Thursday, 4 June 2009

NOT PJ: Worth-less

If Richard Worth can be fired for allegedly not leaving someone alone, asks Bernard Darnton, then why do we still have a Cabinet?

_BernardDarnton Yesterday morning the Prime Minister announced that his government was officially worthless. Richard Worth-less, but a good start nonetheless.

No one will yet say exactly what it is that Worth may (or may not) have done but the innuendo is that it’s something lecherous. There have been mutterings about “inappropriate behaviour” and “unwanted attention towards women.”

It’s odd that he should be fired for that. All of us are the objects of government ministers’ unwanted attention. For most of them it’s their bloody job.

Ministers for Labour, Food Safety, Customs, Internal Affairs, Building, Infrastructure, Sport, the Environment, and all sorts of other crap are all unwantedly attending to me. John Key promised that the Revenue Minister would be reducing his unwanted attentions slightly but I still find his wandering hands on every pay slip.

And that’s why I care more that this government is worthless than that it’s Worth-less. Because whatever it is that Worth may (or may not) have done it probably pales against the scale of damage done by a government trying to spend its way out of poverty - a government that is only getting more attentive.

After all the post-election hoopla about getting rid of the nannying socialists – and I admit I hummed a little tune from The Wizard of Oz that night – we ended up with more nannying socialists. Nothing changes.

In fact nothing has changed for millennia. Pericles had it right 2,400 years ago when he warned, “You may not be interested in politics, but politics is interested in you.”

Many libertarians are involved in politics not because we enjoy the game of politics but as an act of self-defence. If I could reduce the sphere of politics, maybe it would pay less unwanted attention to me, and then I wouldn’t have to be interested in politics.

I suspect the reason that I don’t see eye-to-eye with the dead-rat-swallowing cheerleaders for the current government –many of whom should know better – is that they don’t share that distaste for politics.

Politics should be a means to an end. A good end might be, say, promoting human freedom – just off the top of my head. Politics may be one tool towards that goal.

If politics becomes an end in itself you start believing that convincing people that freedom is good is too hard. Better to hide your intentions, don’t let voters know just how free you want them to be, and sneak into power. And then with that power you can … continue to hide your original intentions and evade the difficult questions so that you can remain in power.

If this is Act’s current strategy, steps one and two are working brilliantly. No one observing them would divine the secret plan to unshackle us. The question is: what’s step three? Will they do something useful or will they keep propping up the orthodoxy so that they can retain power so that they can keep propping up the orthodoxy so that they can retain power so…

How many rats do you have to swallow before you become a rat?

* * Read Bernard Darnton’s column every Thursday here at NOT PC * *


  1. Splendid! My thoughts exactly. What is a Dick Worth?

  2. thre drunken watchman4 Jun 2009, 22:16:00

    Bernard, you are just so bloody brilliant. Thank you

  3. Credit where it's due for this in Worth's parliamentary resignation press release:

    "I believe I may make a greater contribution [to New Zealand] through my business activities than by attempting to remain in politics"

    Never a truer word. You'd be hard pushed to find anyone whose business activities contributed less than most politicians'.


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