DOWN TO THE DOCTOR’S: Trade, troughs and the end of Wife Beater Wednesdays [updated]
In which Libertarianz leader Dr Richard McGrath gives his take on some of this week’s news:
- Top cop stood down after drink-drive refusal – The police have done the decent thing (at last) and removed Superintendent Graham Thomas from his job as head of the national prosecutions service. Mr Thomas refused to undergo a breath alcohol screening test after being followed home by a community patrol team who alerted police officers. The police have to be seen as whiter than white, and not have their staff use the same loopholes in the law that villains use to evade justice. Graham Thomas should have been suspended from his job immediately.
- Obama puts off trade talks – the Red President postpones discussions aimed at creating a free trade zone involving five countries including the U.S and New Zealand. This sort of backward protectionist trade sabotage, worthy of Jim Anderton and Winston Peters, will not help anyone. And the leftist media labeled Ron Paul an isolationist! Well done John Key, who said in response "If the world wants to come through the recession in the strongest way possible, free trade is one of the levers we can use to advance that.”
- Profit plunge sparks talk of city’s port sale – Port of Auckland chairman Gary Judd floats the idea of privatizing this country’s largest port, in light of a sharp drop in profits. Unfortunately, the decision is up to state-worshipper Mike Lee and his Auckland Regional Council, and profits for the port are a cash cow that allows the ARC to subsidise loss-making absurdities such as public transport. A Libertarianz government would divest local bodies of all business investments. Mike Lee would be free to try and turn a profit out of public transport, but by risking his own money, not that of Auckland ratepayers.
- University buys the ‘Bowler’ – Otago University buys the Bowling Green Tavern, for many years a student bar. I was sad to read this. The Bowling Green had been an occasional watering hole for me in the 1980s, being across the road from Dunedin hospital. At one time it rebranded itself Zouga Ballentyne’s after a character in a Wilbur Smith novel, complete with a reception desk fashioned out of the front half of a Land Rover. Two years ago, the owner had faced a sedition charge related to a promotion that offered a petrol soaked couch and a box of matches as a prize, and on another occasion was criticized for offering Wife Beater Wednesday special deals. Ah well, I guess you can’t stand in the way of progress, but it’s still sad to see an icon (of 131 years standing) disappear. What I do object to is the university using taxpayer money to purchase this strategically located piece of real estate.
- Fabulous Fagan’s Sixteenth Title – Shearing legend David Fagan, aged 47 - the same vintage as Obama, John Key and yours truly - wins yet another Golden Shears open championship title in Masterton (the centre of the shearing universe) last weekend. A well-run event, relatively peaceful, and all managed without government interference and the need to hold a gun to people’s heads (i.e. tax them) to cover costs.
See y’all next week!