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Why’s Boscawen really quitting?

Written By: - Date published: 12:38 am, September 25th, 2011 - 43 comments
Categories: democracy under attack, election 2011, law and "order", Spying - Tags: ,

Out of the blue, ACT Deputy Leader and Parliamentary Leader John Boscawen has announced he is withdrawing from the party’s list. He’ll still run for ACT in Tamaki but he has no chance of winning. This means that, incredibly, none of ACT’s sitting MPs will in the running to return next term.

It’s an odd departure from an odd man. Why now and why not quit altogether?

‘Family reasons’ is the line. Not exactly creative.

Is the real reason for this sudden departure National’s ‘fixit’ Bill? Boscawen is a true believer in ACT’s libertarian principles and doesn’t do compromise, doesn’t understand it.

The Video Camera Surveillance (Temporary Measures) (AKA Rule of Law Repeal) Bill is a brutal and unjustified attack on basic liberty by a government that has repeatedly shown contempt for democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.

Was being asked to sign a retrospective blank cheque the final straw?

It’ll be interesting to see which of the ACT MPs, none of whom have anything to lose, stand by their stated principles and vote against the Bill next week.

Come to think of it, Simon Power has principles and is leaving Parliament at the end of this term too…

43 comments on “Why’s Boscawen really quitting?”

  1. Jenny 1

    While ACT paint themselves as liberal champions for individual rights.

    The fact of the matter, is that to enforce their unpopular right wing neo-liberal economic policies, requires repressive and personally intrusive laws being enacted and enforced against the majority of New Zealand citizens.

    Unpalatable as it may be to some ACT supporters, personal freedom from state surveillance, will be sacrificed to protect privilege at the top of society for the tiny minority of rich citizens who make up ACT’s main constituency.

    It is a dangerous mix.

    As well as supporting restrictions on personal liberties, ACT are doing so with no democratic mandate from the majority of citizens.

    If ever there was a recipe for a social explosion this is it.

    ACT once embarked on such a path will find that even more repressive measures will become necessary.

    In the end ACT will have to disassociate themselves completely from their avowed support for “individual freedoms”.

    • Olwyn 1.1

      Well said Jenny, you have pin-pointed the core problem with the whole ACT project: the free market is not consistent with freedom broadly construed, since much else must be repressed to allow the market the freedom it demands.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.2

      Act supports property rights which, in there view, do trump personal rights. The cry of the dictator is identified by their call to protect property.

      • I kept asking one libertarian on my blog; in a Libertarian Nirvana, why should I have to pay for a Police Force I might never use? Or pay for a Police Force to protect someone else’s property?

        In a Libertarian Nirvana, if you have property, you should have the resources to afford your own police force (guards) to protect your assets. The property owner shouldn’t attempt to forcibly take my money – via the Libertarian government (such as it would be) – to pay for a police to protect his assets.

        That’s how ridiculous libertarianism gets…

  2. Anne 2

    Was being asked for sign retrospective blank cheque the final straw?

    Got in one I’d say. (I think you mean asked to sign…)

    Boscawen is a tunnel visioned, ideological chump whose range of views are so narrow there’s a lot of things he would not be capable of understanding. Example: Climate Change. But I give him credit for being someone who sticks by his principles – no matter how wrong they might be.

  3. tc 3

    Who cares one less loon and weakens their chances opening up the instability argument….win win.

  4. leaving for ‘family reasons’ would have to be about the hoariest chestnut in the grand lexicon of political cliches.
    perhaps there’s a Garrettesque skeleton threatening to emerge from his closet?

    • thejackal 4.1

      Exactly what I was thinking. I very much doubt it’s as simple as Boscowen finally getting some sort of compunction to prioritize his family, or that he has miraculously developed some morals and can’t stand National undermining our civil liberties… It’s far more likely that he’s had a falling out with Don Brash or that there is a rather large skeleton trying to escape from the closet.

  5. Craig Glen Eden 5

    Does Boscowen have a family? No seriously does he?

    • Anne 5.1

      He has a partner but I’m not aware of any children. I recollect a parent departing this mortal coil a few years back.

      • KJT 5.1.1

        Do ACTIOD’s have parents.

        I thought they were cloned by Big Brother.

        And. Someone please return the stake back to Brash’s chest before he does any more damage.

        • Blue

          I’m sure they do have parents , just like socialists. Although with socialists it seems they have trouble identifying who the father is and get the State to pick up the tab.

          • McFlock

            If ACToids do have parents, it’ll be “Satan” on the birth certificate.

          • mik e

            ie John Key raised by solo mum in state house
            24,000 more on DPB since Nact have had treasury benches BLUE
            Dirty old don left 2 marriages leaving 2 solo mums
            I suppose leading by example BLUE.
            No doubt you’ll be voting Labour because there were only 89,000 on DPB when Labour left office the lowest numbers in nearly 30 years!

  6. IrishBill 6

    New broom at work, I’d say. Brash has done exactly the job on ACT I had hoped he would. We may yet see ACT reduced to one seat – John Banks. What an ignominious end for ACT and for Bank’s political life.

  7. Anne 7

    @ the jackal
    Well, he was in charge of ACT’s ledger books at the time they were donkey deep in Trust and other types of rorts in the 1990s. I have always assumed it was the ACT experience of the mid 90s that was copied by the Nats in the mid 00s and which became the basis for Hagar’s ‘The Hollow Men’. Same business tycoons were involved in both.

    Don’t know how deep Boscawen was embroiled in it, but he must have known something.

  8. randal 8

    Boscawen came into parlaiament with an angry hiss and a roar and there was nothing that he was not going to do. Now he has been cut down to size without doing any of it. Another straw man paper tiger whatever full of piss and vinegar and not much else.

  9. Nick C 9

    “Is the real reason for this sudden departure National’s ‘fixit’ Bill? Boscawen is a true believer in ACT’s libertarian principles and doesn’t do compromise, doesn’t understand it.”

    No, thats absurd. If he wants to he can just vote against the bill. Act doesnt whip its MPs.

    Unless there was some major change in his family situation in the last few days, theres probably a political element to this. But to suggest the introduction of a bill that he disagrees with (because that hasnt happened before..) is the cause is absurd.

  10. Treetop 10

    Were I Brash I would make an appointment to see a cardiologist as members and candidates in the Act party are dropping like flies.

    Who is next I ask?

    Where is the mystery number 3 on the list?

    Are they now number 2?

  11. Afewknowthetruth 11

    Maybe Boscawen has seen the wriiting on the wall and wants to quickly dissociate himself from neoliberalism before it all collapses in a screaming heap.

    It’s nice to see the word ‘meltdown’ that I have been using a for a while starting to be used by mainstream media overseas:


    However, I’m sure it will all be presented to the NZ public as a short term financial crisis that will not affect NZers, as per the ‘keep them dumbed-down, misinformed and diistracted’ agenda of the likes of Plunket this morning. I could only stand 8 minutes of the drivel before turning off.

    Monday’s market opening should be quite interesting.

  12. Armchair Critic 12

    I reckon he’s quitting over Dr Brash’s support for the decriminalisation of cannabis for personal use.

  13. Wyndham 13

    @ Armchair Critic

    Yes, and can anyone imagine Banks campaigning on cannabis decriminalisation ?! In Epsom?

    • logie97 13.1

      Strangely enough, Brash probably knows that many in Epsom are casual users, and they also know that their offspring use it – and a record can be a bugger when you want a visa for the USA (leave alone a passport).

    • mik e 13.2

      It would go down like a dose of salts.

  14. randal 14

    I f he does then he will probably win!
    John Banks the kannabis king!

  15. Irascible 15

    Boscowan has been asset stripped in the hostile takeover by the new majority shareholders in ACT. After Brash, bankrolled by National supporters, grabbed 49% of the ACT shares the Board has been forced into accepting a new managerment and, with the remaining 51% being grabbed by Banks Boscowan was forced to depart and thus allow the complete National Party purchase and takeover.
    He was pushed before being knived in the back at the next Board meeting.

  16. randal 16

    who knows. who can say. who can tell?

  17. Jenny 17

    ACT defenders of personal liberty?

    Obviously trying to reassure the ACT faithful of ACT’s libertarian credentials, in a speech delivered today at the Waipuna Lodge, Don Brash tells it, like it isn’t:

    I’m leader of the political party in New Zealand that is most committed to personal freedom.

    Don Brash

    With ACT’s veil of being the defenders of personal liberty, well and truly torn through their support for the new covert surveillance bill. In an unlikely move that reeks of desperation, Don Brash feels the need to try and pull the tattered garment back over the face of the ugly reality of ACT, not as defenders, but as opponents of civil rights.

  18. ron 18

    The moronic Boscawen is not standing on the moronic ACT list. Actually – who gives a flying f*^k?

  19. John Banks commented on National Radio today: he would not be supporting the decriminalisation of marijuana.

    More here: http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/86151/banks-rejects-marijuana-suggestion-by-brash

    ACT – the Party you have when you don’t really have a Party.

  20. I’m now going out on a limb here, by saying that I hope ACT is not crushed out of existence by their continuing pratfalls, cock-ups, mis-direction, and god-knows-what-else.

    We need ACT.

    Without ACT, the right wing of the NZ political spectrum have no natural “home” – and they will flock to another party to “colonise” it. Most likely National, but it could be any other Party for that matter.

    An ACT faction within National would be invisible, but quietly exerting influence and perhaps taking up key positions in the structure. We wouldn’t realise their existence or agenda until it was too late. It would be back to 1984, again.

    As my mum sometimes used to say to me when I was a kid, “I want you where I can see you, Frank!” (No idea what she meant – I was a good boy. Mostly.)

    Let’s keep the buggers where we can see them. It’s safer for all concerned.

    • McFlock 20.1

      But that presupposes national is not already as nutty as ACT. The trouble is that they already are – they’re just higher-functioning than your average “so powerful I’m not in the same party or am under the name of the dead baby’s identity I used to go on a junket to the UK” actoid.
      If national had more obviously nutty people in it, then less people would think nact were sane.

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