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Denigration of public service

Written By: - Date published: 5:41 pm, April 25th, 2009 - 42 comments
Categories: community democracy - Tags: , , , , ,

There was a great turnout at the Mount Albert War Memorial building this morning, both inside the hall and people outside waiting for the flag and the silence.

What has been intriguing me over the years is the changing number and demographics of the people who are now turning up. When I first started attending in the early 1980s, after moving back to Mt Albert post-university, there were a handful of young people who attended. Many of those were, like me, involved in the defense forces. Most attending were veterans of various wars that New Zealand had been involved in and their immediate family, or people who’d lost someone. The average age was grey (like I am now).

Mt Albert War Memorial HallThis year, the hall was full to standing room only, and it is a large hall. But the growing crowd outside intrigued me more than the service inside. This year, I saw teenagers coming on their own, not in groups or family, and standing on the grass outside waiting for the reveille. There were families with parents in their 30s watching the parade. The slowly growing crowd outside were obviously just stopping by in the course of whatever they were doing to attend the service. They stood patiently even with the little wisps of drizzle in a typical Auckland sort-of-a-winter day.

The reason for these people to come was not so much the concept of war and valor that would have been typical of an earlier era. It was for the message that Jonathon Dove, a pastor at the Mt Albert Baptist Church gave in his address: respecting the service of people helping or defending their community and other people.

This is a political blog, so I’ll offer my opinion on the meaning of ANZAC day in the context of politics. Service is one of the societal assets under-valued by our current government and particularly by their more extremist supporters. They value money and power – not the people doing public services that allow society to function. What they don’t value, they denigrate.

I first noticed Helen Clark at a Mount Albert ANZAC service in the early 80s. As local MP she turned up virtually every year and made the speech regardless of where she’d been the previous day. There were a few occasions I’ve heard of where  she stepped off an international flight and attended prior to getting home. Today she sent greetings via Phil Goff who did a speech at the service. This dedication to attending the ANZAC services has never been particularly for political purposes. There would have been easier ways to garner support for Labour, and with less effort. It was  interesting to me.

Helen was well known as a anti-Vietnam war activist in the 70s, and, as a young territorial soldier in the early 80’s, I was intrigued by her turning up to a memorial service for fallen soldiers. So I went a few times to other meetings where she was speaking. It wasn’t too long before I discovered her intense respect for people who serve, either as soldiers, in the community,  as activists or as protesters.

All those engaged in service violate the neo-lib/neo-con ‘ethic’ of looking out only for yourself.  Since neo-liberals depend on the stable running of society to pursue their own interests, they operate as free-loaders on the efforts of others to maintain a civil and just society. Since they do not understand the urge to help others, they denigrate. An obvious example is that well- known serial liar Ian Wishart, who is continuing his campaign against Helen even when she has left the country (the fantasy is now that there is a world government conspiracy). However others such as Rodger Kerr and Tony Ryall come to mind as  examples of people happy to take  advantage of the stable society enabled by the efforts of those who serve.  They use this to further their own interests while denigrating the efforts of those who create the environment they need to do so. In reality they use the concept of “personal responsibility” to disguse their own nature as parasites on society.

These  neo-lib and neo-cons are the supporters of the current government – they taint it with their support.

42 comments on “Denigration of public service ”

  1. RedLogix 1

    A very thoughtful post Lynn. Of course it is also true that while the thousands of young men who rushed to volunteer for WW1 were acting out their own very deeply held notions of public service; the political leaders of the day exploited that willingness to sacrifice in the most appalling, barbaric manner. Prior to the 20th century, war had always been glorified as an essential social function. But modern technology changed all that. Instead of a battle killing a few thousands, and usually concluding in an afternoon, modern death-dealing machinery meant that it could last months or years, and trample millions into the mud.

    An infantryman going over the top of a trench into the face of machine gun fire, had a life expectancy of a bit over 1 minute. Yet facing such pathetic odds, they went compelled by a sense of duty.

    Out of this sacrifice, this obscene flinging away of human life, to little or no effect, sprang a major social change in attitudes. Nowadays we look back in horror at what they were commanded to do. They left their homes filled with dreams of adventure and high hopes of glorious service. Instead they met a reality so traumatic, so brutalising that most of the survivors could rarely bring themselves to speak of it outside RSA drinking halls. It was why they hoped that it would be the ‘war to end all wars’. Somewhere in the mud, horror and infamy of the trenches, the idea of war’s ultimate futility was born.

    In the aftermath of each war, humanity attempted however imperfectly to establish a form of global governance to prevent a reoccurence. The snuffing out of 63 million lives in WW2, directly led to the Declaration of Universal Human Rights, formalising the idea that all human life has instrinsic value and dignity. The lives of ordinary people are NOT trifling playthings for the political, monied classes to smear over battlefields to serve secretive, pecunary purposes.

    The idea, that as a race with any sort of future, we must find a way to permanently make war obsolete, that we must determine to treat all humanity with equity and justice, is what we really gather to commemorate on ANZAC day. But we also learnt that the privileged, wealth owning classes were not ever going to seek that goal on behalf of the rest of us… we must struggle to grasp it for ourselves.

    This is the lesson that shaped the Labour Party from the outset, shaped it’s modern leadership and shaped the enduring class confrontation between Left and Right to this very day. It is why Helen Clark attended every ANZAC day service in Mt Albert… because it spoke directly to her very purpose for being in politics.

    • lprent 1.1

      WW1 was a defining shift in warfare. I’d have to say that to me it is almost ancient history. The ‘citizen soldier’ of WW2 and later defined my thinking, as does the community groups that weren’t orientated to charity, but rather to change.

      • Macro 1.1.1

        My Dad went to sea in 1914 and served on the Russian convoys. He was in Russia in 1917 (iced in) and saw the uprising of the Naval Cadets, on his return to Britain in 1917-18 he was involved in one of the first seaman’s strikes – the company refused to pay them because the ship they were on returned to Portsmouth – not Liverpool where they had been signed on. (The ship had signed on had burned and sunk in Murmansk. He joined the Army and served in Ypres in 1918 and was wounded there. He immigrated to NZ in the early 1920’s. The Medical officer of his discharge Board said – “well you will be ok to wash dishes”. He never regained the full use of his left hand.
        His experiences lead him to become an early member of the Labour Movement in NZ , and was active in the Union movement all his working life- He was deeply distressed by the direction the Lange Govt in the 1980’s – and looking back I can now appreciate where he was coming from. Yes there was some much needed reform – but there was such a lot of good thrown out as well.
        Dad never had much time for the RSA and never went to a Parade. His experiences in the trenches were such that to him war was never something to be glorified. His medals were left at the bottom of his drawer and never saw the light of day for the rest of his life.
        My own military career spanned 14 years. I wonder now how he really felt about it. He never tried to dissuade me.
        I thoroughly concur with the sentiments you express in your Post.

  2. TK 2

    I was saddened to read this article. As a new reader of your blog I find you taking the opportunity to slam others on this day when our whole nation stops a remembers as small minded.

    RedLogix is wrong that all our soldiers went off with deeply held notions of public duty. That is modern day claptrap painted in a sense of what we know today and not how things were then. Some went for public duty, many went because it was a great way to see the world, others to escape the boredom of home and some to ensure they did not get a white feather delivered in the mail (or if they did get one then they certainly signed up). Or to support a mother country not too far from their thoughts. Many like my Grandfather went to WW1 because he was from Britain, most of the rest had parents that had been born there. We can not support the REdLogix statement from a further 3-5 generations on.

    But they all went irrespective of background as well. So the Johnnies from the farms (yes sons of wealthy landowners) and the Johnnies from the coal mines went. A great Uncle of mine died digging a trench. He was from a farm but the guys around him were from who knows what backgrounds – perhaps public servants, perhaps unemployed.

    There were a lot of causalities during the 2oth Century and that was because of a mixture of the type of new warfare imposed on old strategic methods and because of the scal of the war. But any reader of history will know that casualties in earlier centuries were just as high if not higher on a per soldier basis. And the means of delivering those casualties were often more barbaric.

    But going back to the first point, don’t belittle your site with this sort of small minded attack. The one thing I find from people of all political persuasions is that they do have the best interests of the public as a whole in mind. They just have different thoughts on how that should be done. Keep this sort of stuff to those subjects where your point of view is valid.

    • lprent 2.1

      Ummm… As someone born in 1959, I’ve never met anyone who served in WW1. I have served with people who were involved in campaigns in Malaysia, Borneo and Vietnam. I’ve talked to people who were involved in Korea and WW2.

      I’d have to say (in my opinion) that your ideas are cribbed out of a history book about events from before widespread public education and the history of WW1. Soldiers after WW1 were perfectly aware of the risk involved and why they were doing it. They accepted those risks because there were a *lot* of ways they could have stayed out of harms way.

      Don’t belittle this site with comments that are unrelated to the post. It makes you look like a fool. Quite simply I have difficulty in thinking that you are doing anything apart from spinning a line to stop this topic of discussion…

      Perhaps you should describe your level of service…

      • RedLogix 2.1.1

        As someone born in 1959, I’ve never met anyone who served in WW1.

        I come from a smallish family. I only ever knew one Aunt and Uncle from my grandparent’s generation. We have my Uncle’s war dairy. It is a matter of fact sort of record, in a rather chilling way. He volunteered under-age and miraculously survived ALL of the great WW1 trench battles, Somme, Yppres, the lot. He returned without a visible scratch.

        Yet in all his married life he never once talked about it. I vividly recall a family lunch one year. I would have been a teenager. At some point my father must have asked something about Uncle’s war experience…. my Aunt looked aprehensive for a second or two… and I will never, ever forget what was said in reply. “Oh… any man who goes TO a war is a fool.”

        That’s all. Nothing dramatic or eloquent. Just a bald, plain statement of a hard won truth. My Aunt later told us that was all he EVER said about those missing years in WW1.

        • lprent 2.1.1.1

          Getting my relatives from ww2 talk was hard enough. Admittly it was complicated by the hard if hearing induced by monty and his ideas on artillery at el alamein.

          But essentially the same message applied.

  3. TK 3

    One other thing I meant to ask was about Phil Goff. Was this the first time he had been to an ANZAC ceremony at Mt Albert or did he go each year with Helen?

    A bit sad if it was the former as I suspect it was. I am happy to be told I am wrong.

  4. lprent 4

    Most of the time he was off-shore in the last 9 years as that is what a foreign minister does. I’d expect that he would have attended Mt Roskill RSA, at least that is what I’ve heard.

    This time he was asked to do Mt Albert mainly because Helen wasn’t there. It isn’t exactly like there is a National representative for the electorate, although I noticed that Melissa Lee was there, but I couldn’t see Ravi. Guess that has already been decided in a non-democratic manner?

  5. RedLogix 5

    RedLogix is wrong that all our soldiers went off with deeply held notions of public duty.

    You are right. Brevity is all very well, but it can lack precision. They left their homes filled with dreams of adventure and high hopes of glorious service. hints at what you are saying, that these young men left for all sorts of reasons, from all manner of backgrounds, wealthy, privileged or not.

    At the same time you seem to have mis-read my purpose. The real question that to some degree even today remains difficult to answer is, “what was the real cause of WW1?”. Surely the assasination of an Austro-Hungarian Duke in Sarajevo was merely what we call in modern parlance a ‘tipping point’… the real underlying cause was the failure of the major European political leaders to set aside their competing empire building interests for a greater common good. This catastrophic failure can be fairly laid at the feet of a relative handful of exceedingly powerful individuals, whose wrong-headed instrangience resulted in disaster.

    But any reader of history will know that casualties in earlier centuries were just as high if not higher on a per soldier basis.

    Again agreed, war was always an ugly barbaric affair, yet it was not only tolerated, it was highly respected and glorified. WW1 changed all that. While there will always remain a role and purpose for all nations to maintain a sane, protective military… our attitudes towards projecting that power have changed considerably.

    Can I suggest you re-read what Lynn and I have said again? Yes we are both making a political point, but not the rather narrow one you seem to have derived.

    • lprent 5.1

      The casualties in earlier centuries were more from plague than combat. It was less in ww1 if you exclude the pandemic. The disease in later wars was a lot less. Means that more people who survive who faced combat and can write

  6. Principessa 6

    Wasn’t there a post on here last year about Key not attending an ANZAC service at all, or at least not in Helensville…

    • BLiP 6.1

      Perhaps you’re thinking of when Richard Worth went into hiding from the media after he was supposed to be attending the Maori Battalion’s 60th commemoration of the Battle of El Alamein. He went for a camel ride instead.

  7. Principessa 7

    Ah no- my mistake, he laid a wreath in Wellington last year (although surprsingly he is obviously unable to do anything in his own electorate)- I make this point because people were crapping on earlier about Goff being in Mt Albert.

  8. BLiP 8

    The denigration of service was completed today when Prime Minister John Key said we should be grateful for the slaughter of Gallipoli for it improved New Zealand’s Living Standards .

    Yep its all about money.

    And, if you think the priviledged and wealthy classes have any shame about it, just consider how unconsidered their political representatives are about offering up more Kiwi blood. Who cares, they think, its not our kids; what’s more, at the moment its an espeically good time to be recruiting the poor.

    Meanwhile, the Otahuhu ANZAC Day Parade was similarily poignant under the same rain-cloud skudding sky as at Mt Albert. Our Honour Guard didn’t get to fire off any salutes, though; see, their guns are made of wood.

  9. RedLogix 9

    Interesting. Certainly Key covers the acceptable, conventional bases when he says:

    “We salute their willingness to fight to preserve our freedoms and humanitarian ideals. We salute their willingness to meet adversity with courage and honour,” he said.

    But he strays into peculiar territory with:

    “They were everyday people who rose to the heights of sacrifice and in doing so preserved the living standards of us all for generations to come. They fought for each and every one of us. They fought for New Zealand and they fought for our world.”

    .

    I agree with BLiP, its an odd way of monetising something that should not. It’s even hard to justify; it’s not at all obvious that our living standards would be much different if the Kaiser had won WW1. Our modern history would be dramatically different, but what path would our economic well being have taken? Impossible to say, except that maybe we would have been driving some decent cars.

    Even then, I’m not at all persuaded that the notion of ‘living standards’ was in the minds of any of our troops while grovelling in some fox-hole, trying to keep their arse attached to the rest of them.

    Nor is it a turn of phrase I could imagine Helen Clark, Phil Goff or Russel Norman using. I guess it is reflective of the way John Key values things largely in material, monetary terms. The next interesting question to ask; is this an unconsidered bit of fuzz-think from Key, or is it a carefully crafted bit of sub-text to National’s support base?

  10. ak 10

    And how many Maori Land thieves or their sons signed up?

    Spare me, oh Lord

    From the maudlin observances

    Of the wraiths and scions of essential services

    Whose very existence

    And privileged persistence

    Rests full on the gore

    And the oceans of blood

    Of the brown and the poor

    Who were fed to each war

    By these suppurative whores

    To Mammon and greed

    That deign to lead.

    • RedLogix 10.1

      ak,

      Is that original? If so it’s damm good… I’ve been humbled by superior force and I I should retire from blogging for a month or two.

      If not, it’s still damm good and I wonder whose?

      • ak 10.1.1

        Thanks Red – don’t you dare retire, the awe is all ours for your wonderful posts on almost everything. You (and Lynn and others) are the reason I dip into this blog; sound, clear argument presented with panache and backed by research that the rest of us are too lazy to do (Bill’s is a typical pearler below too – onya Bill)

  11. the sprout 11

    nice post lynn

  12. mike 12

    What a disgrace. You socialist slime try and turn everything into a left V right argument.

    FFS leave the memory of the ANZACs out of your bitter little feud.

    • lprent 12.1

      In other words you don’t have an argument?

      • the sprout 12.1.1

        certainly sounds like it. imagine being so bereft of any kind of intelligence that “you socialist slime” is the best argument you can mount.
        poor creature, i pity him.

      • mike 12.1.2

        How do you expect people repond to Labour good National evil.

        I could have gone on to say how disgusting it is that you try and gain political mileage out of hijacking the memory of the brave soldiers who would roll in their graves at what the modern labour party have intoduced in the country they died for.

        • IrishBill 12.1.2.1

          Every ANZAC day some right wing bigot tries to claim every Kiwi soldier ever was also a rightwing bigot.

          Mike, have you considered that many who fought in the second world war would have been social democrats, socialists and even communists?

          In fact plenty of world war two veterans strove to create the social democracy we enjoyed following that war. An outstanding example of such would be Sir Owen Woodhouse, the man who created ACC.

          Do you celebrate those New Zealanders who fought for their country, or just the ones whose politics you would’ve agreed with?

          • Sweetd 12.1.2.1.1

            Irish

            Stop digging. For one day, leave the nat bad, labour good meme out of Anzac day. It was a okay piece by Lynn, why he needed to tack on the party political bit at the end turned it into a disgusting vindictive bit of bile.

            IrishBill: I don’t know how you extracted that from my comment. Perhaps you should read it again.

          • Quoth the Raven 12.1.2.1.2

            It might also have slipped Mike’s mind that labour was in power throughout WW2.

          • bobbity 12.1.2.1.3

            “This is a political blog, so I’ll offer my opinion on the meaning of ANZAC day in the context of politics. Service is one of the societal assets under-valued by our current government and particularly by their more extremist supporters. They value money and power – not the people doing public services that allow society to function. What they don’t value, they denigrate.”

            Yeah right – so anyone who doesn’t view them self as a socialist could possibly give thanks and shed a tear for the sacrifice of the servicemen and woman who gave so much for NZ?

            Perhaps you should take your Labour/E.P.M.U bullshit and shove it up your arse !

          • mike 12.1.2.1.4

            “”It might also have slipped Mike’s mind that labour was in power throughout WW2.”

            QTR, that’s why I emphasised the ‘modern’ labour party which has nothing to do with the once proud workers party of that era.

  13. Bill 13

    An interesting wee docu on Prime last night commemorating conscientious objectors from WW1 some of who served and died on the front lines as stretcher bearers, medics etc.

    The ‘absolutists’ were commemorated too…those who refused to do anything attached with the war.

    Remembrance surely ought to be an exercise in anti-jingoism and a celebration of those with the fortitude to stand against the madness of their generation. No?

    Boys (and they were mostly bubbies) went off to war for a whole heap of reasons including peer and societal pressure. In WW1 their own officers shot them if they refused to over the top due to shell shock or an attack of plain common sense.

    I don’t think Key so much denigrated the service as (unwittingly) let an essential truth slip. War is about money, markets and power.

    Market share and empire lay behind WW1. Trade wars and embargoes precluded WW2. Post WW2, Communism was seen as a threat to the ongoing functioning of the market for the benefit of the few…military build up, proxy wars and a convenient piece of propaganda for the elites on both sides.

    There are no evil ‘others’ as the propaganda of WW1 would have had Anglo populations believe of the Germans and as the US propaganda machinery would have had us believe of the Iraqis when they invaded Kuwait (remember the babies being thrown from incubators story?)

    I don’t think state or corporate sanctioned remembrances will ever allow reflection on the substantive lesson to be gained from past wars. Our general perceptions are shaped and our understanding limited by facile propaganda. And so we, with all the best intentions, wind up insulting the memories of the poor bastards who were misled into killing and being killed for some supposed ‘greater good’

    Wars, it seems, are unfortunate, just happen, and it’s a shame that people die. And we ought to remember that it’s a shame that people die (we are told), but that’s all. No analysis, no enquiry…nothing learned.

    In the same breathe we are informed of the ‘evil’ Taliban, ‘evil’ Al Qaeda and ‘evil’ Somali Pirates and so on. No analysis, no exploration of underlying dynamics, just a shaping of belief…a prime pumping of the workers and the peasants if you will, for the next occasion we will be expected to annihilate ourselves in defense of our master’s interests.

    Oh well. Hello moderation.

  14. NZV 313601 14

    Interesting post – and some distracted replies. As we had conscription from 1916 (after which time came the greatest casualties) the “rich men’s” sons died in those self-same trenches. Death was totally egalitarian.

    It was said of the British Regular Army from 1790 to 1919, that “… the sergeants taught us how to fight – the officers how to die”. In the Great War the KIA percentage of young men from private schools and privileged back grounds (1914 to 1916) was in the order of 42%. The overall KIA/DoW for the British army was something like 9% (900,000 odd in an overall call-up of 11 million). Which incidentally, is including the call-up from the “White Colonies”

    Myths abound – and political myths are built on those. For a dissertation way back in the 60s I did an oral history of what life was like prior to the First War. Part of that included interviewing men (then in their late 60s to 80s). One of these was the grandson of one of the Fencible Militia (discharged after the 1860s land wars to form a militia to defend Auckland), who had also served in the Crimea. I asked about the insanity of trench warfare and his reply was … “My grandfather told me about the Crimea and the Land Wars. When I found that he had not lied – I saw nothing to write home about”.

    It induced massive social change for the better – and the losses were made up in population within five years of the end of the war.

    I agree with the post – regarding the concept of “service” (whether that be civilian or military). I have done both … though I come from a different political spectrum to this blog. That does not mean that I do not respect (most) opinions stated here – nor did it preclude my community and military service.

    It is called “democracy”.

  15. “All those engaged in service violate the neo-lib/neo-con ‘ethic’ of looking out only for yourself.”

    Nonsense, in fact from a libertarian/objectivist perspective people should always pursue their own values, which can include service to others, from the most obvious (family and friends) to more widely.

    It’s called the difference between choosing to be benevolent, or being forced to be.

    I have yet to see anyone libertarian who would ignore someone in need, who isn’t themselves very generous – I can’t say the same for some conservatives or indeed some socialists, who with pursed lips would say “that is what I pay taxes for”.

    • Bill 15.1

      What a bizarre comment!

      Have you forgotten the propaganda of your Right Libertarian messiahs? Let me remind you. The police should be given ever expanded powers and the courts hand down ever more draconian sentences. This is to keep the rabble in check since under the auspices of a Right Libertarian State they (the rabble) are to be hemmed in by and subject solely to the ‘laws’ of market exchange.

      Yet parts of your comment drift dangerously close to the concept of mutual aid…a Left Libertarian (or anarchist if you prefer) concept….which entails no market, no police and no state….just us, self governing, self policing and trading our goods and services without the skewing effect of the profit motive.

      Maybe you are finally warming to the concept of substantive self responsibility? Or maybe you are simply being disingenuous?

      You cannot have your cake and eat it. Either there is the domination of the market in all aspects of daily life as Right Libertarian ideology dictates and therefore no room for people to ‘pursue their own values’, or there isn’t.

      Which is it for you?

    • Quoth the Raven 15.2

      LibertyScott – With all due respect to your personal beliefs please do not lump libertarians with objectivists. I think it would be instructive to read what Ayn Rand herself thought about libertarians.
      A few quotes for others who don’t wish to dirty themselves by visitng an Ayn Rand site:

      Q: What do you think of the Libertarian movement? [FHF: “The Moratorium on Brains,’ 1971]
      AR: All kinds of people today call themselves “libertarians,’ especially something calling itself the New Right, which consists of hippies, except that they’re anarchists instead of collectivists. But of course, anarchists are collectivists. Capitalism is the one system that requires absolute objective law, yet they want to combine capitalism and anarchism. That is worse than anything the New Left has proposed. It’s a mockery of philosophy and ideology. They sling slogans and try to ride on two bandwagons. They want to be hippies, but don’t want to preach collectivism, because those jobs are already taken. But anarchism is a logical outgrowth of the anti-intellectual side of collectivism. I could deal with a Marxist with a greater chance of reaching some kind of understanding, and with much greater respect. The anarchist is the scum of the intellectual world of the left, which has given them up. So the right picks up another leftist discard. That’s the Libertarian movement.

      Q: Why don’t you approve of the Libertarians, thousands of whom are loyal readers of your works? [FHF: “The Age of Mediocrity,’ 1981]
      AR: Because Libertarians are a monstrous, disgusting bunch of people: they plagiarize my ideas when that fits their purpose, and they denounce me in a more vicious manner than any communist publication, when that fits their purpose. They are lower than any pragmatists, and what they hold against Objectivism is morality. They’d like to have an amoral political program.

  16. Stephen 16

    “All those engaged in service violate the neo-lib/neo-con ‘ethic’ of looking out only for yourself.’

    That is surely one of the laziest stereotypes about the ‘right’ going round. As LS has expanded on.

  17. Bill: When has Libertarianz ever said the Police should have more draconian powers? What does tougher sentences for repeat murderers, rapists and other violent criminals have to do with opposing “doing service”? Or are they just “victims of capitalism” that drove them to raping kids, and beating up their spouses?

    Bill the market is simple one way of people engaging in mutual voluntary interaction, people also donate, share time and help each other. Most people can manage both, they have businesses or jobs, buy and sell, but also help out friends, family and at local community groups, clubs or other associations.

    The key point is the stereotype of this post is facile – there isn’t any evidence for it other than the manufactured constructs of those wishing to distort laissez-faire liberals as people who engage in no benevolent activities towards others.

    • Pascal's bookie 17.1

      http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0904/S00233.htm

      That there is Perigo defending torture. Specifically he is defending the regime set up by GWB where absent the courts or any other sort of due process the president could declare anyone he liked to be an enemy combatant, and they could then be tortured.

      Obviously completely different from the sort of thing normally associated with the phrase “police state”.

  18. Pascal’s: Lindsay Perigo left Libertarianz some months ago, before that press release, for a host of reasons (one being the view of some in the party to such issues). There has been debate around this, but you’re clutching at straws – Libertarianz has no policy supporting torture of any kind. You might find the US Libertarian Party might be closer on most things.

    • Pascal's bookie 18.1

      Sorry, I wasn’t aware of the recent schism. Consider the example withdrawn.

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  • Speech to He Whenua Taurikura – New Zealand’s annual hui on countering terrorism and violent...
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  • Farewelling sports administrator and philanthropist Sir Eion Edgar
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  • Progress towards simpler process for changing sex on birth certificates
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  • Speech to APEC business event
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