Wednesday, 19 January 2011

DOWN TO THE DOCTOR’S: Spooner, schools & silly season

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

This week: Spooner, schools and the silly season

  1. (CHRISTCHURCH PRESS) “Sack Auckland Grammar board” – President of the teachers union attacks ‘Education’ Minister for not sacking and throwing into leg-irons Auckland Grammar School headmaster John Morris, the board of trustees, its pupils, the parents of its pupils and anyone who lives in the Grammar zone after Morris’s “brazen attack on the NCEA.”
    THE DOCTOR SAYS: This is typical. When politicians don’t act “decisively” or show “leadership” by failing to silence dissent, or by choosing not to interfere in the business affairs of New Zealanders, they are not lauded as principled but instead are criticized as “timid.” The minute a school principal takes a stand against their beloved NCEA, the teachers union shrieks that not only is NCEA the perfect tool for assessing all students, but that it should be made compulsory! After all, as Helen Clark once said, the State is sovereign. Individuals don’t matter, but The People do.
        It shows just how threatened the teachers union feel by the actions of John Morris. Their frothing union leader, Kate Gainsford, describes the Cambridge exam preferred by Auckland Grammar as “colonial” and smacks the board of Auckland Grammar for marketing themselves and promoting themselves as “better than everyone else.” Gainsford calls in the cavalry, principals of two secondary schools who will march lockstep behind the union leader, baying “Cambridge bad, NCEA good!”
        Well, Ms Gainsford, did it occur to you that perhaps AGS is better than other schools? Marketing yourself as better than the competition is what happens in the world of private enterprise. But then, being a left-wing trade unionist protected by extensive pro-union legislation, what would you know about open competition or free markets?    
  2. (NZ HERALD) “Lawn mower rage ends race” - Rival mower riders traded punches after a side-on shunt at the end of the ride-on lawnmower race . . .
    THE DOCTOR SAYS: Who knew lawnmower racing had an ugly underbelly? You know it’s silly season when a stoush between drivers at a ride-on-lawnmower race at the Lake Hayes A&P show makes the headlines of Granny Herald.
  3. (DOMPOST) “Take up dancing, mayor tells councillors- Green Wellington mayor Celia Wade-Brown is promoting ballroom dancing to her councillors to improve their performance. . .
    THE DOCTOR SAYS: What is it about Greens and dancing? After all, it increases people’s CO2 emissions, so therefore must be BAD BAD BAD. Well, I guess it’s marginally better than the folk dancing that took place at a Green Party conference, and of which Russel Norman was unaware as Bob Jones reported a few years back. Perhaps later we might see a TV show starring the Wellington City Councillors—titled, perhaps, Dancing With The Despots?
  4. And finally, a tribute to our Libertarian of the day: Lysander Spooner – born this day in 1808; described as an individualist anarchist, libertarian, political philosopher, Deist, abolitionist, supporter of the labour movement and entrepreneur. Read all about his efforts to compete with the U.S. Post Office, and how the state crushed him. And enjoy his perceptive quote, which from this day forth (or even fifth) will grace this new year’s column:

A man is none the less a slave because he is allowed to
choose a new master once in a term of years.
- Lysander Spooner


  1. Auckland Grammar School headmaster John Morris should be congratulated for dumping the NCEA. I reckon that Cambridge Exams is the way to go.

  2. Off topic, but did our good doctor see the TV news about police in Takapuna, Auckland - described as acting like a pack of crazed dogs; only calmed down when realized they were being filmed. This really is not an isolated incident. Again, No Way should NZ Police get guns!

  3. @Anon: No I didn't see that news item, Peter, so can't make a comment on that story. Is it possible the police were provoked?

    The politicians could, of course, make life a whole lot easier for the police by expunging victimless non-crimes from the lawbooks, allowing the police to focus on crimes of violence, theft and fraud.


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