Gang patches banned by Rodney Hide

The law banning gang insignia in Wanganui has been passed. It won’t do any good, and is a major breach of personal freedom.

Just so you don’t think the liberals are all against it and the conservatives are all for it as the Herald may imply, I’ll quote Family Party leader Richard Lewis (former South Auckland police sergeant):

“Banning gang patches will only strengthen the sense of victimisation that unites gang members and creates appeal towards gang life. … Gangs have outlasted Governments and Police Commissioners. It’s naive to think banning their colours will make any discernable difference to what gangs do.” (link)
“Banning patches will help gangs take their business of drug dealing further underground.” (link)

Who supported this disgraceful law:
National
Peter Dunne (United Future)
Rodney Hide, Peter Garrett, John Boscawen (ACT)

Who opposed it:
Labour
Green
Maori
Sir Roger Douglas, Heather Roy (ACT)

Most of the votes were predictable:
National supported it to pretend they are doing something.
Dunne supported it to keep in their good books, and he probably likes banning stuff.
Labour opposed it because National supported it.
The Greens opposed it because they want to ban or control anything that moves unless it is offensive, then they pretend to be in favour of personal freedom as a smokescreen so you don’t notice all the bans.

It is the Maori party, Douglas and Roy that have truly stood up for freedom and common-sense today. Hide, Garrett and Boscawen could have, but chose not to.

It is good to see ACT’s open vote policy meaning people can choose to go against the party leader when he goes against the personal freedoms he apparantly stood for before the election. But it is disappointing that three ACT MPs chose to inflict this disgraceful law on New Zealand.

A sad day for New Zealand, and a sad day for ACT.

AROUND THE BLOGS:
Andy Moore looks at what Rodney Hide said on this in the past, and his massive U-turn now.
Bernard Darnton discusses the principles of the law, a classic post including:
“Backers of the law claim that it’s necessary to crack down on gang members and that they need to be cracked down on because they’re always breaking stuff and hurting people. If that was true you wouldn’t need a law against leather jackets, you could just arrest all these gangsters under the Prohibition of Breaking Stuff (and Hurting People) Act.”

Right to Life survey

The initial results of the Right to Life candidate survey on pro-life issues are available here.

As expected, both the Family Party and Kiwi Party candidate responses are a sea of green and yellow (pro-life positions).

The response from the major parties was very poor, with only 4 from National, 5 from Labour and 3 from Green, so it is hard to know how representative these are. But if we assume they are representative, the other parties in order from pro-life to pro-death(?) are something like:

  • National
  • United Future
  • Act
  • Labour
  • Green

Alan Liefting of the Green party is the only candidate to have a full line of red dots as his answers – I have talked to Alan a bit in the past at university and this doesn’t surprise me at all. We must get rid of the Green party.

It is interesting that National looks better than United Future on a cursory glance, but there are few responses to judge them by. This does confirm why the Family Party will find it much easier to work with National than with Labour.

Hat tip: Right to Life New Zealand

Freedom – Family vs Green

The left like to think of themselves as “liberal” and in favour of freedom. Well as many on the right would point out, they are generally anything but liberal, being liberal on sexual matters and restrictive on pretty well everything else, that is part and parcel of being socialist.

I thought I’d compare the Green party website and the Family Party website and see how often the word “ban” appears, using a Google search. It’s been done before on the blogs, but I can’t find the original to quote.

The word “ban” appears 1,010 times on the Green Party website today, click here to check for yourself.

It appears 76 times on the Libertarianz site. (here)

It appears a total of THREE times on the Family Party website! (see here)

Furthermore, the three times the word “ban” appears are:

  • “Be open to debate on dropping the ban”
  • remove the ban”
  • “energy and resources to ban gang patches would be better spent on the war against drug dealing.”

In other words, each is talking AGAINST a ban!

Very unscientific of course, but the contrast is still incredible. So who is really promoting freedom, the conservatives or the so-called liberals?

This election is about freedom

Garth George has written an excellent column on what this election is really about – not “trust”, not even the economy, but freedom. And he’s dead right.

This election is all about freedom – the freedom of the individual to live his or her life with as little interference as possible from the state, its politicians and minions.

It’s all about being loosed from the tyranny of dogmatic “do-it-my-way-or-else” socialism, which contends that the state knows best how to spend our money, how we use our property and how we run our families.

But isn’t Labour supposed to be all for freedom? Isn’t it full of liberals pushing for homosexuals to be free to marry, for prostitutes to be free to be prostitutes, for abortions to be readily available etc? Aren’t we supposed to be more free now than ever before? Well GJ and PhilBest were discussing this the other day on Kiwiblog:

GJ:

The only freedom this current lot gives us is SEXUAL freedom, everything else they want to control!

Think about it – all those examples I came up with before were about sex. Is there a single thing Labour/Green want to free up that isn’t to do with sex? For Green maybe drugs, that is all.

PhilBest:

Norwegian blogger “Fjordman”; in “Sweden; the Triumph of Cultural Marxism”:

The British historian Roland Huntford wrote a book in the early 1970s about Sweden called The New Totalitarians. He noted how equality between the sexes was aggressively promoted from the late 1960s and early 70s. This was closely linked to a campaign for sexual liberation:

“Indeed, the word ‘freedom’ in Swedish has come to mean almost exclusively sexual freedom, product perhaps of an unadmitted realization that it is absent, or unwanted, elsewhere. Through sex instruction at school for the young, and incessant propaganda in the mass media for the older generations, most of Sweden has been taught to believe that freedom has been achieved through sex. Because he is sexually emancipated, the Swede believes that he is a free man, and judges liberty entirely in sexual terms.…The Swedish government has taken what it is pleased to call ‘the sexual revolution’ under its wing. Children are impressed at school that sexual emancipation is their birthright, and this is done in such a way as to suggest that the State is offering them their liberty from old-fashioned restrictions.”

By old-fashioned restrictions, read Christian morality. Huntford noted that this came together with efforts to downplay or attack Western culture prior to the French Revolution. As Mr. Olof Palme, who was Swedish Socialist Prime Minister from the late 1960s until 1986, said: “The Renaissance So-called? Western culture? What does it mean to us?”

“As political and economic freedom diminishes” said Aldous Huxley’s in Brave New World, “sexual freedom tends compensatingly to increase.” This fits perfectly with Huntford’s description. The state strips away your personal, economic and political freedom, yet grants you sexual freedom in return, boldly hailing itself as your liberator. Sweden in 2008 is a society with no real freedom of speech if you deviate from the ruling ideology. The more crushing ideological censorship and political repression become, the more frantic the displays of “sexual freedom” get. Sex is freedom; freedom means sex, and only sex.

State authorities present this as liberation of women and sexual liberation, but it is actually about breaking down rival sources of power: The traditional Christian culture and the nuclear family. This leaves the state more powerful since it can regulate all aspects of life and, most importantly, can indoctrinate the nation’s children as it sees fit, without undue parental interference. The state replaces your family, raises your children and cares for your elderly…..”

We oppose immorality because it is immoral, and as Christians or conservative-thinking non-Christians we know morality is important for a host of reasons. But there is more to it that this. Sexual freedom can be used to hide a socialist agenda. We need to be very wary of it

When we stand up for morality we must also remember that we are blowing away the smokescreen of socialism.

Green party profile

The Dim-Post has an excellent satirical profile of the Green party. My favourite quote:

Stands For: Social justice; poverty reduction, achieving a progressive economy, restorative justice, making New Zealand a truly equal and egalitarian society. The party remains deeply divided over whether it should also promote environmental policies.

Many a true word is spoken in jest. Although the Green party gets heaps of votes from people who think they’re the eco-friendly option, in practice the policies they have actually managed to push through are social things, like banning smacking – which most of the country is opposed to. They focus on meddling with people’s lives and promoting extreme socialism, and do little for the environment. If you care about the environment, don’t vote Green – vote for a party that will actually help the environment, and has practical, workable policies that don’t undermine private property rights.

Such as The Family Party of course!

Jeanette Fitzsimons – Cars & trucks stopping climate change!

Well, I am pretty sure she didn’t mean to say that in her transport policy speech but what she said was:

Our transport system is systematically biased in favour of cars and trucks, and against trains, buses, ferries, bikes, and people on foot. It is biased against climate change.

Which is great. Our transport system is already working against climate change by encouraging cars and trucks. Hurrah, skip the rest of her speech, we obviously don’t need more regulations if we’re doing such a great job already…

The arrogance of Labour (and National)

I had a very interesting time at Cafe Conversations on Sunday. This was a “meet the candidates” meeting in Christchurch East, but not all of us candidates were standing in that electorate. Candidates there were:

  • Lianne Dalziel – Labour (current Christchurch East MP)
  • Aaron Gilmore – National
  • Mojo Mathers – Green
  • Dr John Pickering – United Future
  • Matthew Gardiner – ACT
  • Nick McIlraith (I think, lots of names to remember though) – Democrats for Social Credit
  • Myself – Family Party

Lianne Dalziel seemed a nice woman but came across as extremely arrogant in one question. We were asked how our party would deal with “powerful self-interest lobby groups”. Ms Dalziel launched into a spiel about the Exclusive Brethren, and went on about how we needed state funding of political parties to ensure parties didn’t have to listen to such groups. Hang on a minute – did she really say that? Do they want state funding so they don’t have to listen to lobby groups like Family First, Federated Farmers, Greenpeace, even Unions? Can you get more arrogant, a politician wanting state funding so they don’t have to listen to the will of the people?

I said we would listen to what they had to say, as they know the needs of those they are representing better than we do, and would weigh it up against Christian principles and the level of apparant public support for the group. The National candidate (Aaron Gilmore) agreed with me. I really don’t see how any other view could be anything but arrogant. We must get rid of Labour this election.

However, Aaron Gilmore did himself no favours on the issue of National funding Herceptin for 12 months. The audience immediately saw through this for what it really is – state interference in Pharmac and politicians deciding which people get health treatment and which don’t (Pharmac has limited resources to allocate) – and he was seriously booed. I was quite surprised at this, because National is obviously taking this position as an emotive issue to buy votes, not scare people away. He then accused everyone who didn’t want Herceptin to be funded for 12 months of being in favour of letting women die – at which point he was shouted down by the entire room and Dr John Pickering (United Future, a medical researcher) stormed across the room and nearly came to blows with him! Matthew Gardiner (ACT) put it best when he said something like “you can’t accuse everyone who disagrees with you of wanting to kill puppies”. Whatever the merit of funding herceptin for 12 months may be, Mr Gilmore needs to rethink how he promotes it!

Dr Pickering (UF) came across as a very likeable man, with very wishywashy policies. I already knew Mojo Mathers (Green) previously, and she came across as very sincere, it is unfortunate that she supports a load of nutty Green policies, otherwise she’d make a good MP. She is profoundly deaf and does an excellent job of speaking to a crowd for someone with that disability. Matthew Gardiner (ACT) came across as a sensible guy who was prepared to listen to the point of view of others.

The Democrats for Social Credit candidate (I think his name was Nick McIlraith) didn’t really come across at all. No-one could understand what he was talking about. Instead of answering the questions he would launch into a long-winded spiel about the evils of the money system which lost everyone after 5 seconds. I felt rather sorry for the guy, as far as I could gather he thought we would be better off under hard-line communism, and I would have been interested to know why he thought communism was such a good idea, but he didn’t manage to convey this at all. Very confusing. People aren’t interested in the money system, they want to know how policies will actually affect them, and he didn’t answer this for any question at all.

After some initial scepticism from some of the audience about my stance on global warming, I got some excellent applause for our environmental policy – once I had explained that the ETS would actually do absolutely nothing for the environment yet cost an arm and a leg to do that, points that Ms Dalziel and Mrs Mathers had conveniently neglected to mention when they had spoken just before me. There also seemed to be support for funding following the child, based on the amount of nodding heads. I also got a great response when I was unable to give a straight answer to a question (that we have no policy on yet) and bluntly said so while pointing out that no-one else had given a straight answer either because we were all politicians!

I had some good discussions with people who had come along afterwards, it was a great afternoon. The food and drink looked and smelt great but I spent so long talking I missed it… My 3-month-old son James was very happy, squealing away down the back, until Sarah had to take him out and walk up and down the road with him because he was so happy he couldn’t contain himself!

Keeping politicians away from climate change

Gareth Renowden has an interesting, if biased, assessment of ACT’s view of climate change. ACT is presenting a rather mixed message, with a carbon tax in their official policy but the ACT MPs individually appear to disbelieve climate change, so it is hard to know where they stand.

Gareth certainly has some interesting stuff to say:

“Time for Hide and the ACT party to front up. Do they accept the IPCC report in full? If they do not, why not? I assume that if ACT is adopting the latter position that they have conducted a proper review of the evidence. If they have, I’d like to see it. And if they haven’t then they should shut up. Climate change is too serious an issue to leave to the political whims of parliamentary windbags. From any party.”

Now I highly doubt ACT have conducted a “proper review of the evidence”. For that matter, I highly doubt the Greens have – as they seem to disregard the opinions of plenty of scientists on this issue as “deniers”. Nor has The Family Party – we have neither the expertise nor the resources to do so. And although neither Labour or National will have conducted such a review, they may each have conducted research into which position would gain them most votes.

I fully agree that “Climate change is too serious an issue to leave to the political whims of parliamentary windbags. From any party.” This is a massive issue – if it is true it is the biggest issue affecting the world today. If it is false it is the biggest misconception (scam?) affecting the world today. We can’t trust parliament to make the correct judgement on such a massive issue.

This is why The Family Party, alone among all the political parties, is proposing to put this issue to a Royal Commission of Enquiry. We need to know:

  • Whether humans are causing global warming
  • If we are, what we should do about it

There is a lot of controversy around the accuracy of the IPCC reports on climate change. We do not know whether we can trust these reports or not, so need an independent review that takes into account both the IPCC line and the views of those disputing this position, and can tell us whether we should use the IPCC reports when designing policy.

Then, if humans are causing climate change, we need to know what we should be doing about it. Should we be reducing emissions to prevent it, or is this futile? Should we be adapting to it? Should we be doing a bit of both? What are the costs and benefits associated with each measure?

These are massive issues. Politicians do not have the expertise to sort this out. They must be worked out by scientists, economists and other experts.

If you want sensible policies on climate change, based on science rather than hype, only The Family Party is promising this.

Cyclone activity and climate change

There is an interesting discussion over on Frogblog about cyclone activity increasing due to climate change. Frog assumed it was increasing, but was wise to point out that:

“I’m always wary of linking specific weather events to climate change because while you can argue that climate change will and is leading to more storms, droughts and floods, you can’t realistically pin it to specific storms, droughts or floods as they occur.”

Unfortunately not all commenters have been so realistic about the situation. The fact as I can see at the moment is that cyclone activity does not appear to be increasing at all. Although there are heaps of media articles blaming cyclones on climate change, this does not appear to be supported by the research. It is important to actually read the peer-reviewed papers behind issues before jumping to conclusions based on media reports.

Here is some actual information from peer-reviewed papers:

Henderson-Sellers et al. (1998) Tropical Cyclones and Global Climate Change – a post-IPCC assessment. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 79(1): 19-38.

“There are no discernable trends in tropical cyclone number, intensity or location from historical data analysis”

Landsea et al. (1996) Downward trend in the frequency of intense Atlantic hurricanes during the past five decades. Geophysical Research Letters 23: 527-530.

“…a long-term (five decade) downward trend continues to be evident primarily in the frequency of intense hurricanes. In addition, the mean maximum intensity (i.e., averaged over all cyclones in a season) has decreased, while the maximum intensity attained by the strongest hurricane each year has not shown a significant change.”

Elsner, J., Kossin, J. P. & Jagger, T. H. (2008) Nature 445, 92–95

“The number of cyclones per year over the globe … there is no trend in these counts. Also, there is no trend in the median lifetime-maximum wind speed”

This paper does note a slight upward trend in the lifetime-maximum wind speed of the worst cyclones.

From these three papers we have two claiming no change in number of cyclones per year or cyclone strength (one finding a slight increase in the strength of the worst cyclones), and one paper claiming a decrease in number of cyclones and cyclone strength. Cyclone numbers and strength are NOT increasing.

Interestingly however, it is possible to hype up these figures if you want to sell a certain line. This Nature News article is based on the 2008 paper referred to above. It is hyped and on initial reading you get the impression that cyclone activity is increasing dramatically due to climate change. It is only when you read the actual peer-reviewed paper and look at the graphs that you can see the facts more clearly.

Number and maximum windspeed of tropical cyclones (Elsner et al., 2008)

Number and maximum windspeed of tropical cyclones (Elsner et al., 2008). (Red line = median, Green = 0.75 quantile, Blue = 1.5x the inter-quartile range)

Clearly, from the actual data, cyclone numbers and median intensity are not increasing. The worst hurricane appears to have been in around 1987 according to that graph. There is a slight increase in intensity of the worst hurricanes, but this is not supported by the other papers I refer to.

We cannot conclude that climate change is causing an increase in storm activity, whatever the media hype.

EDIT:

StephenR has drawn my attention to a paper that does appear to show a strong correlation between sea surface temperature and total energy dissipated by hurricanes:

Emanuel, K (2005) Nature 436:686-688

Power distributed annually (solid line) and sea surface temperature (dashed line) for Western North Pacific and North Atlantic tropical cyclones (Emanuel, 2005)

There appears to be a clear increase in total energy (and therefore total destructiveness) of hurricanes with rising sea temperature, and according to this paper sea surface temperature has risen by about 0.4 degrees C from 1950 to 2000. Due to the date of this paper it doesn’t show what has happened since 2000, when global temperatures have apparently been falling, so whether this trend has continued will have to be confirmed in a future paper. Some of the older data is probably questionable too, as it was recorded before the satellites used by Elsner et al. were available. However it does indicate that, should temperatures rise, we could most likely expect increased destruction from hurricanes. It does not show that humans are causing an increase in hurricane activity, as it doesn’t address the question of whether humans are causing the temperature increase, so don’t jump to conclusions. But it is one paper that does contradict the three I quoted earlier and actually supports the “global warming could cause terrible destruction” line that is popular.

Maori party oppose ETS

The Greens, our self-proclaimed environmental party, has agreed to the ETS, a scheme that won’t help the environment but sounds like it has something to do with it so could get them a few votes.

On the other hand, the Maori Party recognise that the ETS won’t do any good so will probably oppose it, and will hold out for something that actually does some good for the environment.

To quote Mrs Turia:

“We are told the Green Party and NZ First have signed up to it. I predict that the concessions won by them will seem like a mere thirty pieces of silver, once the full impacts of climate change start to be felt,”

Change that to “once the full impacts of the ETS on our economy start to be felt” and I would expect she is correct.

Good on the Maori Party. Of course, I wouldn’t necessarily agree with the solution the Maori Party are looking for, it could damage our economy for no reason as we don’t yet know whether climate change is a problem at all. But it really shows up the Greens as a bunch of hypocrites, possibly just using the environment to pursue their hidden agenda.

Hat tip: The Hive

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