This week, Libertarianz leader Dr Richard McGrath has been sniffing minerals and evading checkpoints. Unsuccessfully.
"Sir, could you just say your name and address into this little machine, and then promise not to exploit the minerals?"
Sometimes you can almost sympathise with people who lose the plot at the ubiquitous random police checkpoints that spring up in the most annoying places at the most awkward times. The last two times I was stopped personally were at 10 a.m. on a week day on my way to visit a sick rest home patient, and at 5.45 p.m. dropping my son off in in Naenae before heading into Wellington to meet up with Lindsay Mitchell and James Bartholomew.
Not only did the Naenae checkpoint cause a massive traffic jam backing up onto the railway overbridge (and was therefore a road hazard), but it made me late for my meeting. I would have had a breath alcohol reading of zero but a rage quotient going into the red; the screening sniffer device did not detect any alcohol. The officer holding it may have detected the anger.
Random stoppages at roadblocks should not happen in a free country. Why oh why do we tolerate them?
A woman, who admittedly over-reacted when questioned by a police officer, was described by Granny Herald as '[trying to] evade police'. Evading implies breaking the law. Avoiding a police checkpoint is however a perfectly legitimate action.
The police could vastly improve their public image by paying five dollars on the spot to all drivers who pass their stupid sniffer test. And ten dollars to everyone testing positive on their sniffer but negative on an evidential breath test—compensated for their time and inconvenience. It might at least maintain in them the police the realisation the people whose time they are wasting are their employers, not their subjects.
Currently, the gross intrusion of privacy and wasted time inherent in checkpoint stoppages are totally ignored by the police, as though their time is precious but ours is not. As if we don't have busy lives; as though our time has no value. Is it any wonder innocent motorists get angry and resentful at police officers? A little monetary compensation would go a long way toward mending bridges between law-abiding citizens and the police who are charged to protect them, not to harass them.
The next news item I want to share with you is quite telling. The Green Party are up in arms because the government wants to make it easier for greedy capitalists to rape the countryside in order to 'exploit' minerals. To translate into common sense, that means dig stuff out the ground so it can be used to improve the standard of living for human beings.
Not happy with protecting all manner of living organisms (many of whom frankly are unable to adapt to current conditions and would not be missed if, like the Green Party themselves, they underwent the perfectly natural process of extinction), the Greens now want to protect minerals from human exploitation as well. Which exposes their real agenda: which is to suppress human advancement, to increase human suffering, to stifle progress that might lift millions out of poverty, until the right virus comes along.
Let us avoid their checkpoints. Wowsers and misanthropes all.
No minerals were harmed in the writing of this op-ed.