Tuesday, 18 November 2008

SUSIE THE LIBERTARIAN: Saving the Environment from Environmentalism [updated]

I'm very happy to post the first post from another of my new regular contributors here at NOT PC: Susan from libertarian headquarters.  Sadly, the subject is not such a happy one ... it's this weasel here:

Prime Minister-designate John Key announced his Cabinet yesterday ahead of being sworn in as New Zealand’s 37th Prime Minister this week.  It’s a big Cabinet, consisting of 28 Ministers and Associate Ministers for everything, by the looks of it, except for Africa itself. Although if Bob Geldof had his way …. but I digress.

All the usual suspects are there, along with the truly stupid Ministries of Arts & Culture, Rugby World Cup and, of all things, Disarmament. I thought there was nothing left to disarm, but there we go. The patronising Ministries of Women’s and Pacific Island Affairs still exist and ACC does not look to be privatised in the near future, more’s the pity.

And Nick Smith acquired the Environment portfolio, which was such a sure bet that the TAB would not have been interested. Which makes him the new Minister for the RMA. 

It’s true that his skin has been forest green for some time, but rather than ease up a bit, he has only become more fanatical as time goes by.  Nick’s positively in love with nature, which is great. So am I. But his prescription for its survival is very different from mine. Nick’s environmental values would not be out of place in the Green party. And that alone should worry any working New Zealander with at least half a functioning brain. For an example of what can happen – quickly - when zealotry prevails, let me take you on a wee trip around the British countryside under New Labour.

The last decade of British country life has seen angry clashes between supporters of traditional country pursuits and the “antis,” the latter of which are lead by violent, well-organised, urban protestors who have a hatred of the former that verges upon the pathological.

I spent a long winter in rural North Yorkshire 25 years ago. I learned two things about the fox: 1) that it has no natural enemy, and 2) that it is not a cute dog. On the contrary, it’s a lethal killing machine. It kills for fun, not for food. If a fox gets into a henhouse, it will leave nothing alive.

Personally, foxhunting wasn’t my favourite thing. But it was the countryside’s method of keeping fox numbers at manageable levels. It is not easy to catch a fox; it is notoriously quick and the hounds track by scent rather than sight. They are killed (by hounds) with one quick blow to the neck, not the messy, protracted affair as the antis would have you believe. The pursuit provides employment for thousands and has been enjoyed for centuries.

Clarissa Dickson Wright of Two Fat Ladies cookery fame, in her superb autobiography Spilling the Beans, states that the ban on foxhunting came about largely as Tony Blair’s quid pro quo for the invasion of Iraq, in order to appease his party’s extreme. Fox numbers have obviously risen markedly since, resulting in increasing stock losses for farmers and small-holders alike and the adverse implications thereof.

Dickson Wright has become something of a spokesman for the countryside movement. After the death of her on-screen partner Jennifer Paterson, she co-hosted a television series for the BBC entitled Clarissa & the Countryside, with each episode concentrating on a particular rural subject. It was very well-received and she quotes one instance where the editor of “Scotland on Sunday,” after watching an episode on the requirements of the grouse moor, printed an article bemoaning his ignorance as to the moors’ necessity in being managed for longevity and retracting previous critical editorial. It is interesting to note that, in spite of her roaring success in this country with Two Fat Ladies, the rural series was not purchased by TVNZ. Guess it didn’t sit well with Labour’s Charter, eh…

There is also the UK ban on shooting birds of prey, which has resulted in the rapid decline in the numbers of smaller British birds as their larger counterparts vie for food sources. Additionally, the birds of prey attack ewes by blinding them so as to easily prey upon their newborn lambs. The interference from Whitehall has negatively impacted upon the lives and livelihoods of thousands and been the ruination of many.

Now all this might seem like it's half a world and a different political party away from Nick the Dick, our new Minister for the Environment, but the essentials remain the same, i.e., the essence and ramifications of interference by central planners upon YOUR property and, perhaps, YOUR livelihood under the banner of protecting the environment. And with the weasel having been given the added portfolio of Climate Change in addition to that of The Environment, you can bet your ever decreasing dollar that Nick Smith has every intention of stamping his mark upon New Zealand, both rural and urban.

Oh, and regarding ACC? He’s got that, too. Just thought you’d like to know. ;)

                                                                                              * * * * *
By the way, Clarissa Dickson Wright is the daughter of the brilliant heart surgeon, Sir Arthur Dickson Wright, who was also a brutal alcoholic. Her mother was an Australian heiress. Clarissa studied for a law degree and remains the youngest woman in UK legal history to be admitted to the Bar, aged 21. She was a contemporary of Tony Blair and Jack Straw, among others.  Her autobiography Spilling the Beans is an extraordinary read and, to quote one of the many favourable reviews, it left me flabbergasted. I highly recommend it.

NB: More posts here detailing what this pillock plans for the RMA -- in short, bugger all:

UPDATE:  "Snap quiz: how many ministries does the New Zealand government have, as in Minister of This and Minister for That?"  For answers, head to the Kiwi Polemicist, who's "undertaken the herculean task" of writing a list of them all: "as you read consider not only the number of ministries, but also which areas of your life (and other people’s) that our slave masters deem it necessary to manage."


  1. Great post Sus.

    With Smith also in charge of, snort, Climate Change, I think the farmers who were foolish enough to vote National are about to get a rude awakening over the ETS - which I assume Smith will have a big say in. You're right, he will take, if anything, the Green hard line.

    Indeed, many of the new National Cabinet, including the much touted Paula Bennett, would be just as at home on Labour's front bench.

    Same old, same old.

    I can't see how I'm going to have any more freedom from Big Old Nosy Nanny State at the end of this three years; indeed, I suspect this will finally prove the absolute ascendancy of Big Statism, and the further pounding and hounding back of individual freedom to only the tiniest of flickering lights.

    ... why is Smith in National? Doesn't he see that his environmental solutions have always been a repudiation of all his party's supposed principles.

    Oh, silly me. Sorry. Principles, what was I thinking.

  2. Thanks for the tip on the autobiography Sus, it sounds well worth reading.

    With regards to Nick the Dick being Minister for Hippie-Nazis, it's an opportune time to call for zealots being prevented from taking up Cabinet positions in their area of fanatacism. There's no way can they view things with an unclouded mind nor listen to sensible counter-arguments, as they have their mind made up long in advance. Rather, they're more likely to attempt legislation that fits their personal view, instead of what's best for the country.

  3. I guess that the regular commentator here called Ruth will be joining John Key and Nick Smith in hugging trees and singing Joy to the world.

  4. Sus, your mistake is that you try logic and reason. That simply doesn't apply here. Environmentalism is a religion.

  5. Great post.

    You should also see Madliene at MandM's decimation of The Standard's claim tax cuts to 30% will only benefit the wealthy.

    Madeleine rightly points out that 30% effects every earner over $40k and such an income is hardly wealthy.

    She'd make a good guest commentator.

  6. Why are there so many portfolios on irrelevant and nothing to do with the role of government things?

  7. Richard McGrath18 Nov 2008, 13:02:00

    Scalia said: "Why are there so many portfolios on irrelevant and nothing to do with the role of government things?"

    Scalia - I couldn't agree more. Just looked at the Key's list of cabinet ministers and I reckon fourteen of those ministries could be abolished right now, without inconveniencing anyone or even attracting much attention. And that's just for starters.

  8. fourteen of those ministries could be abolished right now

    That'd be a nice start to cutting government expenditure. Someone should tell Rodders, he's proved himself quite adept as shedding useless flab.

  9. Great stuff, Sus. Indeed, nature can be great -when man has safe control over his interaction with it.

    Contrast that to the environmentalists, and their policies, not so much of "loving" nature (which, like all things, has no intrinsic value -only the value which we put on it as humans) but of hatred of human progress.

    Who really values nature here?

  10. Since hearing her on NewstalkZB, i have become a Susiephile.

  11. Since hearing her on NewstalkZB, i have become a Susiephile.

    (Yes, little old i)


  12. And now, already, ACT shows its second hideous face, the one it was hiding through the election:

    Read this, and let reasoned, free men and women weep.

    Quoting from this article:

    Act, a party of climate change sceptics, campaigned on a policy to abolish the scheme altogether. It wants a carbon tax.

    ACT's idea of side-stepping an ETS is to enforce a Carbon Tax! ACT is the party of force through taxation.

    I need say nothing further than copy and paste my last SOLO post:

    Regarding ACT, and now NACT, the words lying, traitorous, cowardly bastards comes to mind.

    I think my new signature from now on must be: NACT - same old same old. And just over a week to confirm the fact.

  13. NACT for a NACT'kered country.

  14. Surely not! ACT and National betraying their supporters? Same old, same old and all that? Surely not already!

    Recall all those National Party acolytes and all those ACT acolytes who argued hard and long that such things would not occur. Trust us, they said. We know. National and ACT are different. they are not corrupt. Have faith... Where are you all now?

    OK. One last try. Those of you who supported the pragmatic let's-not-waste-votes option of supporting ACT or National, now is your chance. Time to lobby your ACT and National Parties. Write some letters. Call up the talkback. Call up your MP's electorate office. Let them know what you do want is carbon tax or ETS or any other climate change nonsense. Are you not bearing enough of a burden supporting govt rorts already? Surely you do not want to accept more?

    Better start lobbying very soon. How 'bout today? Let us know what you're doing.


  15. Opps. Should have written, "Let them know what you do NOT want is carbon tax or ETS or any other climate change nonsense."



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