Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Libz leader offers fake libertarian a job

PRESS RELEASE
For immediate release
Commercial Whaling

Paul Henry Flustered By Whale Farming Proposal
    Libertarianz leader Richard McGrath said comedian Guy Williams did such a good job promoting a free market in whale meat on Paul Henry’s breakfast TV show (above) that he should be offered a spokesman job for the party.
    “While Paul Henry is still smarting from being harpooned, Mr Williams did offer good arguments in support of the private farming of whales.”
    Dr McGrath, who prefers to think of whales as ‘sea cattle’, said the farming of livestock in rural areas of New Zealand had ensured the viability of species such as cows, bulls, sheep, alpacas and goats.
    “A while back, our party suggested eating roast kiwi or kereru for Sunday dinner, which would be possible if the farming of these animals was open up to commercialisation.”
    Dr McGrath disputed Paul Henry’s claim that he couldn’t have a decent argument with Mr Williams as sour grapes, because the comedian had made a trophy of him.
    “Paul didn’t offer one single skerrick of rebuttal against the cogent and reasoned points in favour of whale farming made by Mr Williams, which the Libertarianz Party endorses.”
    “Whales are endangered because no-one owns them or the seas in which they swim,” added Dr McGrath. “As Mr Williams implied, the current situation is a mess because of the absence of property rights--and the Japanese are having a field day as a result, slaughtering at will.”
    “The Libertarianz Party believe a free market would encourage and ensure the survival and sustainability of whale species,” he said. “Whale fritters should definitely be a menu item at fish and chip shops around the country. Any other system where humans lack a vested interest in looking after whales dooms these sea cattle to extinction.”
    It’s enough to make you vote Libertarianz!

ENDS

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11 Comments:

Anonymous the drunken watchman said...

Why do you say he is a "fake libertarian"? - you know something about this character that I don't?

6/09/2010 01:57:00 pm  
Blogger PC said...

He's a prankster. Those stories linked at the bottom of the post indicate some of the follow-up to his appearances.

6/09/2010 02:31:00 pm  
Anonymous the drunken watchman said...

yep, I realise he is a prankster, but pretty ambiguous eh - not sure how Paul Henry was meant to see through what made pretty good sense. (Except of course, that Paul Henry didnt get it, right down to his disbelief that there could be a non-profit organisation promoting commerce)

6/09/2010 03:04:00 pm  
Blogger gregster said...

Enjoyed that.Too many ums and ahs but he was pretty good. Probably will backfire on Libz unfortunately.

6/09/2010 05:34:00 pm  
Blogger twr said...

I thought he came across like an idiot. I think there are much more productive things the party can associate themselves with rather than taking every opportunity to put people off.

6/09/2010 10:19:00 pm  
Anonymous Richard McGrath said...

@twr: Are you suggesting Libertarianz should refrain from doing or saying anything that might upset people?

Does that include holding back from challenging entrenched beliefs such as the sanctity of the public health system, state social welfare, state education, etc., because someone, somewhere might be "put off"?

What sort of "productive things" did you have in mind? Do you not think that commercial whale farming might offer employment and export dollars to New Zealanders?

Guy Williams looked like a pretty average bloke to me. Paul Henry failed to offer any counterargument to the points Guy made.

6/10/2010 08:50:00 am  
Blogger twr said...

"Are you suggesting Libertarianz should refrain from doing or saying anything that might upset people? " No.

"Does that include holding back from challenging entrenched beliefs such as the sanctity of the public health system, state social welfare, state education, etc., because someone, somewhere might be "put off"?" No.

"What sort of "productive things" did you have in mind?"
Well, maybe the things you just mentioned above.

"Do you not think that commercial whale farming might offer employment and export dollars to New Zealanders?" No, and I assume you're smart enough to realise this too.

I would have thought as leader of the Libz you'd need a better idea of what you need to do to get your message across to average people who make up the vast majority of the voters in this country. Making a point of supporting commercial whaling clearly isn't an issue that will resonate with people and will make them want to vote for you or find out more about your policies. Whether you like it or not, if you want your ideas to get traction you need to start with areas where you would have the broadest support.

I'm not suggesting you compromise your principles, but you might have more actual success if you didn't go out of your way to rub people up the wrong way just for fun or to prove how pure you are. You are not going to get much support if the only thing people know about you is that you're the guy who thinks farming whales is a great idea.

6/10/2010 11:17:00 am  
Anonymous Richard McGrath said...

@twr: I guess you're saying Libz should avoid coming out in open support of standpoints which might be deeply unpopular with most of the electorate.

But how can a libertarian political party avoid getting offside with the 94% of voters who wanted tax increases, an ETS, public hospitals, etc (and therefore voted Labour, National, NZF, Green, Progressive, Maori or UF at the last election)?

I'm not sure a libertarian party can avoid getting up the noses of people who love the Nanny State and want more of it.

The only way to change people's minds sometimes is to take a deeply unpopular stand on some issues, such as the freedom (or lack thereof) to put into your body whatever you like. Or taking a moral standpoint on taxation. Or farming large seaborne mammals.

This BlueLabour government already say on their party website that they believe in individual freedom, personal responsibility, competitive enterprise and limited government. Libz will look like apologists for BlueLabour unless we tackle issues where BlueLabour fear to tread.

6/10/2010 02:55:00 pm  
Blogger twr said...

Think of the voters as your wife. She doesn't like you sitting in your chair in front of the fire of an evening picking your nose and wiping the results on the cat.

It's really not the end of the world if you decide to only do it when she's not in the room, and everyone ends up happier, especially the cat. You don't have to deny you do it, and if asked you can admit it, but it's just not there, front and centre, and it leaves you free to argue about things that matter like which channel to watch.

Back to our specific circumstances. I don't think issuing public statements on commercial whaling is going to help you achieve more important goals like smaller government.

You say "The only way to change people's minds sometimes is to take a deeply unpopular stand on some issues, such as the freedom (or lack thereof) to put into your body whatever you like. Or taking a moral standpoint on taxation. Or farming large seaborne mammals."

However, it's hard to lump drinking/smoking/drugs and tax in the same category as whale farming. Certainly, the level of public support for the former two is vastly different than for the latter. Furthermore, the latter is not supported by any historical facts showing that it's a practical suggestion, so it just comes across as daft.

As the leader of the party, you need to be acutely aware of the PR impacts of what you do, as the other members and supporters are relying on you to lead the efforts to achieve gains towards your ultimate goals. You in particular need to keep this in mind when you issue a statement.

I'm not sure if you're actually saying that your whaling statement would increase or decrease support for the party, but I challenge you to ask 20 people in the street whether it improved or worsened their view of the party when you read it to them.

So to summarise this waffle, I really think you need to pick your battles, and focus your efforts on things that people are likely to support, rather than those that a large and vocal percentage are against. You can get to the whales once you've achieved the more important things.

6/10/2010 03:52:00 pm  
Blogger Ruth said...

I really think you need to pick your battles.

Indeed, and far more people are interested in the natural environment and biodiversity than they are in small govt. Look at the Greeen Party support.

I thought the press release was excellent - I must be missing something if folk think it will backfire on Libz.

6/10/2010 04:59:00 pm  
Blogger twr said...

Dur!

6/10/2010 07:04:00 pm  

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