Wednesday, 25 February 2009

DOWN TO THE DOCTOR’S: War chests, chunder and cannabusts

A weekly commentary on some of this week’s news items from Libertarianz Party leader Dr Richard McGrath
  • Cannabis growers lose their home – A Vietnamese immigrant has been jailed for three years, and his family has had its Christchurch home seized by the state, for the cultivation of 143 cannabis plants.
        For growing something that occurs in nature, without hurting anyone else, this family have had their lives turned upside down. The gentleman concerned was not convicted of selling cannabis, only of growing it.
        Even if you consider drug manufacture criminal (and if you do, would you endorse prosecuting Pfizer, Douglas, Baxter and other pharmaceutical companies for manufacturing morphine for profit?), this punishment is grossly excessive. The man’s actions were not an initiation of force against anyone or their property, and the Libertarianz Party regards that as the litmus test for a crime. Therefore this man did not commit a crime and his property should be returned to him, or the state should compensate him for his loss.
        (Libertarianz supports the repeal of all victimless crimes, including all laws that regulate the free flow of drugs among adults. However, selling or supplying drugs to children without the consent of their parents would constitute a crime; and parents should be held accountable for what they administer to their children based on the consequences thereof.)
  • NZ Herald editorial: Key Must Stop Cricket Tour of ZimbabweThe Prime Minister indicated he would stop a planned tour by the NZ cricket team on political grounds. That is to say, as in North Korea, he would stop law-abiding New Zealanders from leaving the country. This is a violation of the basic freedom to travel unmolested by bureaucrats.
        Back in 1981, Rob Muldoon allowed the South African rugby team to tour, respecting the right of freedom of association, even if he (or we) didn’t like what was happening in South Africa at the time. John Key should follow his example. It’s none of his damn business. It would become his business if the lives or property of New Zealanders were unjustly threatened while in Zimbabwe (or elsewhere). And it’s not to say that the planned tour of would be a wise move on the part of the cricketers.
        Of course, people should be free to protest against the tour and try to stop it by non-violent means. But no politician should be able to keep a sports team prisoner in their own country unless they are under arrest and charged with breaking the law -- which clearly, the NZ cricket team are not. Yet.
  • Government Offers Doctors Cash To Stay In New Zealand Easy for Tony Ryall to say. He can just gouge this money from the taxpayer. It should be employers (e.g. hospital owners) who offer such financial incentives to potential employees; the government should keep its sticky beak out of it.
        Libertarianz advocates the total privatization of the health industry and the removal of the traditional protection and favouritism granted to Western medical practitioners.
        Bonding, and financial assistance with paying off student loans, probably would tend to attract medical graduates to work in remote areas of the country. But these junior house officers require supervision from more senior doctors, and there may also be issues in the less popular hospitals with recruitment of senior staff who don’t have student loans to pay off. Libertarianz has a better idea than Tony Ryall’s: pay all bureaucrats to take a year off work without replacing them – it would be vastly cheaper to pay state servants to do nothing than to let them continue wrecking the country. Just a thought, anyway.
  • Hide Savages ARC’s $1.79m Beckham LossThe Auckland Regional councillors who voted to sponsor this sports event should have their houses seized and sold to help defray the outstanding costs which will otherwise be dumped on ratepayers. Either that, or the horsewhip should be dusted off and oiled up.
        Rodney Hide is dead right on this one. What an utter disgrace. Libertarianz believes the activities of regional, city and town councils should be privatized as soon as possible; these little empires should then be abolished so that their employees can seek productive employment.
  • War Chest Needed To Beat Crisis The NZ Institute think-tank believe the taxpayer should “invest” in businesses to whom banks won’t lend money, i.e. a combo of nationalization and rewarding losers. The undesirability of such intervention has been made transparent here at NOT PC over and over again, and I won’t reiterate in detail what Austrian economists have already said.
        Suffice to say the State should step back and allow market correction to weed out the incompetent players and redirect investment away from dysfunctional corporations and businesses. Libertarianz would back only two of the seven proposals the Institute make for dealing with the “crisis”: Floating SOEs, and lowering taxation on savings and profits. Overall, there is no consistent respect for property rights and too much compulsion and statism in what the NZ Institute advocate.
  • I Came, I Saw, I ChunderedStudents go on the rampage in Dunedin, smashing shop and car windows during a toga parade down George St. Most Otago graduates will be saddened to read of this mindless vandalism. The relationship between “town and gown,” which has been an integral part of life in Dunedin for nearly 150 years, has suffered major structural damage, and it’s now up to the students of Otago University to put matters right. The culprits need to be rooted out and made to atone for the havoc they have wreaked - to compensate for the damage they have caused to private property and to the reputation of scarfies everywhere.
        Drinking to excess is one thing, destruction of other people’s property is quite another. Otago University Students Association need to sort it out – quickly.  
   See y’all next week! 

* * Read Doc McGrath every Wednesday here at NOT PC * *


  1. nicely written..

  2. "University Students Association need to sort it out – quickly."

    Dream on.

    The president was just on the news saying that it wasn't really the students it was non-students throwing things at the poor students that caused the problem.

  3. To be fair to John Key (never thought I'd say that), the only reason that he's looking at stopping the cricket tour to Zimbabwe is because the ICC has said that's the only way that NZ cricket won't be fined hugely for not touring. My guess is that he's been asked by NZ Cricket to take this course of action.

  4. ...removal of the traditional protection and favouritism granted to Western medical practitioners.

    Forgive me - eh?!

    If the health system was privatised, would 'protection' and 'favouratism' be possible anyway?


  5. Stephen - I was referring to the protection and favoured status granted to practitioners of Western medicine by the government, e.g. subsidies for seeing doctors - which incidentally makes them (the doctors) into de facto state servants/beneficiaries. Other practitioners don't receive these massive subsidies. And if a GP tried to practice without being part of the subsidised system, his patients would not receive subsidised prescriptions or lab tests either, thus making it non-viable for any GP to try and exist outside the system of socialised medicine.

  6. Yes, Madeleine. I heard that, too.

    And it's nonsense according to one mother of a first-year student who contacted Newstalk ZB on Tuesday.

    Her son went down to Dunedin a week or so ago and was talking to his mum on Sunday night. He told her that he had no interest in taking part in the, er, 'festivities', having overheard what the second-years were planning. It was common knowledge, she said.

    Throwing eggs and tomatoes, etc is one thing, albeit stupid, in my opinion.

    But vomit and faeces - presumably self-produced?! FFS.

    Not to mention the property damage being a crime.

    Re your comment to SR: Well said, Richard.


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