Archive for April, 2012

“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.

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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.