Tuesday, 28 February 2012

GUEST POST: Licensed Building Practitioners Don’t Read ‘Anthem’

Guest post from Citizen LBP113707

As of today I am Citizen LBP113707. I was once an individual. I was once a craftsman. But not anymore. My personal style and the techniques with which I used to ply my trade no longer stand for anything. I now have to perform my work arbitered by people who produce nothing and who yearn for nothing of spiritual value. Unfortunately these sorry souls have found a threadbare reason to force their lack of life on to me and countless other craftsmen, many of whom have no doubt come to the realisation that it is time to find another way of earning a living.

DBHTherefore, since the coming of Licensed Building Practitioner status to my ‘sector’ (the words ‘trade’ and ‘profession’ no longer being appropriate), I shall no longer refer to myself as ‘I.’ I am now either ‘we’ or ‘us.’ We are no longer an individual. We are a number. We are now units aggregated into the great(er) collective.

Our ability to adapt, improve and to innovate is no longer required. Instead we must conform to the grey mandates of the collective. No longer are we required to explore new ideas. We are able to formulate new ideas in our minds but we are not to take these ideas any further unless we have received permission from our grey leaders; those more equal than us.

So now that we are card carrying Citizen LBP113707, what is the benefit to collective society to which we now belong? We will find that small-business owner-citizens will disappear as costs incurred and newly-enforced red tape will suck up more working hours than is viable.

Also, while being  given ‘guidelines’ within which to build (the rigidity of which belies the name, the practices being spoken about being ‘enforced’ on us) we will nonetheless bear all responsibility when any of these guidelines fail. As they will. This means we will have to find ways to hide our finances to protect ourselves when our grey leaders come to clean us out regardless of whether we are to blame or not.

We hail the day therefore when small-business owner—builder-citizens disappear altogether, replaced by greater, larger, more spirit-crushing  representatives of the collective.

We would like to thank Fletchers, The Master Builders Federation and others self appointed representatives of the building collective for getting us to this point. Without them, etc.

We would like to celebrate with them that what was once known as cronyism is now known as progress. That what was once anti-competitive is now compulsory. That box ticking will replace building knowledge. That past sins will be washed away with the showering upon incompetence of the hallowed paperwork of the Licensed Building Practitioner, and that  competence with hallowed paperwork will replace competence with tools, materials, methods and men.

That, in short the day of the small builder is over, replaced by the day of the box-ticking behemoth.

We are sure the great collective will be happy when they seek a small craftsman to do a small alteration, and find instead that the small craftsman can no longer afford the time both to build and to fill out paperwork. That instead of choosing from a big pool of small craftsmen they must choose instead from a small pool of big companies—all bearing the seal of the State.

We should rejoice in the knowledge that those of us who have little skill but have answered correctly the questions given us by our grey leaders and have paid our grey leaders considerable sums of money are now the new examples of collective building ability. That the Seal of the State will become the Seal of Quality.

It is indeed a good thing that those of us who took too much pride in our work and spent too much time thinking of new methods to build are leaving the industry. We confess that our motive was our own sense of value. We now understand that such individualistic values are not healthy, and are not wanted.

imageIt is better that we humble ourselves to the level of the great collective.

The great collective must be breathing a sigh of relief now that they are protected from the cowboys. The cowboys have gone. They have been legislated away. They will no longer exist, having now been renamed Licensed Building Practitioner citizens and given the freedom of the cities (the awarding of which name will on its own protect all client citizens and bestow on these proven incompetents abilities heretofore unknown).

It is a credit to the great collective that they were unable to spot a power grab when it was there to be seen by all following the leaky homes fiasco—a power grab by many of those responsible for the leaks (Master Builders, Fletcher Builders, Building Industry Authority/Department of Building and Housing etc.) using those not responsible as scapegoats.

If there is anything good to be taken out of the Christchurch earthquake it just may be that we shall witness the great rebuilding of greyness that has yet to commence a year on. We are waiting with anticipation the construction of buildings that no one wants to a style that suits the greyness of our grey leaders. (Indeed, Praise the Grey Ones, the first signs are already emerging!) Let it be an inspiration to the rest of the world that property owner citizens were denied the opportunity to employ and encourage new innovative ideas in earthquake design, compelled instead to follow the rules laid down by out all-knowing collective leaders. It makes our heart sing that Christchurch could have developed into something eclectic, fresh and self-evolving but instead was tightly coordinated into the imaginings of those more equal than the rest of us.

We consider ourselves truly fortunate that we have been given the number Citizen LBP113707. It is a relief that our days in the building industry are surely numbered. We are glad that our departure date was made for us and that we weren’t able to leave in good grace at our own time. We await with relish the coming reports of low skill, low quality housing across the board.

We would have dropped to our knees in gratitude to our grey leaders for such uninspiring, life corroding measures had we not already voted our way to our knees already.


Citizen LBP113707 (once known as Peter Osborne)

When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion - when you see
that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing
- when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors
- when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don't
protect you against them, but protect them against you - when you see corruption being
rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice - you may know that your society is doomed.

                       - Ayn Rand, author of the novel Anthem



  1. "As you sew, so shall you reap." I am a victim of so called 'tradesmen' who built my leaky home and then took every action to avoid their responsibility. My retirement will be blighted by the large mortgage I now have as a result of only getting back 2/3 of what it cost to fix my house. 'Tradesman', 'professional' - do not make me laugh. The industry has long been full of cowboys and shonky practices. Anything to get you lot under control is long overdue.

  2. Quiet and Desperate - I am entirely unsure how having a Government issued piece of paper will address the issues you raise.

    After all driving licenses do not stop people from crashing cars or even driving drunk.

  3. @Quiet & Desperate: "The industry has long been full of cowboys and shonky practices. Anything to get you lot under control is long overdue."

    In that what this will do is give the State Seal of Approval to many of those responsible for bad work, I fail to see how you have anything about which to be happy.

  4. Quiet and Desperate. I can't comment on whether or not your tradies really were cowboys or not, but they were merely the last link in a long chain of failure. The whole sorry saga was explained on this blog (search for Leaky Homes, Parts 1, 2, and 3).

    This "initiative" reads just like a re-run of the same sad old story. I bet some of the same scumbags are involved as well. It certainly won't improve anything in future because it's not about skill or education; it's just a mixture of ass-covering and competition lock-out.

  5. Let me state my support for Quiet and Desperate and also our ability to co-operate and therefore the State. Many of us who do NOT call themselves Libertarians understand the failings of the State but we also understand the failings of the market.

    I mean how comprehensive are these contracts you guys are writing? Do they contain within them the ethical nuances of thousands of years of contract disputes?

    Please send me the standard Libertarian contract rider so that I can behold this wonder of modern philosophy!


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