Libertarianz leader Dr Richard McGrath ransacks the newspapers for headlines and stories on issues affecting our freedom.
This week: More bludging MPs, and enviro-scum
1. “We’re paying for MPs’ legal bills, but it’s a secret” – Yes, we are footing a large part of the bill for these clowns when they are taken to court. Green Party mole Nick Smith landed himself in hot water, accused of defamation by a timber preservative company, and we are paying for some of that. I wonder if we will be liable for any of the damages, said to run into the millions of dollars, should the Minister lose his case?
Now it has been revealed that Gerry Brownlee tried to milk the public to the tune of nearly $50,000 for a court case in 1999. He now acknowledges his application for a handout was “not appropriate.” (Sure wasn’t!) It appears that, since 2001, taxpayers can be forced to help pay the legal bills of MPs, and that non-ministerial MPs can thumb their nose when we ask how much it’s costing us because they are not subject to the Official Information Act.
Kudos to Labour MP Trevor Mallard who has been man enough to pay several of his own legal bills himself. Why shouldn’t MPs be accountable for their own legal expenses?
2. “Pull head out of scrum and say sorry” – Herald columnist Chris Rattue joins the unedifying parade of apologists –- among them Tiger Woods and Krudd (Kevin Rudd) –- who feel the urge to say sorry for things they haven’t done, or to people they haven’t wronged. This time Mr Rattue says sorry on behalf of “whoever would like to join this movement,” to the Maori people and rugby players, for the NZ rugby union’s policy of selecting whites-only teams for tours to South Africa until 1960. Well, count me out, Chris, because I wasn’t born until after 1960.
But isn’t there a delicious irony in Mr Rattue’s description of the South African rugby union’s policies as “[a] crime against rational thinking and behaviour”? What about the existence of the NZ rugby union’s Maori Board, and the exclusion of non-Maori players from its Maori rugby teams?
Will we see Mr Rattue apologising for the selection policies that consign a large proportion of current rugby players to “second class citizenship” on the basis of skin colour? And would he have been happier if the rugby union had fielded a team called the White All Blacks in 1928, 1937, 1949 and 1960?
The Libertarianz Party stands for freedom of association. The rugby union should be able to send teams based on whatever selection criteria wherever they like, and be prepared to receive criticism from those who don’t agree with their decisions. But the government should not interfere unless the rights of others are being infringed. And there lies a whole new can of worms. Perhaps the rugby union should apologise for its race-based selection decisions of the past, but why is Mr Rattue not indignant about the existence of Maori rugby teams?
3. “Planner against new supermarket in Ilam” – Par for the course, really. A City Council planner opposes the construction of a new supermarket in Christchurch. Admitting that some local residents may benefit from more convenient access to a supermarket (fancy that!), Planner Clare Revell is concerned that an existing supermarket could lose $10 million in the first year. Lady, that’s called competition – you know, the thing that keeps downward pressure on prices and offers people choice (and, as patrons of the Glenfield Pak’n’Save on Auckland’s North Shore understand, something the Resource Management Act is able to squash for up to seventeen years).
Ms Revell’s job would cease to exist under a Libertarianz government. All council “planners” would be retired and their positions dissolved, making life just that little bit easier for developers and entrepreneurs. The resource consent industry would be a thing of the past –- making life a lot easier for those who want to develop the land they currently “own” in name only.
4. “Dam approval threat to all rivers” – Whinging bloody enviro-mentalists are snivelling about plans to construct an efficient and emissions-free source of power – a hydro-electric dam on the South Island’s West Coast. The chickens are coming home to roost for the mentalists –- their no-carbon-emissions greenwash leaves very few affordable clean methods of generating electrical power –- namely, nuclear and hydro-electric. Wind and solar power are still not affordable after decades of development –- they are becoming cheaper, but very slowly. And not yet efficient enough to be real substitutes. And out of the two cheap options, hydro is the cheaper.
The Libertarianz Party says the electrical generation and supply industries should be fully privatized, with people able to generate and distribute electricity by whatever means they wished, subject to redress under common law if anyone is adversely affected by their actions.
When the people fear the government, there is tyranny - when the government fear the people, there is liberty.
- Thomas Jefferson