There is good reason for the advocates of individual liberty to be rejoicing tonight, as the alcohol purchase age stays at 18 for both on and off license purchases. I was considerably nervous bout the prospects of keeping the status quo as public opinion and the media are clearly overwhelmingly in favour of an increase back to 20. So as well as rejoicing in the vote I am also relieved.
John Banks, Leader of the Act Party, has failed in his attempt to reduce individual freedom by voting to increase the off-license alcohol purchase age. Yes, the sole MP of a party which claims to stand for liberalism and freedom cast a vote in favour of reducing individual freedom. Then, when that vote failed, he voted to keep the purchase age 18. What choice did he have? His party’s youth wing had threatened to walk, but Banks doesn’t believe in individual liberty. He even had the cheek to vote for as much of a decrease in freedom as he thought he could get away with. So the Act membership must be pissed right?

Actually no. Right now, many of them are patting themselves on the back because Act helped to achieve keeping the purchase age 18. What the fuck? The age stayed at 18 despite the Act party, not because of it. What would they be saying right now if the split purchase age, which their leader actually preferred was passed? I don’t know to be honest, because it appears that many of them will grasp onto whatever pitiful excuse they can to stick with the sinking ship! The leader of the Act party voted to increase the off-license alcohol purchase age and those in Act who threatened to walk are now sticking by him because he failed and then voted to keep the age 18.

Now I’ve had my time as a quantum leap libertarian advocating a jump to minarchy within 10 years. It was incredibly unsuccessful. I accept being pragmatic and principled as seeking to achieve smaller government in bite size chunks. A lot of people in Act support the same approach but they delude themselves that this is what they are getting with a Banks lead Act party. They are not. All the Act party has achieved is the establishment of charter schools, which is the spending of taxpayer dollars on something other than state schools, as well as a meaningless pledge to cap Government spending increases with enough provisos to be worthless. The recognition of the right of homosexuals to marry is not an Act initiative and their leader took a lot of threats and convincing not to vote 20/20 on the alcohol purchase age. Nothing has even been achieved in this vote – it is just one of those rare occassions where the state hasn’t got larger.

The real option for the liberals in Act to achieve something in 2014 is to jump ship now, while there is still time to organise a liberal alternative prior to the 2014 election. When you’re threatening and blackmailing your leader to stop him from increasing state control over the lives of individuals, you’re in the wrong political party. When you consider your party leader’s failed vote to decrease liberty an achievement, you’re deluded. If the Act liberals don’t jump ship now, they’ll be dragged into the 2014 election swallowing their own bile, campaigning to elect a man who despises what they value in the hope a John Key led Government will chuck them a couple of crumbs.

Courage, clarity and conviction is the answer for true liberals. A new political party that takes a pragmatic approach to advocate for more freedom and less government is the right path. The opportunity to be part of this new party is just weeks away…

http://www.libertarianz.org.nz/conference-2012/

 

 

Liberty Conference 2012

Posted: August 22, 2012 in Uncategorized

Liberty Conference 2012 – Towards a True Liberal Bloc in Parliament

‘Not your usual Libertarianz conference’

The 2012 conference will be different from those of the past. It’s not just for Libertarianz members — it’s a symposium for all people who believe we need a new political party in Parliament presenting small-government answers to the issues of today; a party which consistently advocates liberal solutions to problems such as our current economic malaise as well as taking a small-government approach to what individuals do in their private lives.

We will be confronting the urgent need for a new liberal party at both the national and local body level. Ever since local government was granted Power of General Incompetence in 2002, we have seen an explosion in its spending and power. In Auckland the C&R City Vision duopoly has run amok, overseeing year after year of enormous increases in rates and spending. There is room in local councils across the country for a party that really protects ratepayers’ wallets, property and liberties.

This year’s conference is shaping up to be historic. We have fantastic speakers lining up to have their say on the design of a new, united, truly liberal force in New Zealand politics.

Whether you be libertarian, liberal, a cannabis law reform advocate or disillusioned with the formerly semi-liberal ACT, you should help write New Zealand political history by attending this year!

Note: Persons who wish to attend this conference have the opportunity to make submissions on the name, branding and policies of a new national and local level political party at the conference. Anyone wishing to be part of the submission process can email conference@libertarianz.org.nz with their personal/organisation details and the content of their submission.

When:
Saturday, 6 October 2012 from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM

Where:
Crowne Plaza Auckland
128 Albert Street, Auckland

Schedule (Provisional):
09:00 AGM
09:15 President’s Address
09:30 Sean Fitzpatrick
09:50 Julian Pistorius
10:10 Richard McGrath
10:30 Morning Tea
10:45 (to be confirmed)
11:15 Lindsay Perigo
12:00 Peter Cresswell
12:30 Lunch
13:00 Stephen Berry on party re-brand and chairing of submissions
15:00 Afternoon Tea
15:15 Cameron Slater
15:45 Submissions on local body elections
17:00 Conclusions
17:30 END

Cost:
$59 Full price (Includes morning & afternoon tea & lunch)
$49 Early bird special; pay by 31st August
$39 Student/youth rate

Bank account:
Libertarianz
02 0278 0151989 00

Or send cheque to:
PO Box 6173
Wellesley St
Auckland 1036

Please email conference@libertarianz.org.nz to confirm.

(Or credit card/Paypal – See Eventbrite link below)

Online Registration:

Go to the page below to register:
Libertarianz Conference 2012 – Eventbrite Registration Page

http://www.libertarianz.org.nz/conference-2012

Warming to Labour?

Posted: August 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

What the hell is going on? Within the same calendar month, I find myself agreeing with two Labour private members bills. Admittedly only one of them has been drawn from the ballot so far, but I’m sure the drawing of the second one is only a matter of time. The first bill is Louisa Wall’s bill which would require the state to recognise gay marriage, The second is Maryan Street’s bill to legalise voluntary euthanasia. Now all they have to do is cut taxes, legalise cannabis and sell state assets; I’ll become a life member!

But seriously. With the granting of civil unions several years ago, I would have thought that the issue of gay marriage would be effectively neutralised. The difference between marriage and civil union really is a matter of mere window dressing. The rights before the law are effectively the same. However, there is still a tinge of discrimination in having the difference. Heterosexual individuals get a choice, yet homosexual individuals don’t. While I absolutely respect the right of free indiviuals to discriminate against other individuals, however irrational their reasons for doing so, the state most certainly does not have that right. It should recognise everybody’s right to be equally miserable.

What this debate ultimately comes down to though, isn’t one about marriage and the vulgarities of organised religion. The fundamental concept here is contracts. Individuals should have the right to freely enter into any contract they wish with any other free individual. The role of the state is not to set conditions on what the contract contains, like it does with employment law. The role of the state is simply to protect the sanctity of contract and ensure anyone who is faulted, when one party to the contract violates the agreement, is protected.

Finally, the state really should not be defining relationships at all. It should be leaving individuals alone to choose what relationships they have, on what terms they have them and only taking steps to uphold the rights of a faulted party. Colin Craig is absolutely right when he says that if we are going to legalise gay marriage then we will have to legalise polygamy as well. I completely agree that we should legalise polygamy. How is your life adversely impacted by several individuals deciding to enter into a loving relationship together and raise a family? Why are their lives any of your damn business?`

The euthanasia debate seems to come in cycles like economic booms and busts. Every few years another politician will get it drawn from the ballot and it will be defeated. Odd considering voluntary euthanasia legalisation actually polls quite well. Without delving for sources, my observations are that support for legalisation generally polls well into the seventies.

This debate comes down to a very simple philosophical question. Do you own your life? If so, then why can’t you choose when to end if you wish to do so? If not, well, that’s just stupid. Of course you own your own life. I was amused to hear Maryan Street’s justification for her stance; mainly for its blatant irony. “I think there are more people who want to be as self-determining at their end point as they have been during their life and I for one don’t think they should be told they can’t be.”

It would be amusing were it not so tragic. In  Ms. Street’s world, we cannot self-determine what we do with our money, what we do with our property, what we put into our bodies or what employment contracts we wish to sign. Quite simply, we aren’t allowed to choose how we want to live our own fricken lives without interference from her gang of socialist nitpickers, unless we’re asking to die. The only difference between her and Stalin is who gets to choose the time of death.

Still, she does rank slightly above the irrational religious tyrants who not only control your life but also prohibit you choosing death. Promoting palliative care over legalising euthanasia really is as stupid as it gets. Let’s stop making people making their own decisions about their own bodies because we think we have a way t make a long drawn out undignified death full of suffering that bit more drawn out and slightly less painful. Piss off you evil meddling bastards.

I am heartened to see these two bills becoming part of the public debate and I sincerely hope that both pass Parliament. It’s almost enough to make you vote Labour, but not quite.

How long will it take until Statutory Commissioners get called in to run Auckland City Council? While admittedly Kaipara Distrct Council has a smaller budget and revenue stream, their $80 million debt has proven enough for Kaipara District councillors to resign and request the Government appoint commissioners. Auckland City Council, in addition to passing a budget spending $58 billion, has voted to increase their debt limit ceiling to 275% of total revenue and set interests costs at a maximum of 15% of total revenue!

It’s disturbing to think that, in the short term, rates increases would have been higher were it not for the Council borrowing money to fund Len Brown’s grandiose schemes. It’s terrifying to think that in the long term rates will have to skyrocket to service the interest on over one hundred billion dollars of debt. The long term future for Auckland ratepayers will be one of crushing rates and no hope of relief as big spending socialists go to town on other people’s money.

While there has been a band of a few councillors consistently opposing this level of foolish spending (Brewer, Stewart, Penrose, Wood, Quax), nobody has been pushing actual rates cuts. Even those who are opposing Brown’s budget were themselves only proposing smaller rates increases. Every year it is the same, public outrage fuelled by another round of crushing rates increases which voters forget by election time and vote the same parasitical bastards back in again!

We really need to properly reassess what the role of local Government should actually be when writing the next budget, remembering that this money comes from the pockets of property owners. It isn’t a freebie for politicians to stoke their egos and salivate over their legacies. Making the next budget a rates cutting budget isn’t difficult with a bit of testicular fortitude and an acceptance that the role of Council is to convey sewerage, dispose of rubbish and maintain footpaths. Unfortunately for the poor ratepayer, there isn’t enough glamour in the basics for Brown and comrades.

Did you know the Council had a budget of $8 million to provide financial advice to people for retro-fitting their homes? Neither did I! When the hell did that become a role of the Council? Retired widows can’t afford the rates bill to stay in their own home, yet they’re being robbed so someone else can afford to retrofit theirs!

Len Brown has also managed to get part of his pet project for subsidised swimming pools Auckland wide. Children aged under 16 will now not have to pay to visit a public swimming pool. Is there a shortage of water? Are there no safe beaches to swim at? Why are others having to fund your child’s recreation?

Where cuts absolutely have to be made are to the funding of the disgustingly racist unelected Maori Statutory Board. After these tribalist trough feeders had audited themselves and found themselves to be failing in their duty to Maori, they convinced half the Council to give them another $2 million in order to be able to fix the issues they identified after auditing themselves. The deciding vote that ensured the motion passed (excuse the pun) was cast by John Tamihere who has not even been elected!!! I propose that a future Council vote to reduce the budget for the Maori Statutory Board to zero – including salary payments for its members.

The current council really is a duopoly for Citizens and Ratepayers and City Vision. Both vote for more regulation and more big ticket spending. Out of the five councillors I identified above, none are from Citizens and Ratepayers. Ratepayers need a new ticket at the next local body elections. Ratepayers need representatives who will actually CUT RATES – not just reduce the level of increases. We need to elect people who will take an axe to ludicrous spending like the $200,000 spent on the Botany Garden Festival. The next lot of councillors need the goddamn balls to take on the apartheid Maori Statutory Board and eliminate their funding.

Or, if all else fails, can we just send in the commissioners please?

It’s really is about bloody time that someone took the fight back to the Government over their legion of stupid regulations that restrict every aspect of our lives. Tobacco merchants have finally declared that they’re not going to take any more of the state’s crap bending over with their campaign to get consumers of tobacco to stand up for themselves. Phillip Morris have launched the website: http://www.myopinioncounts.co.nz so smokers can make sure the Government hears their opinion. I have joined and I encourage all smokers and advocates of freedom to do the same.

Considering the ongoing campaign of oppression launched against tobacco consumption by the state, this campaign is well overdue. It started with simple advertising and sponsorship bans in the 90s. It has progressed with property rights violations as a result of the Smokefree Environment’s Act. The Government has increased the taxation on tobacco by 10%, seevn times in the last 6 years. Now they’re banning displays and next they’ll be banning branded packaging. Finally…big tobacco fights back! I wish more companies would fight back against state intervention. It’s about time supermarkets stopped letting the Commerce Commission rape them in an alley and then ask for more. It’s about time the liquor industry mobilised to defend its right to trade  its products freely with adults. Its about time individuals stopped staying quiet while the Government strips their liberties away one tiny bit at a time. They peel the bark so slowly that everyone is surprised when the trunk is finally bald.

The Watermelon party of Russell Norman and that woman whose name nobody can remember are even worse than the current Government. Not only do they endorse the Government’s current actions…well to be honest they probably think the government is being too soft..but they do this while advocating the legalisation of cannabis. They are fucking hypocrites! Don’t get me wrong – while I virtually never touch the weed these days, I am a passionate advocate for its legalisation. What pisses me of is that the Greens will surf the sheeple wave with braindead populism to condemn one cancer causing drug while supporting the legalisation of another. At best, they’re idiots. At worst they’re cynical hypocritical creeps.

All individuals, smoker or not, should jump on this Phillip Morris bandwagon. Yes, I realise most who dislike the Government won’t because they’re from the stupid ‘I don’t care because I don’t smoke’ variety of garden gnome. A real wasted opportunity considering the vast resources the tobacco industry has to draw on to fund its fightback. However the rights that tobacco merchants and consumers have had violated are the same rights as those possessed by non-smokers. Everybody rightfully has sovereignty over their own body. When the state makes laws about what you can put into your body, everybody is violated by the state; not just those with forbidden tastes. When the state makes laws about whether you can smoke in a private building, the rights of all property owners are violated; not just those of bar owners. When the state puts taxes on the product you freely trade, the wallets of all are plundered, not just those of the traders.
Once they’ve finished with the Catholics, Communists and Jews, they’re coming for you.

“You give an inch and they’ll take a mile,” so the old saying goes. When it comes to the Government, a saying could never be truer. This is especially so when it comes to tobacco. Astute politician that he is, John Key could never be called a man of principle. This is why a National party Prime Minister could have such a cosy relationship with the Maori Party. It is also why an openly hostile enemy of personal freedom like Tariana Turia could manage to maintain the position of Associate Minsiter of Health for so long in a coalition that National does not even need.

First of all, I’m not going to jump on a soapbox to defend smoking. It is disgusting, it is deadly, it is addictive. I’m 29, have smoked for nearly 15 years and just recently failed my third attempt at quitting. I’m under no illusions about how filthy the habitual use of tobacco is. I’ll sit outside with a smoke on my work break, enjoying the replenishment of nicotine and the taste of tar, see other people smoking, and tell myself how disgusting they appear. I hate tobacco because I love it.

However, there is something I hate even more than being addicted to a deadly substance. That is the dirty filthy talentless scumbag parasitical busybody nanny politicians who dare to think they have the right to use pure fascism in their evil quest to act in my presumptive best interests. Tariana Turia, and by association all National MP’s, fall into that category. Who do they think they are? How dare they? Like all forms of fascism, the Government campaign against tobacco consumption started with minute tip toe steps before ballooning out into tyrannical oppression.

The state’s war against tobacco started off innocently enough….with excise taxes many decades ago…..something quite fashionable in a socially conservative era where Government was presumed to be responsible for personal habits. However, Government’s have an undeniable trend of being anti-freedom. The trend for democratic governments in  every democratic nation in history is for  the creation of more laws, more regulation and less freedom. The undeniable tendency of politiians in a democratic government is to make laws. All the time. For several decades. This trend very rarely reverses.

In the early 90’s, a new Smokefree Environment’s Act made it illegal to smoke in particular privately owned public places, such as supermarkets and cinemas. This move was generaly accepted as being a part of the greater good. Property rights weren’t considered. Then advertising bans fell into place. Bans on sponsoring sports teams or events. Sucking the money out of grassroots sport. Then the Government took further steps. Shortly before the new millenium, bans on point of sale adverting were introduced. In the mid 2000’s a ban on smoking in bars began to gain traction internationaly. New Zealand was not immune to this trend, and property rights were once again vandalised in favour of parasitical politican’s view of a responsibility for the greater good.

By this stage you will have noticed a trend. Over time, Government has appointed itself defender of our personal morality and destroyer of our personal habits. Step, by little step, over time, one destruction of liberty has passed after another. In July this year, tobacco vendors will not be permitted to display their wares in any manner. Tobacco enthusiasts will be doomed to a blind date in efforts to choose their favourite brand.

Finally, the mindless state worshipping victims of Maori Party followers have put themselves into a position to further massacre what tentative liberties remain. The current Government has agreed, in principle, to imposing ‘plain packaging’ regulations on cigarettes. Not only does this violate the intellectual property rights of tobacco companies under international trade treaties, it violates the basic freedoms with which all possess irrelevant of political law. It violates the right to free speech and the right to trade freely with another willing party. It violates the right to choose what you put into your body. It also further pushes otherwise legitimate consumers of tobacco into the black market.

Whether you smoke or not, if you love liberty, this is an excellent opportunity to draw a line in the sand. If you truly  love liberty, you will  be disgusted by this latest imposition upon individual freedom. You should also be aware, by now, that the only trend for a democratic government is to grow larger, pass more laws and regulate your life. You may not be a tobacco user, but at some stage you will also feel the impact of a rapdily growing state  impeding upon the activities you enjoy.

There is no left or right. Only freedom and tyranny.

Councillor Cameron Brewer is consistently standing up as an enemy of property rights. First was the attack on those who choose to sell sex in their own homes. Now Commissar Cameron wants to tell business owners how big their shops should be! Brewer is decrying the type of business that he says is being attracted to Queen Street, labelling them ”shoebox shops selling absolute rubbish!”

I think it is tremendously arrogant for a politician, who produces nothing but regulation and hardship, to start dictating to hard-working, productive business owners every last detail of their enterprise. Why is it any of his bloody business? Individuals putting their own livelihoods at risk to support themselves and make profits is the epitome of everything should be admired in this country. They most certainly do not deserve to be attacked by a parasite from the Council.

The Councillors supposedly right-wing credentials are now in tatters with his harking back to the old days of Dick Hubbard’s regulation of city apartment sizes, which has contributed to the ballooning level of rents in Auckland. Brewer’s only concern is for the entrenchment of his big business mates, who probably do more to line his campaign coffers than the average $2 shop owner. There is no doubt that a minimum requirement for the sizing of a retail store will simply shut out small business owners in favour of chain stores. I have nothing against a business being so successful that it can expand into a multi-store chain; indeed I applaud it. However Brewer wants to use Council regulation to entrench the power of the largest businesses and shut out any opportunity of a new business owner growing themselves. That I condemn absolutely.

It isn’t just a desire to entrench the big boys in business that drives Mr. Brewer. There also seems to be an underlying xenophobia at work too as Cameron writes off the attempts of immigrants trying to make a decent living for their families. He says, “Sometimes it’s more about getting a migrant visa, than creating a sustainable business.” I say then that the immigration system is what is at fault, not individuals trying to make a better life for themselves without dependency on the state. Using flawed regulation to deal with the ill-effects of flawed regulation is no solution.

Evidently there is some consumer demand out there for small stores selling what Cameron Brewer arrogantly labels as rubbish, otherwise they would not be prolific or profitable. On his $80,000 salary I’m sure he can well afford to spend extra on premium products in premium stores with premium sized floor space. However, a lot of Aucklanders on regular sized incomes cannot afford such largesse and cheaper items of lower quality are often more within their reach. I’m sure they will be delighted that Commissar Cameron sneers at their purchasing decisions as being “rubbish.”

The ultimate issue here however, is not the arrogance of one toffy-nosed politician, it is the system that gives him his power to stick his fingers into every small crevice of productive individuals businesses. Local government legislation passed in 2002 gives our councils the power of general incompetence and voters the power to demand such infantile fascism. I hope that National does continue with the changes to local government that were heralded by Nick Smith before his resignation. Next year, it is essential that candidates who are committed to small local government that focus on core business only are elected.

Then Cameron Brewer can keep his mind in the sewers.