With the commencement of Parliament we are into maiden speech season. The most talked about speech so far is that of ACT’s sole MP and under secretary for Education David Seymour, but for all the wrong reasons.
Where do I start? Steve Braunias has described the speech as more or less complete gibberish but I am not sure about the use of the word “less”. Anyway I thought I would post some excerpts for everyone’s amusement.
David seems to think that some people believe that not anyone can create new wealth.
“You can tell everything you need to know about a person’s politics by acquiring their sincere answer to a simple question: Is it possible for anybody to create new wealth?
He wants to bring Epsom to the country.
Our communities are leafy and our schools prestigious. If people want more Epsom the answer should be to create more Epsom. More good schools, more good suburbs.
It seems that he has never seen an apartment house nor a poor area nor any place in the Country apart from Auckland and Christchurch.
But the opposition would cram more people into smaller denser dwellings, changing the character of our communities and putting intolerable pressure on burgeoning school zones.
He thinks many of us confuse tax rates with wealth.
When it comes to wealth, for too many the answers are higher tax rates, and taxing the same dollars one more time with an envy-fuelled capital gains tax.
He thinks he won the seat of Epsom because of some internal quality, not the fact it was gifted to him on a plate by National.
The people of Epsom did not vote for a mere abstraction, or even a political strategy. Not many, if any, of those who say I’m here due to the latter can say they came to this house by way of 13,000 doorsteps, 85,000 personally addressed letters, nearly 1,000 attendees of private house meetings, or 300 hours of waving signs at traffic.
He thinks that wealth creation is what knowledge should be used for.
Those of us who believe that wealth creation is a positive sum game are interested in a different question: Under what conditions can individuals best create wealth?
The answer lies in the use of knowledge in society. Since the total inventory of that knowledge is never given in its totality to a single mind or group of them, it must be grown and applied through a widespread process of conjecture and refutation.
He then gets all gushy and libertarian on it.
Governments have the extraordinary power to legally coerce. In some cases this power brings great goods.
Chief among them is an environment where we can safely go about our business in our various communities. That in turn requires rule by law rather than arbitrarily rule by men.
We meet at the pinnacle of several centuries of progress towards that goal.
We have moved towards the light of liberty by removing distinctions in law that once treated people differently depending on their religious conviction, gender and race. Most recently, this house decided to remove sexuality from the Marriage laws.
Many countries have never achieved that. But it is extraordinary that, as if engaged in some form of historic shuttle run, we who were first to touch the cone are now rushing back to create new distinctions in law.
I am not sure what he meant by the next passage.
It is fatal conceit to believe that one mind or group of minds can know enough to plan the myriad activities of the very society that they themselves are a product of. There is ce qu’on voit et ce qu’on ne voit pas but politics has a tendency to narrow human endeavour into what is visible to only a few actors.
The alternative is spontaneous activity coordinated only by a few general rules.
He equates spending promises with some sort of crime.
We can only lament the advanced auctions in stolen goods that pass for elections every three years and wonder how the various spending promises would add to this burden. With the demographic headwinds we face, fiscal discipline must be a mantra of our generation.
He does not want smart people to waste their potential.
… in a global and technologically sophisticated economy, the value of skills is ever increasing. We cannot afford to have smart people wasting their potential.
He finishes by saying it is his intent to help the prosperous flourish.
I am honoured to represent my fellow Epsom electors and lead the ACT Party in this house. It is my hope that I will contribute here to improving public policy for all New Zealanders so that prosperous and free individuals may flourish in this green and pleasant land.”
Anyway if you want the video version …