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Stupid greedy voters – Brash

Written By: - Date published: 8:07 am, March 1st, 2010 - 50 comments
Categories: class war - Tags: ,

With true tory arrogance at the ACT conference this weekend, Don Brash has described New Zealand voters as venal and stupid.

Apparently New Zealand’s reluctance to destroy what is left of their society by implementing Brash’s discredited crazy old man economic voodoo is a sign of their stupidity.

Apparently nobody in ACT disagreed with him. Go figure.

And while we’re talking about right-wing loons, there’s a nice piece about Ayn Rand over at the eXiled. Turns out she was a huge admirer of sociopaths because they weren’t able to realize or feel other people. I wonder if Don reads Rand.

50 comments on “Stupid greedy voters – Brash ”

  1. I thought that the capitalist system relied on everyone being venal?

  2. PeteG 2

    And the socialist system relied on no one being lazy or greedy.

    Are blogs capitalist? Or just a different type of venal?

    (I don’t support Brash or his flavour of policies).

  3. Pascal's bookie 3

    My question is for the Prime Minister and reads,

    What sort of idiot would say that NZers are ignorant and venal if they don’t give full support to ACT policy, and should NZers trust a party that would elect such an idiot as leader?

  4. Sam 4

    zombiebrash needs brains

    braaaaaainssss

  5. vto 5

    Brash always was too open and honest to make a successful politician.

    He should be far more guarded and closed and significantly less than completely honest. He should have followed Helen Clark’s example.

    • Marty G 5.1

      Or he could just not be a fuckwit,

      See, vto, the reason that Clark didn’t call voters idiots isn’t because she’s more tricksie than Brash, it’s because she doesn’t believe it.

      To think that this guy was the Nats’ choice for PM.

      And remember that Key said he differs from Brash in style, not substance.

      • Pascal's bookie 5.1.1

        “Or he could just not be a fuckwit,”

        Might be difficult, all things considered.

  6. tc 6

    Brash addressing ACT is not unlike Jack Nicolson’s character in One Flew over the Cockoos nest getting all the other mental patients onside….mmmm Jucy Fruit.

    It’s a free country, well till they pass some more laws under urgency that bypasses select comittees/questions as they love to do.

  7. RedLogix 7

    The link to the Martin Ames article is well worth the read. He re-works some little known information about the ugly Ms Rand,and clearly makes a case for liberatarianism as a bastard political outgrowth of sociopathy. It’s disturbing stuff.

    Given that psychopaths/sociopaths form about 2% of the population… how much of a coincidence is it that ACT’s core support is a number not too dissimilar?

    Ames concludes:

    Too many critics of Ayn Rand would rather dismiss her books and ideas as laughable, childish, hackneyed, lame, embarrassing’Nietzsche for sorority girls’ was how I used to dismiss her. I did that with the Christian Right, like a lot of people who didn’t want to take on something as big, bland and impervious as them. Too many of us focused elsewhereuntil it was too late and the Christian fundamentalist crazies took over America

    Hide/Brash/Douglas are evil clowns all-right, but have mitts wrapped around levers of power, and get air-time in our media. They’re dangerous.

    • Lew 7.1

      Spot on, RL. They shouldn’t be misunderestimated, and not enough people are saying so.

      L

    • PeteG 7.2

      “Given that psychopaths/sociopaths form about 2% of the population how much of a coincidence is it that ACT’s core support is a number not too dissimilar?”

      …or not logixal.

      2% of the population in NZ are Hindu, that number isn’t dissimilar either.
      Bugger, 2% are also Buddhist, Act supporters can’t be both.

      • RedLogix 7.2.1

        There is no identifiable reason why all Hindu’s would be ACT supporters (and evidentially they are not)… but the nature of the arguments put forward by ACT supporters reveals an underlying anti-social psychopathy that logically justifies an inferential connection.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.2.2

        What’s their religion got to do with it? And yes, they can be both.

    • Quoth the Raven 7.3

      RedLogix – On occasion it would be nice to have a little bit of intellectual honesty from you. Do I have to remind you that libertarian is simply a word that basically means anti-authoritarian, but originally was just a synonym for anarchism. There are libertarian-marxists, libertarian-socialists, left-libertarians, right-libertarians, geo-libertarians, and much much more. And do I have to remind you of Ayn Rand’s own opinion of libertarians – Ayn Rand’s Q & A on Libertarianism or maybe the thoughts of prominent libertarians on Rand The Sociology of the Ayn Rand Cult or what some Objectivists think of libertarianism: Libertarianism the perversion of liberty. Yes, many libertarians have drawn on Rand’s work many are Randian, yes some Objectivists call themsevles libertarian, but you’re just intentionally conflating concepts and not engaging libertarianism honestly. And if you want a more generous interpretation of Rand’s work maybe you should read some of Roderick Long’s articles like Ayn Rand’s Left-Libertarian Legacy
      Ayn Rand and the Capitalist Class
      And I like this quote to show that Rand’s thoughts changed as she aged:

      That idea of hardships being good for character and of talent always being able to break through is an old fallacy. Talent alone is helpless today. Any success requires both talent and luck. And the “luck’ has to be helped along and provided by someone. Talent does not survive all obstacles. In fact, in the face of hardships, talent is the first one to perish; the rarest plants are usually the most fragile. Our present-day struggle for existence is the coarsest and ugliest phenomenon that has ever appeared on earth. It takes a tough skin to face it, a very tough one. Are talented people born with tough skins? Hardly. In fact, the more talent one possesses the more sensitive one is, as a rule. And if there is a more tragic figure than a sensitive, worthwhile person facing life without money I don’t know where it can be found.

  8. Bill 8

    How heartbreaking it must be for Brash that the public fails to understand that unemployment rises when equality measures are brought to bear on the labour market. How terrible for him that we (the public) are being wilfully misinformed by (his words) ‘ the so-called news on state television.’ I’m guessing he’s just fine with TV3? This guy is fucking insane.

    The moral and intellectual bankruptcy of the man….hmm, he became so well rewarded under capitalism, why?…does lead one to suspect that he should be subjected to the last suggestion in Ames piece….

    “The only way to protect ourselves from this thinking is the way you protect yourself from serial killers: smoke the Rand followers out, make them answer for following the crazed ideology of a serial-killer-groupie, and run them the hell out of town and out of our hemisphere”

    Oh, and in the comments below the Ames piece is a link to a ‘well worth the read’ article titled ‘The Sociology of the Ayn Rand Cult.’
    http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard23.html

  9. The Chairman 9

    A Brief History of Neoliberalism by David Harvey 5/5

    http://tinyurl.com/yjadz2e

    (Note: parts 1 to 4 can be found in the sidebar)

  10. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSY_KbtNSv4

    Them crazy, them crazy –
    We gonna chase those crazy
    Baldheads out of town;
    Chase those crazy baldheads
    Out of our town.

    I’n’I build a cabin;
    I’n’I plant the corn;
    Didn’t my people before me
    Slave for this country?
    Now you look me with that scorn,
    Then you eat up all my corn.

    We gonna chase those crazy –
    Chase them crazy –
    Chase those crazy baldheads out of town!

    Build your penitentiary, we build your schools,
    Brainwash education to make us the fools.
    Hate is your reward for our love,
    Telling us of your God above.

    We gonna chase those crazy –
    Chase those crazy bunkheads –
    Chase those crazy baldheads out of the yown!

    We gonna chase those crazy –
    Chase those crazy bunkheads –
    Chase those crazy baldheads out of the yown!

    Here comes the conman
    Coming with his con plan.
    We won’t take no bribe;
    We’ve got [to] stay alive.

    We gonna chase those crazy –
    Chase those crazy baldheads –
    Chase those crazy baldheads out of the yown.

    …uncle bob FTW !!!

  11. reddy 11

    Please note this is the man that National had chosen to lead them into government.

  12. James 12

    Brash was bang on….Kiwis are,by and large,ignorant of politics and easy to dupe with tax and spend nonsense.See you lot here.

    They can’t work out that getting their own stolen money back via the welfare state after the Government has clipped the ticket doesn’t make them better off….quite the reverse.

    • Captain Rehab 12.1

      Haha you’re a neo-liberal retard. How’s that economic crisis working out for you super-man?

      • Pascal's bookie 12.1.1

        I think James is assuming that everyone is venal and ignorant,
        in which case Brash would be correct,
        but ‘twould beg the question.

  13. Well, Irish Bill, perhaps you should reconsider your condemnation of Rand.

    No, it was not her finest hour. But she was “not an admirer of sociopaths” as you say, and Hickman was not in any way “her first love and mentor” as that article you link to says so disgracefully.

    Why do you need to make things up to discredit those you oppose? Is it that you can’t do it by telling the truth?

    For the record, Rand’s comments on Hickman appear in her published journals. They’re not hidden. What she was fascinated by was not Hickman’s disgusting crime, but society’s reaction to Hickman, and she thought (as any writer might) that she could make a story out of it.

    Bad as Hickman’s crime was (which at the time of course was only an alleged crime, since Hickman had yet to be found guilty), there had been worse crimes committed with less public outrage. That was what fascinated Rand, and what she tried to answer in her notes.

    She concluded that the intensity of the public’s hatred of Hickman was primarily “because of the man who committed the crime and not because of the crime he committed.” The mob hated Hickman for his independence, she surmised in her notes; she chose him as a model for the same reason — in the same way the likes of Hubert Selby or Truman Capote or Bret Easton Ellis or sundry others made stories out of similar characters.

    Journal editor David Harriman says, “Hickman served as a model for Danny only in strictly limited respects, which AR names in her notes. Danny does commit a crime in the story [she planned], but it is nothing like Hickman’s. To guard against any misinterpretation [which Irish Bill and your linked website ignore], I quote her own statement regarding the relationship between her hero [in the planned story] and Hickman”:

    [My hero is] very far from him, of course. The outside of Hickman, but not the inside. Much deeper and much more. A Hickman with a purpose. And without the degeneracy. It is more exact to say that the model is not Hickman, but what Hickman suggested to me.

    So much for worshipping a psychopath.

    Interestingly, the young Rand was inclined to excuse Hickman as “a product of society” — something opponents of the likes of the Sensible Sentencing Trust are inclined to do these days. In her notes, for example, she says of Hickman,

    He was given [nothing with which] to fill his life. What was he offered to fill his soul? The petty, narrow, inconsistent, hypocritical ideology of present-day humanity. All the criminal, ludicrous, tragic nonsense of Christianity and its morals, virtues, and consequences. Is it any wonder that he didn’t accept it? That it left his soul emptier than it had been before? That boy does not believe in anything. But, oh! men, have you anything to believe in? Can you offer anything to be believed? He is a monster in his cruelty and disrespect of all things. But is there anything to be respected? He does not know what love means. But what is it that is worthy of being loved?
    “Yes, he is a monster—now. But the worse he is, the worst must be the cause that drove him to this. Isn’t it significant that society was not able to fill the life of an exceptional, intelligent boy, to give him anything to outbalance crime in his eyes? If society is horrified at his crime, it should be horrified at the crime’s ultimate cause: itself. The worse the crime—the greater its guilt. What could society answer, if that boy were to say: ‘Yes, I’m a monstrous criminal, but what are you?’

    And, by the way, she never completed the story.

    • IrishBill 13.1

      I’ve spent too long arguing with Randian loons to bother much more. But if I must then I’d point out that Rand’s celebration of the sociopath was obvious in Atlas Shrugged including the way Eddie Willers was left to die because he was weak, the celebration of Rearden abandoning his family because they were parasites and that sick passage glorying in the deaths of railway passengers who had supported government intervention.

      As far as I’m concerned Objectivists are like the worst kinds of fascists but without any money or power.

    • Lew 13.2

      Faint praise, Peter. Your argument appears to be that Rand didn’t lionise sociopathic criminals, so much as those who were sociopathic but who stopped short of actually enacting their sociopathology in criminal ways. That is; people with their independence of thought and action, absence of empathy, single-minded determination and utter self-obsession. This is borne out in pretty explicit terms plenty of places in Rand’s writing and in that of many of her objectivist followers.

      The point is that she/they don’t disapprove of sociopathology per se — so much as they disapprove of some of its cruder manifestations. Some, but not all — Roark’s blowing up the housing project — not owned or paid for by him, nor requiring anything further from him for its existence — is an example of “acceptable” manifestation of sociopathology in the Randian canon.

      L

      • My \’argument,\’ Lew, is simply to post what the young Rand actually said about Hickman, and to point out that she was hardly the only novelist to contemplate basing a story on a disgusting character — or, in this case, on the public reaction to a disgusting character.

        In other words, that IB and his linked author are making too much stew from one very small onion

        • Lew 13.2.1.1

          Peter, I accept that would be true if the comments had been made at the time of the young Rand’s apparent interest in Hickman — but there’s plenty more onion provided by her later writing, and a few carrots, a bit of celery, some garlic and some juicy red meat as well. You could say that the extras — things like wine and turnips and tomatoes — are provided by her followers.

          This context of her later work is all relevant in the here and now, since it’s in the here and now that we’re making the stew. Or at least talking about it.

          L

          • Peter Cresswell 13.2.1.1.1

            No, I don’t agree. Sure, every student of Rand knows that she went through a ‘Neitzschean’ phase in her youth, one that she thoroughly rejected once she understood (to use your word) his sociopathy.

            Her 1968 introduction to her novel ‘The Fountainhead’ make this plain enough, and also the reasons for her initial admiration.

            Perhaps the best way to communicate The Fountainhead’s sense of life is by means of the quotation which had stood at the head of my manuscript, but which I removed from the final, published book. With this opportunity to explain it, I am glad to bring it back.
            “I removed it, because of my profound disagreement with the philosophy of its author, Friedrich Nietzsche. Philosophically, Nietzsche is a mystic and an irrationalist. His metaphysics consists of a somewhat ‘Byronic’ and mystically ‘malevolent’ universe; his epistemology subordinates reason to ‘will,’ or feeling or instinct or blood or innate virtues of character. But, as a poet, he projects at times (not consistently) a magnificent feeling for man’s greatness, expressed in emotional, not intellectual terms.
            “This is especially true of the quotation I had chosen. I could not endorse its literal meaning: it proclaims an indefensible tenet—psychological determinism. But if one takes it as a poetic projection of an emotional experience …, then that quotation communicates the inner state of an exalted self-esteem—and sums up the emotional consequences for which ‘The Fountainhead’ provides the rational, philosophical base:
            “‘
            It is not the works, but the belief which is here decisive and determines the order of rank—to employ once more an old religious formula with a new and deeper meaning,—it is some fundamental certainty which a noble soul has about itself, something which is not to be sought, is not to be found, and perhaps, also, is not to be lost.—The noble soul has reverence for itself.—‘ (Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil.)
            “This view of man has rarely been expressed in human history. Today, it is virtually non-existent. Yet this is the view with which—in various degrees of longing, wistfulness, passion and agonized confusion—the best of mankind’s youth start out in life…

            I submit that it was this, however imperfectly expressed, she was responding to in her interest with the criminal, and in the public reaction to him.

            • IrishBill 13.2.1.1.1.1

              All that shows is her (and your) fundamental misunderstanding of Nietzsche. He didn’t endorse sociopaths. She clearly did.

              • Nietzsche . . . didn’t endorse sociopaths

                Well that really does take the biscuit. While not endorsing the use of the term (which you chose initially), one could select any number of readings from Nietzsche to make the point that Nietzsche’s uberman is precisely what you’re arguing against, and in which box you’re trying to force Rand. This odious sentiment for example:

                Mankind in the mass sacrificed to the prosperity of a single stronger species of man—that would be an advance.
                – Nietzsche, ‘On the Genealogy of Morals’

                What is that if not what you’re objecting to in those made-up stories about Rand?

                IrishBill: Beyond good and evil is a treatise on the nature of meaning that takes as its main example one of the fundamental notions of truth at the time in order to gain maximum effect. It’s no more a call to arms for nihilists than On the Origin of the Species is (although Nietzsche had a better sense of humour than Darwin did). Your problem is you have this rather earnest inability to see the nuance in anything. That’s probably why you’re an Objectivist.

            • Lew 13.2.1.1.1.2

              Peter, a characteristically sympathetic reading which does nothing to account for her later idolisation of heroes with sociopathic qualities, and her modelling of (certain of) those traits as ideal and perfect. Not to mention those of her followers and ideological allies, which was the initial topic of the discussion.

              L

              • …her later idolisation of heroes with sociopathic qualities…Not to mention those of her followers and ideological allies

                Well now you’ve lost me totally. What on earth are you talking about? Which “heroes with sociopathic qualities” are you talking about? What “followers and ideological allies” share these same “sociopathic qualities”?

                Or is this just a further smear?

              • Lew

                Peter, qualities she claims to have admired in Hickman, which I referred to above (though I almost didn’t, since the suite is so well-known). The “outside” of him, without the degeneracy. The idea that the degeneracy was somehow separable from his actions and outlook.

                As to the heroes: these qualities are shared to a large extent by the protagonists in her fiction, and her judgements of people and actions in non-fiction are frequently against this benchmark.

                As to the followers: I don’t claim they necessarily share these traits I claim they idolise them. That’s an important distinction.

                L

    • Bright Red 13.3

      “The mob hated Hickman for his independence, she surmised in her notes; she chose him as a model for the same reason”

      well that just marks her out as a sociopath.

      The ‘mob’ as you call them hated a man who had brutally murdered a young girl for no reason and abused her remains while horrifically tormenting her father.

      Fact is there were plenty of criminals in the era who were actually widely admired who you would characterise as ‘independent’ but the difference was they didn’t go around torturing little girls.

      The fact that Rand admired Hickman and blamed the world for his actions, not his sociopathic nature, says all we need to know about her.

      The fact you are making excuses fro both Rand and Hickman says a lot about you.

      • @Bright Red: “…well that just marks her out as a sociopath.

        Well, no it doesn’t. It marks her down as someone struck by the fact that even more barbaric crimes attracted so little public opprobrium. I’m not at all downplaying the barbarity of Hickman, and neither was Rand. What interested her primarily however (to say it again) was that even more barbaric crimes attracted far less opprobrium than this one.

        That’s what she wanted to answer and portray, through a more sympathetic character than this animal.

        The fact you are making excuses for both Rand and Hickman says a lot about you.

        Oh, grow up and learn to read.

    • Daveo 13.4

      Bad as Hickman’s crime was (which at the time of course was only an alleged crime, since Hickman had yet to be found guilty), there had been worse crimes committed with less public outrage. That was what fascinated Rand, and what she tried to answer in her notes.

      She concluded that the intensity of the public’s hatred of Hickman was primarily “because of the man who committed the crime and not because of the crime he committed.’

      What Rand admired about Hickman was that he “had no regard whatsoever for all that society holds sacred, and with a consciousness all his own… he can never realize and feel other people'” – ie, the fact he was a sociopath.

      Considering that what Rand brushes aside as “whatsoever society holds sacred” was in this case the murder and dismembership of a small girl and then the psychological torture of her father, it kind of makes sense that the public were horrified and this case gained particular notoriety.

      People don’t like sociopaths. We are social animals, we hold things sacred, and sociopaths like Hickman do us and our society harm. That this element of the crime – the fact Hickman acted like a sociopath – was precisely what Rand admired about him says a lot about her and about the values underlying her philosophy.

      • @Daveo: She did not “brush aside” the sacred, nor was she “a huge admirer of sociopaths.” Your and IB’s rewriting of the truth is almost Stalinist.

        Novelists write stories about despicable characters. I’m sure you’ve read some; I’m sure you’ve enjoyed them. That doesn’t make you a “sociopath” any more than it makes Rand one for planning a story as a twenty-three year old that she never completed, about the public reaction to (at the time) an alleged murderer whose barbaric crimes received more condemnation than much greater barbarities — and whose crimes (in her planned story) she intended to change for something far less savage.

        Which is to say that the story is far less than it’s painted — although, as I say above, it’s hardly Rand’s finest hour– but the truth is far more interesting than the juvenile finger-pointing.

        For example, writing years later about another criminal whom she actually did include in a completed work, she talked about the use of a “heroic criminal” as the protagonist: “I do not think, nor did I think when I wrote this play, that a swindler is a heroic character or that a respectable banker is a villain. But for the purpose of dramatizing the conflict of independence versus conformity, a criminal—a social outcast—can be an eloquent symbol. This, incidentally, is the reason of the profound appeal of the ‘noble crook in fiction. He is the symbol of the rebel as such, regardless of the kind of society he rebels against, the symbol—for most people—of their vague, undefined, unrealized groping toward a concept, or a shadowy image, of man’s self-esteem.”

        Discussing that and related pointd would be far more interesting than this finger-pointing.

  14. Well, IB, I didn’t expect you to agree with me about AR–and I’ve spent far too long arguing with people whe don’t. Merely that you would tell the truth about her.

    • Bright Red 15.1

      Ah, strong argumentation Peter.

      Quick, dig out your copies of the Objectivist Newsletter and find out what Ayn says you have to say in this situation.

  15. My “argument,” Lew, is simply to post what the young Rand actually said about Hickman, and to point out that she was hardly the only novelist to contemplate basing a story on a disgusting character — or, in this case, on the public reaction to a disgusting character.

    In other words, that IB and his linked author are making too much stew from one very small onion.

  16. Hilary 17

    Apparently millions of copies of Ayn Rand books are given free to US schools.

    There is a good critique of AR (and also a not so damning one of Adam Smith) by economist and social justice advocate Raj Patel in his recent book ‘The value of nothing’.

    • Bright Red 17.1

      Isn’t that ironic. If they were true to their creed the Objectivists would never give away their books in a desperate attempt to win over mallable minds.

      The more I learn the more it sounds like a quasi-religious cult dressed as something else.

  17. prism 18

    Ayn Rand was a name that I heard from time to time, from the past. But well-known powerful people were said to be interested in her ideas and I began to search for more information. I read through the Virtue of Selfishness and Her Objectivist Ethics and noted that she seemed very unobjective about altruism – she called it evil. She seemed to dislike even hate kindness, she was married but didn’t have any children I understand. Thank goodness.

    IB supplied an interesting link on her. The detail it gives and the fears it expresses are not exaggerated I think. Rand came from Russia and was filled with excitement at the opportunities that the USA offered and seems to have struck a rich vein of self-interest that hankers after the absolute powers and riches of crazy emperors. Her ideas would match with Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus an awful story about Romans and Goths, killing, torturing, mutilating and savage revenge. What a world we would have if her ideas were followed and when you see some of her devotees in power it explains a lot about how society diminishes in standards despite our advances in prosperity and knowledge.

    From Tzvee’s Talmudic Blog –
    According to Wikipedia, “Rand was born Alisa Zinov’yevna Rosenbaum (Russian: Алиса Зиновьевна Розенбаум) in 1905, into a middle-class family living in Saint Petersburg, Russia, the eldest of three daughters (Alisa, Natasha, and Nora).”
    Her parents were, “Zinovy Zacharovich Rosenbaum and Anna Borisovna Rosenbaum, agnostic and largely non-observant Jews. Her father was a chemist and a successful pharmaceutical entrepreneur who earned the privilege of living outside the Jewish Pale of Settlement.”
    And why do I bring up this question now?

    Because the Wall Street Journal published a strange essay yesterday by Stephen Moore, “‘Atlas Shrugged’: From Fiction to Fact in 52 Years.”
    In the essay Moore argues inexplicably that recent economic upheavals prove the underlying theories of Rand’s objectivism are correct, starting off by saying,
    Some years ago when I worked at the libertarian Cato Institute, we used to label any new hire who had not yet read “Atlas Shrugged” a “virgin.” Being conversant in Ayn Rand’s classic novel about the economic carnage caused by big government run amok was practically a job requirement. If only “Atlas” were required reading for every member of Congress and political appointee in the Obama administration. I’m confident that we’d get out of the current financial mess a lot faster.

    From The eXileD thru IB’s link
    That’s what makes it so creepy how Rand and her followers clearly get off on hating and bashing those they perceived as weakRand and her followers have a kind of fetish for classifying weaker, poorer people as “parasites’ and “lice’ who need to swept away.
    Interesting that that is just the type of approach that the Nazis portrayed about the Jews in their infamous propaganda.

  18. SPC 19

    Brash has a problem with democracy. So does Ayn Rand. They each want society organised around their ideology, something that democracy might not allow in the first place or would reject once it was tried.

  19. Thomas 20

    Unfortunately a problem with democracy is shared by extremist idealogs of any stripe. Sue Bradford in her blogs after the S59 referendum was just as contemptuous of the intelligence of the masses as Brash. In other words if the public does not agree with extremist nutters such as Brash, Hide or Bradford it must be “because they are thick or do not understand what they are voting for”. I put it to you that the public understands exactly what their votes meant.
    Opposition to binding referendums is always couched in the terms that idealog politicians have special insight, information or knowledge denied to the “stupid” masses.
    Much of the public disappointment with politics is that those in power (Whatever party) continually take us in directions we do not want according to some dogma. Helen Clarks pragmatism was a welcome bit of fresh air for a while.

    • Pat 20.1

      “I put it to you that the public understands exactly what their votes meant.”

      This comment puts you in a tie with Berend on Dimpost for The Most Sensible Comment Of The Day Award.

  20. James 21

    “Isn’t that ironic. If they were true to their creed the Objectivists would never give away their books in a desperate attempt to win over mallable minds.”

    Why? Objectivists expouse benevolance towards their fellow men….as opposed to the slavery of altruism.Holding seminars,running essay contests and donating books is vintage Objectivist outreach to spread the word to those who are interested…..indeed it was intrested people approaching Rand about her work that evolved into the various objectivist outlets we have today…ARI,The Objectivist Centre etc.They came to Rand….she didn’t go out looking for them aside from selling her writing.

    “The more I learn the more it sounds like a quasi-religious cult dressed as something else.”

    There was nothing cultic about Objectivism.Indeed its central tenents make it morphing into a cult impossible.The so called “cult” was just a small circle of friends who Rand enjoyed talking and socialising with.They even jokingly called themselves the Collective….hardly cultic behaviour.

    “Brash has a problem with democracy. So does Ayn Rand. They each want society organised around their ideology, something that democracy might not allow in the first place or would reject once it was tried.

    Rand…and Brash to a lesser consistent degree, are belivers in a free society…which Democracy is not.Democracy is mob rule…force denys rights.Rand supported the individual rights of EVERYONE….and new that a Democray desn’t deliver on that…only a free society can.

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    2 days ago
  • Speech to Dawn Raids Apology
    Tēnā koutou katoa, Kia orana kotou katoatoa, Fakaalofa lahi atu ki mutolu oti, Tālofa nī, Mālō nī koutou, Ni sa bula vinaka, Fakatalofa atu, Noa'ia 'e mauri, Kam na mauri, Malo e lelei, Sioto'ofa, Mālō lava le lagi e mamā ma le soifua maua, Oue tulou, tulou atu, tulouna lava ...
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    2 days ago
  • Bridging the gap – last piece of Northcote Safe Cycle Route now complete
    The opening of two bridges over Auckland’s Northern Motorway is the last link of a cycling and walking route which provides a safe, active alternative for students and commuters, Transport Minister Michael Wood said today. Michael Wood cut the ribbon for the completion of the Northcote Safe Cycle Route, at ...
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    2 days ago
  • Progress in establishment of Aged Care Commissioner
    Recruitment for an Aged Care Commissioner will start next month, to ensure greater oversight of New Zealand’s aged care sector. “This sector is responsible for supporting a large and often vulnerable population. While most people are able to access quality care, there have been cases where that care has fallen ...
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    3 days ago
  • New record number of homes consented
    In the year ended June 2021, the actual number of new dwellings consented was 44,299, up 18 percent from the June 2020 year. In June 2021, the seasonally adjusted number of new dwellings consented rose 3.8 percent. In June 2021, 4,310 new dwellings were consented, an increase of 3.8 per ...
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    4 days ago
  • Communities backed to tackle wilding pines
    Twelve community projects across New Zealand will receive a share of $2 million to carry out wilding pine control, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor announced as part of Biosecurity Week. “Wilding pines are a serious problem that threaten many of the unique landscapes that New Zealanders value. Community groups and trusts ...
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    4 days ago
  • Health Minister Andrew Little responding to the New Zealand Nurses Organisation's rejection of ...
    I was advised last night that the result of the ballot of Tōpūtanga Tapuhi Kaitiaki o Aotearoa New Zealand Nurses Organisation members have rejected the latest proposal to settle their collective agreement. Let me be clear: the proposal was one they put to the Government. The Nurses Organisation rejected their ...
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    4 days ago
  • Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation introduced to Parliament
    Legislation has been introduced to Parliament to protect against practices intended to change or suppress someone’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. Introducing the Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Bill, Minister of Justice, Kris Faafoi, said the measures proposed were aimed at ending conversion practices which don’t work, are widely ...
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    4 days ago
  • New kaupapa Māori mental health and addiction services to support people in central North Island
    New mental health and addiction services rolling out across the central North Island will improve outcomes and equity for Māori, Associate Minister of Health (Māori Health) Peeni Henare says. Today the Minister met with providers of the new kaupapa Māori primary mental health and addiction service, Poutama Ora, which will ...
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    4 days ago
  • New school site for booming West Auckland
    The Government will build on a new school site in West Auckland to cope with rapid population growth in the area, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says. The Ministry is working with existing local schools to determine how the 1.5-hectare site at 279 Hobsonville Point Road will be used to support ...
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    4 days ago
  • Trans-Tasman travel window to close at midnight tomorrow
    A further 500 MIQ rooms released for managed returnees from NSW Further Government actions announced today are balanced to provide more certainty for Kiwis wanting to return from Australia, while continuing to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, acting Minister for COVID-19 Response Ayesha Verrall says. The actions were foreshadowed last ...
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    4 days ago
  • Govt investing millions in Hawke's Bay and Tairāwhiti schools
    Napier Boys’ and Girls’ High Schools are among those set to benefit from a $16.5 million investment in the Hawke's Bay and Tairāwhiti region, Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash announced today. The Government has set aside money in Budget 2021 to accelerate five projects in Napier, Hastings, Havelock North ...
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    5 days ago
  • Game changing Jobs for Nature investment for Northland
    Conservation Minister Kiri Allan has announced Jobs for Nature funding for a portfolio of projects that will create ‘game changing’ gains for nature and communities across Northland/Te Tai Tokerau as part of the Government’s acceleration of the economic recovery from COVID. “This portfolio of 12 projects will see over $20 ...
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    5 days ago
  • Third COVID-19 vaccine receives provisional approval
    New Zealand’s regulatory authority Medsafe has granted provisional approval of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for individuals 18 years of age and older, Acting Minister for COVID-19 Response Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. New Zealand secured 7.6 million doses (enough for 3.8 million people) of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine through an ...
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    5 days ago
  • Bowel-cancer screening programme is saving lives
    More than 1000 New Zealanders have had bowel cancer – New Zealand’s second-most-common cause of death from cancer - detected under the Government’s National Bowel Screening Programme, Health Minister Andrew Little said today. More than 1200 New Zealanders died from bowel cancer in 2017. The screening programme aims to save ...
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    5 days ago
  • Govt welcomes draft report on the retail grocery sector
    The Commerce Commission’s draft report into the retail grocery sector is being welcomed by Government as a major milestone. “I asked the Commerce Commission to look at whether this sector is as competitive as it could be and today it has released its draft report for consultation,” Commerce and Consumer ...
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    5 days ago
  • Christchurch’s Youth Hub ‘set to go’ thanks to further Government funding
    Construction of New Zealand’s first, purpose-built centre for youth well-being is ready to get underway thanks to an extra $2.5 million of COVID-19 response funding, Housing Minister and Associate Minister of Finance, Megan Woods announced today.  “The Christchurch Youth Hub is about bringing together all the things young people need ...
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    5 days ago
  • Next step to protect Milford Sound Piopiotahi
    Expert group lays out plan to better protect iconic UNESCO World Heritage site Milford Sound Piopiotahi and its surrounds Funding confirmed for dedicated unit and Establishment Board to assess the recommendations and provide oversight of the process from here Milford Opportunities Project a test case for transformational change in tourism ...
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    6 days ago
  • Funding for projects to reduce waste from construction and demolition
    The Government has announced funding for projects in Auckland and the lower North Island to help reduce construction and demolition waste. “Construction is the main source of waste sent to landfill, and much of this could be reduced, reused and recovered,” Environment Minister David Parker said. “The Government is funding ...
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    6 days ago
  • Speech at the launch of the National Hepatitis C Action Plan
    Tēnā koutou katoa. Thank you Anglesea Pharmacy and Te Manawa Taki for hosting this event. As a doctor, I saw first hand the impact of hepatitis C. I met Moana in 2019; she came to the infectious diseases outpatient clinic at Wellington Hospital having tested positive for hepatitis C. Like ...
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    6 days ago
  • Plan to eliminate hepatitis C as a major health threat by 2030
    A plan to eliminate hepatitis C in New Zealand, reducing liver cancer and the need for liver transplants, has been released today by Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall. “Around 45,000 New Zealanders have hepatitis C, but only around half know they have it,” said Ayesha Verrall. “Symptoms often ...
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    6 days ago
  • School upgrades and new classrooms for West Coast, Tasman and Canterbury
    A funding injection from Budget 2021 to complete four shovel ready projects and new classrooms at six schools and kura will provide a real boost to local communities, Minister Dr Megan Woods announced today. “This Government has committed to providing quality fit for purpose learning environments and 100,000 new student ...
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    6 days ago
  • Warmer Kiwi Homes smashes annual target
    The Government's highly successful insulation and heating programme, Warmer Kiwi Homes, is celebrating a key milestone with the completion of more than 38,000 insulation and efficient heater installs in the year to the end of June, smashing its target of 25,000 installs for the year. “The Warmer Kiwi Homes scheme ...
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    7 days ago
  • Exemption granted for Wallabies to enter NZ
    Bledisloe Cup rugby will be played in New Zealand after the Australian rugby team received an economic exemption to enter New Zealand. Travel between Australia and New Zealand was suspended on Friday for at least eight weeks following the worsening of the COVID outbreak across the Tasman. New Zealanders have ...
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    7 days ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs makes three diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced three New Zealand Head of Mission appointments. They are: Mike Walsh as Ambassador to Iran Michael Upton as Ambassador to Ethiopia and the African Union Kevin Burnett as Ambassador to Indonesia Iran “Aotearoa New Zealand has a long-standing and constructive relationship with Iran, despite a ...
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    7 days ago
  • Enhanced Task Force Green Approved for West Coast and Marlborough
    The Government has activated Enhanced Task Force Green (ETFG) in response to the West Coast and Marlborough floods, Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “To assist with the clean-up, up to $500,000 will be made available to support the recovery in Buller and Marlborough which has experienced ...
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    7 days ago
  • Govt support for upgrade of Eden Park players facilities
    Minister for Sport and Recreation Hon Grant Robertson has announced funding to upgrade the players facilities at Eden Park ahead of upcoming Women’s World Cup events. Eden Park is a confirmed venue for the Rugby World Cup 2021, the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022, and a proposed venue for matches of ...
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    7 days ago
  • More jobs and quicker public transport motoring towards West Auckland
    Work to improve public transport for West Aucklanders and support the region’s economic recovery by creating hundreds of jobs has officially kicked off, Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today. Michael Wood and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff this morning marked the start of construction on the Northwestern Bus Improvements project. It ...
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    7 days ago
  • Government backs critical health research
    Research into some of New Zealanders’ biggest health concerns including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease is getting crucial support in the latest round of health research funding, Health Minister Andrew Little announced today. The funding, awarded through the Health Research Council of New Zealand, covers 31 General Project grants ($36.64 ...
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    7 days ago
  • New Bay of Islands hospital facilities to bring services closer to home
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Andrew Little have joined a ceremony to bless the site and workers for Phase Two of the redevelopment of the Bay of Islands Hospital in Kawakawa today. The new building will house outpatients and primary care facilities, as well as expanded renal care ...
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    1 week ago
  • Raukokore re-imagined with ‘smart’ relocatable rent to own housing
    Iwi, Crown Partnership Relocatable, fully insulated housing, connected to a new solar plant Provides a pathway to home ownership New housing in the remote eastern Bay of Plenty community of Raukokore shows how iwi and Crown agencies can work together effectively to provide warm, dry, energy efficient homes in a ...
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    1 week ago
  • Cabinet accepts Turkish authorities’ request for the managed return of three NZ citizens
    Cabinet has agreed to the managed return of a New Zealand citizen and her two young children from Turkey, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. The three have been in immigration detention in Turkey since crossing the border from Syria earlier this year. Turkey has requested that New Zealand repatriate ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt delivers more classrooms so children can focus on learning
    Extra Government investment in classrooms and school building projects will enable students and teachers to focus on education rather than overcrowding as school rolls grow across the country, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis say. The pair visited Ruakākā School in Whangārei today to announce $100 ...
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    1 week ago
  • New station a platform for AirportLink to take off
    Every Aucklander with access to the rail network will now have a quick and convenient trip to the airport, Transport Minister Michael Wood and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said during the official opening of the new Puhinui Interchange today. The new interchange links the rail platform with a new bus ...
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    1 week ago
  • 10 days sick leave for employees delivered
    Legislation doubling employees’ minimum sick leave entitlement to 10 days comes into effect today, bringing benefits to both businesses and employees, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced today. “Our Government is delivering on a key manifesto commitment to help Kiwis and workplaces stay healthy,” Michael Wood said. “COVID-19 ...
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister congratulates Fiame Naomi Mata’afa on Election Win
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern tonight congratulated Prime Minister-elect Fiame Naomi Mata’afa on her victory in the Samoa’s general election. “New Zealand has a special relationship with Samoa, anchored in the Treaty of Friendship. We look forward to working with Samoa’s new government in the spirit of partnership that characterises this ...
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    1 week ago
  • Quarantine Free Travel with Australia suspended
    Quarantine Free Travel from all Australian states and territories to New Zealand is being suspended as the Covid situation there worsens, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. From 11.59pm today Australians will no longer be able to enter New Zealand quarantine-free. This will be ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Growing conservation efforts in Gisborne
    A big injection of Jobs for Nature funding will create much-needed jobs and financial security for families in TeTairāwhiti, and has exciting prospects for conservation in the region, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “The projects target local communities most affected by the economic consequences of COVID 19 and are designed ...
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    2 weeks ago