Wednesday, 8 July 2009

DOWN TO THE DOCTOR’S: Party Political Pilfering and Press Gallery Parasites

richardmcgrath In which Libertarianz leader Dr Richard McGrath takes his regularly irreverent look at some of the past week’s headlines.

  1. Decision near on endorsing UN rights declaration– National is considering reversing the Clark government’s quite correct decision to spurn the concept of (bogus) indigenous rights. Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples and Prime Minister John Key both see recognition of the UN Declaration as a fait accompli. The previous Labour government said it would not support something which implied different classes of citizenship. A rare bouquet for Helen Clark from me!
    This declaration is dangerous, separatist and has the potential to foment racial confrontation in New Zealand. We don’t need it.
    The contentious part of this declaration is Article 26, which states that indigenous people have a right to use, develop or control “lands and territories” that they have traditionally owned, occupied or used. What is not mentioned is the conflicts that may arise where said land is now privately owned and possibly occupied.
    Does “control” over “territories” mean that vast numbers of New Zealanders will be evicted from freehold land at the whim of the new “Maori” owners? I maintain that land (and the foreshore and seabed, and the oceans for that matter) would be much better privately owned, with secure title, safe from UN predators. This whole saga provides fresh evidence that the UN should be disbanded, along with the Ministry of Maori Affairs. New Zealanders protested on the streets in 1981 against the race-based politics of South Africa; we should similarly spurn any attempt to further divide New Zealand along racial lines. I urge readers to write to their MP voicing concern about the implications of the current government accepting the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
  2. Labour puts up dollar-a-vote election funding plan – When I first saw this headline, I thought Labour were budgeting for the next election and sorting out how much they needed to raise through their supporters. Alas, in the first paragraph of this article it is apparent that Labour want taxpayers to be forced to fund political parties that they don’t support. Labour want political parties funded with a dollar for every vote obtained at the previous election. Doesn’t that tend to guarantee that smaller parties will not receive this funding to any significant degree, and without the money to pay for advertising will not receive media exposure during the election campaign, and will therefore be less likely to receive votes – in short, that the same two old tired parties will win every election. Not to mention that taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to pay for political parties to which they’re opposed.
    Only one political party refused taxpayer funding for television advertising in 2008, and believes state and broadcasting should be separated. It believes the current rules dictating broadcasting funding violate our freedom of speech.
  3. Large Maori contingent to voice claim for seats – Apartheid as a system of national government in a country thousands of miles away was repugnant enough; why should we tolerate it in our own country?
    A subcommittee is to hear submissions on the possibility of “Maori wards” in Lord Mayor John Banks’ Super City. Tau Henare expects some of these submissions to be “heated”. I wonder if they will be as heated as some of the anti-apartheid protests which disrupted the Springbok rugby team’s tour of 1981? I wonder how many of the protestors who thought racial separatism was so evil back then, now embrace the concept?
    Where does that great humanitarian John Minto stand on this issue?
  4. Surprise - the pen is mightier than the horde – Deborah Coddington reminds us that if we think our politicians are over-funded, consider the parasites from the Press Gallery, whose rent for the space it occupies in Parliament is picked up by the taxpayer, and whose overseas journeys when accompanying politicians is also heavily subsidized (from the defence budget).
    Surely, these freeloaders should be made to pay their own way, particularly, as Deborah points out, as they usually work for private newspapers and publishers.
    I had to smile at her story of Richard Prebble who, when acting minister of finance, baulked at the cost of strengthening parliament’s buildings against earthquakes, concluding it was cheaper to let the buildings collapse, killing all the politicians within, and hold another general election. Such common sense is sadly lacking in the halls of power these days!         

See y’all next week!
Doc McGrath

* * Read Richard McGrath’s column every Wednesday here at NOT PC * *

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