Tuesday, 27 September 2011


_richardmcgrathYour weekly prescription of headline dissection from Libertarianz leader Dr Richard McGrath.
This week, The FrACTured Party.

THE DOCTOR SAYS: Oh dear. The ACT Party have discovered renewed energy in their frantic attempt to self-destruct.
    Don Brash dips his toe into the water with a suggestion that cannabis be decriminalised (for which I give him enormous credit, even though it is only an incremental move in the direction of freedom and full recognition of the right to self-medicate). But before you know it, toys are being ejected from cots by the president of ACT and the two Johnny Bs.
    Boscawen simply packs up his things and walks into the sunset, while Banks bares his authoritarian fangs. Meanwhile, Party president and gutless wonder Chris Simmons undermines Don Brash by saying even this first baby-step away from prohibition is "a step too far." Gee, Chris, if you don't like frightening the horses, why didn't you join the National Party? 
    Is there anyone in the allegedly "Liberal" Party that supports Don Brash on this one? Anyone at all? Anyone else in ACT anywhere in the world who believes in the concept of individual sovereignty?  Speak up, because both John Campbell and Don Brash want to hear from you!

What the hell is happening to ACT? 
    As of right now, ACT's website still has John Boscawen as number 2 on the party list (who does Number 2 work for now, I wonder?). So the photos next to numbers 2 and 3 on the ACT Party list will shortly both be blank silhouettes—which probably reflects what’s inside their heads. (For God's sake, Don, if Catherine Isaac doesn't want to stand for ACT, stop pissing around and just move everyone else two up the list.)
    The website also contained a link to something called "Principles." You know, the common link which is supposed to determine ACT policy on each issue. The sort of thing you might think its MPs and candidates might read from time to time. Shared values, that sort of thing. And what are the very first two principles that ACT is supposed to uphold? Why, this:

  • that individuals are the rightful owners of their own lives and therefore have inherent rights and responsibilities; and
  • that the proper purpose of government is to protect such rights and not to assume such responsibilities.

So if John Banks doesn't believe in the concept of individual rights, then what the hell is he doing in ACT?

And what of Sir Roger Douglas, Heather Roy, or for that matter Rodney Hide? Why aren't the other ACT MPs falling in behind Don Brash and taking a principled stand on this?  Anyone? Anyone at all? Why, where there should be a loud and principled “Huzzah!” behind their leader is there the sound only of Banks blowing hard and tumbleweed being blown around.
    Any chances ACT may have had of winning a seat at the coming election are now finished. They stand about as much chance of fielding an MP in the next parliament as the Libertarianz Party does. (And I do say that with great sadness.)
    However, long ago Libertarianz pulled this debate in the direction of personal liberty  by making drug legalisation something that could be discussed and argued about. Libertarianz activists, once again, have been Radicals For Freedom. What have ACT been? Nothing but a huge disappointment. Compulsion-touters, as one of their speech-writers once used to call them. Simmonds, the president of this so-called “liberal party”, even went as far to say that decriminalisation of cannabis, a class C drug, wouldn't be ACT policy for at least six years. How then, Chris, if one acts according to principle, should lawmakers deal with alcohol, which has been estimated in terms of harm to be a class B drug, more harmful than cannabis? 
    Simmonds should probably stop wearing his suit to bed and re-read that page of his party’s principles.

Incidentally, in the same news item reporting Brash’s “musings,” you will also read that Phil Goff is a wowser unequivocally opposed to decriminalising cannabis possession. All you members of NORML out there who vote Labour, your party leader has just come out against even decriminalising dope, let alone legalising it. How could you possibly vote Labour again?
    And you can’t vote Green, because they’ve given up altogether on the issue that they once tried to make their own.

There is only one political party in this country that can see the forest through the weed plants - that sees free choice and personal responsibility as two sides of the same coin. That party will shortly be announcing its list for this election, and will be fielding at least six electorate candidates. That party believes in maximal individual freedom and minimal government interference in the lives of New Zealanders. That party - Libertarianz - believes the state should respect the choices of adults. Including the choice to possess and use cannabis in one's home and elsewhere as permitted by private consent, and to sell industrial quantities of it on TradeMe.
    Something for which John Banks would have you lined up against a wall and shot. Especially if you were gay. 

See you next week!
Doc McGrath


  1. At the recent Libz conference in Wellington there was discussion as to working with ACT in an undefined manner. I take it this is not now to occur?

    Chris R.
    PS What happened to the Minutes of the conference?

  2. So long as ACT has Godboy Banks on board, calling the shots because of Epsom, they will be a conservative party, not classical liberal. Libz is the only party that 'understands' the philosophical issues surrounding freedom.

    Good on The Don for trying, but all a bit of a dogs breakfast I'm afraid.

  3. Richard McGrath27 Sep 2011, 11:03:00

    Chris - I have talked to Don and some of the ACT local branch members, but it came to nothing, largely over the issue of Banks and his conservatism.

    Not sure about minutes of the conference. I assume there would have been minutes kept of the AGM, and there was some recording of conference speakers until the battery on someone's laptop ran out. I will enquire further.

  4. Thanks Richard.

    Chris R.

  5. Why is Perigo receiving funds stolen at gunpoint from Atlas in order to try to get John Banks into Parliament? I thought he was principled.

  6. Richard McGrath27 Sep 2011, 22:23:00

    @Anonymous - I think Lindsay believes working for ACT is more likely to result in a libertarian MP (Brash) being elected to parliament, at the expense of also electing a fascist (Banks). Though of course they would cancel each other out.

  7. Bringing Banks into ACT was one of the worst decisions ACT ever made.

    It signalled the complete abandonment of any remaining principles they claimed to still hold onto. What’s worse is that the candidates never stood up for this betrayal and ACT on Campus nodded along while Epsom was gifted to that arch conservative.

  8. Heine, I agree with you here. Don Brash should have left Rodney in Epsom. John Banks is a mistake and Mr Brash should have known that from the beginning. I don't know why, Don brought John Banks into the ACT party.

  9. banks has maybe 2 electoral cycles left in him, he'll be looking down the barrel of 71. He may well be dead by then, unlikely but a possibility.

    Will National pull their head out of their sandpit of ignorant bliss and campaign against MMP given the scenario that Banks may sodomise the ACT vote to oblivion, thus leaving no potential partners for government as the Maori Party's reason for existence has been successfully achieved, so the political will to fight for more egregious racist policies may well disappear, thus allowing the Maori seats to either disappear or be taken back by Liarbore

  10. rodney aint no libertarian, only wen it suits him. Remember the gang patches and the supa mega city? if that aint big govt control nuttin is, so much for him having principles ,act is gone


1. Commenters are welcome and invited.
2. All comments are moderated. Off-topic grandstanding, spam, and gibberish will be ignored. Tu quoque will be moderated.
3. Read the post before you comment. Challenge facts, but don't simply ignore them.
4. Use a name. If it's important enough to say, it's important enough to put a name to.
5. Above all: Act with honour. Say what you mean, and mean what you say.