Friday, February 11, 2011

FRIDAY MORNING RAMBLE: The ‘Fire in Cairo’ edition [updated]

All eyes this week, and especially today, are on Cairo . . .

  • This is what we’d all like to think is happening in Cairo [hat tip Marcus B.]:
  • MubarakMustGoMore realistically, however . . . “Egypt is [still] a nation in flux, and on its way to somewhere worse.”
    Egypt’s “Sense of Nationhood” 
    – Scott Powell,  P O W E L L  H I S T O R Y   O N L I N E, 2008
    Middle East Watch: Egypt
    – Scott Powell,  P O W E L L  H I S T O R Y   O N L I N E , 2007
  • In case you missed it, here’s the most recent, most comprehensive summary of the Muslim Brotherhood, in its own words.
    The Muslim Brotherhood - in its own words: Jihad is the way by Mustafa Mashhur, Leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, 1996-2002
    – P A L E S T I N I A N  M E D I A  W A T C H
  • Some people still haven’t read this “popular” work however. The idiot head of US National Intelligence, for example, who’s on record declaring that the Muslim Brotherhood is "largely secular and eschews violence."  Go figure. [Hat tip Jeff Perren]
    There's wilful blindness & then there's wilful stupidity – N R O
  • It’s easy to overstate Egyptian enthusiasm for democracy. “Middle class Egyptians want free speech and fair elections. But the middle class in Egypt is very small. There are more than three times as many illiterates as there are college graduates…
        "’A population that was convinced just two months ago that sharks in the Red Sea were implanted by the Israeli Intelligence Services is hardly at a stage of creating a liberal democracy in Egypt,’ Egyptian student Sam Tadros said in an email to Clarice Feldman of the American Thinker.
    "’Egypt lacks the sort of political culture that can sustain a liberal democratic regime,’ Amr Bargisi, a leader of the Egyptian Union of Liberal Youth, told the Wall Street Journal. "Without knowledge of the likes of Locke and Burke, Hamilton and Jefferson, my country is doomed to either unbridled radicalism or continued repression.’"
    High prices, high risk – Jack Kelly,  P I T T S B U R G H   P O S T - G A Z E T T E
  • And in any case . . .
    Democracy is not freedom: An Egyptian case study -  N O T  P C
  • And as of today:  Mubarak may be about to step down, as demanded by the people in Tahrir Square. But it seems with army leaders saying the military would “make sure all their demands are met,”—topmost among these being the now-achieved [will he, won’t he?] removal of Mubarak—that a military coup may already be a fait accompli
    A Military Coup in Cairo? – Andrew Sullivan, T H E  A T L A N T I C
    Military Coup in Egypt? Mubarak May Be Stepping Down – T I M E
  • UPDATE, 12:30pm: Egypt now, in two tweets [hat tip Rachel Maddow Blog]:
  • Mohamed ElBaradei, before President Mubarak's speech today.

    Mohamed ElBaradei, after President Mubarak's speech.

  • And after taking the wrong line on the Iranian people’s uprising, at least the Obama Administration has been decisive this time . . . Mark Steyn summarises: “The official U.S. position is that (Egyptian President Hosni) Mubarak needs to go immediately, he needs to stay indefinitely, he needs to stay for a bit and then go, he needs to stay for a bit longer and then go sooner rather than later, unless he decides to stay until September . . .”
    Transcript from Mark Steyn’s opening first-hour monologue on 7 Feb – Mark Steyn

_Quote The most compelling explanation for the marked shift in the fortunes of
the poor is that they continued to respond, as they always had, to the
world as they found it, but that we — meaning the not-poor
and un-disadvantaged — had changed the rules of their world. Not of our
world, just of theirs. The first effect of the new rules was to
make it profitable for the poor to behave in the short term in ways
that were destructive in the long term. Their second effect was to mask
these long-term losses — to subsidize irretrievable mistakes. We tried to
provide more for the poor and produced more poor instead. We tried to
remove the barriers to escape from poverty, and inadvertently built a trap.
- Charles Murray, Losing Ground [hat tip Anti Dismal]

  • “The childcare needed to get people off the DPB or more accurately doing something productive needn't be more costly.”
    National, do some lateral thinking about childcare -   L I N D S A Y  M I T C H E L L
  • Liberals everywhere talk about helping "at risk" youths, but they’re most quiet about the most at risk. Frankly, it doesn't get more "at risk" than being a youth in a culture of militant Islam…
    “It was a suicide attack by a 12-year-old bomber in school uniform,” top police officer Abdullah Khan said on the early morning attack [in which] thirty-one Army personnel were killed and 40 others injured . . .
     31 Pakistani soldiers killed in ‘schoolboy’ suicide attack – I N D I A N  E X P R E S S
  • Here’s a decent BBC podcast for weekend listening: “Was the economic crisis caused by fundamental problems with the system rather than a mere failure of policy? Over two weeks, Analysis investigates two schools of economics with radical solutions.
        “This week, Jamie Whyte looks at the free market Austrian School of FA Hayek. The global recession has revived interest in this area of economics, even inspiring an educational rap video….”
    Radical Economics: Yo Hayek! – B B C  A U D I O
  • Global business analyst Richard Maybury takes a contrarian (and sometimes conspiratorial) look at the ongoing effects of several years of malinvestments, which Ben Bernake’s Fed are resolutely  refusing to let out of the system—with implications from Europe to the US, and Cairo to Beijing. [Hat tip Louis Boulanger]
     Richard Maybury on the Collapse of the Anglo-American Empire and What It Means for You -  Richard Maybury,  D A I L Y  B E L L
  • It’s not easy being a contrarian investor however. . .
    It's Not Comfortable Being Contrarian -  C A P I T A L I S T  P I G
  • Paul Walker’s been looking at the empirical evidence on privatisation. See:
    Empirical evidence on privatisation – A N T I  D I S M A L
  • Roger Kerr’s been taking on the many myths about privatisation.
    The Truth About Privatisation: Blog # 1 – R O G E R  K E R R ‘ S  B L O G
    The Truth About Privatisation: Blog # 2- R O G E R  K E R R ‘ S  B L O G
    The Truth About Privatisation: Blog # 3 - R O G E R  K E R R ‘ S  B L O G
  • “Partial privatization seems unlikely to be worse than the status quo - it just seems insufficiently better to be worth the hassle. If Key's going to take flack for any use of the P-word, it would have been nice if he'd have gone just a bit farther with it.”
    State versus Private Ownership – E R I C  C R A M P T O N
  • Q: How do you decide whether or not it’s worth going to uni?
    A: Always look to the margin – E R I C  C R A M P T O N
  • Q: If government creates one job you can see, how many others are lost that aren’t seen?
    What Happens When Economists Skip Econ 101 – T H E  F O U N D R Y
  • Speaking of uni and Econ 101, we’re looking to kick off the Auckland Uni Economics Group again soon, and we’re sorting out the syllabus for the year—a much fuller one than last year.  Here’s one that might be nice to follow:
    My Undergraduate Austrian Economics Syllabus 
    - Steven Horvitz,  C O O R D I N A T I O N  P R O B L E M
  • Speaking (again) of Econ 101, Hillary Clinton recently declared that the United States can't legalize drugs "because there is just too much money in it." Apparently, Clinton doesn't understand that there's so much money to be made selling illegal drugs precisely because drugs are illegal. . .
    Reason.tv: The Dumbest Thing Ever Said!...by Hillary Clinton, about the Drug War 
    – R E A S O N  T V
  • Oh, and while China ‘s propping up the whole economic world, you might have thought it’s been taking it easy on the money printing front.  Sadly, however . . .  [pic from Zero Hedge]
China QE
  • Brian Edwards goes on the front foot against bullying lawyers (are there any other kind?)
    Lawyers for the Sunday Star Times threaten me with an action for defamation – but the threat is “not for publication." – B R I A N  E D W A R D S  M E D I A
  • How do you explain a culture? How do you explain a successful culture—and at the same time the reason for that culture being so widely despised?
        “Imagine a relatively small culture brimming with influential intellectuals (Ludwig von Mises, Ayn Rand, Baruch Spinoza, etc.), ground-breaking scientists (Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman, Jonas Salk, etc.) and highly successful businessmen (David Sarnoff, Michael Dell, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, etc.) And then imagine the punishment of that culture not for its faults, but for its values and virtues. It is punishment that occurred not just once, but throughout time. It continues to this day…
        “It sounds like the backdrop for an Ayn Rand novel. But this is not fiction, this is history. It is the story of the triumphs and tragedies of Jewish culture -- and their causes….”
    The Ultimate Cause of the Triumphs and Tragedies of Jewish Culture 
    – C H A R L O T T E  C A P I T A L I S T
  • Meanwhile, back in the Collapsing States .  . .
    Four in 10 Americans Believe in Strict Creationism – G A L L U P
  • If you’ve ever watched a modern American television show, you can’t help wondering about all those corpses lying around and wondering, “What would it be like to play a corpse?” A WSJ journo finds out.
    Playing Dead on TV Can Keep a Career on Life Support – W A L L  S T R E E T  J O U R N A L
  • Here’s a couple of songs for all you Creationists [hat tip Autism and Oughtisms]

.
  • One for Stephen Fry [hat tip Sally O’B.], from a young woman desirous of his seed. (Yes, she does know.)
  • And finally, one for long-suffering Aussie cockies, from a Scots Aussie import . . .

 

Enjoy your weekend!
PC

PS: And finally, if you’re not Stephen Fry, take a look at the mathematics of finding a woman . . . [hat tip Kenneth I.]
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Lying Muslims and Useful Idiots

_jeffrey-perrenGuest post by Jeff Perren

Some Muslim Brotherhood spokesman named Abdel Moneim Abou el-Fotouh has been given a megaphone by The Washington Post to lie magnificently declare:

_Quote  For Muslims, ideological differences with others are taught not to be the root cause of violence and bloodshed because a human being's freedom to decide how to lead his or her personal life is an inviolable right found in basic Islamic tenets.
Uh, huh. Tell that to the relatives of the dead 14-year old girl in Bangladesh who was whipped to death by authorities for the 'crime' of being raped. Oh, wait. They won't care, because it was one of their own who perpetrated the crime, then informed the authorities about her 'sin'.

The heroic Andrew C. McCarthy tells the story as an example of how sharia operates in the real world, no matter what its apologists might say.

_QuoteIn Bangladesh a 14-year-old girl named Hena was raped by a 40-year-old man, Mahbub, who is described in a report as her “relative.” Apparently — the report is not clear on how this happened — the matter was brought to the attention of the sharia authorities in her village of Shariatpur.
    You’d think this was a good thing … except, in Islam, rape cannot be proved absent four witnesses — i.e., it’s virtually impossible to establish that what happened happened. That’s a dangerous thing for the victim — deadly dangerous in this instance — because if she has had sexual relations outside marriage but cannot prove she has been raped, she is deemed to have committed a grave sin.
    In Hena’s case, the sharia authorities ordered that she be given 100 lashes. The young girl never made it through 80; she fell unconscious and died from the whipping.
Sure, it would be easy to dismiss this incident as just another savage act by the savages who occupy an unfortunate amount of land in the world. That's not the point, at least not the main one. The point is that there is a deep – but by now very obvious — connection between barbarism like this and the ideology that makes them possible.

So long as useful idiots like those at The Washington Post continue to provide a neutral platform for these thugs, and for both parties to be allowed to pretend we all just have reasonable differences of opinion, this sort of thing will continue to plague those far outside Bangladesh.

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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Hone and Hide have a point

Hone Harawira and Rodney Hide may both have a point.

Both of them are at odds with law they’ve given their vote to. And both are blaming being in coalition for the problem.

Hone is complaining that what the Maori Party has got in return for going into coalition with National government isn’t worth what they’ve given away—and, specifically .  Now, Tariana herself responds that Hone “has no respect for this [MMP] environment. He doesn’t have any respect for the coalition agreement that we all signed up to and that we all agreed to.” And she points out that when the Maori Party has only two ministers around a cabinet table of 22, then they will always have to give something away—as they did with the parts of the Foreshore and Seabed (Replacement) Bill that has got so far up Hone’s nose.

And Rodney? Well, he’s right in the gun as Minister for Local Government for delivering to Auckland legislation that allows Len Brown’s Auckland Super-Council to hand power to a $3.4 million board of 38 unelected Maori. How does Hide respond? His law but not his fault, he says. Echoing Tariana he argues that with only two ministers around a cabinet table of 22, there was nothing he could do to stop his law being changed. (Echoing his excuses when he said he had no choice about siding with John Key when the PM attacked one of Rodney’s own MPs.)

Thus do minority ministers become lapdogs.

What Hone and Hide and Tariana are all describing is the process whereby minority coalition partners under MMP are buried when in Government—as virtually every coalition partner under MMP has been.

The Maori Party may escape the curse of the Alliance, NZ First, Mauri Pacific and Te Tawharau because even if they implode over the rumblings from Mt Harawira the Maori Party itself will always get deluded racists to vote for them in the racist seats in which they stand.  But for the ACT Party, oblivion now beckons as inevitably as it did for its predecessors who made lapdogs of themselves.

But is it inevitable that minority parties under MMP will always face oblivion?

Not if they don’t go into coalition it isn’t.

It’s argued by the uninformed and unthinking that coalition and “confidence and supply” are necessary to give “stability” to government. These agreements  work, these people say. Minor parties have to sign up to them.

What crawling, abject, self-serving nonsense.

If “confidence and supply” agreements have “worked,” then they have worked only for the larger party, which in every coalition formed to date has chewed up, swallowed then spat out its minor partners.

And they’ve hardly worked for New Zealand either, since some of the worst law we’ve seen in the last fifteen years has been either the product of a minor party (Sue Bradford’s tail wagging everyone’s anti-smacking dog, for just one example); been used to make  a beard of the minor party (as Hone recognises has happened  with Chris Finlayson’s Marin & Coastal Bill);  or has been foisted on a minor-party minister in the hope and expectation that if things do go wrong it will bury them and not the major party (Auckland’s super-sized bureaucracy, for example, in which Rodney Hide invested his party’s dwindling political capital—and which he’s now lost altogether).

We’ve ended up in short not with good law, but with law that often even the law’s authors won’t stand behind.

So in that respect, signing up to coalitions and “confidence and supply” agreements are bad for New Zealand, bad for New Zealand law, and disastrous for the minor coalition partners themselves. 

But still the dumbarses keep signing up to take the (short-term) baubles of office.

Is that they only thing a small political party can do?

No, it’s not. Instead, they could stand on their principles—if they had any.

Instead of signing up to either coalition or “confidence-and-supply” agreements,” they could make the cast-iron promise that as a party they would vote en bloc for any measure that moves in the direction of their principles without any new measures moving the other way.  In the case of the Libertarianz, for example, they could promise support for any measure that moves  towards more freedom (however small the move) just as long as there is no new coercion involved.

That would stability without the need for lapdogs,  and more stability than we’ve seen in the past 15 years.

Because that’s a cast-iron promise that any major party could take to the bank-or, at least, to the Treasury benches. It would work as a “ratchet,” moving the country towards the minor party’s principles more effectively than having two ministers enjoying the baubles (and blame) of office.

And it would have every politician and every political journalist in the country assiduously studying what the minor party’s principles actually mean, so they’d understand enough about what was being promised to at least sound knowledgeable.

It’s a win-win for everyone, especially for minority coalition parties for whom coalition is just a death warrant for .

If they have any principles, they should stand on those instead.

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Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Public building, in Bisaccia, Italy, 1983 – Aldo Loris Rossi

148453_122212171174022_122209537840952_147348_4331036_n

More on the architect here.

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DOWN TO THE DOCTOR’S: Worthless pledges & no-go neighbourhoods

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

This week: worthless pledges, no-go zones & failing to please the Electoral Commission

  • NZ HERALD: “Key Pledges State Service Shake-upThe Prime Minister suggested he wants to cut government spending and borrowing, and address the welfare dependency problem . . .

THE DOCTOR SAYS: Finally, ten months out from an election, after two full years in government, John Key thinks it might be an idea to start delivering on his previous election promises.
    True, if the figures mentioned in this news article are accurate then Key has reduced public service numbers by 5%. A reasonable start, but that’s only about a 1.5% drop per year. And Key is asking government bureaucrats for advice on “streamlining the public service’s performance.” Does anyone really believe any self-respecting bureaucrat will suggest that his own department be downsized?  (Do turkeys vote for Christmas?)
    The Prime Minister fails to ask this question of each and every government ministry, department, office, and ant farm: Does this arm of the state really need to exist at all? That gets to the heart of the matter. The purpose of the departments, offices and ant farms is not employment of drones—if that is the best argument the defenders of the grey ones can muster, then every over-staffed ant farm must go.
    A few years back the Libertarianz Party did an analysis on hundreds of these little empires and concluded that most of them can just be quietly shut down and wouldn’t even be missed. So do it, John!
    Why not start by giving all employees a twelve-month holiday to find a new job—and to see if anyone notices their absence. The one-off cost would be worth the long-term gain!

  • DOMPOST: “Pomare Turning Into A Ghost TownA crime-ridden gang-infested Lower Hutt slum owned largely by the state is being abandoned as people move out to safer and better suburbs . . .

THE DOCTOR SAYS: Margaret Thatcher had the answer to this problem: sell off the state’s housing at a heavily discounted rate to the people that live in them, thereby encouraging pride of ownership.
    The Libertarianz Party would go a few steps further: privatising the streets in favour of residents—allowing formation of secure communities that can shut out undesirable elements such as gangs and welfare parasites.
    In the meantime, Housing Minister Heatley should immediately sell the 53 vacant state houses in the area, even if this means moving them off site. He should also sell the tenanted homes out to private landlords who will be less tolerant of vandalism and neglect of their property.

THE DOCTOR SAYS: Oh dear. How sad. Never mind. Seriously though, this brings to mind the unfortunate error which prevented the Libertarianz Party from contesting the party vote in 2002 (showing up at the Electoral Office at the appointed time with forms and signatures, and cash, cheques and credit cards to submit them—but not the required bank cheque drawn on the party account. Bugger.)
    Because of that balls up, I almost feel sorry for the Greens – except that as Whale Oil points out, the tosser concerned (one Richard Leckinger, who will never be allowed to forget this) was not using either public transport or a bicycle made out of recycled cardboard to move around the electorate desperately seeking a signature, but a private vehicle powered by the despised emissions-spewing internal combustion engine!!
    Oh, the irony!

"Human happiness, and certainly human fecundity, are not as important
as a wild and
healthy planet. I know social scientists who remind me that people
are part of nature, but it isn't true. Somewhere along the line — at about a billion years
ago, maybe half that — we quit the contract and became a cancer. We have
become a plague upon ourselves and upon the Earth. . .
   
" Until such time as Homo sapiens should decide to rejoin nature, some of
us can only hope for the right virus to come along."

- David Graber,
research biologist and greenie,
relating his vision for the future of the human race

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Advance Australia Not-So-Fair

Recent events suggest Australia’s money-back guarantee has expired.

Accordingly, a new map of the formerly lucky country has been issued. [Thanks to readers Marion & Hayden]

Fucked

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Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Broadford Farm Pavilion, Idaho, by Lake|Flato Architects

broadford-farm-pavilion-1

Architect's website here, with more photos.

Article on their SunValley, Idaho, pool and pavilion here, with even more photos.

Hat tip In the Name of Good Architecture. Who knows where you might find it!

1295470003-broadfordfarm-00-407x500

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Democracy is not freedom: An Egyptian case study [updated]

I keep being told by people “in the know” that the coming of “real democracy” to Egypt will bring real freedom.

Rubbish.

The whole idea is premised on the idea that what “pro-democracy” protestors want is what you and I want. That democracy is a synonym for freedom.

It’s not.

Democracy is simply a synonym for mob rule.

It’s a counting of heads regardless of content.

It is the worship of jackals by jackasses.

It’s three wolves and a sheep voting for dinner.

It was what George Bush and his neo-cons wanted to export to the Middle East. Their “Forward Strategy for Freedom” called for the exportation by force of democracy to the Middle East.

They succeeded.

And the people of the Middle East turned out in droves to vote for the wolves.

Democracy, said the neo-cons, would bring freedom and security to the Middle East. Instead, it unleashed a whirlwind.

Democracy in Iraq gave the people an Islamic constitution and a regime that favours Tehran.

Democracy in Palestine delivered a landslide victory to the Iranian-backed Hamas—who began establishing a totalitarian Islamist regime and unleashing a wave of suicide bombings, before collapsing into a civil war with Fatah.

Democracy in Lebanon handed control of Lebanon to the Iranian-backed Hezbollah--who almost immediately started launching rockets into Israel, beginning a month-long war.

And what will democracy in Egypt bring    Well, guess . . .

gettycrowd595 Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei has already called for Egyptians to rise up and install an Islamic state.

Would a regime mandating shariah law and genital mutilation represent “freedom” for Egyptian men and women?  Would its installation bring “security” to the Middle East?

Egypt is a country where the “all-encompassing and explicit system” of totalitarian Islam is widely supported across the spectrum—where stone-age barbarism is still the prevailing attitude, and more than 50% support the militant Muslim Brotherhood, the progenitors of Al Qaeda, and the only organised political opposition in the country.

Would their installation—or the installation of a “beard” for the Brotherhood like ElBaradei—would that represent freedom?

Egypt is a country with (thanks to the US who supplied them) the world’s tenth-largest military, and a population in which even the so-called “moderates” are violently anti-Semitic. Would a government giving expression to that violence increase security in the Middle East?

Democracy is not a synonym for freedom.

And the “Forward Strategy for Freedom” was a Forward Strategy for Failure.

Mob rule in Egypt will be one more sign of evidence of that failure.

What are the options for Egypt?

The plight of Egypt — like that of much of the region — is intellectual. The protestors who genuinely do want a better future face no good options.”

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Monday, February 07, 2011

Great news for the unemployed!!

Q:  What do you do when you have a whole lot of things left on your shelf that you simply can’t sell?

A:  You raise the price.

If that sounds counter-intuitive, or even dumb, that’s because it is.

Yet that’s precisely what New Zealand’s sellers of labour have just gone and done. At a time when unemployment is going up and more and more would-be labourers are being left on the shelf, they’ve gone and raised the price of their labour. Or rather, they’ve had it raised for them.

Because try though they might, their government has once again made it illegal for them to agree to sell their labour at anything less than the govt’s own chosen rate—which minister Kate Wilkinson has just put  up, being raised today by this National-led imbecile of a government to a minimum legal wage of $13/hour in the same week that figures were released showing unemployment continuing to rise.

Dumb, dumb, dumb.

It’s not like they raised it by mistake, either. They did this before, right at the very start of this Great Recession, right along with the abolition of Youth Rates—leading to the truly unsurprising result that unemployment among those looking for unskilled work or “starter jobs” has continued to rise, with more than one-in four youngsters aged 15-19 now unable to get started on the employment ladder; more than one-in-six Maori; and more than half of the single parents.

Well done John Boy. Well done Kate Wilkinson. You dumbarses.

Not only do you make it more difficult for low-income job-hunters to get the start, by raising costs to the country’s employers (or, equally, by reducing the number they can employ for the same money) you also make it more difficult to raise productivity. Which is where real wage rises really come from, not from wishful thinking rubber stamped by half-wit politicians.

Now if Hone had any balls, or any brains, instead of several more weeks of grandstanding he’d be hammering this racist imposition on Maori employment for all he’s worth. He’d be pointing out

One of the more insidious effects of minimum wages is that it lowers the cost of racial discrimination; in fact, minimum wage laws are one of the most effective tools in the arsenals of racists everywhere.”

That he won’t be is a measure of where his true interests (and brains) really lie.

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Is there any reason for the ACT Party to still exist?

Is there any reason for the ACT Party to still exist?

I ask because, in its formative days, ACT’s founding members talked about the importance of upholding the interests of consumers and taxpayers; they made loud noises about drastically shrinking government, both central and local; they enshrined found principles (now long forgotten) declaring “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.”

Now? Not so much.

We don’t hear such things from that quarter anymore. We hear stories instead about dancing partners and mid-life crises; arguments about law-breaking and lost defence papers. We see their MPs voting for more borrowing and bigger government (and then delivering it as ministers). We hear them waffling about “stability,” and supporting the ongoing nationalisation of oil, silver, gold and uranium.  And we watch them going to parliament to eat their lunch.

We heard that 2011 would turn all that around.

We hear instead this weekend that the candidate chosen by the ACT Party for the high-profile Botany election, one the Party machine is taking “very seriously,” wishes it to be known that she is somewhere “to the left” of the National candidatea youth who at 25 is already a career politician, one who believes infrastructure should be funded through taxation, and who ranks his greatest achievement as building a new athletics track for his local club, paid for (naturally) by ratepayers.

This is the entity whom ACT candidate Lyn Moore doesn’t think goes far enough in his support for government intervention. 

And the candidate whom the ACT Board thinks best expresses its principles.

You can almost hear the bell tolling for ACT, saying “Your time is up.”

Which leads me to ask:

  • Is there really any reason for the ACT Party to still exist?
  • Or is it time to kick the bums out?

Perhaps before answering the question you could concentrate your mind  by considering the following multi-choice proposition:

The chief reason for the Act Party to exist is (tick one):

a) to keep the buggers honest be a paid lapdog of the ruling party (“it’s our job to provide stability”); or
b) to be perk-busters deliver the baubles of office to its MPs, and MPs’ Wives and Girlfriends—especially taxpayer-funded trips to London to see grandchildren and attend weddings (“Ministers 'entitled' to dip into tax purse” – Hide.  “I was entitled!” - Douglas); or
c) to reduce the size of government deliver to Auckland the largest local government bureaucracy this country has ever seen; or
d) to elicit taxpayer-funding for Roger Douglas’s otherwise unpublishable books; or
e) to give the occasional day out to artistically gullible and socially dysfunctional youths; or
f) to give employment to otherwise unemployable adults—and to the journalists who get to investigate their past convictions; or
g) to be a party of soap operas; or
h) to be a “party of ideas” . . .
 

The answer must surely be one of the above?

Because it couldn’t possibly be “to be a party of principle.”

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