Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Politics Spectrum

Everyone else is doing this frigging shit.

For some reason, this test now labels me a fascist. Even tho' I'm clearly a borderline Republican.

You are a

Social Conservative
(10% permissive)

and an...

Economic Conservative
(95% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid

Friday, September 16, 2005

Blog and be Damned!

There has been much discussion circulated on the internet about the legality of blogs during the New Zealand elections.

There is no clarity in the law around blogging. What the law does preclude is blatantly partisan political messages being distributed on election day.

In reality, there is nothing that can be done to prevent electronic media from discussing politics; as far as I can see, there is no moratorium on even partisan messages on blogs.

I figure the same rules apply to New Zealand partisan politics as applies to New Zealand defamation law: messages written in New Zealand, by New Zealand-based bloggers, for a primarily New Zealand audience, are subject to the law. Whether I am personally liable for even defamatory messages made by others on my blog is not clear.

The messages to my blog would need to be clearly partisan in order to be subject to a law that has never been tested. For partisan, I suggest the test would probably be the same test that is applied to expenditure on promotional activity for party political purposes, under the Electoral Act.

I'm not going to be bothered with blogging on tomorrow--but I think the Electoral Office would be pushing shit uphill if it attempted a prosecution against a blogger under the Electoral Act.

Blog and be damned, you limp-wristed fuckers!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Not That I'm Gloating, But...

Oh, what a difference a day makes.

On Tuesday night, I visualised Tony Ryall going through one of those minor anxiety attacks, when he sees his entire political career flashing before his eyes, and a glimpse of that stunning future in an alternate public life that was never going to be. But for a few words.

Except, I thought, it wasn’t Tony Ryall’s career that he was imagining were in tatters, but Bob Clarkson’s. Clarkson himself might have had that dramatic epiphany, except he was too stupid to conceive it.

But political epiphanies do not always eventuate. The sudden doom and gloom that strikes a career MP, when he is suddenly under siege and cracks—does not always end in calamity. Often, if they’re lucky—or stupid—the lack of awareness around one’s own actions and the potential to lasso one’s own star with a short string of silly syllables—has little effect. It’s part of that baffling charm of politics. Logical questions, such as: “How did this fucker ever rise this far beyond his level of competence?” fly out the window.

Logic suggests that such ghastly figures as Jill Pettis, Jenny Bloxham, Judith Tizard, and Judy Keall should never be lifted over the bar. Yet they do. And they stay. And they continue to ridicule themselves without any understanding of the mockery they make of the noble art of politics.

Bob Clarkson, of course, may learn quickly that when allegations of sexual harassment are being hurled at him, it is unwise to play with his balls in front of a journalist. Then again, he may also learn that there is a point in this game when the shit just doesn’t stick, and the voters don’t care. The more preposterous the claims against him, the more the locals back him. After all, few in Tauranga would suggest that Vivienne d’Or is the most likely target of sexual harassment—and if the allegations are true, then at most, Clarkson could be described as having very poor taste.

In the main, the voters are tolerant of the “rough diamonds”, as Don Brash aptly described Clarkson. This electoral baptism of fire should have taught Clarkson when to shut his mouth. Perhaps not. Time will tell.

Conversely, one guy who tried to keep everyone’s mouth shut, and another who never can keep his mouth shut—Michael Cullen and Trevor Mallard—have all but destroyed Labour’s chances of winning this election. The student loans fiasco is the final straw. Already, the gloom and disappointment among Labour supporters is evident: that non-violent scallywag, Millsy, has already conceded defeat. And he’s already trying to apportion blame.

And so they should. Labour have not possessed the agenda at any time during this campaign. They produced an appallingly-judged budget that preached fiscal austerity and loudly proclaimed that there was no room for tax cuts, and then proceeded to up the ante by entering into a bidding war with the state purse. Their entire crusade was based on attacking the personal integrity of National’s leader, rather than trumpeting its own successes.

To be fair, National has engaged in some fuckups of their own, which logically should have killed their chances to wrestle the Treasury benches off Labour in times of boom; but like Bob Clarkson, the shit hasn’t stuck. Instead of wallowing in the mud that Labour has thrown, National has brushed it off, recomposed itself, and moved to its next platform.

Labour, of course, has been stretching the bounds of credulity to excess. They cannot continue to make Don Brash’s ability to lead the entire focus of their campaign, and maintain that he doesn’t have the strength to govern. That argument gets tired quickly. And after a while, the public start to realise that the only reason Labour has paid him so much attention is that they have nothing else in their arsenal.

Labour being Labour, there will be recriminations. Trevor Mallard and Michael Cullen will be quickly removed. Steve Maharey, who has chaired Labour’s communications strategy, will be similarly ditched. Pete Hodgson, the cunning strategist who designed Labour’s collapse, has much to answer for.

And then there are those who will emerge crisp and clean, without rancour or culpability. Phil Goff has taken a low profile throughout this campaign, and is the most senior Labour MP with genuine leadership potential. Annette King would provide an unthreatening, logical choice for deputy. So too would Paul Swain, except that Labour would never allow two men to hold the two senior party offices. David Cunliffe is sufficiently brazen to inherit Mallard’s turd-kicking role.

But after that, the numbers get very thin. Labour will take a very long time to regroup. Mike Williams won’t survive the presidency, but Ross Wilson is a likely contender from the CTU.

Either way, on election night, there will be a lot of red on the floor at Labour Party Campaign Headquarters. And it won’t all be streamers and popped balloons.

Labour's Vindictiveness: Part 1093892

Michael Cullen demonstrates again the pure vindictiveness of Labour Ministers with a subtle warning that:

"While Labour had complied with the Ombudsman's request, Cullen said he held serious concerns about the precedent created, and would take the matter up with his office after the election. "
Clearly, so angry are Labour that the Chief Ombudsman has complied with his statutory duty to ensure that important public information is not suppressed for purely political purposes, they will attempt to push John Belgrave out of his job if Labour wins on Saturday.

Should that come as a shock? Probably not. But it shows just how low Labour will go.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Outstanding Public Servant Award: John Belgrave

John Belgrave is an outstanding New Zealander. As a former Comptroller of Customs, long-time Secretary of Commerce, Secretary of Justice, Chairman of the Commerce Commission, and now as Chief Ombudsman, he has served for more than forty years in the public service at the highest level.

And today he has proven again that his judgement is beyond reproach. Refusing to bow to a Government that has a reputation for harrying out of office anybody who disagrees with them, Belgrave has ordered Michael Cullen to release Treasury costings on Labour's student loan promises. This time, Labour has had to listen.

The results are spectacular. The Treasury documents show that Labour lied about the true cost of its own student loans policy. It shows that student debt will double over the next three years if Labour's policy is introduced. And it demonstrates that the claims that Labour made about its own policy have massively underestimated the risks to the tax payer.

It's no wonder Labour has been trying to hide the figures. What they didn't reckon was that in John Belgrave, New Zealand has a man of absolute integrity who thinks differently about Labour's secretive agenda.

Another Dishonest Snout at The Trough

Nice to see that another liberal pinko commie academic, who claims to be "neutral", is showing his true colours.

Liberals consistently claim that the Treaty was a "partnership". That is a nonsense, fabricated by white liberal academics who wanted to offload their guilt complexes on the taxpayer, and an elite few Maori who have used the expression to bleed as much as they can get from the public purse.

The Treaty was not a Partnership. It was an act of cession of sovereignty. It was an easy means for the British to gain sovereignty over New Zealand. It was also a means to guarantee to Maori the same rights and privileges of citizenship as British subjects.

But that's all it was. Moves over the past thirty years to give extra rights and privileges to Maori over non-Maori are not consistent with the Treaty that guarantees equal rights to all. It is consistent with the liberal agenda that Johansson pushes, but that's it.

Johansson is a fake. If he's going to step into the political debate, masquerading as a commentator, then he should make his own prejudices clear. And he should prepare to face the same heat as any other political activist who has the honesty and integrity to paint their own colours clear.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Giving Winston the Credit...

You have to hand it to Winston Peters: it takes a helluva lot of gall for somebody who's been in the midst of more personal scandals than any other current MP to start attacking another candidate's morals.

Winston has sued, and been sued (successfully), for defamation more often than any other current MP. He has been at the centre of allegations of intoxicated shenanigans more often than any other MP. He is single-handedly responsible for the only collapse of MMP coalition government to date.

He owns no personal property of any material value, and has successfully maintained a level of secrecy around his private life better than any other public figure in New Zealand.

But when all Winston has on his opponent in Tauranga is a cranky, foul-mouthed former employee who took exception to a benign statement that Clarkson made to another colleague, and a GST reassessment that Clarkson paid in full fifteen years ago, then Winston’s clutching at straws.

Winston hasn’t come up with anything salacious: no allegations of marital infidelity, of having an affair with a staff member, of sleazy behaviour, of disloyalty towards colleagues, of managerial and political incompetence, of drunken loutishness or of inappropriate personal conduct overseas.

That’s the trouble when the local member has lived such an “exciting” life. A better plan might have been for Winston to point out that Clarkson is just too pure for Tauranga; since 1984, constituents have barely seen their local, non-resident member, but at least they have witnessed his larger-than-life activities that have entertained the nation.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Further Evidence We're Overtaxed...

The NZQA just can't help itself.

A month ago, new Acting Chief Executive Karen Sewell, taking over from embattled NZQA Chief Karen Van Rooyen, announced that a culture change at NZQA was needed.

Apparently, Sewell's succeeded already. Despite NZQA not being put to the test, in a nationwide taxpayer-funded publicity campaign aimed at the parents of Years 11-13 students, the Qualifications Authority claims to have fixed the scholarship problems of last year. Further, the correspondence boasts, the NCEA "encourages excellence", and "gives schools greater flexibility and diversity".

Ah, we can all give a sigh of relief. The Qualifications Framework is now all fixed. We know this because the people responsible for delivering the Qualifications Framework say it is so.

Thanks for that, Karen. Outstanding work on your part, by managing to tidy up the mess in just a month. Further kudos to you, in having the political sensibility to make that announcement in a massive taxpayer-funded move, right at the crux of the campaign.

Of course, we shouldn't listen to Bill English, who questions the appropriateness of a government department making such politically charged announcements, using taxpayer's money, just as the campaign is getting really hot. After all, whoever heard of politically-unbalanced officials in the Education sector?

Instead, Karen, we should be thanking you for taking such a pressing political issue off our minds.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Labour's Pay-Off To Unions

Much discussion has been taking place in the media about pamphlets put out by the obscure Exclusive Brethren Church, advocating that voters vote against the Labour Government. As peculiar as these folk are, there has been little attention paid to the influence of unions in this year’s election.

On Tuesday, I reported that twenty-two of Labour’s twenty-five non-MP candidates are on either the public or union payroll. In addition to the extreme representation of paid Union employees standing for Labour, unions affiliated with the CTU are spending massive amounts of money on this campaign.

David Farrar is currently reporting that the Post Primary Teacher’s Association is spending $353,000 on anti-National advertising, supporting the Left. The PSA, CTU, EPMU, the National Distribution Union, and the Service and Food Workers’ Union, and Finsec are all spending similarly large amounts of money attacking National, and supporting Labour.

Readers of this blog might well ask why they would bother. What is their motivation? What have they got to lose if National takes the Treasury benches? Why are they so hell-bent on keeping Labour in power, and why are they prepared to spend such exhorbitant amounts of money to keep them there?

The answer lies partly in ideology. Ideologically, they detest the concept of lower taxation, and a society where those who work the hardest, and those with the most initiative and creativity, receive the most financial benefit for their actions. A Labour Government is consistent with the Union’s support of the liberal socialist agenda.

But the rest of the answer is purely about money. If Labour loses this election, then the CTU alone stands to lose $3 million in taxpayer support over the next three years.

An analysis of the CTU’s financial report for the 2004 year makes interesting reading. In that year, the CTU received $730,000 from Government subsidies, compared to $1 million in affiliation fees.

In the 2004/2005 year, the Government’s subsidy to the CTU for “employment relations education”, more than doubled. From the Employment Relations Education Fund, administered by the Department of Labour, the CTU received more than half a million dollars in the 2004/2005 year. In addition, the CTU received substantial payments from such sources as the Equal Employment Opportunities Fund, the Ministry of Economic Development, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Industry Training Organisations, and the ACC. In total, taxpayer-funded payments to the CTU totaled more than $1 million this year. That's half of the CTU's annual income.

Most alarming is that the CTU is merely the tip of the iceberg with respect to government subsidies to unions. Over the next three years, Employment Relations Education expenditure, paid by the Department of Labour, will amount to a direct taxpayer subsidy to trade unions, of over $5 million. This is in addition to an estimated $3 million in direct subsidies to Unions from other taxpayer sources over the next three years.

So what does the Employment Relations Education subsidy pay for? Well, again, the courses that the subsidy pays for funds direct union activities: last year, FinSec ran such courses as “organizing people”; “Bargaining Skills Training”; “Be A Union Member”; “Lead People”, and the bafflingly vague “Workplace Dignity”. For those courses, Finsec was paid almost a hundred grand.

The EPMU received $145,000 last year for such courses as “Union Delegate Skills”, “Introduction to Workplace Organising”, various "Maori Workshops", and “Understanding the EPMU Approach to Collective Bargaining”. It doesn't take a genius to understand that educating its own members is a core union activity.

These payments are over and above payments that were made to the CTU for CTU activities.

Why is this relevant? Because, unlike corporate organisations, Unions are non-profit, incorporated societies. As such, they are not liable to pay tax on their activities. They do not have shareholders, or the kind of governance arrangements that apply to limited liability companies under the Companies Act. And this election, they are pouring outlandish sums of money into campaigns to keep National out of Government.

So that explains it. With around $8 million to lose—around half of their operating expenditure—in the next three years, it’s no wonder Unions are kicking up such a fuss.

UPDATE: Labour's Jordan Carter is apparently so keen to hide reference to the payback to unions that he has deleted a link to this post on his blog.

In Unrelated News...

News reports that National's Wellington Central campaign manager, David Farrar, was seen running after the mysterious, hoody-clad Custard Pie thrower in Wellington Tuesday night, have only revealed half of the story. In an exclusive interview with Mr Farrar following the dramatic chase, Insolent Prick can report the following.

IP: "Mr Farrar, can you confirm suggestions that the chase indicates your Party's intention to reintroduce vigilante-style citizens' arrests into New Zealand criminal law?"

DPF: "No comment."

IP: “What did you intend to do with the assailant, once you had caught up with him?”

DPF: “No comment.”

IP: “Can you confirm that you did actually catch up with the perpetrator of this heinous crime, and that you beat the shit out of him?”

DPF: “No comment.”

IP: “Mr Farrar, what are you eating?”

DPF: “No comment.”

IP: “Mr Farrar, can you confirm eyewitness reports, as I speak, that you are presently eating the OTHER CUSTARD PIE that the assailant was seen carrying as you sprinted after him through Wellington’s streets?”

DPF: “No comment.”

So that’s it, folks. The political scoop of the century.

Question for Michael Wood

Dear Michael,

Since you read this blog religiously and post comments anonymously, please answer the following questions:

  1. When did you last receive payment in the form of wages, salary, expenses, or any other form, from the FinSec Union, or any other affiliated union of the CTU?
  2. Is it true that you have been on the FinSec payroll throughout the entirety of your campaign to be the MP for Pakuranga?
  3. What support have you received, from either FinSec officers, employees, or volunteers, or other paid officers or employees of CTU affiliates for your campaign to be the MP for Pakuranga?

Kind Regards,

I. Prick

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

The Conversation That Didn't Happen

From time to time, I have musings on politicians and the sport that they play. I opine on their moves, tactics, and strategies. Other times, such as with Michael Wood, I make an about-face, after having expressed a strong opinion declaiming him as the most stupid candidate to have ever lived by a wide margin, and then stump all my readers by apologizing to him.

It is a fickle world, this politics thing. And I admit that from time to time I am fickle in my opinion of those practitioners.

My thoughts this afternoon centre on Winston Peters. On this subject, I am at a loss: I don’t know whether I have come to praise him, or simply bury him. Like Mark Anthony, to whom I have often been compared, I don’t know whether this will be a criticism of Winston’s actions, or a eulogy to his political life.

Ah, fuck it. I’m cutting to the frigging chase. If you want to read literary shit, then go read Rob Hosking’s stuff. And if you’re a pinko commie liberal, then fuck off and don’t bother commenting on my blog, because I don’t give a shit what you think.

But before I digress, I will say this. I don’t think Winston made a good move today. Other commentators have suggested it was suicidal.

Suicide is a conscious act. I don’t think Winston deliberately chose to do what he did today. I agree, the effect will be fatal for him, and agree for the same reasons as Aaron.

But here’s what Winston should have done. If I’d been advising him—and I have advised him before, but almost exclusively only after a couple of bottles of wine and/or Johnny Walker—this is what I would have told him.

“What you should say, Winston, is not that you’re going to sit on the fence. That would be fatal. That would piss people off. That would bring back memories of 1996 while you make up your mind. And don’t go telling them that you’re going to do go with the biggest Party, because then you’ll just sound like Peter Dunne. And while Peter Dunne can get away with sounding like Peter Dunne, because like you, he has great hair. Not as wavy as yours. Indeed, while I’m wondering about Peter Dunne’s hair, it doesn’t seem as great as yours. It’s not really natural, that wave. It’s kinda fucked up, in a way.

“But what you want to achieve in announcing coalition intentions is several things, Winston. Firstly, what voters want from you is a commitment to a political party. Get off the fucking fence. Tell them what you fucking think.

“Secondly, Winston, you want to put yourself in a position of influence. You’re 60, now, Winston, and this is your last shot at a position of influence. So make it good. Be reasonable for once. Make yourself the statesman that was seemingly eluding you during all those late-night boozefests when you were last in Government.

“Thirdly, Winston. Make a decision that will redeem yourself for the instability that you brought to MMP. If you can present yourself, and carry it off, as the harbinger of decisiveness, of influence, and of stability, then you will retire on a very fat, government-sponsored pension, with all the grog you can manage. Sound like a good idea?”

Winston, at this point, of course, would scowl, take a swig from his tumbler, and say to me: “Ah, Insolent.” And he would give me that winning smile. “You still haven’t told me who to go with.”

At that point, I would return my winning smile, run my fingers through my not-as-grey hair, and respond: “You’ve only got one choice, Winston. It’s National.”

“But won’t that lose me a whole lot of angry supporters who hate National?” he will ask.

“You will piss them off if you say you’re backing nobody, and then back National afterwards, Winston. But this is why you back National. It’s a winning formula. Think of it like this, Winston.

“What National needs is a coalition partner. They aren’t going to get that from Act. But they need a strong partner, in the middle. That’s only going to come from Labour’s existing support base. You’re the only one who can deliver it.”

“But why would they vote for me, and New Zealand First, if they know that I’m going to support National? Why not just go direct. You know, cut out the middle man,” Winston asks.

“Who would ever describe YOU as the middle-man, Winston? Not me. And don’t interrupt. Listen up. What you say is, that National is going to be the largest Party in Parliament. That’s clear from the polls. You say that National, on the basis of being the largest Party in Parliament, deserves to be the main Party of Government. That’s reasonable. Rational. People will believe and understand that. Makes you sound almost like Peter Dunne.”

“I don’t like Peter Dunne,” Winston says. “Something spooky about his hair.”

“We’re not going into his hair again, Winston. Keep focused. Listen. You say then, that the second biggest threat affecting this country—the biggest threat being that Helen Clark remains Prime Minister for another three years—is if National DOES have a hidden agenda, and has the power to impose it.”

“But won’t that look as if I’m trying to wag the dog?”

“No, Winston. You say that the worst possible thing that could happen is if Labour has another three years. That National has the best policy formula of the two Parties, and that National is your preferred partner. But here’s the rub. Are you listening, Winston?”

“Yes. Still smarting about Peter having nice hair.”

“Forget about Peter Dunne. You say to the country that you’re not going to be in Government. You’re not going to implement your own policies. Instead, you’re going to provide confidence and supply to National, and you are going to make sure that National goes no further than they have promised.”

“Why would Labour voters go for that?” he smirks.

“Because, Winston. What many Labour voters fear is National having a radical agenda. You rescue them from that fear, by stating that you’re not interested in the power. But you are there to moderate, to keep them in check, to ensure they go no further than they have said they will go, and it clarifies where you’re standing.”

“And what do I get out of it?”

“Winston, for fuck’s sake! You’re miles behind in Tauranga, you’re not going to break five percent at this stage, Helen hates you anyway… this is your one chance. This is make-or-break stuff for you. Wrestle some Labour voters off Helen, redeem your own legacy, and you’ve achieved something worthwhile for the country."

“And what else?”

“And if you do that, I’ll deliver you the Speakership, and a knighthood when Don reintroduces them,” I say slyly.


Rhetorical Questions...

How is it that the Labour Party are hell-bent on repealing Section 59 of the Crimes Act, which permits parents to use physical force to control the behaviour of their children, but they are in favour of cabinet ministers using physical force to control the behaviour of peaceful protestors?

New Orleans and Tax Cuts

The Left have come up with their most scurrilous claim yet: that the break in the levees on the Mississippi Delta is directly a result of George Bush’s tax cuts. Their inference is that National’s proposed tax cuts will lead to a similar disaster in New Zealand.

Balanced commentators note that the collapse of the levees was based on several factors; the fact that the levees were designed to protect New Orleans against a Force 3 Hurricane. Katrina was a Force 5.

Second point: accusations that the Bush Administration neglected the levees isn’t borne out by the facts. Responsibility for funding the levees was shared by both Federal and State authorities. Squabbling over the funding of the levees, and levee shore-up projects, have gone back twenty years; i.e., long before the Bush Administration was around to reduce taxes.

Thirdly, even if it can be maintained that the Federal Government was wholly responsibly for maintaining the levee infrastructure, there is no link between tax cuts and a run-down of levee infrastructure. In this respect, the Left scores an own-goal. What it suggests is that the Federal Government has got its spending priorities wrong.

National’s forecasts through to 2008 show a continuing rise in taxation revenue, even after the marginal rates of income tax rates have been reduced. Government spending is forecast to continue to rise. No currently planned infrastructure project is at risk as a result of income tax reductions.

The real threat to infrastructure development is not lack of revenue to fund it, but bad spending priorities by Government. Labour, through its massive over-investment in bogus and low quality education courses, superfluous spending on dubious PC schemes, and the burgeoning public service, indicate quite clearly that Labour has no spending priorities whatsoever. Their priorities are not “core infrastructure”, but feel-good, trendy plans to impose its liberal agenda on New Zealand.

New Zealand has no direct equivalent of the levee infrastructure along the Mississippi. What we do have, on the other hand, are core roading and energy requirements that aren’t being met due to highly cumbersome resource management processes that kill development; an education system that is well-resourced but atrociously managed; a welfare system that creates disincentives to work; a justice system that is in such disarray that victims don’t bother reporting crime anymore; and a health system that concentrates itself on bureaucrats, rather than patients.

These are the core infrastructural issues facing New Zealand. Solutions to these problems are found not in throwing more money at the black holes of waste. Rather, they are sorted by having the political resolve to get roading and energy projects completed, focusing education on achievement, creating incentives to work and disincentives to cheat the taxpayer, and a health system that concentrates on delivery of service, rather than screeds of ideologically-based policy analysts discussing the modes of delivery.

Labour’s solution is to continue to strangle the economic goose through an oppressive taxation regime. National’s answer is to make Government accountable for responsible spending of taxpayer funds, and to use Government’s authority to make best use of that spending.

The tide of public opinion has reached the high water mark. Labour’s defence of its own policy agenda isn’t holding up. Their shoddy scare tactics aren’t working either.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Labour's Other Slush-Fund

A quick look at Labour’s line-up this election shows just how deeply embedded the union movement is in Government circles, and how Labour’s campaign this election are heavily funded by the taxpayer.

Labour has 41 MPs currently in Parliament, standing again. That’s fair and reasonable, perhaps, given that they are the governing party. It is probably understandable that the entire personal staffs of the Prime Minister and her Ministers, and the taxpayer-funded personal staffs of Labour MPs, should also be campaigning for Labour. Of course, it does deliver a vast resource to the incumbent Party, but that’s the nature of any incumbent Party.

What is less clear is just how many non-MPs are receiving substantial taxpayer support while campaigning for the Labour Party. Alarmingly, almost the entirety of Labour’s non-MP candidates, are either union officials or otherwise in receipt of Government payment for their work on publicly-funded bodies, on city councils, or in the public sector.

  1. Louisa Wall. Currently employed by the Human Rights Commission. Also a paid board member of the taxpayer-funded Sport and Recreation New Zealand. Is on annual leave from her role while campaigning.
  2. Maryan Street. Employee Relations Manager for District Health Boards New Zealand.
  3. Shane Jones. Member of the Industry New Zealand Board, chairman of the Waitangi Fisheries Commission.
  4. Sue Moroney. Paid official of the Nurses Organisation.
  5. Darien Fenton, Paid Union Official, Service and Food Worker’s Union.
  6. Su’a William Sio. Manukau City Councillor.
  7. Hamish McCracken. Politics Lecturer, Manukau Institute of Technology. Previously a Finsec Union Organiser. Board member of the Plastics and Materials Processing Industry Training Organisation.
  8. Max Purnell. Member of the AGMARDT Board, a crown-funded trust.
  9. Wayne Harpur, Member of the Southland Community Trust, appointed by the Minister of Finance. City Councillor. Trade Unionist.
  10. Leila Boyle. Auckland City Councillor.
  11. Phil Twyford. Peace Activist, Oxfam Director.
  12. Jen McCutcheon. Former PPTA President. “CTU representative on the Department of Labour group which evaluates courses applying for EREL (employment related education leave) funding since its’ inception four years ago. “
  13. Michael Wood. Finsec Organiser.
  14. Linda Hudson. Whakatane District Councillor. Member of Creative New Zealand Board. Union Member.
  15. Tony Milne. Executive Assistant to Tim Barnett, MP. PSA Activist.
  16. David Talbot. Assistant to Marian Hobbs.
  17. Marilyn Brown. Palmerston North City Councillor.
  18. Eamon Daly. Human Rights Review Tribunal Member. Biothics Council Member.
  19. Judy Lawley. Waitakere City Councillor.
  20. Pauline Scott. Margaret Wilson’s electorate agent.
  21. Camille Nakhid. Sociology Lecturer, AUT.
  22. Sally Barrett, School Teacher.

Rob Hosking Goes Biblical...

Haven't seen much comment around the traps on this, but it is well deserving.

Check out his Big Gnashy Teeth!

Monday, September 05, 2005

Venting Their Spleen

At the height of the 1993 election campaign, I found myself in a Wellington shopping mall when Mike Moore’s entourage splashed through. Various would-be luminaries were with him: they cheered and clapped loudly as a hysterical Moore preached doom and gloom, vitriol and fury, and rage and ire, in a scene that was until then, as a young right-wing activist, the most negative display of mud-slinging campaigning that I had ever seen.

Moore was a mercurial figure. He had the amusing habit of starting a sentence that seemed to go on for ever, covering all ranges of homilies and subjects, and somehow ending each statement with personal abuse directed at Jim Bolger, Ruth Richardson, and Jenny Shipley. The Labour Party’s 1993 slogan, “Jobs. Health. Growth,” didn’t seem to bear any relation whatsoever to the message that Moore was pushing—that the National Party were a group of very nasty people who were hell-bent on destroying the country. It was not a coherent campaign.

Among Moore’s private coterie were such figures as Clayton “Mini-Me” Cosgrove, and Ron Mark. Also present that day were Paul Swain and the local Labour candidate: they were, in short, a group of diminutive, angry young men who believed that they deserved to be in Government, apparently for no other reason than that they had bigger tempers than anybody else. Policy barely featured.

Instead of heckling Moore, which was my natural inclination, I went to chat to some of Labour’s activists. I made a few smart remarks, and what sticks with me even now was the reaction of the supporters: their hackles up, they sneered and attempted to jostle me. I jostled back. It took a then level-headed Ron Mark to calm his colleagues down; the realisation that a group of Moore’s inner circle starting a rumble with a member of the public in front of the cameras was not the image that Moore wanted to portray.

What also struck me, apart from Labour’s then mob mentality, like some bunch of Mafia thugs demanding an extortionate payment of electoral support, was the lack of social skills in Moore’s team. They had no means of engaging with members of the public: they didn’t like the public. They were hostile and militant. They believed they had a right to govern, for no other reason than that they had an innate belief in their leader. I suspect that this was the reason behind Moore’s extraordinary election-night boast of a “long, cold night” for Jim Bolger; he had surrounded himself with people just like him—angry, vengeful thugs who had told him precisely what he wanted to hear.

Half a generation on, I can now understand the rage from Labour supporters this election.

For the last six years, Labour has danced in the moonlight of economic prosperity. That prosperity has come about through the very major sacrifices that both Labour and National Governments imposed on New Zealand from the mid-80s onwards. Those gains—the longest sustained period of economic growth since the second world war—have delivered an unprecedented winfall to the Government. Those gains have not come about through the fiscal discipline of the last six years by Labour—because the fiscal discipline has been non-existent. Rather, it has come about through the hard-won toil and efforts of New Zealand taxpayers.

The question this election, therefore, is who deserves to reap the benefits? That question—a luxurious position given the hardship and slog of the past twenty years—presents for the first time in several generations, the most stark difference that voters have had in modern history. What voters decide to do on September 17 will dictate the path that New Zealand takes over the next twenty years.

That probably explains why minority parties are taking such a flogging this year. No longer can voters state that there is little difference between National and Labour. The key choices are between the two parties.

Labour’s solution is one that ignores the key thrust of the reforms of the last twenty years. Despite the sea-change of Rogernomics that started getting New Zealanders to realise that they are primarily responsible for their own economic destiny, and that the Government is merely a buffer in times of last resort—Labour wants to turn the clock back. They claim that it is politicians who should decide how individuals behave: dictating to them how their money is spent.

Suddenly, state support for very low-income earners is extended to middle-income New Zealanders. Education expenditure, originally intended to provide people with the minimum tools of basic learning, is extended to provide twilight golf courses. Health expenditure is no longer just directed at hip, cararact, and glue-ear operations, but to cover sex changes as well.

That might be acceptable in an ideal world. Perhaps in the perfect society, a vastly enriched state sector does help the masses.

But the perfect society doesn’t operate in New Zealand. Nor did it operate in the Soviet Union or Albania. It is certainly not operating in North Korea or Cuba now.

What happens, when the state attempts to extend itself beyond providing the bare minimum of services, is that they lose focus on providing those basic services. Trans-gender operations, a fault-free justice system, and the inflated excesses of the wananga may well excite the Socialist ideologues, who see their dream of an “inclusive” society—in which fringe groups are pandered to at every corner—coming to fruition.

In the meantime, by getting distracted by their pet projects, the compulsory education sector is in disarray. Students emerge from schooling with no reality-based assessment mechanism. Tertiary students emerge from dubious institutions with worthless qualifications. Waiting lists for surgery rises. Violent crime increases, simply because New Zealanders no longer see the point in reporting it to an over-stretched Police.

In the meantime, Labour tells voters that because of the massive proliferation in special pet-projects in the social laboratory that New Zealanders didn’t actually vote to live in, there is no money left for tax relief.

That is the vision that Labour has for New Zealand. That National is exposing that agenda, and that Labour is losing the argument for that agenda, explains why, as in 1993, the Labour Party has resorted to the most negative election tactics in a long, long time. Instead of defending the indefensible—their own skewed view of New Zealand, the Way Labour Wants It—their smears on Don Brash and his party continue.

National’s position on New Zealand is equally clear: that the benefits of economic reform deserve to be returned to New Zealanders. That the returns should be returned in a way that continues to promote prosperity and further gains. That the role of Government is to provide basic services, where individuals have the option of purchasing their social luxuries as they see fit, rather than having imposed on them by the socialist agenda. That if you want the luxury of a sex change operation, a bigger house, or a twilight golf course, then you will have the means to pay for it yourself—but only if you earn it.

So over the next two weeks, New Zealanders can expect more spleen-venting from Helen Clark, Trevor Mallard, Steve Maharey, and Pete Hodgson. Their vision of New Zealand is falling apart, as New Zealanders begin to see for themselves just what havoc the socialist experiment will have on New Zealand society.

And expect them to get very nasty and bitter as they gang up on Don Brash and try to punch him out of the political mall. Just as Mike Moore did twelve years ago, they will increasingly lose any coherence they had before. They’ve already lost the argument; their only resort is fear, rage and thuggery.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Electoral Accommodations

There's an interesting discussion at Cathy's blog about the effect of electoral accommodations--tight last-minute calls by the leader to pull a candidate out of the race--on the party organisation. Cathy asks what happened to Mark Thomas, National's candidate for Wellington Central in 1996.

National's Wellington region was in a bad shape well before Bolger pulled the rug out on Mark in 1996. The reasons were various: some blue-ribbon seats were neglected by their local MPs, others never had been strong organisationally--National got a shock in 1990 that it won some seats in Wellington, and its electoral success there was much more to do with the shambles that Labour was in in 1990 than any organisational strength that National may have had.

People like Graeme Reeves, Hamish Hancock, Peter McCardle, John Armstrong, Cam Campion and Joy McLauchlan didn't expect to get elected in 1990. There weren't strong organisational machines in place there. Rural seats tended to be stronger; Waitotara, Wairarapa and Pahiatua were key strongholds.

And so was Wellington Central: Fran Wilde held the seat narrowly in 1990, but with the by-election in '92, and a very close contest in '93, the organisational infrastructure in the seat was unrivalled anywhere else in the Wellington region. Wellington Central was akin to Tamaki in Auckland: largest city membership by a long stretch, strong branch structure and key members holding divisional leadership roles.

Part of the reason some seats declined organisationally in Wellington was the shift to MMP: boundaries expanded by seventy percent, mergers occurred, and in the process half of the seats became negligibly significant. McCardle and Michael Laws did nothing to keep their local organisations alive, and in any case, had been contemplating a jump for some time.

But Wellington Central was a very strong seat; the electoral accommodation made to Peter Dunne in Ohariu was only possible because National's local organisation was so weak. Bolger's decision to pull the rug out on Mark only happened that way because there was no way, whatsoever, that Wellington Central would have rolled over if they had been consulted as Ohariu had been.

Mark was 49th on the list in 1996--partly as a result of Wellington Central's own scheming to get two MPs backfiring on itself when it nominated Annabel Young as their list MP, ahead of Mark. Mark's only chance in Parliament was as the local MP.

The National Party probably learned some pretty important lessons from those exercises; Wellington Central survived pretty well after 1996, despite their grumpiness at Mark. Electoral accommodations can happen, but the biggest risk to subsequent organisational collapse is if the activists feel that they are losing an MP. That's not really the case, this time, in Epsom.

Richard Worth is guaranteed a place this time on National's list. He's not far and away a stellar performer in the House, by any means. His contribution to politics is far less than his contribution to the legal profession. He's the kind of solid, dependable National performers who make little noise and create little fuss. His fate, as the local MP, is entirely in Don Brash's hands.

It's too close to call what will happen with Epsom. Whether Brash makes a call to National voters to back Rodney depends on a range of issues: whether Act will deliver at least 3% support, whether National will need that support to form a government, and whether Act will fit comfortably within a coalition with other parties.

Brash has succeeded in cannibalising most of the other centre-right vote. He doesn't want to guarantee Act representation unless he absolutely needs it. A negative possible result, from his perspective, would be if Act gained two percent of the vote and won Epsom, and National still couldn't form a government: it would have given a rival for the centre-right vote more opportunity to capture National vote next time.

And Act haven't yet shown that they can come up with at least three percent of the vote. That could change over the next thirteen days, but there's been no indication at this stage that Act will deliver a substantial benefit to National's ability to form a coalition.

Rodney will continue to make preposterous claims about his support-base on the strength of his push-polling, but he also runs the risk of alienating the very National supporters in Epsom he is wanting to vote for him. Suggestions that he has some of his supporters posing as National activists, door-knocking and implying that there is an official directive for National voters to back Rodney--is a dangerous strategy.

Rodney won't win Epsom on his own merits. Not even against Richard Worth. But Brash may still make the call.

Friday, September 02, 2005

An Act of Contrition: Apology to Michael Wood

Those of you who know me personally appreciate that I am not well disposed to making apologies. It’s not my style. My preferred strategy, when I piss people off, is to get them to apologise for getting cranky at me.

But when I consider some of the great apologies of history that never happened, I have to rethink this one. It occurs to me that the torch of time could possibly have cast a different light on Pol Pot if he had shown remorse for the killing fields of Cambodia. Idi Amin might have escaped world opprobrium for his mass murder, torture, genocide and generally unsavoury behaviour during the eight years he terrorised Uganda, if he had once paused and said he was sorry. Perhaps John Denver would have taken his rightful, and otherwise deserved place, among the musical Almighties if he had retracted from being a pinko, commie, whale-loving greenie.

With their mortal flames extinguished, the opportunities for each of them have passed.

Of course, there are those who are forced to atone for things that they shouldn’t. Air New Zealand pilots, for example, should not be prevented from making a dig at a humourless and hypersensitive Prime Minister. Had I been master of the cockpit when Auntie Helen appeared to dress me down, I would have answered simply: “Prime Minister, it was a joke. As much as you think you are the boss of everything that moves in this country, international civil aviation law specifies quite clearly that I am in charge of this particular airplane at this particular moment. So go back to your frigging seat, stop whining, and lighten up. And give me a fucking tax cut, you bitch!”

Sadly, I was not sitting in the cockpit yesterday morning. I don’t apologise for that, because a mere failure to achieve a commercial pilot’s license and virtual compulsory membership of such a morally bereft union as the Airline Pilot’s Association is not, of itself, something that one needs to redress.

To a similar degree, John Tamihere should not have had to apologise to Helen Clark for merely telling Ian Wishart how it is. He should probably have excused himself for his excruciating taste in lunch partners, but that is another matter.

I do not wish to be known as the one person who had his chance to atone for grievous error, yet rejected that occasion. Nor do I wish to be known as the guy who was forced to purge myself by others, and absolved only half-heartedly. This act of self-pardon, I assure you, dear reader, is absolutely voluntary, and not made in duress.

As a background, some readers of my blog may have observed that, from time to time, I have made comments about Labour’s candidate for Pakuranga, Michael Wood. I have variously asserted that Michael Wood is a moron, a puppet, a union stalking-shetland, a smarmy little shit with no concept of the real world, and that he is incompetent to cast a vote in a civil society, let alone stand for public office. Other writers, such as Cathy Odgers, have also made reference to just how thoroughly dull and tedious Michael is, and that even his own mother must find him boring. I have personally got stuck into Michael for being so utterly banal, but I do not have the maternal talent that Cathy has to anticipate how his mother sees him.

The general impression I have given of Michael is that he is, by far and away, entirely the worst possible piece of cannon-fodder in the Labour Party’s non-existent defense of its appalling record of Government. I have alleged that there could not possibly be anybody even nearly as terrible as Michael Wood either in the Labour Party, or in any other political insititution.

As of last night, I now realize that I was wrong about Michael, and for that, I apologise unreservedly. My view of him has changed substantially.

Yes, dear reader. In my state of remorse—and as rare as this state is—I should explain the reasons.

Last night, I followed my own advice, and attended the Tamaki meet-the-candidates meeting. On stage were National’s Allan Peachey, Act’s Ken Shirley, the usual suspects from the Greens and New Zealand First (the usual suspects being eccentric nobodies who realise that they have no hope of achieving public office), and Labour’s Leila Boyle.

Peachey was strong. He’s used to public speaking, and was comfortable in that forum. Ken Shirley was forceful and affable as always, and demonstrated a degree of competence to which none from the Left could hope to aspire, even after fifteen years of Parliamentary experience. And then we had the Labour candidate.

I don’t envy Leila Boyle. Being the Labour candidate for Tamaki is an open invitation to receive a public flogging. Nice for the masochistic types, but Leila clearly was not enjoying herself. I suspect that Michael Wood is in very much the same boat in Pakuranga: he knows that he’s on a hiding to nothing in the electorate, that the Party Vote is a goner, and that he is merely standing so that Labour can tell the country that it is putting up candidates in every seat.

But that’s the point. If you’re a Labour activist, and you stand in a blue-ribbon National seat, then you must be prepared to take a thorough beating. And you must look as if you are enjoying it. The only way to demonstrate that you like the thrashing is to thrash back. Fundamentally, you have to be very tough, and give as good as you get.

Not so with Leila Boyle. She spent eight minutes reading from her speech a whole lot of recycled propaganda that none of her audience believed. She fumbled around explaining away Labour’s ideological aversion to tax cuts, and deferred to the Green Party candidate on most technical policy issues. Her worst moment was when she claimed that we had the lowest crime rate in twenty-five years, and then qualified herself that it was merely a reported crime rate. Peachey responded to one question, following Leila, by standing up and saying: "I think the Government takes us for fools." And then he sat down.

As if Leila's words were not just plain stupid, she excelled in her non-performance by delivering with no sense of conviction whatsoever. She physically flinched whenever a tricky issue was put to her. She flailed. She floundered. She flucked up.

Now, I’ve spent a lot of time with politicians. I’ve seen some pretty lame performances before. But what I witnessed last night from the Labour candidate for Tamaki was oratory at its least convincing, rhetoric at its least plausible, and propaganda at its least effective. Afterwards, speaking to a National Party activist, I remarked to him just how appalled I was that Labour was dishing up such a sad, sorry, socialist political hack as their representative in Tamaki. He responded that National’s strategy to maximise the National Party vote in the seat is to get Leila to talk as much as possible. She is the best weapon that National has got.

In conclusion, if you are reading this Michael—and I know you are, because you are the identity behind many of the anonymous comments to my blog—I confess that I have done you a massive disservice.

Granted, I have never seen you speak. But I can say now that you are not far and away, absolutely the most atrocious candidate for political office that the Great Labour Party has ever had. No, indeed, Michael, I retract that suggestion, and apologise unreservedly.

Because in Leila Boyle, I know, you have a clear contender for that spot.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Why the Treaty Should Be Buried

When liberal white activists jump up and down with their limp-wristed defence of giving Maori special privileges in legislation over non-Maori, I get annoyed. Annoyed enough to go and thump the wowsers in the head. White liberals, who share a range of doctrines, don’t fight back. They’re also peaceniks and pacifists, which makes them incapable of taking a whallop without going off to cry to Momma.

I descend from a long line of people who didn’t cry to Momma. They hit back. My father’s father was a third-generation Welsh New Zealander. Born at the turn of the century, he had a rich appreciation of his cultural heritage. That heritage was steeped in poverty, oppression, and human conditions that made Maori village life, by comparison, appear absolutely idyllic.
That was the heritage of an immigrant coal-miner. When the Welsh settled in New Zealand in the mid-19th Century, they arrived to expect a life that was better than existed in the Welsh coal mines. In reality, what many came to was merely a transplantation of the very lives they had lived in their homeland; on the West Coast of the South Island, in Southland and on the Coromandel, the Welsh continued to perish down black holes. Travelling the short journey from Greymouth to Blackball—the birthplace of the New Zealand Labour Party in 1915, dairy farms are littered with statues and monuments of coal mining disasters in an age when some human life was literally worth less than a chunk of coal.

So life began grimly for my grandfather; he was the youngest of ten children born in Cromwell, of whom only four would make it into adulthood. So as a twelve year old, he had two choices: to follow his heritage, and continue the path that his ancestors had trodden, and climb down the same black holes that his forefathers had climbed, or to make something of the new opportunities that life in New Zealand—however grim they may have been.

My grandfather chose the latter. He became a clerk in a bank. He was good with numbers, and by fourteen had learned to read. By the age of thirty-four, when war broke out in Europe again, he was a bank manager, and enjoying a level of prosperity that none of his ancestors had ever considered possible. That “rich Welsh heritage”, which provided so many lyrical songs and national pride—and a fearsome rugby team—was no longer appropriate to a successful life in a post-industrial revolutionary New Zealand. My grandfather continued to sing his Welsh songs, and continued to love his people and country, and continued to support his rugby team. But here’s the rub. At the age of twelve, he took responsibility for who he wanted to become: instead of looking back on the dismal failure of his forefathers to make the most of what they had, he looked ahead to a future that he could create for himself.

And my grandfather’s story is typical of many tens of thousands of immigrant stories in New Zealand. It is also typical of immigrant stories to Australia and the United States: people leaving the dismal, grim lives they had in Europe to a land of opportunity. Collectively, immigrants to the United States and Australia have made those countries great. In New Zealand, we are almost there, too.

But not quite. And one of those aspects that is holding us back is our obsession with the Treaty of Waitangi.

Although my grandfather was not a signatory to the Treaty in 1840, another ancestor was.

But where white, middle-class liberals fall down is their insistence that the Treaty was a partnership. It wasn’t. It was not considered a partnership at the time, and it is fraudulent to consider it a partnership now.

The Treaty was signed to establish several things: British sovereignty over New Zealand in 1840--in order to prevent inevitable annexation by another foreign power; the rights of Maori to have the same privileges of citizenship as British subjects; and the authority and control over both non-Maori and Maori in a country that was falling into increasing disorder.

Maori were separated into tribal groupings that had little common interest--non-Maori were settling in New Zealand anyway, and there was no capacity in New Zealand prior to the Treaty to control the process of settlement. Why? Because nobody had the legal authority to control that process. By becoming the sovereign power over New Zealand, Britain took responsibility for controlling the excesses of settlement that were already occurring. Prior to the signing of the Treaty, there was no control.

The reasons that various chiefs signed the Treaty were varied. It is fair to say that many of the Chiefs who signed—and there were more than 500 in all—did not understand the implications of ceding sovereignty to the British Crown. That was not a matter of the British misleading them on the implications; in 1840 New Zealand, 180,000 Maori were grouped across hundreds of tribal groupings. For all intents and purposes, it was a stone-age society. They were considerably more advanced than many other indigenous populations elsewhere in the world, but they were by no means civilized. Inter-tribal warfare was rife: Ngapuhi and the Waikato were almost constantly at war with each other, and Te Rauparaha was terrorizing the South Island. Cannibalism was common, and respect for civil institutions and human rights was non-existent, because both civil institutions, and human rights, were non-existent.

Some chiefs signed the Treaty because they thought they would get to wear a British officer’s uniform if they were subject to the Sovereign. Others signed to stop duplicitous activities by settlers. Still others believed they would be protected by the more savage opposing tribes. Many thought that life would continue as usual. And many did not sign. Of those that did, at Waitangi more than two hundred Maori chiefs each said after signing the document: "We are now one people."

But the signing of the Treaty established, to the best possible extent, a British right to claim New Zealand. That is the authority that the Treaty established. If a Treaty had not been agreed, then Britain would have annexed New Zealand anyway. It was, at best, a soft means of achieving greater Maori cooperation in gaining British sovereignty over New Zealand.

That is why the Treaty was an important historical document, but has absolutely no relevance to modern-day New Zealand. Attempts by the liberal left to use it to explain away their guilt complexes, by giving greater privileges to Maori than non-Maori, is an abuse, and a disgrace.

It is true that many Maori were not treated as British subjects, and were discriminated against post-1840. Injustices did occur. They were not, however, breaches of the Treaty, but breaches of British law guaranteeing equal rights to Maori.

Which is why the Treaty settlements process is appropriate, to an extent. But only in a limited sense. In many ways, the gesture does more damage than the settlement. And that is for this reason: no settlement process can adequately compensate Maori for the actual injustices that were done. By focusing attention on how to settle historical grievances, some Maori continue to claim that the grievance continues to exist.

Tariana Turia copped flak for her claim that Maori suffered a “holocaust”. While it is true that disease and illness were sweeping their way through Maori society in the mid-late 19th Century, it was not a deliberate attempt to extinguish Maori society. It was an unfortunate, and inevitable, historical consequence of two societies meeting together. But to suggest that Maori today suffer from the consequences of historical grievance is wrong.

That claim is no more valid than my claim of historical injustice against the Welsh people over a much longer period than Maori ever suffered. In reality, every person in the world today could make a claim of grievance based on generational, and historical misfortune. But I don’t make that claim. Why? Because at some point, human beings have to take responsibility for their own actions, and decide that irrespective of historical injustices, they are not going to allow themselves to be held down by continuing to blame failure on those injustices. The Welsh did exactly that. So did countless other indigenous societies that have been successful in a modern world. In short, they hardened up.

The typical test of character for a human being occurs around the age of twelve. It determines whether they are going to take responsibility for themselves and become a success in later life, or if they are going to resort to mediocrity and non-achievement. New Zealand’s education system indoctrinates Maori at precisely that age: the liberal agenda tells them that they are a failure because of historical wrongdoing. It tells them that they need special rights and privileges in order to make a success of themselves: it attempts to relieve them of the very responsibility that they need to take.

Abolition of Treaty clauses in legislation—there are over 4,700 individual references to Maori in all of New Zealand’s acts of Parliament—do not achieve greater benefit for Maori. At best, they provide a platform of privilege for an elite few, and allow some liberals to relieve their guilt complexes by thinking they have resolved historical wrongs. In that, they are wrong: historical wrongs cannot be fixed. It can only be accepted that they have occurred, and to create the conditions where every New Zealander has the equal opportunity to create their own destiny.

But abolition of Treaty Clauses are only the first step. In effect, to make actual change, we need to eliminate the liberal agenda that transfers blame for current failure on historical events that have little impact on present achievement.