Kiwi Polemicist

January 4, 2010

• Haircuts justify illegal behaviour by politicians

Police car blocking parking for disabled people

Police car blocking parking for disabled people

This is from Stuff:

Wellington City Council will not issue parking tickets to drivers of Bill English’s convoy for parking on yellow lines and across a mobility area while he was getting a trim [haircut].

The council initially said it would issue tickets to Mr English’s security detail but, after discussions with its lawyers and the diplomatic protection squad, it concluded that Mr English’s drivers were within the law.
Council chief executive Garry Poole said police could park anywhere, as long as it was in the course of their duties. And a haircut for the acting PM is a valid excuse.

“While we do have the legal right to issue infringement notices to any vehicle parked unlawfully, police vehicles are exempt from parking restrictions if they are used by officers in the course of their duties.

“We have examined the circumstances of this particular case and I am satisfied that the exemption applies.”

Mr English had his haircut at the upmarket Haight Ashbury salon in Johnston St, in the city centre, on November 26. His BMW Crown limo was parked on yellow lines and a Holden Commodore used by members of the DPS [police Diplomatic Protection Squad] was parked partially across a mobility zone.
The cars were parked for about 45 minutes, until a freshly trimmed Mr English emerged from the salon.

“In this case, I am satisfied that the diplomatic protection squad were using their judgment and that no road user was inconvenienced,” Mr Poole said. “They are aware of the need to stay clear of mobility parks unless strictly necessary for operational reasons.”

Despite the fact that a cop car was blocking a space reserved for disabled people Poole the council man is “satisfied…that no road user was inconvenienced”. How exactly does he know that not one disabled person wanted to park there during those 45 minutes?

From this episode we can conclude that…

  1. Haircuts for politicians are “strictly necessary for operational reasons” and a “valid excuse” for illegal behaviour (style before substance is their motto, which is a good thing because if politicians had any substance you and I would be completely stuffed).
  2. Politicians can’t be bothered with parking legally and walking to a salon.
  3. Those who write the laws are above the laws.

What do you think about blocking mobility parking and parking on yellow lines for the sake of a haircut?



November 3, 2009

• Bill English wants to change property tax laws

Filed under: Government/State, Tax — Tags: , , , , — Kiwi Polemicist @ 9:43 pm

The NZ Herald is reporting that Bill English, Minister of Finance Fraud wants to change property tax laws (translation: the government wants to steal more money). The article says in part…

[English said] “We haven’t had those put to us yet, but I think the evidence that investment patterns in New Zealand could be more productive I think is pretty strong.”
Those advocating change argue that investment is being funnelled into unproductive parts of the economy, such as investment properties. [Is anyone other than the government saying this? Beware of unsubstantiated statements like this one]

What arrogant nonsense. People only funnel money into “unproductive parts of the economy” when the government forces them to: if people make a poor investment their diminishing wealth tells them that they’ve done so and they quit. That’s one of the signals that people receive in a free market.

What’s really happening here is that the state doesn’t like people putting money into investment properties, so it’s going to slap on extra taxes and make that part of the economy ”unproductive”. That is how the state interferes with the free market and fouls up the signals.

If we had a true free market (i.e. zero state interference) we’d know which parts of the economy were truly unproductive: they’d be the parts that everyone was pulling their money out of. Snap quiz: how many people would throw money at the government if they didn’t have to?

It’s more than a bit rich when the government, the parasite that sucks away more than 45% of your wealth, starts blathering on about unproductive parts of the economy. Pot, meet Kettle.


June 4, 2009

• Tiananmen Square: 20 years after the massacre nothing has changed

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

I don’t know about you, but I find it hard to believe that 20 years have passed since the Chinese massacred hundreds or thousands of protesters in Tinananmen Square.

Calling it a “square” probably conjures up the wrong image: it’s the biggest city square in the world at 40.5 ha or 100 acres. It’s 880×500 metres or almost the area of 63 rugby fields and contains such delights as a brutalist mausoleum containing the embalmed body of Mao Zedong and the Monument to the People’s Heroes. It’s in the centre of Beijing, next to the Great Hall of the People (where China’s farcical version of a parliament meets) and is across the road from the former imperial palace, commonly known as the Forbidden City. So it’s a place loaded with history and symbolism that’s able to hold a great many people. It’s believed that a million people gathered there for the June Fourth Movement of 1989.

As we all know, the Communist Party of China didn’t like these protests so sent in troops, tanks and so forth to ensure that the people Party retained control. What has been interesting is how the Party has reacted on the twentieth anniversary. There’s a huge police and/or military prescence, they’re keeping journalists out, and dissidents have been effectively placed under house arrest. Below there’s a link to a tragicomic video where security staff are trying to block BBC cameras with umbrellas – and that’s outside the Square.

The events of 1989 do not appear in textbooks and children born around that time or afterward know little or nothing about it (see link below). I am reminded of the Memory Hole in Orwell’s 1984.

Twenty years after the massacre nothing has changed because truth, free speech and freedom of association clearly remain persona non grata in China. On the bright side, all these security measures indicate some trembling on the part of the Party, which rightly fears the people because only a government that is truly a servant of the people has no need to fear them.

Interesting links:

What are your thoughts regarding the events of 1989 and today?

Related post:

There is no such thing as “human rights”: a classical liberal perspective on the Electoral Finance Act

(Click on the photo for a larger size) View from the Tiananmen Gate of the Imperial Palace (Forbidden City) looking south over Tiananmen Square. In the centre of the square is Mao Zedong's mausoleum (tomb) and to the right is the Great Hall of the People. Photo from Wikipedia.

(Click on the photo to enlarge) View from the Tiananmen Gate of the Imperial Palace (Forbidden City) looking south over Tiananmen Square. In the centre of the square is Mao Zedong's mausoleum (tomb) and the Monument to the People's Heroes. To the right is the Great Hall of the People. Photo from Wikipedia.


May 30, 2009

• Budget 2009

I’m not going to attempt an in-depth analysis, but here’s three points for you to consider:

1) Stopping the planned tax cuts. This move can be described in three words: stupid, stupid, and stupid. The Socialists/Marxists in Wellington have the idea that your money is better off in their hands and they say that they will use the money to “lead the country to recovery”. It’s more like leading it to ruin, because giving money to the state is like giving money to an alcoholic: it just gets pissed away.

In 2009/10 the government will take more than 30% of GDP in taxes. Studies have shown that a tax take of 15-23% of GDP leads to economic growth and anything more kills the economy; 23% of GDP can be had from an income tax rate of about 10% plus the miscellaneous taxes that plaque our lives*. Naturally I favour a simpler (cheaper) tax regime plus low taxes that will foster growth as has been shown overseas; with a flat income tax rate of 5-10% and no other taxes the economy would take off like a cat does when a child tries to give it a bath (it would also address the chronic shortage of medical professionals because the government could afford to pay a competitive wage and the tax regime would be attractive).

History clearly shows that reducing tax rates increases the tax take, but all the Wombles of Wellington can think of is keeping their sticky mitts on your money. The present taxation levels are simply parasitic and it’s no wonder that the patient is sick.

2) Stopping the contributions to the Cullen Fund (for future superannuation costs) was sensible. However, if the government adopted the tax regime described above they’d have more than enough money to pay for the superannuation that they shouldn’t be providing.

3) If you’re in the financial dung the first thing to do is trim discretionary spending. Here’s some of what this government should, in my humble opinion, cut:

  • $50m cycleway. The idiocy of this beggars belief.
  • $323.3 million over four years for home insulation and “clean heating devices”. Why should you pay for the insulation and heating in someone else’s house?
  • $34m for broadband internet in schools, when schools can’t even get the three R’s right.
  • $10.5m extra over four years for arts, including $3.4m for ballet. Presumably you’re happy to be paying for ballet so a few people can watch it. All arts spending should stop immediately because there is no rational reason for state funding of the arts.
  • $290m for high speed broadband in 2009/10, out of a total commitment of $1.5b. Let the private sector sort it out, and make it easy for them to do so.
  • $52m for defence. Our defence forces are a joke, and they’ll still be a joke after spending another $52m on them.
  • $11.7m over four years for the “financial adviser watchdog”. “The implementation of the Financial Advisers Act and the Financial Service Providers Act will help restore confidence in the financial markets by introducing a minimum standard of competence for financial advisers,” Commerce Minister Simon Power says. “It will also place the supervision of financial advisers with a central regulatory body, the Securities Commission.” How wonderful, more regulations and more compliance costs. Anyone who trusts a financial adviser just because they’re “government approved” is an idiot, therefore this scheme has nothing to recommend it. Caveat emptor.
  • $1.2m to “strengthen local networks and give a voice to community groups that are often not heard in government processes”. Apparently this is necessary “because local organisations often did not have the opportunity to engage in the policy processes of central government”. What’s the point in talking to a government that just nods politely and does what it intended to do in the first place?


Admittedly cutting those expenses would like jettisoning the Titanic’s silverware, and I’m not pretending that removing these things will stop the ship sinking, but I do want to show you that there’s plenty of frivolous government spending.

We have the same problem that the people on the Titanic did: the master has steered us into dangerous waters and we’re sunk. We need a new ship  – a new fiscal regime – and a new master.

What are your thoughts regarding the budget?


*I’ve Been Writing by Richard Prebble, p102

May 28, 2009

• Maori seats are undemocratic

I know that the hikoi a few days ago is old news, but I forgot to write about it at the time so I’m writing about it now.

The Maori were demanding Maori seats on the new Super City council. Why on earth should Maori get special representation? Democracy gives them the opportunity to get Maori representation: e.g., if Maori comprise 20% of the population then, in theory at least, they can influence the composition of 20% of the council. There is every opportunity for candidates to stand on a Maori issues platform.

To give Maori special seats on the council is simply undemocratic and political correctness gone mad, and the same goes for Maori seats in parliament. This is Marxist ideology in action: the Marxists declare one group to be victims of oppression, so they try and right that supposed wrong by force, and in doing so oppress another group (click here for another example). According to Ian Wishart, there are plenty of Marxists among the radical Maori groups and like all Marxists they’re only interested in power and control, so they use the victim ideology while it’s convenient for them to do so.

In this free and enlightened age it’s not permissible to speak the truth but I don’t give a damn.

Post a comment and tell me what you think of special seats for Maori (and read my comments policy before you get abusive).

Related post:

I am Pakeha and I am oppressed


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