Friday 3 September 2021

Not On The List.

A Moral Authority? The Chief Human Rights Commissioner, Paul Hunt, is supposed to uphold the secular character of the New Zealand state. As a public servant, he is not entitled to talk like an Archbishop. He may tell us what is lawful and unlawful. He may even reiterate the purposes of the Act of Parliament which created his office. But he has no mandate whatsoever to instruct New Zealanders on what is “Right” and what is “Wrong”.

PAUL HUNT, our British-born Chief Human Rights Commissioner, missed his calling. He would have made a much better Archbishop of Canterbury.

Archbishops are expected to use terms like Good and Evil, Right and Wrong. They subscribe to a faith in which the moral conduct of its adherents determines where they spend eternity: in Heaven, or in Hell.

Chief Human Rights Commissioners, however, are supposed to uphold the secular character of the New Zealand state. As public servants, they are not entitled to talk like Archbishops. They may tell us what is lawful and unlawful. They may even reiterate the purposes of the Act of Parliament which created their office. But they have no mandate whatsoever to instruct New Zealanders on what is “Right” and what is “Wrong”.

It is the arrogation of precisely this sort of moral authority, and the determination to instruct New Zealanders in right conduct, that makes the recent opinion piece by Mr Hunt, published in the NZ Herald of 31 August 2021, so objectionable. That, and the answers he gives to the questions he asks himself about “hate speech”.

“What’s the most effective way of stopping – or at least moderating – hate speech?” Mr Hunt self-inquires. The answer? “A fair, equitable, inclusive, diverse, plural, open, multicultural society which, in Aotearoa New Zealand, is grounded on Te Tiriti o Waitangi.”

It is difficult to imagine a sentence more loaded with concepts more likely to spark lively, not to say bitter controversy. The nature of fairness, and its first cousin, equity, has taxed humanity’s best minds of more than two millennia. What are the boundaries of inclusiveness? How much diversity is a society obliged to tolerate? Does multiculturalism tend towards unity or division? Does pluralism? How far does a society open itself before it simply collapses? Is the Treaty of Waitangi New Zealand’s “founding document”, or an historical artifact now dangerously overloaded with obligations nowhere iterated in the document itself?

Mr Hunt’s solution for hate speech – a New Zealand Utopia in which all of these controversial concepts have been debated and resolved to the satisfaction of all its citizens – is self-evidently unsatisfactory. Clearly, such an utopian state-of-affairs could only have arisen in circumstances of untrammeled freedom of expression. Only in an intellectual climate peculiarly favourable to the discussion of contentious and even painful propositions could such an astonishing level of consensus have possibly been achieved. And yet, reading the rest of Mr Hunt’s essay, it becomes increasingly clear that any form of speech which alarms, excludes, distresses, and/or “denies dignity”, is “vile” and must be prohibited by law.

Mr Hunt is very keen on establishing the “boundaries” at which the robust discussion of ideas must cease. “If you are powerful and privileged,” he writes, “it is easy to dismiss the idea of boundaries indicating what is acceptable. But if you are a member of a disadvantaged group […] boundaries matter.”

It is here, of course, that Mr Hunt, for all his fine talk of “a respectful model for relations between individuals and communities” comes unstuck. By his own admission, the proposed hate speech legislation will have, as one of its principal aims, the limitation of the ability of the “powerful and privileged” to defend their interests.

But, who are the powerful and the privileged? Mr Hunt is extremely careful not to identify those upon whom these tendentious labels should be pinned. We can, however, answer the question by a simple process of elimination. Mr Hunt identifies the “disadvantaged groups” – i.e. those without power and privilege – as: tangata whenua, ethnic minorities, faith communities, sexual minorities, women, and disabled people.

Who is missing from this list? Well, men, obviously. That is to say, men who are not brown, gay, transgendered and/or disabled. Which just leaves white men. This is the group Mr Hunt is enjoining to be “respectful, self-aware, and empathetic” as the hate speech debate heats up.

Also missing from Mr Hunt’s list of disadvantaged groups are the poor and the exploited. Which is strange, because down through the ages it is the poor and the exploited who have felt the lash of power and privilege most keenly. What’s more, the key which unlocked the shackles fastened upon them by the powerful was always and everywhere – Free Speech.

Then again, as all Archbishops know: “The poor are always with us.”

This essay was originally published in The Otago Daily Times and The Greymouth Star of Friday, 3 September 2021.


Wayne Mapp said...

I was quite amazed the Mr Hunt could think it sensible to make such a contribution. It was effectively a party political manifesto.

I note he got very little pushback in letters to the editor. I suspect a large numbers of readers are so dismissive of his views, that they saw no point.

It is hard to tell how influential his is with government ministers, notably Mr Little. Presumably quite a lot. There does seem to be quite a concordance of their views, at least there was initially. However, I doubt that Mr Little would write an item defending hate speech in such terms. He is to astute for that, not after the debate on hate speech so far.

What in not apparent so far is the extent to which the government will modify the initial proposal. I anticipate that the scope will be severely pruned back.

Odysseus said...

This is a man who refused to call out his former Party leader Jeremy Corbyn for anti-Semitism, even though the Human Rights Commission's UK equivalent went on to do so. Hunt also refuses to dialogue with the Free Speech Union, a very large member-funded body, probably because he knows he would come a very distant second-best in any debate. His article is a word salad of Woke academic shibboleths, he is a Woke joke. How on earth was he appointed to his role?

Nick J said...

Nailed perfectly Chris.

My own pet dislike. Public servants who politicise their role spouting opinions and beliefs. Why? Because they are on the payroll of the public and not everybody who is paying their salaries is in agreement. We elect politicians to voice our opinions instead.

Whenever I hear the non elected voices of the establishment and media, always on our / someones payroll I shudder at their overblown influence. Spoonley for example without his exalted title would struggle to command the attention of a huddle of ducks.

What we lack is public intellectuals and respected members of common voices. Of course our elite ten percent hate the idea that the hoi poloi listen to people such as Peterson, Weinstein etc in preference. Mr Hunt sadly represents the sad state of official orthodox propaganda.

Mike Grimshaw said...

Would anyone really listen to an Archbishop- even if he or she actually spoke out?
So what we get are the secular clergy of the state taking their place.
Mr Hunt is therefore setting himself as the exemplar of how white men should be “respectful, self-aware, and empathetic”, as the secular example of imitatio christi.
What you identify is the post-Christian emphasis on rights and feelings (the politics of empathy and affect) rather than a preferential option for the poor. We could say, if he really was an Archbishop then, rather than hate speech, Mr Hunt should be concentrating on the human rights issues of structures of inequity, exclusion, neglect and hate that result in the structural disadvantage of the poor and excluded.

The Barron said...

I have always liked the misquote for Marx - 'the vanguard of the revolution is when we betray our own privilege'. It does have a dialectic discourse to it, those that have privileged within society fight for equity by arguing against those things that give them an inequitable advantage over others.

Should a Human Rights Commissioner advocate to remove barriers that maintain inequity and discrimination? I would have thought it the very reason the position exist. Should the HRC up hold the Treaty? I am pretty sure it is in their charter.

Your concern regarding the 'white man' is peculiar. This is not a homogenous group. It was not that long ago that discrimination against the Irish was common. NZ was settled slightly after similar discrimination against the Scots (America and Australia were not). A major part of Australian rights legislation protects those from Southern Europe. NZ had a late 19th Century debate as to whether Jews were to be considered 'Asiatic'. Lebanese were Assyrians and fell under out anti-Asian legislation.

'White men' that are disabled benefit from the removal of barriers and prejudice. This is a large number of the population, and the 'White men' that are aged are only outnumbered by the 'white women'. Many 'White men' have multi-ethic children and grandchildren for whom they want the same opportunities as all others of the generation. 'White men' have a spectrum of sexual and gender identity and practice, or family and friends that they support the rights of. 'White men' have religious (or lack of) beliefs that have been protected.

Equity of opportunity has always been the social democratic mantra. Those that are poor require support for that equity, but by looking at the factors which keep ethic groups, disabled or gender at a position of less opportunity you are challenging an inequitable power and material structure. The 'white man' who is poor is not poor because of others at the bottom of the ladder, but the obstruction of those above. By taking an approach of challenging the status quo on multiple grounds, you can only open up the opportunities for all.

Anonymous said...

Kind of ironic that he is a white male.

Brendan McNeill said...

Sadly, those who occupy the office of the Chief Human Rights Commissioner are an embarrassment beyond parody.

We can enjoy some dark humour from their inability to recognise their own irrelevance and total absurdity.

John Hurley said...

The poor only has 10 minutes for lunch - works in the Rest Home doing the laundry. Minimum wage.

Young blond Maori used to mow my lawns when away (got pissed off and swung the catcher putting a dent in it - just youth). Later went to London with a cousin (also "Maori") who had a good job. He worked in the North Sea. They are way ahead of where I ever was but they (apparently) need redress including a "tiny claim to foreshore and seabed".

The academics are a pathetic lot.
This is a section from the anti-terrorism hui

The Barron said...

With all due respect Nick, I think you have a misunderstanding of the role of a 'commissioner'. There are several positions, Privacy Commissioner, Health and Disability Commissioner, parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment and Human Rights Commissioner. The role has built into it an independence from the Government and is explicitly an advocacy role for the issues concerning the Commissioner.

Graham Hill said...

Excellent Mr Trotter just excellent. May I take a couple of points?

First, the present Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has sold out to the secular neo-Marxism of the BLM/Kendi & diAngelo type. There is an excess of whiteness he said as he balled incoherently earlier in the year about all his white privilege. Privilege he may have but he has ingratitude in spadefuls. If he were to be grateful and show gratitude for all his advantages his human agency must thereby have great exponential efficacy, to lift people up, to make people whole, to promote forgiveness and redemption, to surmount human suffering and malevolence so as to strive onward and upward each day despite all our frailties and to avoid and transcend the horrors of the past. Instead, true to his Dionysian form, he spewed his ego onto the world with ideological mea culpas.

Mr Hunt is cut of the same self-hating UK wet academic tatty cloth. Marxism- and its Wokester Puritanism- are after all a religion.

Secondly, your point about men is well made. The disparagement, denigration and prejudice and then the disposibility of men is a serious issue for our culture at large. Julie Anne Genter's discriminatory comments about board members inconveniently fell on the HRC's deaf ears.

The hate speech proposals do not interface with our legal system. Social justice, as Thomas Sowell has so clearly written on bears no relation to our jurisprudence. Being white or any colour or ethnic group is not a matter of collectivist culpability or exculpation. As Mr Trotter said last year the hate speech proposals are a fool's errand and we have a fool leading it. As Erasmus said, In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man leads. Except here he wears a keffiyeh to parade his Corbynista prejudices.

The truth of the matter is the Mr Hunt exhibits the elitist Clerisey's arrogant contempt, in the mode of the new feudalism (Koltkin and Seigel), for the people. He is grossly out of touch and disconnected. We do not need any more of the faculty lounge pundits and UN pontifical creatures who are overpaid, underperform and are unaccountable.

The FSU's piece by Dane Giraud ( is also very good on Mr Hunt.

The HRC needs to "decolonise" -as it is the CRT fashion- itself of its UK import in the person of Mr Hunt. There were plenty of good New Zealanders-Aoteoroans available.

John Hurley said...

"we are facing significant head winds"

oneblokesview said...

and while penning this garbage I get a letter from his Human rights commission saying they are delaying processing my complaint as they are extra ordinarily busy?!

What sort of joke outfit is this joker running.

My complaint was simply pointing out that Ministry of Social Development discriminates against hearing impaired Kiwis(yep about 700,000 people).

If you phone the 0800 number after the obligatory music you get a real somebody talking to you.
However, if you email(with advice you are hearing impaired) you get a standard response, they will reply within 10 working days.

Even after lodging a complaint to MSD (which they will reply within 10 working days-They didnt!! Hence my complaint to Humans Rights Commissioner.

I aint giving up.
MSD (and I am sure other departments) seem to think what ever they do is just fine. Dont want the poor darlings having to use a keyboard (or voice to txt app) but I battle on.
Seems the Human rights commission follows the same code of conduct.

Nick J said...

Minor point Odysseus, Corbyn was not anti semitic, that is unless you conflate anti-Zionism with anti semitism. These are despite Isreali propaganda two different things.

Apart from that I concur with you re this appointment.

Nick J said...

Barron, what do you mean by equity? Equality of opportunity or equality of outcome?

Nick J said...

Barron, what do you mean by equity? Equality of opportunity or equality of outcome?

By the way your description of white men, yes we are the same as pretty much every type of men. Splitting us out is racist and sexist going by standards set by anti white identitarians. That little effort seems superflous and gratuitous to me as one of those on the receiving end.

Don Franks said...

No, we do not want to hear from old white males
Not never, not even now and then
They were slightly more acceptable
When they were nine or ten
But still being penised and still pallid
Rejection even at that stage was valid
Why do they do it though, that’s what I’d like to know
Appear and walk upon on the earth expecting a fair go?
Have they really no idea of the degree by which they fail?
Still, they persist in being pale and male and stale
Unasked, unwanted, human versions of junk mail
Their years, their ghastly sex, their lack of hue
Unspeakable, we all agree, so, what to do?
Deprive them of the right to speak, assemble, broadcast, publish, agitate or vote
Ils sont pires que les criminels, ils sont une faute

greywarbler said...

Anonymous 12.33 Snippy little comments like yours are no aid to discussion. Compare yours to The Barron's. More gravitas needed.

greywarbler said...

The Chief Human Rights Commissioner. How many layers of watchers do we need? He should be jumping up and down on viewing the debacle of the rights being slid out under the door to the poor. And getting one from the UK! Where the BBC have been drawn into a black hole of recrimination - living Uriah Heeps. The country that went to war on a lie and ended up with dead Dr David Kelly - that required huge mea culpa.

Who appoints these luminaries in NZ? They must be warped to start off and must be a dim bulb in some corner. What a bunch of cringers we are.

The Barron said...

Kia Ora ano
I think we are in agreement, any reference to 'white men' I make is solely in relation to Chris' article. My very point is that it is an arbitrary category.

Equity of opportunity is the Holy Grail of us wet liberal democratic socialists. Look at the barriers in education, health, welfare, social and economic that may prevent a child, a sector or individual from meeting the potential. Government, community and even business look at disadvantage and find ways of addressing it.

Hence state involvement in education health and welfare, sometimes devolved sometimes direct.

The view that society as a whole benefit from as many as possible reaching a potential. Human Rights is an important way of looking and addressing some of those barriers.

I should also note equity of opportunity is the basis of European Christian Socialism where curing the sick and feeding the poor is extrapolated from late 19th Century interpretation of Scripture.

As with 'Heaven on Earth', achievement of equity of opportunity is an ideal, but one we should be striving for.

Nick J said...

Barron, the way I understand the role of the Commisioners is to advocate based upon empirical evidence. Judge Beecroft does this well for Children, the facts he presents may be uncomfortable for politicians but I have yet to hear him launch into a polemic.

As Wayne pointed out Hunt basically gave a party political broadcast. That is not within his remit.

Tom Hunter said...

Barron, what do you mean by equity? Equality of opportunity or equality of outcome?

You need to ask? He means the latter. The moment that "Barron" turned up here I noted him using the favoured phrase of BLM, Antifa and other members of the modern Far Left,"equity", not "equality".

Equity is their propaganda word because it sounds oh so similar to "equality", in order to fool well-meaning people, but it's just a way of hiding the discredited old communist theme of equality of outcome, which was one of their objectives. Inequality is unacceptable but since that can only be squashed by the most hardline state control it fell out of favour for decades as even much of the Left accepted the idea of equality of opportunity.

But the Far Left are back in new clothing, one of which is that subtle word, "equity".

CXH said...

And yet it is true. A white Englishman, moving to a country once colonised by his forebears, taking a position of power. He then uses this position to rail about the very system that spawned him. The hypocrisy of those that benefit from the very system they appear to dislike somuch is high.

So although it could be considered pithy, but it was also very true.

The Barron said...

Equality is not necessarily challenging the power structure or recognition that different groups or sectors may have needs met through understanding that difference.

Equity does recognise that solutions are not a one size fits all approach.

Covid vaccination is an example. Maori and Pasifika demographics, community and media networks need to be factored in for both equity of opportunity and equitable outcomes.

I hoped this is of help Tom. Equality would be presuming you grasp that the English language is not a communist plot, equity is taking the time to assist your understanding of words in common use.

Nick J said...

So Barron, as we agree please use the correct expression, equality of opportunity. Equity is something else entirely.

Nick J said...

Grey, partly to blame for these cringeworthy appointments is the cult of expertise and experience. Seemingly necessary for expertise is some academic training down a wormhole in somebody elses theory regurgitated lock stock and barrel. What we end up with is no original thought, proscribed flair.

For expertise the cringe factor is worry that because someone hasnt done a role that they might fail. Rather than taking that risk it is safer to hire experienced mediocrity. Overseas there seems to be a vast pool of people claiming both experience and expertise so we hire them.

When it comes to these appointments never underestimate that these requirements are there to protect the security and pay levels to the upper levels of bureaucracy.

On a positive note I remember the stink thrown up by the Left and public servants when Susan Devoy was appointed Race Relations Commissioner by National. Mana called for her to be sacked. She had no expertise or experience, yet went on to be outstanding in the role. Proof that we can give talented locals a chance and get great results.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

"You need to ask? He means the latter. The moment that "Barron" turned up here I noted him using the favoured phrase of BLM, Antifa and other members of the modern Far Left,"equity", not "equality"."

So what? You can't have equality of opportunity unless people all start from the same place with the same advantages. So it would be nice to aim for equality of outcome. Which I suspect doesn't mean what you think it means anyway.
And to you of course anyone to the left of Mahatma Gandhi is "far left".

TrevKS said...

A must read: who are the left's - and now the media and the public's - "antifascists"?

The Barron said...

No, equity is meeting the needs within the nature of the sector. Feminists would note liberal feminism is about equality. Equal rights or pay for.the same job. Equity is structural feminism, this is reflected in the current look of at jobs which can be seen as comparable but jobs that men are disproportionate have been remunerated and given status above those traditionally filled by women.

Equity of opportunity is the aim as it is in recognition of different needs and pathways.

Nick J said...

Id have to ask if Covid vaccines have not been offered to all in NZ Aotearoa on an equal basis? Why are some communities not vacced as much as others? Barron sees this as inequitable but what clear evidence has he that the vaccine has not been offered equally? I'd accept other factors such as language, religion, work might be an impediment but can anybody point directly to a failure to make the vaccines more available i.e unequally between communities? Or deliberately to make vaccine unequally available?

Frankly the equity line is about forcing results on groups, not providing equal opportunity to get results. Tom Hunter is quite right about what the authoritarian Left actually means by equity.

The dictionary defines equity as the quality of being fair and impartial. Can anybody say with empirical evidence that the vaccine roll out has not been?

CXH said...

And now Pasifica vaccination rates are above Pakeha for some age groups. So I guess they now have equality. Does this mean they should be vilified for caring about themselves and their families? For taking advantage of the vaccine offer rather than just asking for a victim badge.

Personally I like that they have mobilised and dealt with the problem.

Tom Hunter said...

Equality is not necessarily challenging the power structure...

Heh! More propaganda terms: "challenging the power structure" sounds far softer, gentler and kinder than "smash the system".

The success of the Far Left in at least getting this propaganda language pushed forward is that the Centre-Left picks it up sooner or later, even if they don't think about it too much themselves and even if it makes no difference...

Covid vaccination is an example. Maori and Pasifika demographics,...

Perfectly on point in response were comments I saw from Pene Henare the other in interviews that asked him about the poor uptake of the Covid vaccine by Maori. In answering those questions the transcripts show he used the word “equity” a lot.

And he's definitely using the wedge of "equity" to "challenge power structures". He claimed they gave equity to Maori by moving them to the front of the queue.

So yay for the Far Left in getting their language pouring from the mouth of a Labour politician.

Just one problem: he lamented that take up by Maori was still not good.

Perhaps it's Maori power structures that need challenging, at all levels? However, I doubt the likes of The Barron and Gaslight Surgeon are up for that.

In any case it doesn't matter actually, for the point was not to improve outcomes for Maori, just as it never was for the Working Classes, The Toilers, The People, The Oppressed and so forth. No, the point is always to smash existing power structures in order to set up the power structures that The Barron and GS approve of.

Nick J said...

Sorry Barron, I dont share your world view. The "structural" stuff you refer to is theoretical, and unproven. Polemic nonsense, common to every grievance based sociological ivory tower.

I dont buy it because whenever empirical evidence is applied the theory fails. Worse I despise the way people are ascribed in these theories collective entity and are denied individual agency, independence of action to create their own life chances.

Luckily most of us live in the real world and see the reality.

The Barron said...

This is unnecessarily exhausting. The first comment I will make is that Tom really needs to change channels as he definitely suffers from acute Foxophiilia.

It would appear that Aesop (or those that constructed him) had a grasp of equity thousands of years ago when he wrote the Stork and the Fox (or Crane and Fox).

It is critical that Tom believes that having alternative strategies that will help different groups requires "smashing existing power structures", this is simply your personal and cultural insecurity. Challenging power structures is analysis to see whether all groups are getting equitable assistance. If the current structure is meeting the needs of the majority, then that is good, but if other sectors are not benefiting to the same extent then a different approach may be required for those sectors.

Anyway, as tom seems to acknowledge through gritted teeth, the mainstream policy and decision makers understand equity as social policy. Labour politicians as 'far left' ... only compared to Tom's starting point.

Nick J said...

Tom you Foxophilliac, just love Tucker Carson don't you? How did the conversation get there so fast?

Hopefully Barron might just expand his horizons too, Megan Kelly or Joe Rogans pods perhaps. Can't wait he said with zero expectation.

PS dont mention Jordan Peterson. That would be unusually cruel.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

"I dont buy it because whenever empirical evidence is applied the theory fails."
Citation needed. Because it doesn't.

However, you are talking sense when you suggest that CRT/Structural racism sometimes denies people agency. Well said, it's probably the most sensible critique of it that I have come across on this site. Not that there's a great deal of sensible stuff mind.
Well said Barron. But be prepared for Tom's sneering replies. Hopefully water off a duck's back.

Tom Hunter said...

Just as a further counterpoint to the claim about "structural racism" and "systemic racism" playing a part in Maori vaccination rates, here's one of the co-leaders of the Māori Party in an RNZ interview earlier this year being very reluctant to recommend vaccination for his people.

Not just that there either. Here's a NZ Herald piece where Rawiri Waititi says that Maori must make the vaccine decision themselves.

Rather undermines the work of Peeni Henare and other Ministers who were actively encouraging Māori to take the vaccination.

Tom Hunter said...

@Nick J

Tom you Foxophilliac, just love Tucker Carson don't you?...don't mention Jordan Peterson.

I don't watch cable or broadcast TV, including Fox News, and I haven't taken any notice of Peterson since trying to read his godawful tome, Maps of Meaning, years ago. A vast intellectual wank that felt more than a little post-modernist to me, which is ironic given his critiques of late. I admit I didn't finish the damned thing and frankly I find him more than a little weird.

Having said that I did see the clip that bought him to fame, of his interview with the idiot BBC woman interviewer who Peterson trapped in her own arguments on free speech. And I've seen the occasional Carlson piece on YouTube when the subject interested me.

But as far as Barron and GS are concerned such slurs - even as they whine about smears and sneering - are par for the course. It's a substitute for intellectually weak "arguments" that fail mainly because they try so hard to be obtuse and obfuscatory. Thus CRT is nothing but an academic theory and does not degenerate into "anti-racism" (actually racism) being taught to little kids, self-proclaimed Marxists not actually being Marxists, and so forth.

Reminds me of a photo of a poster put up during the Cuban revolution:
Our Revolution is NOT COMMUNIST
Our Revolution is HUMANIST

The Cubans want the right to an
education, the right to work, the right
to eat without fear, the right to

Awwww.... who could disagree with such things?

Heh, heh, heh. Same old, same old. I call it LeninSpeak. Cloak your plans and desires in friendly, non-threatening language that everybody of good will could not but agree to - until you get your hands on power. Hate the Okhrana, love the Cheka.

BTW, I didn't think that a person advocating for a smaller, less powerful State as I do, is a member of the Far Right, given that their dreams can only be enabled by a totalitarian State. There are claims that it means Big Corporations take over and that this is now Far Right, but given how much they traditionally hated big business that's just a silly claim.

Anyway, I see a similar argument blowing up on the latest Trotter post where he mentions the Far Left and has already been disabused of that notion with the claim that they couldn't fit in a garden shed in NZ. I'm sure GS and The Barron will soon be arriving there to reinforce that argument against Trotter.

Tom Hunter said...

Oh, one more example of this style of "argument"...

Anyway, as tom seems to acknowledge through gritted teeth, the mainstream policy and decision makers understand equity as social policy. Labour politicians as 'far left' ... only compared to Tom's starting point.

I specifically made the point that Labour is not the Far Left and that they don't understand the terms but only mouth them. Also, far from gritted teeth my take was more a wry and sad mirthfulness at the resulting stupidity and failure.

But then "gritted teeth" and "Tom's starting point" are merely more of the style of personal destruction employed by the Far Left as "argument" since their dawn.

But it's all good. Love seeing the masks dropped.

The Barron said...

Talk about the pot calling the kettle bête noire. Your posts come directly from the Boy's Book of Angry Right Clichés.

If you think the term equity signifies 'far left' politics rather than mainstream social democracy it is a reflection on you. I am sure most reading have a greater understanding and are conceptionally brighter. But, like me - I am sure they as bored as I am with the debate.

I move on.

Nick J said...

Tom, I was being snippy and ironic. The point is I wouldn't have a clue what you watch, and neither does Barron. His words were merely labelling you with no evidence, which quite frankly only painted him as to what he thinks and is.

I dont always agree with your views but keep them coming, I'm glad that you wont back down.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Well Tom, same old same old again. Sneering – you just can't resist it. Long winded sneering at that. Here's one for you - you're like the Simpsons meme which I can't actually post here but it's something like "Old man yells at cloud". Wild accusations of communism yet again – just as well we don't have the "capacity for mindless violence" of Pacific Islands people right?

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Incidentally Tom, you once accused me of being a communist, and then ran away like a whipped cur when asked to provide evidence from my posts. Fair enough, there isn't any but it doesn't really matter does it because if we spout Marxist Leninist jargon, we're communists but if we don't, we just "cloaking our plans in friendly nonthreatening language". Still, as Goebbels said tell a big lie often enough people will come to believe it. Luckily I have no reputation to protect otherwise it may well be actionable right? :)

Chris Trotter said...

To: Guerilla Surgeon @ 10:44

While you and I are in broad agreement on the poor Police judgement displayed at Ruatoki, I'm afraid that's where our broad agreement ends.

As one of Samsudeen's judges made very clear: when it comes to forestalling acts of terrorism, New Zealand lacks effective legislation; it is our "Achilles Heel".

When the Solicitor General denied the Police the protection of the Terrorism Suppression Act, they were forced to cobble together what turned out to be a very inadequate prosecution case. The defendants made full use of their right not to incriminate themselves by refusing to testify in open court. The public is still waiting for an explanation as to why a group of non-hunters were in the bush with firearms.

Perhaps you, Guerilla, could explain what is going on in the photographic evidence the Jury was prevented from viewing?

Just what were those guerillas in the Urewera mists training for?

Guerilla Surgeon said...

"Just what were those guerillas in the Urewera mists training for?"
Zombie apocalypse? Problem is, apart from having firearms without a license, which if the police had asked the iwi liaison officer he would have told them as common up there, they had committed no crime. There was no evidence that they were planning any form of terrorism.

Auckland University law professor Bill Hodge said if the prosecutions had collapsed following the revocation of a single line of evidence it indicated the case was "not overwhelming".

Law professor Bill Hodge said about the case – "If you pull out one card and the whole house comes down, it starts to look like, well, a house of cards."

Mr Hodge said if it took "dubious evidence" there was probably not a strong factual case.

"It must have been a combination of eavesdropping and circumstantial evidence. It suggests it wasn't a robust case with lots of Plan B evidence."

The problem with broad ranging antiterrorism laws is that they justify a panoptic surveillance regime, and the employment of ichoate "crimes" which can be broadly used to cover just about any damn thing.

If people are doing something wrong, I think the judge had it perfectly right that they should prosecute them under criminal law, where the charges have to be specific. Once we start down the slippery slope of surveillance and vague charges – well let's just say that we lay ourselves open to the use of 'political' crimes by an authoritarian government of whatever stripe to suppress dissent.So the SIS can break into your house to look for "bomb-making materials", and they can refuse a migrant refugee status and refuse to release the evidence pertaining to that decision as in the case of Ahmed Zaoui, who last I heard was engaging in the subversive selling of kebabs or whatever.

You know, for someone who values freedom including freedom of speech you certainly seem to have a hair in your ass as the Americans say about this. But if we are to arrest people before they've actually committed a crime, and deny them a jury trial, there seemed to me to be far better targets on the right who the police habitually ignore. Still, I guess we can agree to disagree. At least your position is based on reason rather than hysteria. Although I suspect the tinge of the latter has just crept in recently. :)

greywarbler said...

Regarding the enforcement of surveillance concerns in NZ, we have had the police set up a stop point outside a legitimate meeting for interested, and what I think of as responsible people, informing themselves on euthanasia. Then the police used that information gathered from the stop point to approach people from the meeting and remove items from their houses that 'might' have been used to kill themselves in an effective and efficient manner.

Tom Hunter said...

Incidentally Tom, you once accused me of being a communist, and then ran away like a whipped cur...

Heh. I knew you were ancient but not this old. "Whipped cur"? Zounds my good fellow, next thing you'll be challenging me with pistols at dawn.

I've known many people - our host among them - who push hard for normal aspects of Democratic Socialism while claiming that Marxist analysis still has some relevance. People like that are not communists.

But you extoll Marxist theory and you always seem to end up defending the societies that tried to implement it. What type of communist that makes you - a follower of Lenin, Mao, Hoxha, Tito, Saloth Sâr, etc - does not really matter, although I know it mattered very much in the internecine fights that occurred between them all. Perhaps you're just an anti-anti-Communist who enables communists?

As for your "challenges" on Marxism I've ignored that since it seems so laughably tiresome to have to engage with such failure. But let's go with this statement of yours from another thread:
I have also in the past, criticised Marks for various things which of course you have ignored. I said he didn't put enough thought into what happens after we "slide inevitably into communism", and of course he is very, very Eurocentric and obviously knows very little about Asian history and cultures.

Sheesh, what a mind-blowing piece of perception that's only been a staple of Marxist critics for over a century for the first point, and fifty years for the second. What else...
Marx predicted predatory global capitalism. Automation. The necessary boom and bust of capitalism. Consumerism. Increasing monopoly. Low wages and huge profits. Rising inequality.
I am constantly asking conservatives to provide me with a conservative thinker who has the predictive ability of Marx.

First off, those were hardly predictions as much as simple observations of aspects of capitalism in the late 18th and early 19th century and they were observations made by others such as Adam Smith and Frederic Bastiat.

But for the sake of argument let's accept the claim that they were predictions arising out of Marxist analysis. All of them of course contributed to his central prediction that the rise of communism was inevitable (scientifically so).

Except that didn't happen, which rather casts shade on the specific "predictions" tied to Marxist analysis. By contrast, having observed things like falling (and rising) wages, economic busts (and booms), the rise (and fall) of monopolies and all the rest, other philosophers had better explanations for them rooted in a far superior understanding of how ordinary humans act and interact. Moreover, having deplored the negative aspects that so excited Marx they, unlike him, provided suggestions as to how the negative aspects could be overcome. Smith and Bastiat in particular were under no illusions as to what business people would do in terms of monopolies, excess profits and squeezing wages down, given half a chance. Unlike Marx they knew how to change those things without having some ridiculous "revolution of the proletariat".

That's the basic reason why the majority of global nations today run on various shades of Smithian capitalism - while every single Marxist society has crapped out, but usually not before they made the lives of their peoples miserable.

But about those specific predictions you so treasure...(next comment)

Tom Hunter said...

Within Marxism itself there were questions being raised about his predictions even before the end of the 19th century - not least because his big prediction had failed to come to fruition after almost fifty years.

In this respect my favourite is Eduard Bernstein, mate of Engels, even worked with Marx himself as the editor of Der Sozialdemokrat. True Marxist, but he wanted to see successful results, not boilerplate dogma. Still, he waited until both Marx and Engels were safely in their graves before he got started.

Bernstein found the following, and he had the numbers to back up his conclusions.

Industrial capitalism would result in a concentration of a few big companies!
Nope, ownership of companies become more dispersed, decentralised, and scattered into many hands.

The poor would become poorer!
Nope, Bernstein had empirical data showing that the incomes of workers were rising to unheard-of levels. And they loved consumerism.

Big companies profits would race away as small companies were destroyed!
Nope, Bernstein discovered that big companies were not as profitable as smaller businesses. That plus the observation of small companies flourishing was what enabled Bernstein to also show that the economy overall showed profits were rising, not falling. Hence no death spiral of cannibalistic fights for profits.

Past problems of "unemployment, overproduction, and the inequitable distribution of wealth" were being overcome by capitalism. Hell, Bernstein even targeted Marx's cherished "class struggle" theory, proving that capitalism's wealth-building capacity had reduced the animosity between the wealthy class and the worker class, which was by far the best explanation for why the dratted Toilers had not risen to revolution (because they had nothing to lose but their chains, yada, yada, yada).

That massive analysis and those statistics confronted Marxist and socialist theorists with a paradox: why was capitalism growing more vibrant when it was supposedly entering its final dying days?

But it was really the litany of failed promises that Bernstein discovered that overwhelmed orthodox Marxists with a stunning sense of denial.

Unluckily for the rest of us the likes of Sorel and then Lenin were able to tidy up and create alternative "explanations", which is why I still have to live to this day with people telling me how brilliant Marxist theory is.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

"But you extoll Marxist theory and you always seem to end up defending the societies that tried to implement it. What type of communist that makes you - a follower of Lenin, Mao, Hoxha, Tito, Saloth Sâr, etc - does not really matter, although I know it mattered very much in the internecine fights that occurred between them all. Perhaps you're just an anti-anti-Communist who enables communists?"

Extoll? I said it's useful. As for the rest ... evidence? As usual you got nothing. And if you want failing societies, look at libertarian/unregulated capitalism before you look at communist societies. There has not been one that's managed to cope.
I think I said before, that socialism might be a necessary stage that ex-colonies need to go through in order to educate the broad masses of people and bring up the life expectancy. But as for the rest of it is usual you're full of Bullshit.

Guerilla Surgeon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Guerilla Surgeon said...

"In this respect my favourite is Eduard Bernstein, mate of Engels, even worked with Marx himself as the editor of Der Sozialdemokrat. True Marxist, but he wanted to see successful results, not boilerplate dogma. Still, he waited until both Marx and Engels were safely in their graves before he got started."

You neglected to say that he was a Social Democrat as am I.

You also neglected to say that he got his figures wrong, although I wouldn't expect you to do that.

He was an incompetent mathematician/statistician and has been shown to be so by modern statisticians.

Jesus wept, you took all that time and effort, plus a huge number of pixels to spout more Bullshit. Just as well were not using paper you would be cuting swathes through forests.

The problem is of course you called me a communist not a Marxist. Unfortunately that means you can define neither properly.
Ah, the perils of writing when mildly angry.