Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hide v Roy: The story of he and she [update 4]

It now seems clear that both of the rumours about the ACT split swirling around yesterday are correct, but not in the way we first thought.

It was about the mis-use of a restricted Defence document, only it wasn’t Roy mis-using it, it was Hide.

Which is why she sought assistance from Parliamentary Services—to see what to do about his mis-use.

Which is why he couldn’t work with her any more—not because she tried to roll him, but because she has standards about these things, and he no longer has.

Which is why he rolled her.

Which is why what’s now left of the ACT Caucus (now that Roy & Douglas are both sidelined) wouldn’t say why she was rolled. Because instead of not answering questions about why they rolled her, they’d have to not answer questions about why their leader no longer has any standards.

So just look now at what the ACT Party has now become:

 

Is this what you’d call a party of “transparency and accountability”?

Transparency 

Is this what you’d call “a party of ideas”?

ThePartyOfIdeas

 

Clearly, ACT are now dead from the neck up.  Send in the undertakers.

Time for a genuine freedom party to get out from under.

UPDATE 1:  Liberty Scott asks “So what now kiwi lovers of less government?

_Quote ACT had potential, it did believe in less government once, it did have senior leaders who would talk the good talk. As flawed as Rodney Hide is, and Sir Roger Douglas, there were more than a few occasions when one could say "bravo".
    However, ACT's first real chance at power …  hasn't just been disappointing, it has even seemed counter-productive.
    So what now?

UPDATE 2: Blair Mulholland.  Same question, different answer.

UPDATE 3: Further confirmation of the death of “The Party of Ideas,” from its former deputy leader:

_QuoteAct sees [politics] as primitive combat, with a need to destroy a colleague's reputation to justify an otherwise inexplicable decision.

C/F, from a post a few weeks back about the death of ideas in politics:

_Quote…For them, politics wasn’t  a battle of ideas, it was a battle of warring political tribes.  “But the big dilemma for all the pragmatists of the Right, is: what are they to fight and by what means, if principles are inoperative? Politics is a field in which one deals with ideas and it requires the ability to argue, to discuss, to persuade. What does one do in politics if one has discarded the whole realm of ideas? One fights people.

UPDATE 4: And here’s “The Story of He and She” in 82-page detail, confirming that despite many rumours to the contrary Roy didn’t want to be the leader and didn’t try to roll the leader.  She was  simply concerned that ACT is “distracted from the policies and causes we are here to advance and we are losing the political authority that comes only to parties that patently live their principles.”

And who could argue with that.

It confirms that, under Hide, ACT’s caucus has discarded the realm of ideas altogether, and now fights people.

Like leader, like caucus.

It demonstrates her concern that unless ACT urgently tries to expand its market, it will remain reliant on National’s favour in the seat of Epsom-- a seat on which National Party polling suggests Hide has only a “tenuous” hold; and in which, almost unbelievably, no ACT polling has been done-and simply drift into oblivion.

Who could deny that possibility.

It reveals that the thuggish David Garret is now court favourite, effectively running shotgun for his leader.

Who would expect that?

And it confirms that following months of goings-on worse than the most dysfunctional family, the final break came when Rodney Hide breached the security of a confidential Defence document, which somehow ended up in the hands of ACT board member Nigel Kearney, and then to a blogger at No Minister who had the good sense not to leap into print. Following which breach Roy sought advice from Parliamentary Services  (note “sought advice from,” not “lodged a complaint with”).  And when HRH (as it seems Rodney Hide is known around Bowen House) took this exception to Roy questioning his majesty, his lieutenants moved to rid his highness of his “turbulent” deputy.   (They should have taken more notice of what happened to Henry II’s.)

What the 82 pages give us in the end is an insight into an ego made fatter by ministerial office, leading a disfunctional party in denial about its imminent oblivion.  It’s only appropriate then that it contains several references to the Titanic.

Labels:

59 Comments:

Blogger Berend de Boer said...

The freedom party has so much attraction its 500 members can't even got 500 other people to vote for it.

And bad for you you didn't go to a Montisorri school. Because then you might have been able to read. Because what does this article say:

A spokesman for Prime Minister John Key said he was made aware of the complaint.


"He was made aware of the fact a complaint was made to Ministerial Services and it was found there was no substance to it and we don't hold any concerns about this."


So we have Heather Roy making up a complaint with Ministerial Services against her Party Leader. That's crazy (if true, this stuff comes from Audrey who dreams up a lot of stuff).

8/18/2010 01:14:00 pm  
Blogger PC said...

The only person talking about what happened in that caucus meeting is Stephen Franks who, whatever else you might think of him is a man of his word.

It's his information I'd rely on, not Audrey's (who is, as you say, a dreamer), nor the boiler-plate denial by Key. Who would be "relaxed about this" even if his arse was on fire.

8/18/2010 01:30:00 pm  
Blogger PC said...

PS: I've amended that link to more accurately reflect what Franks had to say, without Audrey's speculation to muddy his waters.

8/18/2010 01:32:00 pm  
Blogger Berend de Boer said...

No, there is a spokesman for the Prime Minister, effectively the Prime Minister himself telling us what happened: a complaint was made, that complaint had no substance.

You claimed that Hide somehow had gone past his security clearance (despite their not even being such a thing between MPs).

8/18/2010 01:45:00 pm  
Blogger PC said...

Stop wriggling, Berend, you can do better than this.

Key is simply talking boiler plate, has you'd expect on a defence issue. (And notice how ACT has now lost this portfolio, exactly as you'd expect when they're a bad risk.)

I'm not "claiming" something about any "security clearances," simply pointing you to what it was Franks said --and he's the only one in that room who's talking, and (despite being a lawyer) the only one who retains any credibility.

8/18/2010 02:20:00 pm  
Blogger Berend de Boer said...

PC, you wrote this:

It was about the mis-use of a restricted Defence document

John Key says:

He was made aware of the fact a complaint was made to Ministerial Services and it was found there was no substance to it and we don't hold any concerns about this.

And then you claim that John Key is lying. There was substance, and there were concerns. If for your conspiracy theory to work John Key must make easily verified lies, we're getting into the crazy territory.

And on why ACT would lose defence: it was a personal favourite of Heather. Heather is now gone, so ACT has only 4 MPs left. Of course work is shuffled. And ACT has now got Associate Commerce, which it didn't have before.

(It still has Consumer Affairs, don't get me started).

So your story is just bullocks and you know it.

8/18/2010 02:39:00 pm  
Anonymous Sean Fitzpatrick said...

At the Aro Valley hall debate during the last election, Roy answered the question about what party she would vote for if not her own with 'Libertarianz'.


There will be a membership application form in the mail to her tomorrow morning.

8/18/2010 02:50:00 pm  
Blogger PC said...

@Berend: Listen to Franks. He says a complaint wasn't made. He says HR sought advice.

If you have an issue with that, take it up with Stephen.

8/18/2010 03:52:00 pm  
Blogger Berend de Boer said...

Silly me PC, we should always listen to a person's lawyer, instead of to the Prime Minister who clearly says a COMPLAINT was made.

8/18/2010 03:56:00 pm  
Blogger PC said...

Q: How do you know when a politician is lying?
A: Their lips are moving.

If you have a problem with the apparent contradiction, take it up with Stephen.

And if you want an "out" for Key, you might recall 1) that all his advice on this comes through your hero, who was the one accused of doing the tampering; and 2) that by saying there was "no complaint" it avoids him needing to deny that HR "sought advice," a very different thing, or to answer questions about about why she needed to seek that advice. That's political speak for you.

8/18/2010 04:13:00 pm  
Blogger Berend de Boer said...

PC: you might recall 1) that all his advice on this comes through your hero, who was the one accused of doing the tampering;

Huh what? We have John Key's spokesperson saying they received a complaint.

This is not hearsay. Audrey Young got this straight from John Key's spoke person.

8/18/2010 04:50:00 pm  
Anonymous James said...

Act press release: (I wish...!)

Today the ACT party has responded to John Armstrong and other members of the media re the departure of Act deputy leader Heather Roy.

They say..."Get stuffed you twitchy little gimp.We are under no obligation to feed you or your cronies juicy tidbits to satisfy your craving for blood.Its politics...shit happens.Now bugger off and do some real journalism"

Blogger Cactus Kate has posted on the issue and the reasons Roy should have been chucked long ago....mostly due to her being a moron seemily unable to grasp the fact that she was only in Parliment thanks to Rodney Hides holding of the Epsom seat.Trying to shaft Hide meant she has got what she deserved....her arse kicked to the kurb.

http://asianinvasion2006.blogspot.com/

8/18/2010 04:57:00 pm  
Blogger Berend de Boer said...

HT Cactus. Also Rodney confirmed Roy made a complaint:

Mr Hide confirmed that Mrs Roy had lodged a complaint with Ministerial Services after he refused her demand to read the paper - which covered defence issues and was being prepared for Cabinet - in her office because there was nowhere for him to sit down.

I'm now waiting for you to retract this entire post. Nothing it was based on objective reality.

8/18/2010 05:09:00 pm  
Blogger PC said...

@Berend: You haven't grasped it yet, have you.

As I said above, either Key was being economical or his story about a complaint came from Hide. To the extent he's at all believable, Hide has now effectively confirmed the latter.

Which means the contradiction now boils down to Franks saying she was only asking for advice, and Hide saying there was a complaint which was dismissed--which, as I suggest above, is a subtle ruse which avoids answering questions about about why she needed to seek that advice. (A ruse you're all too eager to buy.)

As to which of Franks or Hide is correct (and only one of them can be) without anything further it comes down to which of the two is less likely to tell the truth--or, conversely, who has the most to gain from lying.

8/18/2010 05:53:00 pm  
Anonymous samiam said...

Poor Berend - it's all coming unstuck.
Splitting hairs over he said/she said, while the ACT party falls Hindenburg-esk onto the deck.

This is the tipping point - both for ACT or whatever is going to be left of it, and the Government.

It's been fun. Thanks for playing.

8/18/2010 09:23:00 pm  
Blogger Oswald Bastable said...

The only party even remotely close and you lot are out with the daggers.

Better luck in the 25th century.

8/18/2010 09:55:00 pm  
Blogger Oswald Bastable said...

The only party even remotely close and you lot are out with the daggers.

Better luck in the 25th century.

8/18/2010 09:55:00 pm  
Anonymous samiam said...

Wow Oswald, your comment made even less sense the second time round.

8/18/2010 10:03:00 pm  
Blogger PC said...

Oswald, they've had fifteen years and several million dollars to expand the market for freedom, and instead they've just pissed it away.

Dagger are the least these bastards deserve.

8/18/2010 10:40:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So just look now at what the NOT PC blog has now become:

Is this what you’d call a party of “transparency and accountability”?

running Communist Party (i.e. Labour) attack lines against ACT.

Not PC: fellow traveller or commie? Who gives a FUCK.

As it is, the two leftist wets in the ACT caucus got rolled by hard-kicking men who dont tolerate disloyalty or any kind of leftism.

Woger was in cabinet with Hellen.
Woy runs a communist school.

ACT is well rid of commies and their wet ilk.

8/18/2010 10:43:00 pm  
Blogger libertyscott said...

Anonymous: LOL, yes I notice not tolerating any kind of leftism means:
- Cheerleading on a Royal Commission of Inquiry set up by Labour with Labour's Terms of Reference and then implementing its prime recommendation;
- Doing so whilst maintaining the local government policy led and implemented by none other than Sandra Lee.

Whilst it is too much to expect the clock to be rolled all the way back with the Nats leading, was it too much to ask that the Royal Commission be treated like the Royal Commission on Social Policy, and be a doorstop, since it didn't answer the question "what should local government do".

The answer of this government is the same as Labour, the Alliance and the Greens.

and that's the policy ACT's Leader is meant to be leading.

8/18/2010 11:03:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Libertarianzah have also been around for 15 odd years, and what's your total combined vote count in the 5 (sorry 4, remember that time you couldn't even get your shit together enough to even get on the ballot?) elections you've contested? Greater or fewer than 10,000? It's sweet, sweet freedom people! Why can't you sell it?

Judge Holden

8/19/2010 06:38:00 am  
Anonymous James said...

Sad to say but Judge Holden has just asked the million dollar question re Libz.Hes right....how come the freedom message is so hard to sell?

Maybe red wine fueled rants and an elitist swagger aren't the best tatics to employ.

8/19/2010 10:49:00 am  
Anonymous PaulB said...

James,
Why is the freedom message so hard to buy?
Does Libz poor voter turnout automatically mean the freedom message is wrong? And does it magically become right once a certain number of people vote for it?

8/19/2010 11:28:00 am  
Anonymous Pete said...

You're avoiding the point, nobody is saying freedom is a bad idea, just that it's quite obviously being delivered by the wrong people. It's the same boring old 'outsider' mentality that inhabits all extreme interpretations of any given ideology, the more unpopular their views become, the more they become convinced they are right, the presupposition that everybody else is an idiot is just par for the course.

8/19/2010 11:45:00 am  
Anonymous ACT Youth said...

Can all you fucking libertarians get off from criticizing ACT ?

How about you guys, fucken try to get a single MP elected into Parliament first then you start moaning about the affairs of other parties.

8/19/2010 11:58:00 am  
Anonymous PaulB said...

The general theme throughout these comments seems to be PC is not allowed to criticise ACT because he belongs to a political party that doesn't have any MP's.
I suppose it's easier than discussing the content of the article.

8/19/2010 12:20:00 pm  
Anonymous James said...

The old saying "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a differnt result"could have been written with Libz in mind.

The results are in.....libz have been doing it wrong and change is needed.If ACT is going to implode then a party advocating for freedom is badly needed in Parliment to offer something in response to the statist tide.There is a far bigger market for liberty friendly policy than you may think.Its spread across the spectrum from voluntary euthanasia supporters to those wanting a richer,freer economy.

I would have US Libertarian "salesman" Michael Clouds ideas on presenting liberty to people front and centre of a new campaign to raise Libz profile and ignite interest.Learn from the Advocates for Self Government in the US about how to appeal to people and KEEP them.

And above all there needs to be a seperation of the objectivism from the Libertarianism....at least as far as attracting new p0eople and not driving them away for not being %100 pure from the get go.There are other paths to liberty besides Rands and while I think hers is the best one I can also see that its counter productive to beat new,curious people up with her.

Focus on the Libertarianism first.Direct to Rand if theres interest....start with the what and introduce the why once people are keen to explore that.

8/19/2010 01:17:00 pm  
Blogger libertyscott said...

There is a legitimate point about marketing the philosophy and how it is sold. That is something I believe is quite welcome, as long as there is principled consistency with it, then all good stuff.

Libertarianz has had a number of problems, not least the 2002 administrative debacle, and it is a problem if pro-freedom advocates don't see it as a place where their membership and contributions can be welcomed. Yet Libertarianz has changed leadership substantially since that time, and that needs to be sold. Richard McGrath is intelligent, well-mannered and open minded about how to present the party.

ACT Members so keen to piss on someone else's tent (one they don't visit) might look at how gloriously their own kind have done the same on their own, in full public view. I was once a member of ACT in the early days, but it has disgraced itself on matters such as civil unions and law and order, now in government it is so profoundly disappointing it is difficult to see why people bother anymore.

The Maori Party maintains its identity, principles and policies clearly. It advocates publicly and strongly for its position. ACT doesn't.

Either freedom loving ACT members take their party back, they join Libz and work positively to build an alternative or they take Blair's interesting suggestion of filling the Nats with people who believe in its principles, rather than "I want a career in politics".

The hard left has survived and flourished somewhat in the form of the Greens, without sacrificing its (evil) principles. Time to do the same only for those who believe in individual freedom.

8/19/2010 08:35:00 pm  
Anonymous The Silent Majority said...

"The hard left has survived and flourished somewhat in the form of the Greens, without sacrificing its (evil) principles. Time to do the same only for those who believe in individual freedom.'

The Greens have survived because they are part of a very, very well funded and organised world wide movement. The "Freedom Movement" not only doesn't exist in any significantly coherent/organised (dare I use that word!) way, if it tried it would be hard pushed to get nearly the same sort of funding as the Green movement has. And like it or not, some money is needed in order to get our message out. Yes, online provides plenty of possibilities, but by and large it is preaching to the converted. We need to communicate our message through the forums that the majority of people still get their info from, mainstream media being one.

8/19/2010 10:12:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you think the lack of any success at all in winning hearts and minds has anything to do with the way you call anyone who disagrees with anything you say evil and/or retarded? Just askin'

Judge Holden

8/20/2010 03:46:00 am  
Anonymous PaulB said...

James,
Thanks for clearing that up - fair points. I'm sure the Libz leadership would take and appreciate any advice, help and/or constructive criticism. Is this not your experience?
With regards to this article and ACT I think one of the main things preventing the freedom message being heard is parties such as ACT advertising themselves as freedom based but there has been no evidence of that from them in parliament.
Do you think that ultimately they could be doing more harm to the freedom message than good?

8/20/2010 02:57:00 pm  
Blogger Ruth said...

There is a far bigger market for liberty friendly policy than you may think.

There is no evidence of this at all.In fact folk are less interested in free markets and freedom than ever. Look at the gnashing of teeth about the partial sale of Kiwibank, sale of farms to foreigners and so on.

Folk don't know what freedom is - and when they find out via this blog or libz they get the vapors.

Just look at genocidal fantasists like Tim McVeigh, Sinner and the "Crusader Rabbit" crowd. They really think they are "For Liberty". That's why the philosophical base is so important and must not be watered down.

8/20/2010 05:19:00 pm  
Anonymous David S. said...

I think there is Ruth. People just don't agree with the ideology behind such decisions, they want to know that there will be a tangible increase in their freedoms.

I don't think there would be more freedom if the Libz got into power. Richard McGrath's comments about roads-

http://pc.blogspot.com/2010/07/down-to-doctors-dry-motorists-should.html

-were a prime example of why people don't take you guys seriously.

"If motorists feel the owner of one road is excessively zealous, they may be able to choose to bypass that particular route and contract with a different road owner."

This is so obviously impractical, no-one but those on the hard right would support it.

The thing is, if privatisation worked effectively, I think most regulation would still exist, it just wouldn't be determined by central government. Things like blood alcohol limits would almost certainly exist as a prerequisite for using roads, and there'd be no libertarian basis for objecting as long as the people defining such regulation were the the people directly affected by those decisions, IE the owners of the roads and the people who use them.

Simply flogging off assets to the highest bidder won't increase people's freedom. All it essentially means is a return to the feudal age, when the owners of capital, propped up by their monopoly ownership, impose rules on those who have little option because of their limited negotiating clout.

I think Libertarians on both sides of the left/right divide agree that decisions should only be made by the people that are affected by them. On the right you think capitalism (or should I say your version of capitalism) achieves this, but I don't buy it. Practical Libertarian options do exist, but you have to acknowledge the legitimacy of collective ownership to consider them.

8/20/2010 09:47:00 pm  
Anonymous ACT Youth said...

I think that Mr Garret should become the deputy leader of ACT. WHY? Because he speaks the truth. ACT needs someone like Garret to kick arse and tell it is of what ACT stands for.

8/20/2010 09:58:00 pm  
Anonymous James said...

Whaleoil has busted the smear plot against Hide big time.

I think some people owe our Rodney a very big apology.....

http://whaleoil.gotcha.co.nz/2010/08/20/anatomy-of-a-failed-leak-coup-smear/

8/21/2010 02:52:00 pm  
Anonymous Trevor said...

The thing is, if privatisation worked effectively, I think most regulation would still exist, it just wouldn't be determined by central government. Things like blood alcohol limits would almost certainly exist as a prerequisite for using roads, and there'd be no libertarian basis for objecting as long as the people defining such regulation were the the people directly affected by those decisions, IE the owners of the roads and the people who use them.


That kind of regulation, yes of course. Freedom is not anarchy.

Driving drunk is an act of criminal negligence. So the courts would still be involved, defining limits and standards.

8/21/2010 07:14:00 pm  
Anonymous Babylon And On said...

1996 - 671 Votes
1999 - 5,949
2002 - didn't write the cheque
2005 - 946
2008 - 1,070

Based on the above results, the Libz should take a look at THEMSELVES before pissing in the pocket of ACT. If you guys really want to start gaining some political traction, humping ACT's political corpse is not the way.. cut out a good deal of that cultist, mutual prostate-tickling Randroid horseshit for a start.

8/23/2010 05:15:00 pm  
Anonymous Richard McGrath said...

@Berend:

"The freedom party has so much attraction its 500 members can't even got 500 other people to vote for it."

Only just wrong, Berend, but wrong all the same, as Baby Lon pointed out: 2008 - 1,070.

8/23/2010 07:25:00 pm  
Anonymous Richard McGrath said...

@Trevor: "Driving drunk is an act of criminal negligence."

So, at what blood alcohol level does driving become an act of criminal negligence? Why was driving at 99 mg/100 ml in a 1960s deathtrap automobile with no seatbelts not criminally negligent; yet driving at 81 mg/100 ml in a 2010 car with airbags, disc brakes ABS and ESC somehow criminally negligent?

8/23/2010 07:31:00 pm  
Anonymous Richard McGrath said...

@ACT Yoof: "ACT needs someone like Garret to kick arse and tell it is of what ACT stands for."

Sorry, Yoof, I can't understand your grammar. Please translate that sentence into English for us.

Mmm... so, ACT need to use force rather than peaceful persuasion to convince people that their ideas have merit. Rather telling, I thought.

8/23/2010 07:35:00 pm  
Anonymous Richard McGrath said...

@David S: "I don't think there would be more freedom if the Libz got into power."

By freedom Libz mean lack of interference from government (i.e. government action restricted to the use of retaliatory force) and a respect for property rights by the citizenry.

How do you define freedom, David?

8/23/2010 07:42:00 pm  
Anonymous Richard McGrath said...

@Oswald Bastable: "The only party even remotely close and you lot are out with the daggers."

Unfortunately, Os, becoming more remote by the day.

8/23/2010 07:44:00 pm  
Anonymous Richard McGrath said...

@ACT Yoof: "Can all you fucking libertarians get off from criticizing ACT?"

If ACT do or say something praiseworthy, Libz will be the first to acknowledge and welcome it, just as we have applauded Labour when they occasionally accidentally do something with which we agree. It's just that currently ACT seem consumed with internal power struggles and utilising the baubles of ministerial power than promoting freedom.

8/23/2010 08:12:00 pm  
Anonymous Richard McGrath said...

@James: "I would have US Libertarian "salesman" Michael Clouds ideas on presenting liberty to people front and centre of a new campaign to raise Libz profile and ignite interest"

At last, a constructive comment! Thanks, James. I have read and listened to material by Michael Cloud, and he certainly makes some great points.

8/23/2010 08:17:00 pm  
Anonymous Richard McGrath said...

@David S: "[If motorists feel the owner of one road is excessively zealous, they may be able to choose to bypass that particular route and contract with a different road owner.]

This is so obviously impractical, no-one but those on the hard right would support it."

David, you know a hard right government would never support privatisation of roads, because that would make them less able to control people.

But if for 'motorists' you substituted the generic term 'users' and for 'road' substituted 'hospital',
'superannuation plan', 'supermarket', 'telecommunications company', 'airline' or 'ferry company', does it still seem so impractical.

You seem limited by an imagination that can't conceive an alternative to monopoly ownership of all roads. Yes, I admit it is difficult to picture an alternative to what we have now, but do you not think that with financial incentive and the freedom to think, a bright young entrepreneur couldn't come up with novel ways to widen consumer choice when it comes to transport.

Hell, the day might come when roads may be redundant, and could be converted back to agricultural or other use.

David I'm not saying I have the answers to making provision of roading competitive, but do you not even think it's a worthy goal, given that competition reduces prices to the consumer and lifts living standards?

8/23/2010 08:33:00 pm  
Anonymous Richard McGrath said...

@Baby Lon: "2008 - 1,070"

Actually, according to the Elections NZ website Libz got 1,176 party votes.

In electorates, we received a total of 1,739 votes.

In my electorate, I received more votes than ACT candidates Denz, Mallett (fourth president of ACT, and former Hamilton city councillor), Carline, Tattersfield, Tabachnik, Ormond, Hufflett, McCaffrey, Dittmer, Bridge, Scott, Davidson, McClelland and Gardiner did in their electorates; and the same number of votes as ACT candidate Kearney.

If Libz is proving an abject failure at selling the libertarian message, what judgement should be pronounced upon the 15 ACT candidates above, with a high profile leader and much bigger party organisation backing them?

8/23/2010 09:32:00 pm  
Anonymous David S. said...

"By freedom Libz mean lack of interference from government (i.e. government action restricted to the use of retaliatory force) and a respect for property rights by the citizenry."

I define freedom the same as you, actually. I just reject the idea that reducing the scope of the government is a one stop cure-all. It's ignores the history of how governments arose in the first place, and it ignores everything that we've learned about human sociology.

For a society to respect property rights, a dispute as long as human history would have to be resolved. Human beings do not create, we transfigure. All that we've accomplished has been based on using existing resources, resources which have always been obtained through the use of force. Resources have not been given out to the most productive, or the most deserving, but by whoever is able to stick a flag in the ground and say, "this is mine, try and take it from me".

You can't expect a peaceful society , based on respect for the individual, to evolve all of a sudden out of the quagmire that we have right now, without so much as a thought towards the fact that without the very thing libertarians are against - the initiation of force - is the same thing that the ownership of capital is based on.

As for your other comments RE economics, competition etc. Roads have existed for thousands of years.. Thousands, they're not a new thing.

It's possible we'll find an alternative at some point in our development, but saying that I lack imagination for pointing out the obvious, that right now they're a natural monopoly and should be managed by a collective is just a lazy excuse for an argument.

Is there actually some kind of libertarian basis for rejecting the collective ownership of assets? I think it's a huge misconception that the only libertarian solutions are market solutions. There's nothing un-libertarian about people sharing ownership. Such a collective just needs to be organised separately from central government, and be unsupported by coercive means.

8/23/2010 09:39:00 pm  
Anonymous PaulB said...

"Such a collective just needs to be organised separately from central government, and be unsupported by coercive means."

Correct, it could be a company, trust, LAQC, Kibbutz whatever. I don't think any libertarian would have a problem with that. That's how I understood Richards message.

8/23/2010 10:36:00 pm  
Anonymous Falafulu Fisi said...

The idea of privatizing roads is insane. Why don't we start privatizing the atmosphere? Privatizing the airspace? I don't want to listen to radio-left-wing therefore their transmission radio-frequency must not pass thru my airspace even though I will never tune in to that station. Well, my kind of wacky reasoning is that such radio waves may cause damage to living organisms in my property, such as bacteria, insects, worms, even humans (may cause cancer) or at worse, the radio waves may interfere with some taniwha's in the airspace in my property.

Once you start doing all this privatization, then the very concept of freedom disappears. Specific junk of land can be privatized, businesses can be privatized, but for fuck sakes don't privatize the atmosphere, airspace and public roads, because doing so, will kill freedoms that the Libz supports. Something can be privatized and some things should be owned by all (the govt is the caretaker).

8/24/2010 09:57:00 am  
Anonymous PaulB said...

FF,
Your property rights are not respected by government ownership of the airwaves either - the taniwhas are still getting interfered with.

8/24/2010 10:55:00 am  
Anonymous Falafulu Fisi said...

Paul, what happens if someone finds some uranium/plutonium mineral source in his/her property? I am sure someone in South Auckland would want to sell it to the Iranians? But I bet that some Libertarians would feel uncomfortable with such poor person in South Auckland doing that. Those same Libz would have no problem with the government stepping in to ban such person selling his uranium/plutonium to the Iranians, and this is the position that I would take, i.e., the government ban such person for doing so. But Libertarians who support such government ban would be contradicting their principles? Where is the freedom of that citizen who owns the plutonium to do what he wishes?

The other examples, is that some libertarians would support the restrictions placed by US government on the sales of high tech equipments to countries like Iran, North Korea and so called rogue states? IBM had been forbidden in the past from selling super-computers and advanced technologies to states that the US government view as a threat to US interests or world peace. But aren't those companies should be free to do what they like? They should be allowed to sell their technologies to whoever they want to sell to? My point here is that some Libertarians would support the US government banning & placing restrictions on the sales high tech equipments to rogue states and at the same time bitching about the government should not interfere in the market, blah, blah, blah! In fact, I support the banning of sales of high tech equipments to rogue states, I am pro-government on there.

8/24/2010 11:41:00 am  
Anonymous Jameson said...

It's a question of strategy, not policy.

The reason why the Libz aren't getting traction is because they're not focussed. A shot gun against a tank is utterly useless, but one well-aimed round through the driver's lookout can create all kinds of havoc.

There's no budget and no resource. Their best chance is one candidate in one small electorate addressing one pain-point. Be unashamedly a one issue party — like the Greens — campaigning to dedicate your entire term to nailing it. Then, like the Greens, Trojan Horse the rest of the army.

The RMA seems the likely ammo, discharged in a rural community that's been royally rooted by it. From the RMA it's only a short step to summating the entire Libz constitution under the umbrella of private property rights. But the trick is to sell it as one policy directed at one problem.

Give the local candidate a run for his money and the media will provide the advertising. At the very least it'll soften them up for a push in 2014, and perhaps attracted an investor or two.

Getting the good doctor into the Beehive has to be the priority, and the only way to do that is accept the reality that the Libz are seen as hard-right-wing. The campaign has to neutralise that by offering a single promise that will positively effect the lives of the electorate.

And we mustn't forget, farmers generally trust their doctor.

madamex@clear.net.nz

8/24/2010 11:55:00 am  
Anonymous Richard McGrath said...

@David S:

I have no problem with joint or group ownership. I understand collective ownership to mean universal state ownership of an asset. Group ownership is something different; anything owned by a company is owned by its shareholders.

As far as roads go, I know they have existed for thousands of years, but who's to say they won't be obsolete in 50 years from now, or do you know something I don't?

8/24/2010 04:20:00 pm  
Anonymous Falafulu Fisi said...

PaulB, here is why I don't support privatizing roads. Political protests is vital for free-speech. Let me ask you this. Do you think that any sane road owner/s would allow John Minto, Sue Bradford, Matt McCarten to use their private roads for protest? I seriously doubt that a single road owner would allow this? If you think that I am mistaken here, then give an explanation of why would a road owner allow the likes of those mentioned above to use their private roads for political protests? Perhaps you an mention some hypothetical road owners (eg - Skycity) who would allow those protesters on their roads? The recent protests by unionists (Bradford/Minto/McCarten, et al) at the Skycity was an invasion of private property, however I would be happy for them to protest from the public road opposite the Skycity. Had the roads being in private hands, then I seriously doubt that the owners would allow those unionists to use their roads to protest against John Key's (and National) conference at the Skycity.

Do we want to ban political protests apart from doing it from our own houses/properties? Where is the freedom to protest then? Think about it carefully. I marched down along Queen St to protest against EFA (during Labour - 2006)? Protest is vital for democracy. Once we privatize roads, then we see massive banning of political protests in using private roads.

8/24/2010 07:31:00 pm  
Anonymous Richard McGrath said...

@F3: "Do we want to ban political protests apart from doing it from our own houses/properties? Where is the freedom to protest then?"

A few points:
1) Yes, I want an end to the 'tragedy of the commons' scenario of public ownership where common property is exploited by people who then refuse to take responsibility for their actions.

2) People can still use private property - the worldwide web, airways, television, private stadiums, etc. - to protest. Nothing is stopping them from coming to a mutual agreement withy the property owner. There's no such thing as a free lunch. In fact the government should levy people for using public roads to protest, just as they impose road user charges on vehicles that ride over those roads. A private road owner might be happy to let Minto et al preach socialism all day long for free. It's a question of mutual agreement and free association.

3) The right to protest does not mean a right to be provided with a soapbox, a pulpit and a microphone, paid for with other people's money.

8/24/2010 08:35:00 pm  
Anonymous Richard McGrath said...

@Jameson: "The RMA seems the likely ammo, discharged in a rural community that's been royally rooted by it."

That's been raised in the past, and it's worthy of serious consideration. Thanks for the suggestion.

8/24/2010 08:38:00 pm  
Anonymous Richard McGrath said...

@David S: "Resources have not been given out to the most productive, or the most deserving, but by whoever is able to stick a flag in the ground and say, 'this is mine, try and take it from me'."

That's true for the first owner of a piece of land. Often governments would gift settlers a hundred acres of previously unused land on which to eke out a living. In a libertarian society, any transfer of ownership of that land would be subject to common law.

How on earth would you determine who was the most 'deserving' owner of a piece of land?

8/24/2010 08:45:00 pm  
Anonymous Richard McGrath said...

@F3: "[M]y kind of wacky reasoning is that such radio waves may cause damage to living organisms in my property, such as bacteria, insects, worms, even humans (may cause cancer) or at worse, the radio waves may interfere with some taniwha's in the airspace in my property.

My response to that is: take such a dispute to mediation where you will need to provide objective evidence of harm or interference caused by my actions, and I will then compensate you for any damage done and desist from further assaults on your property.

8/24/2010 08:49:00 pm  

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