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.