Wednesday, 7 October 2009

DOWN TO THE DOCTOR’S: Philip Field, Fiordland and Foot to the Firewall

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

richardmcgrath 1. Safety fear as Key car speeds – Nearly five years since Helen Clark’s government vehicle averaged nearly 130 km/h to catch a plane flight to a rugby game she admits held no interest for her, we have Speedgate 2 – John Key’s car, according to journalists who were there, reaching 120 km/h on a road in Samoa with a designated limit of 40 km/h. Key’s mouthpiece, Kevin Taylor, reckons the convoy didn’t break much more than 65 km/h. John, this is embarrassing. Get your facts straight. If you can’t reach a decent speed, at least kill the whole story. It is alleged that Helen’s car got to 170 km/h between Waimate and Christchurch. For goodness sake, 65 km/h isn’t in the same ballpark. Shame on the wimp who was driving you around Samoa, John. A real man would have tossed the driver out the door and put foot to the firewall. Full speed ahead, and damn the torpedoes. Villagers and dogs who got in the way could always be written off as tsunami victims. Memo to John: study the car chase in the Steve McQueen film Bullitt, and next time try harder.

2. Taito Philip Field makes Labour squirm – Oh dear. Labour are circling the wagons after the incarceration of former poster boy T. P. Field. After defending him for a year, and emasculating Auckland QC Noel Ingram’s initial attempts to investigate an allegation of conflict of interest against Mr Field, Labour politicians find themselves in the unlikely position of having little or nothing to say, apart from some mumblings about New Zealanders being equal under the law. Oh, except if you’re the Prime Minister and your car is doing 170 km/h on the way to the airport. The rest of us are cash cows for the traffic Stasi. One irony of the whole sorry T. P. Field saga is that he was earlier convicted and fined $20,000 for a non-crime: converting a garage into a family room and a carport into a garage. Nice to see politicians getting a taste of their own fascism.

3. Fiordland listing a ‘disgrace’ – We’ve been told the government is considering opening Fiordland up to oil and mineral exploration. Hurrah! The Greens are trying to kill this attempt to lessen our dependence on oil imports. Sheesh. Green co-leader Metiria Turei (the Greens don’t think a female could take on the leader’s role without a male to hold her hand) says “they are keen to mine our most precious parks.” And why not? Mankind’s whole existence has relied on adapting the environment to our needs. If the skill of fire-lighting had not been utilized, millions of us would have perished in the cold. Oil exploration is a corollary of mankind’s rightful domination of this planet and the harnessing of natural resources to further the survival of our species. Once again the Greens wrap their anti-human, anti-life agenda in a veneer of compassion and expect us to lap it up. But Metiria needn’t worry – the invertebrates on the Treasury benches are starting to back down already. “Claims that the government is considering granting oil companies exploration licenses in the Fiordland National Park are simply hysterical!” sobbed Energy and Resources Minister Gerry Brownlee, after caving in to extreme pressure from Green Party cabinet minister Nick Smith.

See y’all next week!
Doc McGrath


  1. Bullitt--was there ever a better car chase scene? especially the few minutes leading up to it.
    (Hpelessly biased, I am, having owned a Mach1 Mustang :-) )

  2. On the contrary, our whole existance depends on living within the limits of our environment. We can push past those limits temporarily but in the long run the only option is to live sustainably.

  3. But what are "the limits of our environment" Rimu?
    The phrase sounds good--let's see it backed up with some facts.

  4. Rimu: if we lived within the limits of the environment, we'd barely be out of the cave. What we need to do is live to the limits of our minds - the use of the mind and its application to the environment is what has made the human race thrive, and to the degree that it it does thrive shows where and when the mind has been used most. Any reversal of that is self-destructive.
    "For nature to be commanded it must be obeyed" applies to humans too...but don;t forget that includes *our nature* to survive and prosper.

  5. Yes Rimu just what are the limits of our environment?

    How do we measure them?

    In this instance what is the meaning of temporary?

    What is the source of your information?

  6. Richard McGrath7 Oct 2009, 13:45:00

    Rimu - I think it was Francis Bacon that wrote: "Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed."

    That is (and to rephrase what you wrote): our existence depends on obeying the laws of nature. i.e. acknowledging that there is an objective reality, and adjusting one's actions accordingly in order to survive (don't walk off the top of a building, or venture out in the cold without adequate clothing, etc.)

    But within the limits of technology and imagination, humans can reshape their surroundings for personal benefit in whatever way they choose. If a person harms others or their property in the process, then it is his responsibility to put matters right and either restore that person or thir property to the pre-damaged state, or compensate them in some other mutually acceptable way.

  7. Rimu

    Everything changes (just ask a woman about her body before and after a pregnancy). The way Fiordland (or anywhere else) is now will change. Pretending there is something intrinsically special about how the land looks right now is illogical (laughable). What is guaranteed is that Fiordland, like any other place, is going to change. There is nothing wrong with change. It is an aspect of reality that change will occur. Nature is an an agent of change.

    Man survives by changing aspects of the entities he sees around him in order to suit his needs and requirements. That means Man, a part of Nature, is necessarily an agent of change.

    Since the appearance of the land is going to change anyway, Man may as well change it to suit his own welfare. Mining is one of those activities that grants advantage to Man. So, best get on with it.

    BTW the solution to all the hand wringing and moaning would be to privitise the "conservation estate". Give it back to the people and let them, as private owners, determine what is to be done with that which each of them owns.



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