Saturday, March 14, 2009


Some snippets froom around the place.

First, my comment from Farrar's place in respect of the Parliamentary Intelligence and Oversight Committee.

I consider myself a classic liberal and fairly close to Rodney philosophically. However in my view he is treading on thin ice here.

The only real priority of a state nation is to protect its citizens, from both internal and external threats. To achieve this a state nation needs a security service and a defence force and a police force. Sure, the SIS may go around peeping and peering and who knows, they may hold a file on me. But I’ve got through 40+ years without worrying about them knocking on my door and I’m sure I’ll get through the next 40 without any concerns too.

ACT was right to oppose the Terrorism Suppression Bill. It is constitutionally abhorrent because it removes the separation of powers principle that is essential in our democracy. But I’d urge caution on Rodney and ACT criticising the SIS on libertarian grounds because a true libertarian knows how vital a security service is to protect our liberty.

Then, a succinct little post from the one and only Whale Oil about politics and ideology.
Politics ulimately is akin to wrestling with pigs. Two things are absolutely certain when wrestling with pigs, you're going to get dirty and the pig will enjoy it. I suggest it is time for the Libertians of our nation to get a little bit dirty and learn to wrestle with pigs. Then we can truly get some of their fine ideals into the mix.

Finally, the point of it all. John Armstrong in today's Herald.
The lesson Act has taken from the failures of other parties to sustain themselves while propping up a government is that some kind of strategy needs to be in place throughout the three-year term to ensure the party maintains its point of difference from the larger partner rather than leaving things until election year.

In Act's case, that requires more than a soft-cop, hard-cop routine which sees Hide avoiding attacks on Key and immersing himself in his ministerial portfolios, leaving Sir Roger Douglas free to criticise National when he feels that is warranted - which so far is not infrequently.

Us ACToids must never forget that politics is the art of compromise. We have spent far, far too long sitting on the sidelines telling the World we are right and everyone else is wrong. Now it is time to make a change. I don't like the Gang Insignia Bill any more than the next ACTiod but I can swallow a dead rat because that's politics.

Blair, MikeE and Co. must keep remembering that. ACT is a political party, not a think tank. And politics is all about compromise.



Well said Gooner.
So how was the conference?

Madeleine said...

The great thing about being a blogger as opposed to a politician is that we get to be purists; no dead rats on our menu.

Anonymous said...

And politics is all about compromise.

Politics is about power. The power to make what you want happen.

Sad but true: the best words about politics in NZ were said by Cullen:


Libz. Bloggers, and especially Labour scum:


and we will now do everything in our power to wipe you off the face of the earth.

Anonymous said...

"and we will now do everything in our power to wipe you off the face of the earth."

oooo scary. Who's we Sinner? You and your mum?

Anonymous said...

The conference was good....very positive vibes.The clash over principle on the gang patch ban was good and showed the party is strong in its members understanding of the principles ACT was formed to uphold.

Mps were left in no doubt that this law was a violation of those principles but it was a;lso understood that ACT is a political party in an arrangement with National...and compromise is unavoidable.If ACT is to reward the faith its voters showed in it then it will have to swallow some dead rats along the way.

Blair said...

A compromise is when you get something in return. This is a greasing exercise. If you seriously think that making a complete u-turn on policy is worth some lame attempt to make National MPs like three strikes more, then you may as well resign your post now.

This is a disaster for ACT - now National know ACT will do anything to keep them sweet. ACT has given its bargaining power away. What's that worth? From where I sit, a hundred times more than three strikes.

Anonymous said...

I don't disagree Blair....its a tug of war between standing firm vs getting something done....I can see both sides and the points they make.

In an MMP system if ACT don't compromise vthey are doomed to eternal occupancy of the sidelines....and nothing is achieved./..and thats a non starter where NZ's future is cooncerned.If socialsim isn't checked we are fucked...

But....if ACT allows principle to skip its doomed....

Tough call.

MikeE said...

This isn't a compromise. This is giving something to the nats for nothing in return.

Its like taking one in the rear without the reach around...

I'd expect ACT would at least puch for the reach around as a matter of principle....

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

If Mike E, Blair and James had their way, ACT would remain impotently proud and in opposition for perpetuity.

Time to grow up, chaps.

Anonymous said...

What's the most important thing?

keeping Labour and the Unions our of government.

Banning gangs (with legislation that will also ban the display e.g. of Labour party logos!) is a move that is very popular and will directly harm Labour-aligned deviant groups in society - the gangs and the unions.

Gooner said...

I can swallow a few gang members not being allowed to wear their jackets because when three strikes is law they won't be in a position to wear them in public anyway - they'll be in the klink for 25+.

Blair said...

No Adolf, ACT has just made itself impotent by making the U-turn. If it stood up for what it believes in, it would continue to be in a position to make changes. Now it has no power, because it sold out just to suck Chester Burrows' cock.

Principles schminciples, it's about the long game. The Nats now know that ACT will cave on anything, and ACT will never get any more concessions out of them. Nothing adult about being treated like a small child, Adolf.

You turn if you want to. The gentleman's not for turning.

Anonymous said...

Mmmm Blair is a bit OTT on his blog with the post on this issue and the previous one on the same issue. He seems very exercised over this and getting more so.

Having attended the Conference I thought the various opinions expressed on the Bill were robustly, rationally and respectfully put including the debate and decision not to pass a resolution on the matter.

After all ACT MP’s are not subject to the whip and nor have they ever been so it’s better communicate with them directly and personally. My my again classically liberal.

Frankly I am not as worked up about the civil liberty aspects (freedom of expression/assemby) of this Bill as some are although it’s probably not going to make any difference to gang related activity in Wanganui either.

However this isn’t the first time Parliament has passed poor laws and won’t be the last.

What I like about the Bill is that it’s limited in geographical application and within the WDC boundaries only in specified areas with public notice. The process for making the By law is also a public one and the effectiveness of the By law must be periodically assessed, and if not it lapses.

This seems to be to be a good approach to law making - suck it and see. It’s a wee bit like a federal system – although one shouldn’t push that analogy too hard.

As a principle I like the idea of greater experimentation, pilot schemes, opt in (or out) trials and the like. It’s a principle that ACT will want to push in the reform of parts of the welfare state that are clearly under performing. It’s also classically liberal – by definition.

I also have no problem with local communities having a greater role in matters of law and order - again classically liberal.