"We seem to be moving steadily in the direction of a society where no one is responsible for what he himself did but we are all responsible for what somebody else did, either in the present or in the past."
— Thomas Sowell (@ThomasSowell) December 11, 2018
Had it gone ahead, the strike for three days from next Friday would have disrupted flights for tens of thousands of travellers and a lot of freight.
The threat was enough to cause considerable angst to a lot of people and did the workers’ cause no good.
Any sympathy people might have had for their claims was more than outweighed by the stress and distress over the fears that planned travel for weddings, graduations, reunions, homecomings, work and Christmas was going to be impossible.
Unions do themselves and their workers no favours with these sorts of threats which take those of us old enough to remember back to the bad old days when strikes routinely upset travel plans.
The government must accept part of the blame too, as Barry Soper writes:
If politics is about perception, the perception is that the country’s going to hell in a trade union hand basket.
Parliament’s bear pit was on fire yesterday with the booming Gerry Brownlee lambasting the Government for returning New Zealand to cloth cap control by the unions with Air New Zealand engineers threatening to down tools for three days from December 21 (the strike threat was removed late last night).
National riled the Government saying there are now more strikes than there have been since Jacinda Ardern was at primary school. . .
It’s true when Ardern was at primary school 30 years ago the trade union movement was all powerful and battling a government that made the recent changes to workplace law look like a Sunday school picnic.. .
Now the muscle is again being flexed and if Labour’s feeling flustered, it’s got itself to blame.
Changes to the way the party selected its leader was taken away from its MPs six years ago and handed over to the party’s membership and its trade union affiliates who have 20 per cent of the vote, with caucus getting 40 and the rest going to paid-up card carriers. . .
Unions don’t only hold the voting power, they are major donors to Labour and they want their reward for that. But they put the government, and any sympathy the public might have for their members, at risk when bystanders are hurt by strikes.
The National Party has labelled the medicinal cannabis bill which passed into law yesterday as decriminalisation by stealth.
Health Minister David Clark said until a regime was set up, the legislation would help people ease their suffering with a wider range of medicinal cannabis products becoming available over time.
“We know that some people cannot wait for medicinal products to become more readily available and will want to use illicit cannabis to ease their pain,” he said.
“People nearing the end of their lives should not have to worry about being arrested or imprisoned for trying to manage their pain. So as a compassionate measure we are also creating a statutory defence for people eligible to receive palliation so that they can use illicit cannabis without fear of prosecution.”
The bill will introduce a statutory defence – or amnesty – as a stop-gap measure to allow people at the end of their lives to use illicit cannabis while the scheme is still being established. . .
Serious question: if cannabis is a medicine, why isn’t it treated like all other medicines and prescribed by doctors who consider it the best option for their patients?
However, National leader Simon Bridges came out swinging in Parliament, calling the bill “decriminalisation of cannabis by stealth”.
“What will the police do when they’re outside a school and someone, under this bill, is smoking cannabis? What will they do?
“I don’t reckon they’ll do much at all,” he said.
“Shame on the House for passing this terrible, unsafe, dangerous bill.”
National’s spokesperson for health Shane Reti also labelled the bill as “lazy and dangerous”.
“This government is simply ticking the 100-day box that they were forced to by the Greens and it is permitting the smoking of drugs in our communities.”
Mr Reti said National supported medicinal cannabis regulation but opposed the smoking of loose leaf cannabis in public.
“That’s why we did the work and created a comprehensive medicinal cannabis regime that widened access to medicinal cannabis and provided a framework for licensing high-quality domestic production under sensible and achievable regulations.
“We offered to share our regime with the government but egos got in the way and we were turned down.”
He said experts in the field should be the ones to decide what medical conditions were suitable for medical cannabis.
Exactly – if it’s medicine it should be treated like other medicines.
It’s not all bad though, the law change could provide an alternative income for farmers:
New Zealand cannabis company Zeacann, which is undergoing a $20m capital raising round to grow cannabis and manufacture medicines for domestic and export markets, welcomed the bill.
Co-founder Chris Fowlie said it was big step forward to helping New Zealanders who were suffering.
“The government is finally removing the stigma that cannabis has suffered from for decades,” Mr Fowlie said.
He said it was good to see that a timeframe had been set for a legal framework on making the products available.
Zeacann estimates it will be able to begin growing cannabis in the first half of next year, once it has received a government licence. . .
I wonder what security will be required to stop thefts?
I visited farms which grow opium poppies in Tasmania where security was tight.
How could this happen – Stuff has a story about what people are saying about Simon Bridges and Jacinda Ardern?
It comes from Labour’s pollsters so it’s no surprise the former’s word cloud is almost entirely negative and the latter’s is almost entirely positive.
David Farrar, who is quoted in the story, says this is dirty politics:
. . . I don’t think anyone should doubt Labour explicitly approved the release of this data. The fact they refuse to deny it speaks volumes.
The reality is that research data doesn’t belong to the polling company. It belongs to the client. The client is the only entity that can approve something being released. Only if the polling company is its own’s client, do they get to decide.
So what we have is that in the middle of the allegations from Jamie-Lee, they polled people on what they thought of the National Party Leader, and then released the data as a way to damage him.
This is not something we have seen before.
It is not a long way removed from a political party releasing an advertisement that said something like “We asked 1,000 people what they thought of xxxxx and 72% said they think he is a liar”. That sort of ad is seen as the most negative type of advertising you can do. Labour have basically done this, by way of releasing their polling data knowing it would get to the media.
Now contrast that with the Labour Party Leader who maintains she believes in gentler, kinder politics. Well her party just launched a classic dirty politics strike against her main opponent. So that should tell you something about how genuine her stance is.
It actually a perverse compliment to Bridges. Labour wouldn’t bother with this sort of nastiness if they didn’t see him as a threat.
It could also backfire.
Only political tragics are interested in the minutiae of politics but most voters believe in giving people a fair go and this is anything but fair.
It’s political strategy without moral principles, personally abusive and to use that much over-used word, it’s bullying.
Muck sticks to the hand that throws it. Labour has sullied itself by this move and tarnished its leader’s star dust. Given how much its support depends on her appeal, the strategy’s not only nasty, it’s stupid.
The ODT”s Weekend Mix had a profile of Otago University law Professor, Mark Henaghan. It’s not online but concluded with this:
The law tends to reflect society’s values, Prof Henaghan replies.
“There’s a wonderful saying by an American philosopher, ‘In hell there will be nothing but law, and due process will be duly enforced.’
“Because in a way the more law you have the less you have to trust people.
The less you trust people, the more distrustful they become and so the more law you need in order to trust them. “
A good society would not have too much law, because people would do the right thing he says.
But in New Zealand we have a lot of law.
More law less trust, less trust more law, more law, less trust . . .
Sad but true and even more so if read with this morning’s quote of the day from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn:
Justice is conscience, not a personal conscience but the conscience of the whole of humanity. Those who clearly recognize the voice of their own conscience usually recognize also the voice of justice.
When people don’t recognise the voice of their own conscience they don’t recognise the voice of justice and we have less trust and we need more law and then we get less trust. . .