Kiwi Polemicist

March 6, 2009

• ACT Party tramples on freedom to get three strikes law

The comments button is at the bottom right of this post.

I have previously covered the Gang Insignia Bill here and here.

This is from the NZ Herald in regard to the Gang Insignia Bill:

Mr [Rodney] Hide said that while he objected to the ban “on principle”, the party had flip-flopped to try to get National’s support for its proposed “three strikes and you’re out” law. He denied it was part of a deal.
[…]
“We voted for it [the patch ban] because what it’s going to do is get three strikes through this Parliament.”
[…]
At its first reading in April, Mr Hide told Parliament he would happily vote against the bill because it was against the principles of freedom.

“Freedom is about the individual, and the measure of a free society is how we move to protect the minority from the majority. If the majority thinks that people wearing glasses should be locked up, that is not freedom or democracy,” he said.
[…]
[ACT MP] Mr Garrett is a hardliner who this week told the Herald that if three strikes was found to breach fundamental human rights, the solution was to change the Bill of Rights.

So, by Hide’s own definition the Gang Insignia Bill is against the principles of freedom and democracy, and Hide is now also opposed to the principles of freedom and democracy because he has voted for that law*.

Basically ACT is saying “We will sacrifice our principles and trample on freedom in order to keep our election promise of a three-strikes law. If that three-strikes law breaches the current definition of fundamental human rights we will simply change the definition of fundamental human rights”.

This illustrates the great danger that lies in the concept of “human rights” and in legislation that defines it: the definition of “human rights” can and does change without warning. As I said in my earlier post, there is no such thing as “human rights”, there are only personal and property rights. Only when personal and property rights are defined according to the non-aggression axiom are we safe from the depredations of politicians.

Laws such as the Bill of Rights are simply a means of restricting our rights to those which are defined in the legislation. If we were truly free there would be no need for such legislation, but instead we only have those rights which the state kindly allows us to have this week.

I really did expect better from the ACT Party, who should stop trampling on freedom and instead make a stand for it.

What do you think about ACT’s actions and the Gang Insignia Bill?

***********
*Compare this with what ACT MP Heather Roy said in September:

“Such moves are wrongly-focussed, token-ist and entirely predictable – hard-line policies to deal with gangs are reeled out by different Parties in the run up to every election,” Mrs Roy said.

“Clearly none of these ‘flash in a pan’ policies have worked – because they focus more on addressing the mayhem that individual gang members cause, rather than on initiatives that will hit gangs hardest and make it harder for them to operate.

“Legislation outlawing gangs and their insignia is just more law – we don’t need more laws, we need to enforce the ones we already have and give police the power to tackle lawlessness where and when it happens.
[…]
“This is political spin at its worst. Enforcing the laws and by-laws we already have, and following the money rather than the mayhem – a view reinforced by South Australia Premier Mike Rann in Auckland yesterday – is the real answer to dealing with gangs in New Zealand,” Mrs Roy said.

~~~~~~~~~~
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9 Comments »

  1. I am rather shocked at ACT’s position on this too.As I said on Lindsay Mitchell’s blog:

    This gang patches law is not only unprincipled, it makes life a lot harder for the police. Currently the gang members make policing easy by wearing nice uniforms saying in effect “Check me, I probably did it”. If they are forced to wear civilian clothes, crime fighting will be far harder.

    I find it very reassuring to know that NZ’s gang members are polite enough to wear uniforms identifying themselves.

    Don’t force them into disguise.

    Comment by Mr Dennis — March 9, 2009 @ 2:19 pm

    • Mr Dennis: I agree that it is is better to have a clearly identifiable enemy. Also, those patches make great targets for the Armed Offenders Squad 🙂

      However, that is trivial compared to the issues of freedom and the precedent that this sets.

      Comment by Kiwi Polemicist — March 10, 2009 @ 9:52 am

  2. […] insofar as he is willing to trample on human rights when it suits him: see what Garrett said in my earlier post on the Gang Insignia […]

    Pingback by David Garrett gives Helen Clark a digital salute « Kiwi Polemicist — April 2, 2009 @ 9:05 am

  3. “This illustrates the great danger that lies in the concept of “human rights” and in legislation that defines it: the definition of “human rights” can and does change without warning. As I said in my earlier post, there is no such thing as “human rights”, there are only personal and property rights. Only when personal and property rights are defined according to the non-aggression axiom are we safe from the depredations of politicians.”

    True….genuine individual human rights are eternal as long as there are human beings….they are an objective,inseperable component of our nature as man.What we have here is false State “privilages” being confused with real rights which are….to life,liberty’property and pursuit of happiness…there are no others.

    These real rights are easy to tell apart from the false ones…real rights put NO obligations on unconsenting others to “do” things for you…like supply you food,housing ,education,a smoke free enviroment etc….false ‘rights” DO put obligations on unconsenting others to supply those things for you…in essense making the suppliers slaves.In short real rights just ask others to do nothing to you…leave you alone in other words..they are negatives.false rights are positive…they require someone to act to fulfill them.

    Remember this rule and you will know when real rights are being violated and false “rights” put in there place.

    Comment by James — April 4, 2009 @ 11:18 am

  4. There is no difference between the axiom and the rights position…its basically the same thing.

    “There are only two types of rights, and they are covered by this axiom: personal rights and property rights. There is no such thing as “human rights” or a “right to free speech” (they are in fact dangerous fallacies), and I have explained that in this post.”

    Wrong…there are human rights…they ARE those rights you call personal rights and property rights….they are rights ONLY humans can have because ONLY hummans have rights.Indeed personal rights are just property rights….to your mind,person and life.There IS a right to free speech…its contained withing the rights to liberty and property…its an insepparable corollary to them.

    If you are referring to bogus State created Positive “rights” (privilages) then you are coiorrect and I agree…its a matter of wording.

    If you haven’t read this yet I recommend it highly re rights.

    http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pagename=arc_ayn_rand_man_rights

    This one on Government tag teams it nicely..

    http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pagename=arc_ayn_rand_the_nature_of_government

    Comment by James — April 4, 2009 @ 3:19 pm

    • James: thank you for your comment. I do not agree with what you say, but I will continue to defend your right to say it.

      Comment by Kiwi Polemicist — April 4, 2009 @ 3:51 pm

  5. “James: thank you for your comment. I do not agree with what you say, but I will continue to defend your right to say it.”

    Well said KP….thats the mark of a real liberal/friend of freedom…..:-) but what is it we are disagreeing over? I think there is a flaw in your “axiom” argument re rights….if I can insert a “why?” question into you non agression axiom then its not axiom by default…

    So..why why is aggression wrong?….why?

    Comment by James — April 4, 2009 @ 5:23 pm

  6. […] post on that). Shortly before that the law banning gang patches in Wanganui was passed (yep, I covered that as […]

    Pingback by Auckland gets Super City, govt cleans blood off jackboots « Kiwi Polemicist — May 17, 2009 @ 4:42 pm


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