web analytics

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.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Twenty highlights of 2020
    As we welcome in the new year, our focus is on continuing to keep New Zealanders safe and moving forward with our economic recovery. There’s a lot to get on with, but before we say a final goodbye to 2020, here’s a quick look back at some of the milestones ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health. “Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Supporting communities and landowners to grow employment opportunities
    Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced. It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Border exception for some returning international tertiary students
    The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began. The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021. “Our top priority continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Tiwai deal gives time for managed transition
    Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New member for APEC Business Advisory Council
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Anna Curzon to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The leader of each APEC economy appoints three private sector representatives to ABAC. ABAC provides advice to leaders annually on business priorities. “ABAC helps ensure that APEC’s work programme is informed by business community perspectives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt’s careful economic management recognised
    The Government’s prudent fiscal management and strong policy programme in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch. Fitch has today affirmed New Zealand’s local currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook and foreign currency rating at AA with a positive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Additional actions to keep COVID-19 out of NZ
    The Government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • 19 projects will clean up and protect waterways
    $36 million of Government funding alongside councils and others for 19 projects Investment will clean up and protect waterways and create local jobs Boots on the ground expected in Q2 of 2021 Funding part of the Jobs for Nature policy package A package of 19 projects will help clean up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand Government acknowledges 175th anniversary of Battle of Ruapekapeka
    The commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Ruapekapeka represents an opportunity for all New Zealanders to reflect on the role these conflicts have had in creating our modern nation, says Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan. “The Battle at Te Ruapekapeka Pā, which took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Better care for babies with tongue-tie
    Babies born with tongue-tie will be assessed and treated consistently under new guidelines released by the Ministry of Health, Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. Around 5% to 10% of babies are born with a tongue-tie, or ankyloglossia, in New Zealand each year. At least half can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prisoner disorder event at Waikeria Prison over
    The prisoner disorder event at Waikeria Prison is over, with all remaining prisoners now safely and securely detained, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says. The majority of those involved in the event are members of the Mongols and Comancheros. Five of the men are deportees from Australia, with three subject to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Pre-departure COVID-19 test for travellers from the UK and the US from 15 January
    Travellers from the United Kingdom or the United States bound for New Zealand will be required to get a negative test result for COVID-19 before departing, and work is underway to extend the requirement to other long haul flights to New Zealand, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. “The new PCR test requirement, foreshadowed last ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • PM congratulates New Year Honour recipients
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has added her warm congratulations to the New Zealanders recognised for their contributions to their communities and the country in the New Year 2021 Honours List. “The past year has been one that few of us could have imagined. In spite of all the things that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • David Parker congratulates New Year 2021 Honours recipients
    Attorney-General and Minister for the Environment David Parker has congratulated two retired judges who have had their contributions to the country and their communities recognised in the New Year 2021 Honours list. The Hon Tony Randerson QC has been appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Year’s Honours highlights outstanding Pacific leadership through challenging year
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says the New Year’s Honours List 2021 highlights again the outstanding contribution made by Pacific people across Aotearoa. “We are acknowledging the work of 13 Pacific leaders in the New Year’s Honours, representing a number of sectors including health, education, community, sports, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Supporting seniors to embrace technology
    The Government’s investment in digital literacy training for seniors has led to more than 250 people participating so far, helping them stay connected. “COVID-19 has meant older New Zealanders are showing more interest in learning how to use technology like Zoom and Skype so they can to keep in touch ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Additional COVID-19 tests for returnees from higher risk countries
    New virus variants and ongoing high rates of diseases in some countries prompt additional border protections Extra (day zero or day one) test to be in place this week New ways of reducing risk before people embark on travel being investigated, including pre-departure testing for people leaving the United Kingdom ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago