With friends like these

Written By: - Date published: 10:48 am, June 12th, 2008 - 85 comments
Categories: same old national - Tags:

One thing that puzzles me about righties is that half the people on their side of the fence are racists, bigots, misogynists, homophobes or religious zealots and, yet, this doesn’t seem to make the rest of them re-evaluate own their beliefs.

If, for example, I were a National MP and in the same caucus as me were –

  • – Bob Clarkson, who compared homosexuality to picking your nose in public, sexually harassed women, told Muslims to ‘go back to Iraq or Islam’, and jeered the Muliaga family after the death of Folole Muliaga,
  • – John Carter, who used to call fellow Nat MP John Bank’s radio show pretending to be ‘Hone’, a Maori dole bludger, and this week swore at and tried to perform a citizen’s arrest on a police officer who pulled him over,
  • – David Bennett, who dissed getting rid of youth pay rates saying ‘[Parliament] is not a place of equality; this is a place that is all about hierarchy.’ and dismissed the idea that ‘everyone is equal’,
  • – and John Key who agreed with the characterisation of employees of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs as ‘man-hating lesbians‘, amongst others.

I would wonder if I was in the right place. Perhaps that’s another reason National’s last liberal is leaving.

85 comments on “With friends like these ”

  1. T-rex 1

    and this week swore at and tried to perform a citizen’s arrest on a police officer who pulled him over,

    ?!? What?

  2. Scribe 2

    One things that puzzles me about lefties is the way they talk about tolerance and free speech except when that free speech goes against their unshakeable principles.

    How long before hate speech laws are introduced if Labour did manage to squeak out a fourth term? (Sorry to steal your Kremlinology tactics, SP.)

  3. Billy 3

    I understand completely Steve. How can you be left wing when Pol Pot, Mao Zedong and Joe Stalin were? Or is that somehow not the same?

  4. Joker 5

    As opposed to being in the Labour Caucus with forgers, child bullies, bondage perverts, fraudsters, immigration scamsters and liers.

  5. lukas 6

    your posts are no longer worth reading SP… anyway we can get some sort of filter that blocks your posts/mindless propaganda on this site? Some of the other posts are still worth having a look at.

  6. Billy. i wouldn’t sit in a caucus room with those guys. I am completely against how those tyrants ruled. Socialism is the rule of the people for the people, those dictatorships were no such thing.

  7. lukas 8

    So to answer your question Billy… yes it is somehow different.

    Captcha: regarded higher hmmm?

  8. vto 9

    Steve Pierson said: “Socialism is the rule of the people for the people”

    Bullshit it is. Not today. Socialism is about ruling the people. The people are not to be trusted, they need to be ruled, told what to do and how to think.

    Here’s a test question for you mr pierson, if you are sincere about the rule of the people: Would you be happy to subject yourself to rule by referendum? Example issues – sentencing for serious crimes, smacking, size and power of parliament. Yes or no.

    (I hear ducking and weaving and excuses coming up)

  9. T-rex 10

    I don’t really like this line of argument – it kind of implies mob-think.

    Are you really suggesting people only hold views that are held by other people they like? I’m sure there are plenty of selfish idiots who endorse the same policies I do. They might do it for different reasons, and it might give me cause to re-evaluate the policies looking for flaws, but I’m not going to reject them by association.

    Otherwise, how would you defend association with Labour when Horomia said he the reason kids went to school without breakfast was because they were trying to lose weight?

    Don’t get me wrong – I don’t think I could even bring myself to TALK to Clarkson, but National is hardly the only party with drop kicks in it.

  10. Nedyah Hsan 11

    How about some real news and not so much anti bashing.

    The Tui oilfield contains more gas than Kupe which Tui is burning off.

    A pipeline from Tui to the processing plant in Hawera = $20 – 50 million.

    Whats a guaranteed supply of gas from TWO fields for a minimum 10 years worth? An election in the bag.

    What electricity crisis? The gas would go some way to alleviating the ever increasing electricity price rises. How much is everyones bill these days? Mine was $215 last month (love these cold, damp, draughty Wellington houses)

  11. Billy 12

    Not quite what you said though, Steve. You said:

    One thing that puzzles me about righties is that half the people on their side of the fence are racists, bigots, misogynists, homophobes or religious zealots and, yet, this doesn’t seem to make the rest of them re-evaluate own their beliefs

    You were arguing that, because some right wingers hold bigotted views, one cannot be a reasonable right winger. Well right back at ya, baby.

  12. Stephen 13

    racists, bigots, misogynists, homophobes or religious zealots

    There aren’t a lot, they’re just loud!

  13. Nedyah. I agree about the gas but what are we meant to say? ‘Gee those geologists sure screwed up.’

    They should start collecting and using the gas as soon as possible but they know that, it makes economic as well as enivronmental sense. From what I understand it will be several years before that is possible though becuase of lack of equipment.

  14. Billy. The tryannical regimes you refer to, and how they got into power in the wake of socialist revolutions certainly has made me reflect on my own beliefs.

    My conclusion is that revolution is a poor vehicle for change because it creates a power vacuum and power vacuums are filled by bullies – and all bullies are the same, despite theoritically coming from opposite extremes of the right and left, anyone can see that the fascist and communist dictators of last century we essentially the same – authoritarian, violent, totalitarian.

    However, the fact that some people have done bad things in the name of leftwing ideologies is not the same as having an ideology that has intolerance and a belief that some people are better than others at its core.

  15. Billy 17

    an ideology that has intolerance and a belief that some people are better than others at its core.

    I dispute that such beliefs are at the core of all right wing ideology. They are not part of mine.

    You are doing that thing that Matthew Pilott and r0b complain about when they say that you can be a social deomcrat at not be for hanging class traitors in the town square.

    Catchpa: wine enjoyed

  16. mike 18

    Steve if you “re-evaluated your own beliefs” whenever someone on your side of the fence made a Pratt of themselves there would be no lefties left.

    But I think the real intention of you post is to try and smear Nats by stereotyping. Desperate

  17. mike. Of course I re-evalute my own beliefs all the time. Not to do so is arrogant and puts you at risk of being seriously wrong.

    As Cullen said (and it’s nothing new, it’s just good that he said it too), one of the reasons that the left embraces diversity, and one of the reasons the left does well in the multi-party environment of MMP, is that part of tolerance is acknowledging that one might not always be right, and one should be open to examining others’ points of view.

    Now, that’s what the Right calls PC but that’s not surprising that the Right rejects tolerance and self-doubt because the right is about preserving the status quo and inherent in that position is a belief that things are right as they are.

    And that’s why the racists and the bigots and the religious zealots are of the Right, their worldview is inherently intolerate and premised on them having ‘the truth’. That’s just not a leftwing mindset.

  18. Mike – get back to work you lazy fu*k and stop stealing your employer’s bandwidth. Honestly it’s lazy whinging pricks like you that hold this country back…

    [lprent: ‘sod. I’m tired today so I won’t repeat this. Please control yourself]

  19. Billy 21

    C’mon, Steve. Having “the truth” and imposing it on everyone else is at the very core of left wing ideology. Otherwise my kids could eat pies at the tuck shop, I could still suck on a tab at my local and parents would have been left with responsibility for disciplining their children as they saw fit.

  20. vto 22

    I came onto this site to test my thought patterns out. See if they stand up to the rigours of a solid left onslaught. But its a bit difficult when it I get no traction – mr pierson, do you not wish to answer what I consider a very reasonable question in relation to one of your points? (11.25am)

    [lprent: Despite what it sometimes looks like, we all do this in addition to our real jobs. That means that we aren’t actually sitting at a computer scanning in real time, and indeed may not get back to things all day. Under those circumstances demanding a reply in realtime is a bit over the top. He’ll get to it when and if he feels like it.
    IMHO – It is also quite rude bearing in mind there is no contractual arrangements between you and the blog as far as I can see..]

  21. Felix 23

    A bit off topic, but it’s interesting to note that in the Herald story about Mr Carter’s anger management incident, the only sources are Mr Key and Himself.

    Nothing from the police, not even a “no comment”. Were they even asked about it?

  22. Scribe 24

    Felix,

    it’s interesting to note that in the Herald story about Mr Carter’s anger management incident, the only sources are Mr Key and Himself.

    I find it refreshing that a politician owns up to a mistake and acknowledges what he did was inexcusable. Some of the Labour MPs would have more of my respect if they’d been so quick to ‘fess up to their indiscretions.

  23. vto 25

    yeah yeah Iprent calm down. I just saw replies to others and not mine so figured it was being ignored. There was certainly no demanding or being rude. Bit defensive aren’t you?

    [lprent: I do seem to have a low tolerance level today, yes. Live with it.
    ‘Demanding’ from posters is one of the key behaviors I look for. I’d prefer to lose commentators rather than posters. It is a question of relative scarcity.]

  24. mike 26

    “Mike – get back to work you lazy fu*k and stop stealing your employer’s bandwidth. Honestly it’s lazy whinging pricks like you that hold this country back ”

    Ha – this must be the tolerance and acknowledging others point of view SP refers to.
    You are obviously a sad little man who doesn’t like people but try and keep it civil.

    [lprent: he got warned for that, and then later banned for a brand new insult. I’m feeling a low tolerance level coming on today.]

  25. r0b 27

    C’mon, Steve. Having “the truth’ and imposing it on everyone else is at the very core of left wing ideology. Otherwise my kids could eat pies at the tuck shop, I could still suck on a tab at my local and parents would have been left with responsibility for disciplining their children as they saw fit.

    C’mon Billy. Having “the truth’ and imposing it on everyone else is at the very core of right wing ideology. Otherwise the right wouldn’t oppose homosexuals marrying in peace, a woman getting an abortion if she wanted, or adults being left with the responsibility for having and raising children in whatever kind of family arrangement they see fit.

  26. higherstandard 28

    rOb/Billy

    Having “the truth’ and imposing it on everyone else is at the very core of any government’s ideology

  27. Billy 29

    r0b, a proper right winger would leave all of those things to individuals to decide. A left winger would regulate them if they thoguth society as a whole would be improved as a result.

  28. r0b 30

    HS, I think that was kinda my point.

    Billy, as ever for you, The Buddha you meet is not the True Buddha.

  29. higherstandard 31

    Indeed r0b.

    For my part I tend to treat any government with a deep suspicion you appear to only apply that suspicion to certain governments.

  30. Matthew Pilott 32

    r0b, a proper right winger would leave all of those things to individuals to decide.

    So there are no right-wingers left.

    Who the hell have I been arguing with all these months and why do they support National?

    Who are you people!? Get out of my head! *runs away clutching temples in agony*

  31. r0b 33

    For my part I tend to treat any government with a deep suspicion you appear to only apply that suspicion to certain governments.

    If that was true (which given your right wing beliefs seems unlikely) then you might imagine that that is wisdom, or fashionable cynicism or somesuch. But it isn’t, it’s copping out.

    Governments deal with problems that are often insoluble. It is very hard to do, and very easy to criticise. So I have no time for those whose only position is to criticse everyone. Talk is cheap, whining is cheaper, whining on a blog is the cheapest of all. I have much more respect for a committed right winger that works for their Party.

  32. Ari 34

    As to why the associations with racists, sexists, and generally nasty people doesn’t make the rest of them re-evaluate their own beliefs: Because the National Party is largely composed of people with large helpings of privilege- being born to rich families, having powerful friends, being members of the boy’s club, being white, male, etc… and they cannot bear the cognitive dissonance of examining that privilege. It’s a hard task to realise that you’re lucky to have been born rich/white/male/able-bodied/mentally well and that this doesn’t give you the right to lord over the rest of us, especially with all of the subtle messages out in society screaming “YES IT DOES!”

    Scribe, free speech includes freedom to criticise hate speech. 😉 Last I checked we weren’t suggesting any hate crimes laws around here, so I suggest you get out from under your bridge a bit more often.

    Joker: Wait wait, people still think bondage is perverted? Do I need to resort to nun jokes here? Sex gets SO much more freaky than that, and besides, I have no doubts that National MPs probably enjoy similar sorts of thing in the bedroom- they’re just likely a lot more quiet about it. Have to agree with you that there are some liars and idiots in the Labour Party, but I suppose that’s a symtom of having moved so far to the centre. 😉

    [I could tell you stories about things that people have observed through windows of National MP’s offices adjacent to the Parliament cafe that might surprise young Joker. But politicians sex lives are no-one’s business. SP]

  33. Phil 35

    “As to why the associations with racists, sexists, and generally nasty people doesn’t make the rest of them re-evaluate their own beliefs: Because the National Party is largely composed of people with large helpings of privilege- being born to rich families, having powerful friends, being members of the boy’s club, being white, male, etc… ”

    Examining your argument, I come to the conclusion that the Labour party is largely composed of people who are homosexuals, dope smokers, guilt-ridden catholics, millitant communist activists, and ivory tower egg-heads.

    However, I know that isn’t true. Unlike you, I dont have the mental attitude of a toddler.

    Next time, leave your ignorance at the door and you might not look like such a twat.

  34. higherstandard 36

    rOb

    ‘Governments deal with problems that are often insoluble.’

    Pishposh this comment is absurdity if something is insoluble it cannot be dealt with – most of the things governments deal with are dreary and mundane whether they add layers of complexity or makes things more simple occurs in a rather random manner politically.

    ‘It is very hard to do’

    This is what we are told and is the rationale for the ballooning civil service – my experience with my local DHBs and the MOH suggests something which may or may not be hard based to begin with is often complicated further by governmental interventions, although there are some very notable exceptions where significant improvements have occured

    ‘I have much more respect for a committed right winger that works for their Party.’

    I’ll send Bob Clarkson your regards. (Not really)

  35. HS. there are problems that are insoluble. In particular there are a range of economic factors that cannot all be ‘good’ at the same time in an open market economy because they tend to push against each other, especially one that has grown strongly for a long period, as nz’s has for the last 8 years.

  36. higherstandard 38

    SP

    I agree – I explained my self poorly before.

    Governments deal with (fix or attempt to fix) things which are relatively simple.

    The truly insoluble issues can’t really be dealt with.

  37. vto 39

    Ignored still, sniff sniff.

  38. r0b 40

    I’ll send Bob Clarkson your regards. (Not really)

    Touche! All right – most off them anyway.

    Governments deal with (fix or attempt to fix) things which are relatively simple.

    Poppycock. Climate change. Poverty. The random twitching of international capital and its effects on our economy. Peak oil. The bottomless pit of Health and how to do it well. House prices. Controlling inflation without strangling the economy. Relatively simple? Arse! Everything is simple to the man who doesn’t have to do it himself they say.

    Money where your mouth is time. How do we manage the issues above properly? Come on – it’s relatively simple!

    (vto – don’t worry – I still love you dearie – maybe if I get time late tonight I will look upthread and see what bothers you)

  39. herald reader 41

    I am absolutely DISGUSTED at Carter’s DISGRACEFUL behaviour. It is just another example of this arrogant, bullying Labour government. We should all respect our wonderful police, they do a very difficult job. But why didn’t the police arrest Carter for swearing? Because Labour CONTROL the police, that’s why. It’s time the fucking police started doing their fucking job. I have lost all respect for them.

    Carter must resign as Education Minister immediately.

    [lprent: another troll? At least this one has better diction. Ah the identicon is a dead giveaway. I’m sure that the right can speak for themselves. Or is this meant to be a parody]

  40. Billy 42

    Talk is cheap, whining is cheaper, whining on a blog is the cheapest of all.

    Quotable wisdom of r0b. How true.

  41. higherstandard 43

    rob

    OK let’s take them one by one

    Climate change _ there is not a jot that the government can do that will affect climate change in any measurable way.

    Poverty – difficult this tends to be a moving target as the definition tends to change drastically over time. The ways of addressing poverty that I am intellectually attracted to involve up-skilling and education over generational periods, those that have the least attraction for me are the mores which dictate handing out money ad infinitum (the fish and teaching to fish analogy if you like)

    Health – get rid of the DHBs, revert to four RHAs or even one Health Authority, partner with the private sector (most of us work public private anyway) to gut (excuse the terminology) waiting lists – many of my colleagues would be horrified by this as it is in their interests to have waiting lists to drive private business.

    Remove Medsafe and rely on Australia, EU or FDA for medicine registration and regulation.

    Cease replicating surgical and medical services throughout the country and consolidate centres of clinical excellence in the high population centres where the more difficult cases and procedures can be handled quicker, faster and cheaper.

    Incentivise healthy behaviour – discussion for another thread but fundamentally this involves rewarding health lifestyles via tax credits and the like.

    House prices – Capital Gains Tax on all property outside of the family home (no one will do it politically to unpopular)

    Controlling inflation – Monetary Union with Australia (no one will do it political suicide)

    There you go plenty in there to rail against !

    Have a good evening I’m off to soccer practice

    PS Herald reader … priceless really put a smile on my face !

  42. randal 44

    Hey SP wassup dude…provoking the lunatics again…is it as much fun as baiting knuckledraggers?

  43. Billy 45

    Hey randal, you are highly relevant to this discussion. randal is a leftwinger. r0b is a left winger. Therefore r0b is like randal. Thank God for r0b that logic is faulty.

  44. alex 46

    herald reader,

    Um dude… it was John Carter from the National party that had the altercation with the police:

    http://tvnz.co.nz/view/page/536641/1843138

    Not Labour Minister Chris Carter.

  45. Billy 47

    alex, sadly there is not yet one of those annoying little yellow smiley faces to denote irony.

  46. Tane 48

    Steve, your link to the mp3 is broke.

  47. alex 49

    Indeed…

  48. James Kearney 50

    Indeed

    alex is David Farrar! 🙂

  49. alex 51

    I’m assuming David Farrar has a propensity for saying “Indeed…” otherwise you’ve lost me.

    PS: no, I’m NOT David Farrar 🙂

  50. milo 52

    One thing that puzzles me about righties is that half the people on their side of the fence are racists, bigots, misogynists, homophobes or religious zealots and, yet, this doesn’t seem to make the rest of them re-evaluate own their beliefs

    I think that is the most shamelessly bigoted statement I have read all year. Is it supposed to be irony? Or do you really believe that kind of crap?

  51. randal 53

    no milo.the above is a true statement…bigotry is assuming something is true when it is not but still promoting it as the truth. the truth is that national voters and rightwhingers are as the above statement avers.

  52. Billy 54

    bigotry is assuming something is true when it is not but still promoting it as the truth

    And there I was thinking it was complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one’s own.

  53. Rex Widerstrom 55

    higherstandard posits

    Having “the truth’ and imposing it on everyone else is at the very core of any government’s ideology

    Hallelujah!! Now I have a pithy summation of almost my entire philosophy 🙂

    With the exception of taking offence at being wrongfully accused by some impudent little bully in a blue shirt, the “sins” outlined in Steve’s post are all inexcusable. As are those raised by Joker @ 11.01am.

    So where does it leave us?

    1. Many of those in both major parties (and all of those in a few of the minor ones) aren’t fit to shine the shoes of the average Kiwi, let alone ‘rule’ them. So how in the hell did they get there?

    2. Their desire to constrain and control and regulate and legislate us is pretty much equal regardless of which particular political philosophy they may adhere to. The only difference is in the things they want to constrain and control and regulate and legislate us to do (or not do). So why should we vote for them? (Note I said them not the particular policies they espouse).

    Conclusion: People who aren’t fit to lead us are placed into positions from which they can tell us what to do. We therefore need a radical re-think of the way in which we run our democracy, which returns power to the hands of the people.

    Thus if, as Steve says “socialism is the rule of the people for the people”, I guess I’m a socialist. Odd, just the other day I was asked if I wanted to join Act (I politely declined).

  54. Dean 56

    “Poppycock. Climate change. Poverty. The random twitching of international capital and its effects on our economy. Peak oil. The bottomless pit of Health and how to do it well. House prices. Controlling inflation without strangling the economy. Relatively simple? Arse! Everything is simple to the man who doesn’t have to do it himself they say.

    Money where your mouth is time. How do we manage the issues above properly? Come on – it’s relatively simple!”

    Climate change – sorry, but the jury is still out. Claim all you like to the contrary, but if you do then you’re just demonstrating that you’re as brainwashed as the people who you’d rail against for “believing” otherwise.

    Poverty – If you seriously think there is “poverty” in this country which all the social services available then I suggest you take a trip to Africa. You have no idea what it means, and if you try and claim that poverty is relative then so is our position in the OECD ranks, but I don’t see members of your party talking about that one anymore. I wonder why?

    Random twitching of internation capital – Agreed, not a lot anyone can do about that one.

    Peak oil – See climate change. Honestly r0b if you think that oil prices are anything more than speculation then I’d invite you to look at the rise and fall of the NZ dollar and then see who was spending their money on that, and what they’re doing with it now.

    I thought you people were supposed to understand these things. You certainly rally the troops to attack the evil corporate raiders often enough to have lead me to believe that you do.

    Health – It’s only a bottomless pit because Labour spends so much money on more managers. How about that doesn’t happen, and we see those people go on unemployment benefits? Not in an election year, though. That would be even worse in the polls.

    House prices – If people were allowed to make gains that weren’t capital without being punished through taxation then we’d go a long way towards getting house prices down. What else is Joe Average going to invest in?

    Controlling inflation – Ahh, the old Labour classic. Of course, government spending is absolutely not inflationary, is it? All that extra spending hasn’t caused any inflation, has it? Tax cuts before 2008 were absolutely inflationary, weren’t they? Talk about a flip flop during an election year, and talk about something I just bet you choose not to reply to.

  55. Matthew Pilott 57

    I don’t think Herald Reader was in fact being sarcastic – the wee dearie did mention that “Carter” should resign as Education Minister.

    Please, Herald Reader, stick to your tabloid (don’t worry, the page three girl will be along soon, given their direction, and you’ll be able to engage better with the paper then) and leave the grown-ups to talk on this blog.

    Rex – “So how in the hell did they get there?” – what was your old job – wasn’t it to bring people ‘unfit to shine our shoes’ into power?

  56. Rex Widerstrom 58

    Yes Matthew – Touché. Alas I didn’t know it at the time. I still believe it might have turned out differently had Winston not fallen under the thrall of Michael Laws, because the people Laws purged were precisely those who would have reined in Winston’s worst excesses.

    I’m more careful these days. For instance I recently went directly from consulting to a somewhat militant trade union to consulting to an arch-conservative Liberal MP. Nowadays, as long as the buggers tell the truth about their intentions and stick to their promises, I’ll work for them. Anyone with an honest agenda deserves a voice. Then the electorate can make up its own mind, and live with the consequences. I sleep better that way.

  57. r0b 59

    Geeze, I done lost track of the number of times I’ve been challenged in this thread tonight. Anyone would think you righties didn’t like me!

    First up a note to vto, because I said I would.

    vto: I came onto this site to test my thought patterns out. See if they stand up to the rigours of a solid left onslaught.

    A commendable first step. A commendable second step would be to show some evidence or flexibility or learning as a result. Simply repeating the same stuff after it has been shown to be wrong is not testing thought patterns, it’s just embalming them.

    Anyway, you’re as excited as a puppy with a bone about calling Steve out (your post of 11:25). I’ll have a go, though I’m speaking for me not Steve.

    Steve Pierson said: “Socialism is the rule of the people for the people’. Bullshit it is. Not today. Socialism is about ruling the people.

    Pure Socialism is pretty much by definition the rule of the people for the people, so Steve is quite correct. But I’ll assume (by your “not today”) that you’re focusing on socialism as it actually exists today in NZ, the Social Democratic version of socialism.

    In that context let’s look at the first part — “the rule of the people”. Obviously not every person is involved in every decision, not even the majority of people, that hasn’t been true since soon after the Greeks first thought up this little experiment called democracy. Now days every democracy in the world (that I can think of) is some kind of representative democracy, a concept that was most explicitly debated and defined in the processes surrounding the foundation of America (check out the “Federalist Papers” some time). In such a democracy the people choose representatives to exercise democratic decision making on their behalf, in NZ we call those representatives MPs. And yet it is still common to claim that such governments are governments “of the people”, as per Abraham Lincoln’s “government of the people, by the people, for the people”, a defining political statement in America. The claim that “socialism is the rule of the people” (currently in NZ) is exactly as true as Lincoln’s claim, no more no less. The people choose their representatives.

    So the essence of (Democratic) Socialism lies in the second part — “for the people”. The government should operate for the good of all the people, not some particular subset (like say, the upper class). In passing, I think this has implications for “of the people” too (above paragraph) – it must be possible for anyone to become a representative (MP) – hence Labour’s links with unions and promotion of candidates emerging from the “working class”.

    This is pretty much what the Labour Party does, it operates for the good of all the people. Hence I think that Steve’s claim that “Socialism is the rule of the people for the people’ is both true by the pure definition of Socialism and also true of the Labour (Social Democratic type) governments that we have in NZ.

    Here’s a test question for you mr pierson, if you are sincere about the rule of the people: Would you be happy to subject yourself to rule by referendum? Example issues – sentencing for serious crimes, smacking, size and power of parliament. Yes or no.

    I don’t believe that this question requires an answer, because Labour / Labour led governments are perfectly sincere about the rule of the people as argued above. But I’ll answer it (on my own behalf) anyway. I’d be quite happy to see more use of referenda – not to a ridiculous extent but more use – if the process was regulated and monitored to ensure balance (as per election spending). For the same reason that pretty much every democracy has rules to limit and balance electioneering (choosing representatives) I think that if we are going to bypass the representatives then we sill need to limit and balance “advertising”. We don’t want referenda purchased by the biggest spenders (as the MMP referendum so nearly was). Give the people fair and balanced information, let them decide, fine with me.

    There you go vto – happy now?

  58. r0b 60

    Sorry, the rest of you folks get short shrift, I’m more tired than usual, need an early night.

    HS and Dean both had a go at solving all the hard problems. Good for you mates! Please immediately volunteer your services to the political party of your choice. They will be delighted to hear that all the hard problems can be solved so simply, and will immediately adopt all your policies word for word. A grateful Nation will rejoice. Go on – go for it – you guys know how easy it is – think how dumb all those other politicians must be not to have worked it out!

    Talk is cheap, whining is cheaper, whining on a blog is the cheapest of all.
    Quotable wisdom of r0b. How true.

    Cheers Billy, glad you like it.

    Tax cuts before 2008 were absolutely inflationary, weren’t they? Talk about a flip flop during an election year, and talk about something I just bet you choose not to reply to.

    Actually Dean – it is you who have chosen not to reply on this topic. I’m still waiting for you here Dean:
    http://www.thestandard.org.nz/?p=1686#comment-28948
    oh and here too while we’re at it:
    http://www.thestandard.org.nz/?p=1679#comment-28949

  59. vto 61

    rOb, I don’t disagree re your first part about “of the people for the people”. What I was getting at was the arrogance shown by this current govt in some cases. That ‘of the people for the people’ has been ignored at times – example, the referendum re sentencing in the 1999 election was something like 90% in one direction, but this govt decided it knew better. This is the precise area of my point. The people have not forgotten that, and when combined with other arrogant acts, a picture is painted in their minds. One of main reasons labour is out.

    Re referenda, sweet. I would subject myself to the collective wisdom of NZers over the ‘wisdom’ of elected representatives easily. But as you say, properly done.

  60. higherstandard 62

    VTO

    Of the people for the people !! Hmmmm that’s be nice can’t and haven’t seen it in my lifetime.

    Nevermind if you want a laugh take the following link – it appears some of the public are even more nutty than our parliamentarians

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/4582250a11.html

  61. An issue with referenda is information. One reason (and it’s not the historic reason, of course) for having representatives is that then you can have someone whose fulltime job is to be informed on political issues and make a decision based on that info.

    I do support use of citizens’ assemblies to formulate referendum questions – ordinary members of the public get a decent period to learn about a particular issue, hear submissions, then present a policy option that is put to the broader public as a referendum. It’s better to have a citizens’ assembly coming up with the question that some interest group. i would be happy with more referendums under that model.

  62. T-rex 64

    The REALLY sensible sentencing trust?

    Good grief.

    Those fncks in the recent auckland murder are probably “victims of society” too if you want to get all philosophical about it. Would love to hear RSST’s views on them.

    I’m sure all they need is a really big loving hug.

  63. vto 65

    HS, I really wonder sometimes how people arrive at their thoughts, ideas and opinions.

    Mind you, some believe there really is a lake of fire after`death and others believe that is total hogwash. It does astound me how two seemingly normal and bright people, who may even be friends or family such is their similarity, can hold such wildly differing ideas.

  64. higherstandard 66

    Interesting SP but how do you ensure the citizens’ assemblies aren’t loaded with political stooges of various extractions ?

  65. higherstandard 67

    VTO

    Agreed – but the world would be a worse place without the variance in thought and stance.

    T-rex

    Yep it’s odd all right. Sometimes I think we’re just scared to call a bad bugger a bad bugger.

  66. Dean 68

    “Actually Dean – it is you who have chosen not to reply on this topic. I’m still waiting for you here Dean:”

    Yeah, sorry about wandering off on those threads. Sometimes work calls me away for a few days. I’m one of those guys your party likes to label as a “rich prick” and when duty calls I must answer.

    By the way, how is being a member of a party that throws around terms such as “rich prick”, “chinless scarf wearer”, “last cab off the rank” and “be definition I cannot leak?”

    Pathetic, r0b. Just pathetic. It’s time you chose your friends to whom you pay membership fees more carefully.

  67. r0b 69

    Yeah, sorry about wandering off on those threads.

    S’ok Dean. I was looking forward to making fun of you for being unable to substantiate the claims, but it’ll keep for another time I’m sure.

    I’m one of those guys your party likes to label as a “rich prick’ and when duty calls I must answer.

    Good for you Dean. Must be a bit tedious to be at someone’s beck and call though.

    By the way, how is being a member of a party that throws around terms such as “rich prick’, “chinless scarf wearer’, “last cab off the rank’ and “be definition I cannot leak?’

    The first two are pretty stupid things to say, I don’t see the issue with the last two. After 9 years of Labour led governments the list of stupid statements is remarkably short. Great restraint from a tightly disciplined team red.

    Frankly I’m much more interested in slips of the tongue that are indicative not of human nature under stress, but of policy, like say, “we would love to see wages drop”, “In the end it’s called a market”, “go down the road”, saying that National does not support compulsory employer contributions to Kiwisaver and so on.

    To each their own I guess.

  68. Dean 70

    “Good for you Dean. Must be a bit tedious to be at someone’s beck and call though.”

    It’s called being in business and caring about your customers. However, I can see where you may be confused, as the party you belong to likes to call it being a “rich prick”.

    “I don’t see the issue with the last two”

    Clark cannot leak by definition?

    r0b, I always thought you were a moderate, but at least you don’t have a problem admitting you’re so horribly biased that it makes what Don Brash said all seem pretty mundane by comparison.

    PS: I also forgot “cancerous and corrosive” and the whole feral thing. It must be so nice to think that saying things like that are A-OK because National have said things you don’t agree with politically, but at least we know your opinions are strictly for sale to the Labour party.

    What does it cost to be a member of the Labour party, anyway? I’m thinking of joining just so I can get a few laughs out of how people like you attempt to explain away things like this as being for the greater good. Trotter’s column just isn’t enough.

  69. r0b 71

    However, I can see where you may be confused, as the party you belong to likes to call it being a “rich prick’.

    Does it indeed. Where does the Labour Party say that Dean?

    but at least we know your opinions are strictly for sale to the Labour party.

    Actually my opinions are a lot more Green than Labour. It’s the cause of the Left that I care about, not any particular party (though I am proud of what Labour has achieved these last 9 years).

    What does it cost to be a member of the Labour party, anyway?

    I think it used to be $11 (annually) for an individual, $20 for a family. Something like that. These days I donate so much that I’m not charged membership. Don’t worry, I donate to the Greens too.

  70. higherstandard 72

    r0b

    Re: Rich Prick quote – here you go

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/story.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10480684

    Apparently Michael Cullen has also used “born to rule prick” and “working-class scab” in the house …… classy.

  71. vto 73

    HS, don’t forget his inaugural speech in Parliament where he stated his pride in ripping off the farmers of Canterbury and Hawkes Bay to get his secondary schooling and his intention to continue down that path now he was in Parliament.

  72. r0b 74

    Thanks for that HS, but that is Cullen calling Key a rich prick, so it can’t be the quote that Dean is after. He said that “the party” likes to call him / business people rich pricks.

    I’m sure we aren’t mistaking the a comment from one individual to another as the views of a party are we? That would be a stupid mistake to make. Then we’d have to conclude for example that the National Party hates the police:
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10515888

  73. higherstandard 75

    Have you been to a party conference on mis/redirection r0b?

  74. r0b 76

    What’s your problem HS? Are you seriously claiming that an angry comment from Cullen to Key represents the views of the Labour Party on a whole class of people? Seriously?

  75. higherstandard 77

    Goodness no r0b !

    That would be as stupid as taking a slip of the tongue during an interview as some secret agenda to make NZ wages drop.

  76. Matthew Pilott 78

    HS – it doesn’t require a course on misdirection to point out that one person’s quote isn’t party policy.

    Or do you and Dean think that National Party policy is that Burqa wearers should go back to Islam? I sincerely doubt it (with you anyway, Dean seems a bit more committed to this line)!

  77. r0b 79

    That would be as stupid as taking a slip of the tongue during an interview as some secret agenda to make NZ wages drop.

    Yes, on it’s own that quote wouldn’t have meant much. But as ever the coverup is worse than the crime. So Key tipped his true hand there when he tried to get the journalist behind that story sacked, disturbing Herald journalists so much that they wrote a letter of protest to management noting “the widespread concern among journalists about the matter”:
    http://www.thestandard.org.nz/?p=1369

    Trying to silence the media to prevent them revealing their true agenda seems to becoming a bit of a habit for National in fact:
    http://www.thestandard.org.nz/?p=2065

  78. higherstandard 80

    MP

    Note rOb’s post above ……. more of the same at the Standard.

    One standard for Labour and their stooges another for everyone else.

  79. vto 81

    ha ha rOb, it is funny how a person can justify to themselves whatever suits their own agendas and beliefs. It is always possible to find some reason or other to support some contention. What you are doing is the same as the ding-dong the other day about robinsods and cullens ‘slips of the tongue’.

    Everyone seems to do it. Except myself of course, who can rise above .. he he.

  80. r0b 82

    it is funny how a person can justify to themselves whatever suits their own agendas and beliefs.

    More interesting than funny vto, it’s just a basic fact about how human reasoning works.

    What you are doing is the same as the ding-dong the other day about robinsods and cullens ‘slips of the tongue’.

    Ahh no, there is a real and significant difference between stupid comments and systematic attempts to silence the media.

    Except myself of course, who can rise above .. he he.

    Hey, me too! We should start a club or something.

  81. Dean 83

    “Yes, on it’s own that quote wouldn’t have meant much. But as ever the coverup is worse than the crime.”

    You really do shed a new light on the tired double standard joke, so I guess you should take a bow. Of course the same thing could be said for the “by definition I cannot leak” comment from your party’s leader but you’ll convince and spin yourself that that was moral and right. It’s also true of the police in South Canterbury who lost their jobs over the whole speeding fiasco, but of course, Labour could never be seen to admit to making something as simple as a human mistake – otherwise, they’d be apologising for the statements Clark and Cullen made over Field.

    I guess you really have nowhere else to look but Trotter and his comments regarding the auditor general’s findings over Labour’s overspending in the last election. It’s A-OK as long as it’s Labour.

    I hope you’re getting your money’s worth out of the membership fees, r0b.

  82. r0b 84

    It’s also true of the police in South Canterbury who lost their jobs over the whole speeding fiasco

    They didn’t lose their jobs Dean, they were convicted of various driving offences and fined. The fines were paid by a donation from Labour MPs. The convictions were later quashed on appeal.

    You keep making claims that you can’t substantiate Dean. Two of them are linked above (13 June 12:35am), then your silly claim about Labour and rich pricks above, and now this lie over the motorcade drivers.

    You live in a kind of dream world don’t you, full of “facts” that aren’t facts, all of them proving how evil Labour are, none of them true.

  83. Nedyah Hsan 85

    SP

    That may be so, however a quick fix solution (there’s always one) would be to ship gas back and forth. Would only take a matter of weeks to organise a lease for an LNG capable ship to come to these parts.

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