Monday, 6 July 2009

Paying for views you oppose

One of the chief evils of offices of political advocacy is that taxpayers opposed to views which they hold to be wrong-headed, destructive or plain vicious are required, nonetheless, to dip into their pockets and pay for bureaucrats to promote those views.  Paid political activists whose time is paid for by their opponents – what could be more outrageous!

Latest example of this outrage is a magazine issued by the Families Commission which fiercely upholds the power of  government employees to enter your home and tell you how to discipline your children.  While Families Commissioner Christine Rankin has been told by her bosses to keep her mouth shut on matters pertaining to the anti-smacking referendum, you and I and and the opponents of the anti-smacking legislation are having our pockets picked to pay for advocacy which we oppose.  Advocates like Bob McCoskrie of Families First and his supporters are required to find the money to promote the “No” vote campaign, while all the while being required to up the tab for their opponents as well.

Such is the evil of offices of political advocacy like the Families Commission, which opposes the sanctity of the family, or the Children’s Commissioner, which under Cindy Kiro favours the nationalisation of children.

Into this debate steps Stephen Franks, arguing that things have gone so far that it is time to consider the heresy of “a new publicly funded agency to remedy failure in the marketplace of ideas”: an Office of Devil’s Advocacy – and office paid to provide opposition to the paid political advocates of the “dreary anointed.”

Sounds like a job I might enjoy – if, that is, I could stomach the heresy of picking my opponents’ pockets to pay for the unpalatable advocacy I’d be required to promote.  :-)


  1. And yet Larry Williams, when talking to John Key this morning on Newstalk ZB about the CIR, declined to quiz him over the Families Commission (and others) publicly-funded spending sprees as per Family First's weekend accusations.

    Instead, LW chose to harp on about the cost and 'the point' of holding it with regard to Key's previous comments.


    Almost as wet as Key's claim in the same conversation that the F&S Act review was not so much about "money changing hands" as addressing Maori's "loss of mana", quoting Hone Harawira.

    It really makes you wonder about those who continue to support whatever it is that National's supposed to stand for, doesn't it.

    Oops, but there I go again espousing those overtly left-wing, pro-homosexual views! ;)

  2. Thanks for the smile Sus.

    BTW, you reckon Michelle Bachman would get along with the National Party?

    I dunno why you rail against them in particular. You can throw Labour National the mainstream media, the state bureaucracy and the education system all in the same barrel.

    They're (almost) all part of the same systematic cultural assault on freedom that stems from Progressivism.

  3. "They're (almost) all part of the same systematic cultural assault on freedom that stems from Progressivism."
    Yes indeed. And equally contemptible.

  4. Would be funny if it were not true PC.

    When I was running the campaign for voluntary student union membership the law said the student unions weren't allowed to use funds their funds to influence the debate.

    Despite the fact that I was happy to use my own funds to fund my propaganda, the union politicians took the law to mean they could spend money to promote CSM but the funds had to be allocated equally.

    Before the holidays finished I was asked by a (union-funded) student magazine editor to provide 1,000 words on why people should vote for voluntary membership. I later saw my words on a page opposite the argument for compulsion - they had provided 500 words and had it printed in large print. My 1,000 words had been squeezed (in c. 6 point font) onto a half empty page with plenty of blank space and a big photo and headline.

    The worst was yet to come. When the next academic year started the union called for a meeting of people on both sides. I turned up and found that I wasn't the only one advocating voluntary membership - I had to compete for funds (which I ultimately never received) with someone who had previously been president of the student union for 3 years and who had campaigned for election as president in the previous year while advocating compulsory.

    So not only do compulsion touters like spending your money on ideas you oppose, they also like spending your money advocating "your ideas" poorly.

  5. Just caught up with this thread.

    I "rail against" the Nats in particular, Red, because they disappoint me enormously. The others you mention are all lost causes; there's no hope for any of them; but the Nats *should* know better.

    They purport to stand for private enterprise, etc, and then behave like the very socialists they purport to oppose. Therefore, they deserve the brickbats.

    It's a bloody shame, eh.

    ps: Haven't yet caught up with this Michelle Bachman. Will try to make the time to do so.

  6. Yeah, well, my pocket is being picked to pay for a damn' stupid referendum on this very issue.

    Why can't the 310,000 idiots who signed the idiotic petition be asked to fork out $30 apiece for it? Looks to me like a reasonable sum, for a cause you really believe in.

    And then we should make the referendum binding. Not binding on politicians, because that's pretty pointless - make it binding directly on the courts. If it passes, then if you're charged with a crime, you get an automatic pass if you can persuade the court that what you did was "a smack as part of good parental correction".

    Maybe that sort of responsibility would make people a bit more careful about what they sign their name to.

  7. Hi Vet.

    The law allows for CIR's, no matter the issue. These petitioners are exercising a right.

    If you have a bone to pick re referendum cost, pick it with Helen Clark. Those responsible for the ref pleaded for it to be held on Election Day last year for obvious reasons, but Clark wouldn't have it.

    "Too confusing", she said. Which is the same phrase trotted out by those currently opposed to the ref. Funny that.

    "Do you support Sue Bradford's Anti-Smacking Act?" Yes or No.

    It could have been that simple and cost bugger all in the greater scheme of things. But there was an excellent chance that it would have delivered Clark (& Bradford & Key) a collective smack -- and they couldn't have that, any of them.

    And now Clark's not here to face the music. How bloody convenient.

    Oh, and as for opposing it for reasons of cost? It'd be the first time the Nanny Staters ever gave two hoots about public expense. They need to do better than that ...

  8. Red

    Goodness, gracious! How many chances do the National Socialists deserve to get? They have been socialists for many, many decades- probably socialists for as long as they've been around. What makes them more pernicious than their Labour socialist colleagues is that they fib about it.

    The long operating Labour-National coalition is directly responsible for the dire state of the economy, law, culture, society and the lack of real wealth that is the NZ experience today. There really is no reason to offer any sympathy or doubt when it comes to understanding the nature of these guys or their activities.

    BTW one reason they deserve special attention right now is that they are IN POWER. Watch out!



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