Wednesday, October 06, 2010

DOWN TO THE DOCTOR’S: Free speech, free whales, free wombs … and Paul Henry

_richardmcgrath[5] Libertarianz leader Dr Richard McGrath ransacks the newspapers for stories and headlines on issues affecting our freedom.

This week: Free speech, free whales, free wombs … and Paul Henry

  • (NZ HERALD) Henry Apology RejectedTVNZ presenter Paul Henry apologises to the Queen’s representative for any offence caused to the latter by a question he asked John Key about the choice of the next Governor General. Race Commissar and eminent Marxist Joris de Bres says Paul Henry’s apology “should be aimed at all New Zealanders.”

My diagnosis: Not in my name Joris. If one takes the time to examine exactly what was said, Paul Henry did not suggest that the next Governor-General should look and sound like a New Zealander; he did not suggest that the current holder of that office did not look and sound like a New Zealander; he was merely asking John Key’s opinion on what could be one of many selection criteria.

Further, Joris de Brezhnev’s comments reflect a politically correct oversensitivity –- should Paul Henry really apologise to all New Zealanders: maybe a national tour in sackcloth and ashes to all corners of the country to make penance even to infants, toddlers, those with dementia, and others incapable of understanding what is essentially a non-issue? Of course not. Should he apologise to anyone at all? No. If you think you might be offended by something on television, for goodness sake turn it off and read a book instead. (And surely you could find something better to do at breakfast time than watch the box; something like, I don’t know, maybe talk to the family?)

If you are offended by something on state TV, then demand a refund on the taxes you are forced to pay to fund it. But no-one has a right to sail through life without being ‘offended’. Life would be so much duller, were that the case.

I find myself offended by Paul Henry’s apology. Perhaps I should stamp my foot and demand that he retract it and apologise afresh. 

  • (DOMPOST) Abortion Rally Outside CourtFifty people who support easier access to safe legal abortion on demand for NZ women protest outside the Court of Appeal in which the anti-abortion group that ironically calls itself Right to Life is battling the Abortion Supervisory Committee. 

My diagnosis: First, a small point – the Action for Abortion Rights protestors chanted “Hey Mister, keep your laws off my sister,” possibly unaware that there are at least two women judges sitting on the Court of Appeal.

Second, libertarians –- in stark distinction to conservatives -- support access to privately-provided abortion on demand for women. Abortion is a health service for which a free market would improve safety and quality. The service should be user-pays, so that Catholics, SPUCsters and others opposed to abortion are not forced to fund abortion clinics as they are under a state-run health system.

Third, the Abortion Supervisory Committee should be disbanded once an open competitive market in termination of pregnancies is up and running.

Action for Abortion Rights should know that the Libertarianz Party wholeheartedly supports the complete legalisation of abortion on demand in New Zealand, on the basis that a person has ownership over their body and all that’s in it (and, in fact, is their body). Those who oppose a woman’s right to control a blob of protoplasm in her uterus are advocating the subjugation of women, and of sex, in the same way that many religions do.

My diagnosis: Once again, as per the comments above on Paul Henry, no-one has the right to sail through life and never be offended. I personally would not have supported Valerie Morse’s immolation of the national flag on Anzac Day, but the issue should be: did her actions breach anyone else’s fundamental rights? Answer: no, unless they violated any implicit contract with the owners of the land on which she stood while doing so. In this case, it is reported that she was standing in the grounds of Victoria University’s law school. So, the question should be: what sayeth the university on this matter? If the Chancellor says she has the right to burn flags on law school property –- presumably harming no-one in the process, cleaning up afterward and leaving the area as she found it –- then she’s off scot free, with her fine refunded, court costs paid and compensation awarded. If, however, the Chancellor says she broke the rules by torching the Union Jack/Southern Cross, then she’s toast as far as I’m concerned.

  • (SUNDAY STAR TIMES) “Why Beached Whales Should Be Left To Die – Michael Laws argues that members of the Voluntary Whale Extinction Movement should be left to sun themselves on our beaches undisturbed.

My diagnosis: Initially, I tended to agree with Laws on this one. But then I thought the issue through.

In a sense, he’s right –- in a Darwinian sense these whales are big-time losers, repeatedly trying to traverse terra firma. They should learn not to run before they can walk. And not to walk before they grow legs.

But aren’t the whale-huggers doing just what capitalism encourages: merging their labour with unclaimed natural resources for profit? Perhaps the profit angle is missing at the moment, but if punters were willing to shell out Pacific pesos for an opportunity to help keep alive and refloat these kamikaze sea mammals, wouldn’t that warm the heart of every greenie? Those that died could be carved up, with the meat and bones sold off for meat and carvings. Those that didn’t could be tagged and kept around for whale tours. A win-win situation for all. Now, I just need to work out how to broadcast a recording of the pilot whale mating call from the nearest beach…

When the people fear the government, there is tyranny – when
the government fear the people, there is liberty.
- attributed to Thomas Jefferson

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17 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your comments at the top about tv .Tv is just another one of those things that makes you blind , and brain dead. It encourages the folk to believe that YOU'RE FREE TO BELIEVE WHAT YOUR TOLD , now shut up and go back to sleep.

10/06/2010 10:51:00 am  
Blogger Blair said...

I think it's a bit presumptuous to speak for all libertarians on abortion. I agree that it should be legal, but I think it's perfectly reasonable to hold the opposite view consistently with libertarianism. If you take the simplistic view that libertarianism is mere opposition to force or fraud in society, then it is possible to say that nobody should use force against a foetus no matter what the circumstances. It's a bit too complicated an issue to just say prochoice=libertarian and prolife=authoritarian.

10/06/2010 11:01:00 am  
Blogger stevemag said...

Is it possible for you to put my name to the first comment? I needed (guidance)from my kids on how to get my name to be displayed .

10/06/2010 11:09:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thinking the Paul Henry slur through Doctor, through a capitalist filter, don't you agree it is important to shut the damn fool up before he offends someone or some group of people who can affect our national interests? People who may note that Henry is given a giggle-session with the PM every week and conclude that his is a somewhat respected voice? That he says what we're all secretly thinking?

I'm just waiting for Henry to interview that hot female French Minister (of defense I think) and blurt out "Man i'd love to ram my cock up ya!" Cause that's what we'll all secretly be thinking, right?

I'm waiting for Henry to interview the some Chinese government minister and blurt out "I notice your eyes are quite narrow, might I ask if its easy to see out of them?" Cause thats what we'll all secretly be thinking right?

What about if Henry were to make some hilarious comment about say Australians, or Japanese, or Germans, or Koreans or the English. God knows what he might say, the man's a comic genius, no doubt he'd find it hysterical, and Pippa would chuckle through gritted teeth, but then it would turn out that the nationality made fun of couldn't take a joke and were in fact highly offended. Actually I'd love the English for one to be offended because the British press would chew up and spit out Henry like he was a scrap of lettuce.

But then suddenly we'd hear of these people cancelling their holidays to New Zealand. And boycotting NZ products. And suddenly we're losing hundreds of millions of dollars.

I know Doctor that you'd want those nationalities to just harden the fuck up, and stop thinking they could get through life without being offended by some distant moron, but from a capitalist point of view, Doc, in strictly money terms, would you have any problem with Henry making such comments?

10/06/2010 11:16:00 am  
Anonymous Richard McGrath said...

@Anon (the second): I think you make the mistake in assuming that capitalism, and capitalists, are moneycentric. In fact they are not primarily concerned with money. They ARE primarily concerned with FREEDOM. In particular, the freedom to pursue happiness, which governments seem determined to block or regulate at every opportunity.

I would rather have less money and be freer than where I am now.

But to address your comment re Paul Henry, I think it would take a lot more than some provocative comments from a TV broadcaster to affect tourism and export receipts.

10/06/2010 12:13:00 pm  
Anonymous Richard McGrath said...

@stevemag: I think you would have to delete your original comment and repost it under your name. I don't think I can alter senders' names.

10/06/2010 12:14:00 pm  
Anonymous Richard McGrath said...

@Blair: Abortion is a vexed issue among libertarians. My take on it is that the decision to abort or continue a pregnancy should rest with the woman in whose body the pregnancy is growing.

This means that the male impregnator, provided intercourse was consensual, should have no power in deciding whether a pregnancy should continue, but also no responsibility for raising the child.

However many males would, and do, voluntarily assume a parenting role and help bear some of the financial burden for the children they help create.

I do have problems with late-pregnancy abortion as the fetus in that situation is viable and capable of extra-uterine life. I would never abort a third trimester pregnancy myself, though I have done dozens of first trimester terminations in the past. I am of the opinion that abortion beyond 30 weeks gestation should be illegal, which might put me at odds with some of the hard-core Objectivists at the ARI.

10/06/2010 12:24:00 pm  
Blogger FreeMack said...

You say ".. broadcast a recording of the pilot whale mating call.."
Surely that would be a pod cast

10/06/2010 12:49:00 pm  
Blogger twr said...

Anon 2: I think you'd find that official government policies making it hard for foreigners, especially those with money or who look a bit different, to do business with us would have a much more severe effect on our trade than a TV presenter. Were you asleep while the Labour government vandalised trade every opportunity they got?

But it's much easier to vilify Paul Henry for telling the truth isn't it?

10/06/2010 02:28:00 pm  
Blogger Ruth said...

Anon said ... in strictly money terms, would you have any problem with Henry making such comments?

Yes I would, in strictly money terms. His remarks were deeply unprofessional. Fortunately the man is a self-aggrandising buffoon and his opinion is of no consequence outside the beltway.

It worries me that some libertarian types seem to think he told the truth. Saying " he was merely asking John Key’s opinion on what could be one of many selection criteria" is disingenuous at best.

10/06/2010 02:59:00 pm  
Blogger twr said...

"Yes I would, in strictly money terms. His remarks were deeply unprofessional. Fortunately the man is a self-aggrandising buffoon and his opinion is of no consequence outside the beltway."

Even on blogs, it would be hard to find more obviously contradictory sentences alongside each other in one paragraph.

10/06/2010 03:04:00 pm  
Blogger Rational Transport said...

On abortion it is important to note that Libertarianz would oppose state funding of abortion as well, which would mean people are not forced to pay for that which they are opposed to.

Paul Henry is a buffoon, and if I owned the TV station he is on I'd be worried that he is building up a momentum of offence that advertisers would start to avoid the show.

10/07/2010 12:32:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

rubbish, he has to do someone more outrageous each week to keep the punters tuned in
Suspending him is mana from heaven, because he gets a couple of weeks off to spend with the family, gets his face in the press some more by abusing the paparazzo, and everyone is talking about him. His viewers will flock moan their tits off over the next 2 weeks when some boring golf git puts everyone to sleep with inanities that are duller then dishwater. People watch him because they want to be surprised by what he is going to do next. He is the quintessetial shock jock. Ratings equals dollrs in the advertising game, so if anything breakfast will be able to creep the advertising rates higher when he comes back.
He needs to start offending fat lesbian Maori women, that would really stir the pot. The wave of syncophantic flouncing and dismay would be a delight to laugh at.

10/07/2010 02:08:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Richard McGrath, money IS freedom.

Henry's comments have been headline news in India. They came after he made incredibly clever remarks about a foreign surname, also Indian, last week.

The number of tourists to NZ from India is rapidly expanding, and Fonterra just this week announced plans to establish a massive dairy farm in India.

Bearing in mind that Henry talks to the New Zealand Prime Minister EVERY WEEK, (how many other journos does the PM hold a regular mutual-masturbation slot with?) would it be a surprise if Indians felt offended by his comments, and in turn, offended by New Zealand?

We should not risk our national interests by allowing such a puerile imbecile on (relatively) respectable national TV.

Fine, give him a late night slot under such a title as 'In the Sty with Henry'. Dress him up in a clown costume, intermittently drop buckets of slime on him, and let the creep run his filthy mouth off. It'll be a redneck hit.

10/07/2010 12:05:00 pm  
Anonymous Michael said...

money IS freedom.

money is just a trade medium



Henry's comments have been headline news in India. They came after he made incredibly clever remarks about a foreign surname, also Indian, last week.

The number of tourists to NZ from India is rapidly expanding, and Fonterra just this week announced plans to establish a massive dairy farm in India.

Bearing in mind that Henry talks to the New Zealand Prime Minister EVERY WEEK, (how many other journos does the PM hold a regular mutual-masturbation slot with?) would it be a surprise if Indians felt offended by his comments, and in turn, offended by New Zealand?


this is not the case were limiting free speech would apply

10/07/2010 02:51:00 pm  
Anonymous Trevor said...

Bearing in mind that Henry talks to the New Zealand Prime Minister EVERY WEEK, (how many other journos does the PM hold a regular mutual-masturbation slot with?) would it be a surprise if Indians felt offended by his comments, and in turn, offended by New Zealand?

Some country we trade with may get mad if someone says something nasty about it? Boo fucking hoo.

10/07/2010 02:56:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dikshit is actually a person, I thought he was talking about Chris Carter

10/07/2010 05:10:00 pm  

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