National is in trouble. 

Tonight’s TV3 poll put NZ First over 5%, which could make them king maker. No-one knows, least of all John Key, who they’ll pick after the election. But we do know Winston has a case for utu against John Key.


To add to John Key’s woes, Act has saddled itself with serious libertarians over the second choice poodle, John Boscawen , whom the Nats were making it known they preferred after poodle of preference, Rodney Hide, demurred.

Matthew Hooton is ecstatic and touting this as a blessed return of Act to its place as a home for classic libertarians. 

But when Roger Douglas and Derek Quigley ran on free market ideology they made little progress. What got Act  elected to parliament was Richard Prebble's race- and crime-baiting.

Jamie Whyte’s ideas may have provoked vigorous conversation in the university common room but it's less likely the voters of Epsom will be as enthusiastic about ideas such as legalising all drugs up to and including P.

It turns out that when Don Brash appalled Epsom voters by calling for cannabis to be decriminalized, Act thought the problem was he didn't go far enough.

Mr Whyte says he won’t impose his views on the party. But Act just elected him leader, so the party presumably like his views.

A true libertarian is a warrior against all government regulation, a defender of the individual, a missionary for freedom. So presumably he's not just on about letting people in Epsom use methamphetamine, he also would logically support their right to make it and sell it in Epsom too. What right has the government to tell us what to consume or sell?

A glance at Jamie Whyte’s newpaper columns tells you he is against the minimum wage, labour laws, or government encouraging anyone not to smoke, drink or eat too much. All predictable for a party to the right of National.

But some views will be giving John Key nightmares. 

For example, following the logic that individuals know more than the government about what risks they’re prepared to take, Mr Whyte says the British government was wrong to stop flights over Iceland when the volcano erupted. It should have been up to the individual to decide whether or not to fly because only the individual knows how desperate he or she is to get to Iceland.

“Politicians should back off and leave us to make our own decisions...”

Well where does this end? Mr Whyte is against regulating  for workplace safety because employees are suppliers of their labour and employers are therefore ‘customers’ buying labour. The ‘customer’ would have to pay higher wages for unsafe conditions and once wages become too high these rational bosses will fix safety issues so they can pay people less. 

Back on Earth,  the lowest paid jobs tend to be the least safe. 

Bear in mind, post-Pike River, this could be National's coalition partner.

He thinks human rights are baloney and goobledegook. 

The titles of his articles tell us, “There is no poverty in Britain.” And my favorite: “There is too much social mobility in Britain”  (Financial Times 2007). 

He opposes gay marriage - he says  - not because he is  homophobic but because he opposes all marriage legislation because the State should get out of people’s personal choices, and asks in support why ‘left wingers’ never seek to repeal the ban on “consenting adult incest or polygamy.” 

Incest and polygamy - got that Voters of Epsom? Will these policies be up for coalition negotiation, Mr Key?

It may all come to nothing. Act is on 0% in the TV3 poll. Surely there must be more incestuous, polygamous P-smokers in Epsom than that?

 

 

Comments (11)

by Shaun on February 03, 2014
Shaun

"A true libertarian is a warrior against all government regulation, a defender of the individual, a missionary for freedom".

How does the concept of libertarianism relate to drugs if the effects of consumption result in dependency and addiction?  It is important to note that different drugs produce different effects, but this question asks whether libertarianism opposes government regulation per se, or external regulation (eg., from a tobacco or alcohol manufacturer).

These effects of consumption where addictions form are surely inconsistent with true freedom.

This is just an observation: that independent of any government regulation, there will be a loss of freedom as a result due to addiction/dependency.  How could the ACT party be opposed to government regulation  if the effect of it preserves freedom (from addiction/dependency)?

by Alan Johnstone on February 03, 2014
Alan Johnstone

What this has exposed is the fundamental incompatability between liberal ACT and the CCCP. 

ACT appears to have decided it better to die on their feet than live on their knees.

Putting up a 30 year old that as barely lived in NZ and never had a proper job to run in Epsom is suicide.

 

by Josie Pagani on February 03, 2014
Josie Pagani

How could the ACT party be opposed to government regulation  if the effect of it preserves freedom (from addiction/dependency)?

Thats a really good point Shaun. That's the problem of putting ideological zealots in charge. In the real world these policies sound dangerous and will surely turn off voters.

by Ross on February 03, 2014
Ross

he is against the minimum wage, labour laws, or government encouraging anyone not to smoke, drink or eat too much. All predictable for a party to the right of National...

So, do I take it, Josie, that you'd like to see a government that tells people not to smoke, drink or eat too much? Would you like to see the government ban the use of ordinary light bulbs in favour of energy-saving light bulbs?

by Rod on February 03, 2014
Rod

Ross you really should start getting over the light bulb thing Son, but a question for you "are these ordinary light bulbs you speak of easy to recognize from the unordinary one's?" when-ever someone starts talking about ordinary a little siren goes off in my ordinary head.

I'm sure the ordinary ones are ok but some might prefer the excellent ones that last longer, although more expensive initially use less power and over a life time save you shit loads of money, money in your case you will then hopefully be able to spend on your children's education!

 
by Ross on February 04, 2014
Ross

Ross you really should start getting over the light bulb thing Son

Rod, I am sure Josie can answer the question posed of her, and sometimes I have been known to play devil's advocate.

by Josie Pagani on February 04, 2014
Josie Pagani

Hi Ross and Rod,

My point was that these are predictable Libertarian views - that the government should get out of our lunch boxes. A relatively popular position to take. Whereas the problem with Jamie Whyte is that he has gone well beyond where we would expect Libertarians to go, and voiced some surprisingly outlandish LIbertarian views, from legalising 'P' to   no state sanctioned marriage, no governments to ground planes during volcanic eruptions, no social mobility etc. Not sure the voters of Epsom will respond well!

by Andrew Osborn on February 05, 2014
Andrew Osborn

A bit of balance is sorely needed:

The good side of JKs weekend included Metiria Turei getting owned and playing the race card, Cunliffe shooting himself in the foot over the baby bonus, THEN blaming one of his underlings and lastly Labour not really sure if it's for or against oil exploration.

I think JK is sleeping well...


by stuart munro on February 06, 2014
stuart munro

Whyte at least might be interesting - it was pretty low for a former economics lecturer to have to be soliciting votes on the strength of his dodgy dancing skills.

Yeah nah Andrew - running his mouth off about jostling backfired on Key this time - and too much of that and the tame MSM will start to wake up - which would be the end of JK.

Metiria put in a good showing, the ODT piece put the 'castle' criticism nicely into context, much as Rob Salmon debunked your English fairy tale about tax progessiveness.

by Andrew Osborn on February 08, 2014
Andrew Osborn

stuart: Metiria put in a good showing

By pulling the race card? Sure!

by stuart munro on February 09, 2014
stuart munro

No Andrew, by showing how she really lives. I guess you don't know much about Waitati.

That was a pretty cheap shot btw - where do you think you are, in parliament?

Post new comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.