for example, the RMA forbids owners of land from doing anything to it, even if not detrimental to a neighbour or other party, without first gaining permission from a series of government organisations) they appear to be relaxing on Gorse Burning Legislation.

  2. In essence the Greens think the state is an expression of the will of the people and can therefore ban or make compulsory anything that "the people" want - a Marxist reflection of the state, which is no surprise to any of us.

    That is why they are one of the most pro-violent parties, though they want state violence over citizens, not violence between citizens (unless it is protests) or between countries (unless they are "freedom fighters").

  3. The Greens are a fear-riddled species. What else can you expect?

  4. They want to ban all these things yet Nandor wants to open up access to heroin. Go figure!

  5. Zen: there is no doubt that there is a lot of 'point-missing' going around (see all the other factually incorrect responses).

    Suffice to say that the vast majority of the items on the list are linked to the environment and public health, and very little to do with economic policy (excepting of course how environmental and public health issues impact on policy).

    In the other respect your commentator was correct.. that there are many other spheres of interest that Green's and yourself should see eye-to-eye.

  6. A crazy list mostly - but I think it is actually allready illegal to feed animal remains to animals - BSE/mad cow and all that.

    If funny how they wish to ban all those 'bad' chemicals but not mary jane...

  7. To be fair, many of those, are repeats, eg
    TV adds for kids
    and Junk food advertising to kids

    the first almost(although not entirely) covers the first


    "environemtally destructive fishng methods"
    "Bottom trawling"

    "logging" includes all other forms of logg listed like native and quick-fire logging.

    despite some doubling up on your list, I would agree that they want to ban a lot!

  8. "To be fair, many of those, are repeats..."

    Oh, certainly. To be fair, I simply took them from word-for-word from Green Party press releases. As I indicated above, I produced the list simply by searching for the word "ban" at the Greens' site.

    Some are certainly coverd by others, but it's not always pointed out that way in the releases -- and I'm also not sure that all have them have been entirely thought through with any consistency.

    Take GE for example. They say they wish to ban GE only until or unless it's been scientifically proven to be safe. But they also want to ban trials of GE products, and then they say they also wish to aply a blanket ban on certain products.

    As such, it seems appropriate to highlight each specific instance, and also to draw the general conclusion.

  9. Here's the reverse list: bans the Greens oppose.

    A ban on eating in public for students at Macleans College.

    A bylaw which bans "other messages including political opinion" on signs on Auckland residential properties.

    "A blanket ban on any information on our SAS troops in Afghanistan"

    "The latest US demand that air passengers be prevented from queuing to go to the toilet"

    Any decision to ban pepper-based energy tonics.

    Banning men from sitting beside unaccompanied children on airliners.

  10. Damn those Greens. I was really looking forward to building a treehouse for my kids out of toxic timber.


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