Monday, 3 September 2007

Free Ali Panah

In my oft-declared view, the presumption with immigration should always be on the side of would-be immigrant. Unless your would-be immigrant is either a criminal, a terrorist or has proven infectious medical condition, and is prepared to sign a waiver to any claim on the welfare state (as long as such a thing still exists), then the right thing to do is to let people cross borders freely.

It's now good enough for money to cross borders freely (after many long years when that wasn't the case); it's time that the same thing be made true for people.

The hunger-striking Ali Panah is the latest high-profile local case in which people are treated like cattle by a system in which coercion and brutality are so carelessly and bureaucratically inflicted on human beings who are simply seeking a better life. Frankly, I think Blair M. has the situation nailed:

Once again, the NZIS has messed up. Just as you can't tell anything about Ahmed Zaoui's security threat on the basis of information provided by an organisation that once bombed our harbour, no more can you assess Ali Panah on the basis that the Iranian authorites who buy our lamb say he'll be allright.
To send Ali Panah back to Iran is madness. This is obvious to anyone who knows anything about Iran and its brutal oppressive regime - a regime that our government is prepared to humour for the sake of our agricultural industry. But is the NZIS really that stupid?
Free the man, give him a temporary visa, let Dave Dobbyn write a song about him, let him eat something, and Welcome him Home.
If your problem with this is that the SIS has something on him, then let that case be made public. If your problem is that his conversion to Christianity may not be genuine, then be advised that it is irrelevant whether that's true or not -- his religion (or lack thereof) should be irrelevant in any moral decision made about the welcome he should receive in NZ.

And if your problem is that you think Mr Panah will be a claim on your wallet, then let him be released under the cognisance of a sponsor, whose legal and financial responsibility he will be. But don't let rumours and the gimlet-eyed coldness at the heart of the welfare state blind you to the consequences of refusing Mr Panah admission, or his death from starvation this week (if indeed it does come to that) will be on your conscience just as much as it should be on the conscience (if he has one) of immigration minister David Cunliffe.

Don't let his life be the collateral damage of your own twisted xenophophobia.


  1. Although I agree with you entirely on this subject, I thought that it might be worth pointing out that in this article, you made extensive use of the same collectivist pronouns(our, your, ect) that you despise.

  2. I disagree.

    I don't have an objection in principle to letting in anybody who's healthy, not a security risk, not a criminal, and unlikely to be a drain on the welfare or health system.

    The issue is the consequence of allowing him to stay: if the only de facto entry requirement is to kick up enough fuss when you're here, then New Zealand will become a soft touch to anybody.

    We have a defined process for allowing refugees entry to New Zealand. Ali Panah jumped the queue. If he's allowed to stay, that creates a significant incentive for anybody to do likewise.

    Panah doesn't qualify as a skilled migrant, or a business migrant. His only qualification is as a refugee, and he has to stand in line behind every other refugee applicant.

  3. one problem I have is with his credibility is this supposed 53 day hunger strike. Bobby Sands died after 66 days on hunger strike and was an emaciated shadow of a man. Nothing like the chubby faced one on the front of the hErald (assuming that is a pic from today


  4. I also disagree Peter. He should go somewhere else.

    However, saying that, this is the perfect time for the Muslim Council of NZ or whatever they are called to get up publically and say that all the religious scholars who advise the Islamic Republic of Iran are misinterpreting Islam and the Koran. Apparently, so they keep telling us, Islam specifically says that "there is no compulsion in religion". I feel another Tui moment coming on here.

    Brian Smaller

  5. Immigration minister David Cunliffe mentioned on TV1 Close-Up that members of the refugee tribunal that evaluated Mr. Panah's application found some inconsistencies in his application, however he was forbidden by law for revealing anything regarding Panah's application. He did encourage Panah's supporters (lawyer, etc), that the information could only be released by Panah himself or his legal representatives provided Panah has given permission. I think that the minister has a good point, when he said that the tribunal has expertise in these matters in dealing with refugee application and he trusts their advise.

    In fact, Mr. Panah was offered a pass into a third country and not Iran (in which he didn't reveal - again forbidden by law) where Panah accepted, then turned around and refused that offer. Mark Sainsbury offered to invite Panah's supporters back to the studio tommorow night if Mr. Panah would give permission to reveal of why his refugee application was declined and also which third country that the immigration service offered to fly him into.

    It would be interesting if Mr. Panah would reveal all to the Close Up program if he hasn't got anything to hide. If he does refused to do so, then I think that the minister and his department have done the right decision in refusing his application.

  6. We open the doors to assist a lot of Muslim no-hopers and provide them with culturally appropriate state housing. If one of their fold renounces islam and flees to NZ then we give him 20 months porridge while he waits deportation....

    A victory here for small minds.

    No doubt the kind and paternal Iranian goons will treat him humanely on his return and the propellor heads in NZ Immigration will cluck on about the rules.

    The snivelling 'jobsworths' in our civil service make me bloody embarassed to be a kiwi. Good on the Anglicans for giving him a fair go.

  7. You fellows should read some of Hans Herman Hoppe's work on the topic of immigration. It would do wonders for your thinking and clear away some of the prejudice and cruelty.

    In the meantime consider this.

    The man is not a criminal or a terrorist. He has no communicable diseases (unless of course you consider religion a disease). He has not commited an IOF against other individuals.

    Those who support his continued residence in Auckland own property, have offerred him gainful employment, have paid him money (salary) so he can support himself and trade voluntarily with others. They have invited him to stay with them, associate with them and work with them.

    Who owns these people? Who owns their property? Not the government and not any of you racists and collectivist bums either. They are free to invite him to stay, play, work, trade, transact and associate with them indefinately. It is none of your business what they decide to do.

    All you can legitimately do is refuse to allow the man to associate with you or come onto your property. On the other hand it is legitimate to do the opposite as well.

    The government has no place to play in this affair unless the man initiates force against other individuals. Neither do any of you.


  8. Why should someone who has the support of property owning Aucklanders be allowed to jump the queue? Why should someone who has a communicable disease be denied entry? Why not let in the poor, sick and diseased? Are they not human? Is it not also "prejudice and cruelty" to be mean to such unfortunates? Let the diseased die?

    You see the whole subject is inhumane. Best leave it to those who know best how to deal with such things, government agencies, so you don't have to.

  9. Angloamerican

    If I own property then it is up to me who to invite onto the property. That's 'cause I own it, not the government. Same goes for who I employ - I decide. Similarly, it is up to me who I associate or trade with - that's because I own me, not the government.

    Same goes for you.

    The matter of a communicable disease relates to the problem of infecting third parties who are not involved in the affair at all. They have not chosen to be exposed to or associate with that person. The issue is to avoid exposing such people to danger or risk without knowledge or consent. In effect you'd be committing a sort of IOF were they to be infected. BTW, by communicable diseases I was referring to things like drug resistant TB or new types of influenza, not things like, say, cancer.

    Forget about the notion of a "queue". It's a government created irrelevance. As you've pointed out the government operated scheme is inhumane. It's also impractical and as in the present case, leads to acts of cruelty and wrong.

    Leaving inhumane govt agencies to deal with the erection and operation of inhumane schemes is not a good idea. Never leave to government agencies matters that affect your own life and actions. I own my property and I expect to determine what it is I do, who I associate with and how. So should you.



  10. "If I own property then it is up to me who to invite onto the property. That's 'cause I own it, not the government. Same goes for who I employ - I decide. Similarly, it is up to me who I associate or trade with - that's because I own me, not the government."
    Oh, that's ok then--I'm free to invite members of Hamas and Fatah to my property in NZ.
    Of course, if they choose to make bombs and rockets, that's no problem for the rest of NZ because they're doing it on my property!
    The question of who is a suitable immigrant and who is not has stuff-all to do with property rights and everything to do with what will benefit NZ as a society.
    A libertarian view of immigration these days is potentially suicidal.

  11. The contradictions in the libertarian viewpoint are glaring, mad dog Perigo wants to ban all Muslim immigration, but poor Peter wants to stick it to the government using do you know he ain't some stinking 'islamofascist' in hiding, because thats the crazy rational you applied to Muslims who decry violence in a previous post. It's difficult to have a consistent viewpoint when everything is so black and white e.g. Government = bad, Muslims = bad therefore Converted Muslim getting a hard time from the government = good?
    Watching you idiots tying yourself up into smaller & smaller logical knots is hilarious, oh! I see! it's a matter of property rights now! next the private charity pixies will be coming to save the day!

  12. I was just going to more or less say what that other anonymous said.

    I cannot help being endlessly amazed by the capacity of the libertarian right to blatantly hold and espouse completely contradictory thoughts at once without realising they are doing it.

    Irony is not dead - but it is severely wounded ;-)

  13. "private charity pixies" LOL

    Yeah, I'm not holding my breath either.

  14. Anon 1 - what contradictions?
    Anon 2 - what's the 'libertarian right'?

    Anon 3

  15. The libertarian right are those war-mongering 'libertarians' who support US soldiers continuing to die in Iraq, and who want a bit of Muslim genocide on the side.

    The 'libertarian' right also support morons like the Sensible Sentencing Trust, with no regard to rehabilitiation for inmates - considering 99% will be released into society rehab is a good idea. Anyone who has spoken to the builder McVicar knows he is not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

  16. Anonymous bullshit.

    Libertarianz immigration policy is: let peaceful people cross borders freely. No contradictions there, no logical knots.

    It comes down to this: is Ali Panah a peaceful person?

    As for "mad dog" Perigo: he's right, you know. Thank God for the few who take the threat of Islamofascism seriously.

  17. be advised that it is irrelevant whether that's true or not -- his religion (or lack thereof) should be irrelevant in any moral decision made about the welcome he should receive in NZ.

    Perigo does not want Muslim immigrants here - full stop. Muslim =Islam. He tars all with the same bigoted brush.

  18. Muslim =Islam.

    Hardly rocket science, is it?

    Is someone who follows the religion of peace necessarily peaceful? Perigo says yes, PC says no.

  19. Come on people, this guy came from Iran. Do we have direct flights to and from Iran? No.
    How many countries did this guy pass through before he decided which one he wanted to settle in? Could it be that he intentionally wanted to arrive here?

    As for Muslim immigration to New Zealand. It should be stopped immediately. The ideology of Islam goes against the very core of freedom, democracy and western civilisation.

    The qur'an explicitly states that no Muslim shall be ruled by a non Muslim.

  20. Richard said...
    Libertarianz immigration policy is: let peaceful people cross borders freely. No contradictions there, no logical knots. It comes down to this: is Ali Panah a peaceful person?

    But how do you determine if a person is peaceful or not?

    It requires a human to check this out and evaluate if a person is peaceful or not, since it's not written on people's foreheads a sign that says, peaceful or not peaceful. Another reason, is that you can't read people's mind to determine if they're peaceful.

    So, this is exactly what the immigration service has been doing.

  21. KG surmises: "Oh, that's ok then--I'm free to invite members of Hamas and Fatah to my property in NZ."

    No. That's not the valid conclusion you could draw from what I wrote. Clue: IOF. That is an important principle to understand. Clearly KG doesn't. Either that or he can't read.

    What KG has done is provide an example of that which is known as arguing the straw man. He evaded the point. What a fool!

    KG, learn to comprehend what you are reading. Try to think carefully, directing your attention to what was actually written, not what you'd like to imagine was written.

    Did you get the bit about IOF?


    Read it again, then.

    Does the principle of not committing IOF mean anything to you?

    Perhaps you might try reading a little of Prof Hans Herman Hoppe's writing on the subject of a Libertarian approach to the subject of immigration before demonstrating your ignorance again.


  22. I agree with Rebel Radius.
    ...Anglicans are dodgy too.

  23. The sword of Islam, "submit to islam or die". The sword of the NZ immigration service to one who says "F*** You to that choice and I'm out of here to where I can live in freedom"...'not so fast, just sign this little travel document so we can send you back to where you came from to face the music. Rules are rules, cant have you jumping queues now can we?'

    This dump has become a dormitory for little men with big pens. A pussy whipped den of small, small men.

    The idea that someone would rather die trying than die submitting is foreign to you bloody rabbits.

    Kia kaha Ali!

  24. So, this is exactly what the immigration service has been doing.

    And this is exactly what he immigration service should be doing.

    But how do you determine if a person is peaceful or not?

    Well, I guess if they subscribe to a system of belief which prescribes jihad, dhimmitude, the imposition of Sharia law, the subjugation of woman, stoning gays to death and the murder of infidels,then the odds are, they're not peaceful.

  25. "then the right thing to do is to let people cross borders freely"

    Call me as thick as a whale omelet, but how do you allow a no-borders policy as well as up hold private property rights ?

  26. KG didn't say that the Hamas (and other) people he invites onto his farm have initiated any force. Yet.

    So what is to stop him from bringing thousands in (I'm assuming KG has an extensive property)? Of bringing enough in to overwhelm the possibility of local resistance?

    As KG said, suicidal.

    We see the real answer in the American Frontier West. Local communities banded together to keep trouble makers (like KG) out, and stop this sort of thing getting anywhere. Would a Libertarian government have stopped them from doing that?

  27. George said...

    This dump has become a dormitory for little men with big pens. A pussy whipped den of small, small men.

    We use keyboards not pens - sheesh. Hmmm, pussy whipped, I like the sound of that. Pussy whipped in the dormitory - this dormitory must have matrons.

    LGM said...

    Did you get the bit about IOF?

    I fail to see what the International Orienteering Federation, International Osteoporosis Foundation or Independent Order of Foresters has to do with any of this.

    Also calling people "racists and collectivist bums" is hardly going to make them want to read your favorite authors is it?

    We're all a bunch of fascists really. So those freedom loving Iranians can come over here in droves eh? What about all the starving children? Why don't we go out and scoop them all up and bring them back here? Coz we're fascist collectivists deep down willing to kill rather than have others take our toys. But we worked hard for our "property" didn't we? Bullshit, don't fight it - embrace it.

  28. Brett

    What rock are you living under? Must be the same one as KG. Out here in the real world Hamas and co have already initiated force. They have done it plenty of times. They have done it on many occasions already. That's what they do. Didn't you notice?


    Before writing commentary about the Libertarian perspective on immigration, people such as you and KG need to find out what the Libertarian approach actually is. Otherwise you are writing about something you know next to nothing about- merely demonstrating your own ignorance, prejudices and empty stupidity.

    It's already been suggested you look up Hans Herman Hoppe and read his explanation of the topic. Go do it before demonstrating your banal ignorance again.


  29. Angloamerican

    Gosh arn't you a funny little fellow.

    If you really have no idea what IOF means in the context of Libertarianism (and we are both contributing to a Libertarian forum; that's the context here) then you'd do well to go away and find out. Try educating yourself. It'd make a good change.

    You submission here is written from the perspective of willful ignoranance. Sure, it feels good to you, but intellectual masterbation (such as what you have just been indulging in) is not the same as KNOWING the what you are discussing. Clearly you have little factual knowledge on the topic. All you've achieved here is to repeat a few shallow canards and imply you don't intend to do any research because you sympathise with collectivist bums. One could surmise that you identify yourself as one of them. Well that's your choice. Fool!

    Best to do the research BEFORE commenting. That's the approach to take. Heck, I've saved you a lot of trouble by telling you where a readable summary is to be found. How good is that!


  30. Hmmm, I think I hit a nerve.

    You know, I bet people like you and George don't address people like this in everyday life. Calling people names - that's clever.

  31. "willful ignoranance" - LOL

  32. Ok, who is an immigrant here to New Zealand?

    Ok, me, Falafulu Fisi. I have about 2000 people in my village who fits the Libertarianz immigration policy requirement, ie, they're all peaceful people. They all want to come over to NZ and it would be a good thing. These 2000 villagers all have relatives scattered thru out the country, but the majority do reside in South Auckland. Those relatives could sponsor them to come over where they would be responsible for looking after their visitors well beings. This also fits the Libertarianz, ie, not relying on the State.

    Here is a scenario. These villagers could do farm works for $30/day (although illegal under minimum wage), and I can guarantee that they would soon dominate farm and orchard works , simply because the economics of best price that farmers are seeking.

    NZ citizens can no longer compete with these villagers, since they cannot outquote farm contracts for say, $20/day because you can't buy a loaf of bread with it. The question is, do the citizens of this country have the rights and entitlements to these jobs over the newcomers (villagers)?

    What would a Libertarian government do, if you allow unlimited number of people to cross the border?

  33. That's a good question Falafulu.

    You simply cannot have a viable State without collectivist bums making decisions in the interest of the collective.

    I would also like to know what the stance on inheritance is. I think it unlikely that inherited wealth could be seized by the state yet inherited wealth seems unfair. I suspect a Libertarian world would descend into tribalism with all the tribes convincing themselves that their property is theirs alone and any welfare would be reserved only for members of the tribe. It's probably a question for another thread.

  34. I agree with IP & Falafusu

    the question is where do we draw the line and if each humanitarian case is taken on individual merit who gets to play God?

    There are procedures and this guy has jumped the queue of other potentially deserving cases. Cunliffe suggested there is information that he is only able to discuss once it's in the public domain and I have to say that there does seem to be something in this and if he seriously has nothing to hide and everything to gain then let him front up. As he is not going to Iran and agreed to be sent to another country, it seems that his life is not at risk.

    If a precedent is set then we will be seen as a soft touch and end up with more media circus antics and potential welfare costs or dangerous individuals allowed to buck the system.

  35. Fisi

    1/. Your villagers are offerred employment and place to stay. OK. So they come. That's good. So how long do you suppose they would continue to operate at $30 per day? Think about arbirage and margin and what happens in markets everywhere.

    2/. New Zealand ochardists and farmers have been complaining they can't get workers these days. The reason is that the work is physical and difficult. Welfare is so much easier. Guess that's where all the Kiwis are; on welfare, busy bludging, whacked out on drugs and grog, fighting, hanging around, stealing, bashing children, etc.

    Would it be so bad that those who really want to work, and who seek the opportunity to work, are not prevented from doing it? After all the locals are too busy doing welfare...

    3/. You posit that the people already present in a geogrphic location have special rights to jobs. Gosh, I never knew that. Mind explaining it?

    Why not use yourself as an example? After all, your occupation of a job means some Kiwi can't have it. Also your very education at a Kiwi institution means that some Kiwi missed out.

    4/. "Unlimited immigration"? Please explain where you get that idea? It isn't a Libertarian ideal.


  36. made a typo.

    meant to write "arbitrage", not "arbirage".


  37. AngloAm, just for the record I do speak directly, very much in the same vein as I write.

    The sturmabteilung at NZIS know this full well. My American wife got the run-around from them over an extended period concerning residency. Eventually I had had enough and gave them both barrels, reloaded and did it again. A strange silence followed, accompanied by the appropriate visa in short order. Several thin lipped officials resumed their places as Public Servants.

    I am too old to put up with bullshit.

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