Friday, November 23, 2007

Assume the position

I've come to a depressing conclusion watching The Standard act as apologists for S59 and the EFB the last week or so: the sad sacks of shit on the govt benches have to be given a severe and memorable electoral kicking next year, if the Left isn't to become a sorry joke.

Twice in the last year (with the repeal of S59 and now the EFB), Labour have criminalised a large swathe of the population and fobbed us off with the claim that we can trust the organs of the state to exercise discretion in choosing which of these newly-minted criminals to prosecute. "The Rule of Common Sense will prevail!" cries Annette King. Er, maybe - this week. Who knows what will prevail next week? In any case, wouldn't it be preferable for the Rule of Common Sense to prevail at the point where these grossly-overpaid f*ckwits are drafting the law, as well as when their lowly-paid minions are enforcing it?

Even assuming we really could trust them not to prosecute us for the crimes they just invented, they add insult to injury by throwing into the mix an amendment to the Suppression of Terrorism Act, which secures our freedom by defining a "terrorist" as anyone the govt declares to be one. Unfortunately, the people going on about authoritarianism, creeping fascism and an encroaching Police state now have a very good case.

Sure, I can see plenty of counter-arguments to the above: the guy just convicted of assault on his kid was charged for treating him roughly enough to bruise him, not for smacking him; the EFB is intended to keep rich wankers from making up their parties' lack of popular support with bottomless and anonymous financial support; and above all, there's the fact that giving Labour a savage and merciless electoral beating would essentially put National into power - ie, we'd replace one authoritarian pack of scumbags with a worse one. Nevertheless, I think the Left has to do it to have any self-respect , for this basic reason:

If we're going to suffer creeping authoritarianism, I'd rather the left was opposing it, not writing apologia for it.

Right now, the govt's new laws all seem to amount to a directive to bend over and spread 'em. We can assume the position, or give their arses a thorough kicking. Which one's it to be, Standard?

26 comments:

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

You are absolutely right Milt. In the US the Left suffers from Bush Derangement Syndrome. In NZ the Left suffers from Clark Worship Syndrome as she heaps upon a few innocent religious nutters all the same approbrium received by German Jews in the 1930s.

Andrei said...

Spot on PM.

The authoritarian left and the authoritarian right are opposite sides of the same coin.

Anonymous said...

Hear hear Milt!

Gooner

KG said...

PM may be the sharp end of a resurgent principled left.
Wouldn't that be nice?

Inventory2 said...

Excellent thread Milt - it's provocative, and would be likely to stimulate debate in most places - just not at The Standard!

Redbaiter said...

"The authoritarian left and the authoritarian right are opposite sides of the same coin."

OPathetic bullshit. Another libertarian trying to carve out a political niche?? WTF is the "authoritarian right"??

"if the Left isn't to become a sorry joke."

About two decades too late for that Milt. All the same, nice to see some of you may finally be awakening to the scam. Betta late than neva.

dad4justice said...

To late now milt !
Its sad !

Tane said...

Milt, if the bill was creeping authoritarianism we'd oppose it. It's not. The bill is about getting the dirty money out of politics and making a more level and therefore democratic playing field.

Yes, the process has been a complete bungle, and I and others on the left have rightly criticised the govt for this. But heavens above, don't try and tell me you believe for one second that Labour is trying to attack freedom of speech or undermine democracy.

What you have to understand is that there is a fundamental difference between restricting speech and restricting election spending.

The talk of 'fascist legislation' and comparisons of Helen Clark to Lenin and Hitler are frankly absurd and shameful.

KG said...

"The talk of 'fascist legislation' and comparisons of Helen Clark to Lenin and Hitler are frankly absurd and shameful"
Perhaps. But to deny that this bill will not restrict free speech is dishonest.
If the bill is about "getting dirty money out of politics', then how come it doesn't get union money out as well? Because to use union member's money (and taxpayer's money recycled through the unions) to campaign for Helen's mob is at least as dirty as private individuals contributing privately to other parties.
Especially since so many Kiwis are totally unaware of the way unions money is used.
Yep--I'll stick with dishonest.

Tane said...

Ah, a good bit of union bashing. Let's go through these one by one:

to deny that this bill will not restrict free speech is dishonest.

I think you're making the error of conflating spending with speech. No one will be prohibited from expressing an opinion if the Electoral Finance Bill is passed, nor is that the intention of the bill.

If the bill is about "getting dirty money out of politics', then how come it doesn't get union money out as well?

Union contributions to Labour and other parties are a tiny fraction of total campaign contributions. They're also entirely transparent - you can find them on elections.org.nz and if you're a union member you can ask for a copy of your union's accounts. You can also stand for election to your union's ruling body or pass motions as a delegate to stop, increase or redirect your union's campaign contributions - it's called democracy. Recently, for example, the SFWU held a vote on whether to continue donating money to the Labour Party. The vote was won by abound 80% to 20%.

Because to use union member's money (and taxpayer's money recycled through the unions) to campaign for Helen's mob is at least as dirty as private individuals contributing privately to other parties.

Can you, like, provide a shred of proof that this actually happens? I've tried asking this of others but they tend to disappear or mumble something about the 'union money-go-round' that they read in Murray McCully's newsletter once. If your answer is the Employment Relations Education Contestable Fund, you'll know it's audited by the DoL and that the largest single recipient is Business NZ.

Especially since so many Kiwis are totally unaware of the way unions money is used.

I think they are. As I said earlier, unions are democratic and transparent bodies and have never hidden their campaign contributions. The same can't be said of National's donors.

Yep--I'll stick with dishonest.

It would appear you are.

dad4justice said...

Tane - how much does the communist party provide Labour and the Greens for engineering purposes ??

dad4justice said...

Electioneering purposes , silly me, as I thought I was talking about bush pig Bradford's social experiment regarding the destruction of parental rights !!

Union members regularly go to Russia for indoctrination purposes . How much money do they provide so they can help the gorgon bitch steal another election . Klark should be in a cell !!

Heine said...

I asked you Tane to prove otherwise and you ran away from my blog with your tail between your legs. Put up or shut up.

Fark this country is pissing me off.

Psycho Milt said...

"The Communist Party?" Which decade are you living in, Dad4Justice? I hate to tell you this mate, but Muldoon's dead.

Tane, thanks for your response. I certainly agree with you that the stated intention of the bill is to get the dirty money out of politics, not to restrict freedom of speech. But Annette King's admitted that its actual effect will be to (again! Second time inside a year, you c*nts!) criminalise large numbers of us for no good reason, but we shouldn't worry because "common sense will prevail" and the state's organs won't act against us.

I don't think that's a bungled process, I think it's a fundamentally bad attitude to the citizen, one that we shouldn't put up with from a govt.

You're also right that I don't believe Labour has some nefarious plan to attack freedom of speech or undermine democracy. I believe they've simply lost track of what their actual relationship with the people is: rather than representatives of the people, in office at our sufferance, they give the impression of seeing themselves as parents trying to impose boundaries on naughty children. The net effect is to attack freedom of speech and undermine democracy. Basically, they have to be kicked off the Treasury benches so they're reminded that their relationship with the citizen is not that of Supernanny to this week's family. Let's turn their parenting attitude back on them - if we reward their current behaviour by returning them to govt, the following 3 years will see even more egregious assaults on our freedom.

The EFB is just an example. S59 took the same approach: "Don't worry about the fact we just criminalised most of you, we'll only go after the real bad guys."
The amendment to the STA makes a terrorist whoever the PM says is one. Recent events in the Environment Ministry have demonstrated party affiliation counts when employing public servants. All of this is seriously ugly shit, and while I don't expect the current incumbents to make use of these precedents against democracy, what guarantees do they offer regarding future incumbents?

As an example, the EFB is quite clearly about providing Labour with electoral advantage over National. If they get away with it, do you imagine that when National eventually does get in, it's going to do the honourable thing and set about creating genuinely consensus-based electoral law? Will they f*ck! They'd just amend it to their own advantage, and Labour would make themselves a laughing stock trying to oppose it.

I don't have any problem with them trying to sort out the issue of anonymous financing of political parties - they should go back to the drawing board and come up with a bill that does that.

Redbaiter said...

The bill is Stalinist. The Klark government is Stalinist. Klark herself is Stalinists. Most leftists are Stalinists.

Leftists scoff at these charges. More hype and over-reaction from Redbaiter. Stalin of course was a fan of big government and the all powerful state. More than that, Stalin used the power of the State to silence and attack his political opponents.

If his power was ever threatened, he passed bogus laws and then those dissenters perceived as a threat were prosecuted under these bogus laws.

Klark is not guilty of the crimes of Hitler or Stalin and nobody is saying that. She's guilty of thinking the same way that they thought. The left who admonish others for making the comparison know this is what is meant, and when they try to imply otherwise they're just being the usual dishonest and duplicitous supporters of a corrupt political system.

As for Tane's self serving drivel, its got so many logic holes it amazes me has has the damn gall to think of such propaganda as an argument. He claims nobody will be "prohibited from expressing an opinion". No Tane, they won't, as long as they go cap in hand to Stalinist arseholes like you and Klark and "register." ..and then if they don't express that opinion in the "approved" manner, they'll be prosecuted. Stalinist.

So unionists voted 80% to 20% to vote to continue stealing money from their members and give it to Labour? This is some kind of justification?? Good fucken grief!! All this points to is 1) how unions are completely dominated by Labour party thugs and 2) how immoral they are. Of course a union dominated by the left is going to VOTE to give money to Labour. Here's the moral view Tane, you fucked in the head Stalinist freak- no act of stealing money is justified by the fact that a majority of thieves "vote" for it.

What an utter farce. "Donations" should never be subject to coercion, otherwise they're just not donations. Can't you see that?? As a socialist, you probably can't.

As for the rest of your convoluted bullshit, its merely more Stalinist smearing. The usual communist strategy of obfuscation and false counter charge. This is unjust legislation brought in by a corrupt government and its happening because liberty and freedom have been deliberately and gradually extinguished from the consciences of NZers and replaced with such bogus leftist issues as racism, sexism, and a hundred other such bullshit 'isms'.

For example, if this law was going to unfairly impact on homosexuals, or Maoris, or wimmen the streets would be full of screaming banner waving protesters. But hell, its only about freedom of political expression. In this sad little basket case soviet hole, full of brainwashed communist stooges, WHO GIVES A FUCK ABOUT THAT ANY MORE???

KG said...

rofl! I just got home from doing the shopping and was about to reply to Tane's comments.
But Redbaiter does it far better than I could--as usual.

Psycho Milt said...

As usual, all Redbaiter demonstrates is

1. that there should be some version of Godwin's law applying to Stalin, and

2. that he lacks even a basic grasp of what democracy is. Here's a tip, Redbaiter - if an organisation votes 80/20 in favour of committing the org's money to something, yes that is a justification. In fact, it's a pretty damn indisputable one. If you have a problem with democracy, move somewhere they don't have it - you'll find democracy starts to look good pretty quickly.

Anonymous said...

Have been interested in the Union money-go-round for a couple of years. The total paid to the unions collectively through the contestable fund for the 2006/2007 year was $1,168,500. Didn’t note how much was donated to Business NZ, but was around $300k from memory. The reason for this being from memory is for some strange reason – since I posted on DPF’s blog the link a couple of weeks ago the page has disappeared. http://www.ers.dol.govt.nz/ere/contestable_funds_2006-07.htm

Huh! Have just looked at the latest funding round – for election year the funding has increased from $1.15m to $2.56m. Not only that but funding to the NZ Council of Trade Unions has increased from $106k this year to $260k for election year and then dropping back to $72k for the following year (2009). Even worse the funding to the National Distribution Union goes from $97k for this year, $231,240 for election year but nothing allocated yet for 2009. See
http://www.ers.dol.govt.nz/ere/contestable_funds_2007-08.htm

I have a question. Given that employers have to educate their own staff for job training – what exactly are the unions educating their members? Also needless to say Tane – the funding to unions is far in excess collectively to all groups. For the 2008 election year, the allocated funds to Unions is $800k – out of a total pool of $1.3m so far allocated. What do the unions have to educated their members about specifically next year Tane?

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Anonymous

Why don't you look back to 2005 and match up the amounts received by union with the amount they funnelled to Labour?

Redbaiter said...

"that he lacks even a basic grasp of what democracy is."

Wrong Milt. You're the one suffering from that complaint, when you fool yourself that thieves voting on how much money they should steal and from whom, is a representation of governmental democracy. Its not. Its an event that makes a farce of democracy, as you and your cohorts with your wealth transfer bullshit have made a farce of it in NZ.

You not only fail to understand the democratic process, you treat it with arrogance and contempt. I regret so much your Marxist perversion of a great principle.

Give me a constitution limiting tax to core issues, then vote on what you want. That is real democracy Milt, not the repugnant process of theft and envy and corruption and cronyism that you and your socialist ilk have made of it.

Anonymous said...

Adolf - I did - it was about $140k. Cannot find any detail on donations to labour to fund their repayment of the $800k though.

Anonymous said...

Oh - Adolf - and that obviously covers the donations, not their own publications to "members" and any assistance to electioneering provided.

Psycho Milt said...

You'd have a point Redbaiter, if you weren't talking about how union members vote to spend the money they themselves contributed to the union. Spending your own money is not theft.

The mythical "union money-go-round" anon is quacking on about refers to contestable funds that unions bid for and won. What happens to that money is audited - and oddly enough, the auditors don't let union members vote to spend it on donations to Labour's electoral campaigns. Go and find a real issue.

Anonymous said...

That may be so PM - however, the more money received through government funding allows more of the collected funds from members to be used for other activities - does it not? I'm sorry if my questioning of this issue offends you, but it does bother me. Such is free speech.

Psycho Milt said...

It doesn't offend me, I just disagree with your conclusion. For instance, if a union bids for funding to deliver a servioe the govt wants delivered, and spends that money delivering it, as confirmed by auditors, how does that free up members' fees for donations to Labour? The only way that would work would be if the govt was knowingly offering contestable funding to deliver a service the union would otherwise expect to deliver using its own money. So far, no-one's made a case to suggest that's happening.

Anonymous said...

"For instance, if a union bids for funding to deliver a servioe the govt wants delivered, and spends that money delivering it" Maybe that is why the funding to the unions has increased by such a huge margin for the election year. We know that the Unions will be delivering govt (Labour) propaganda one way or another - but just who is paying for it? I know I'm quacking on but maybe a case does need to be made.