Archive for May 2007

Church and State

May 29, 2007

Recently, Bishop Brian Tamaki of the Destiny Church has caused a lot of controversy, by saying that New Zealand is a “Christian Country”. More specifically he sugested that people from other countries shouldn’t be allowed to pray in schools, or do things in New Zealand they would do in their home countries. He also sugested that the parliamentary prayer should continue to refer to “the Christian God, Jesus Christ” and people ahould continue to be sworn in to public offices using the bible.

The way I tend to aproach such issues is based on the Christian principle “Do unto others as you would have them do to you” (Luke 6:31). Under this principle, banning private non-Christian prayer in state schools would be funadamentally unacceptable. people should (within reason) be allowed to pratice whatever religon they choose. As for the aprliamentry prayer, there should at minimum be an opt out provision for non-christian MPs, and possibly replaced with a minute of silence when MPs can pray to whatever God they believe in.  However, one should not go overboard with secularism. The statement of religous diversity goes too far in saying “New Zealand has no offical or established religion”. While I agree with the “no offical religon” part of it, Christianity has been in New Zealand for two hundred years and most new Zealanders still identify themselves as Christian., and it appears to say that religon doesn’t exist in nNw Zealand.  In some countries such as France and Turkey we have laws banning people from wearing headscarves, and thus banning people from practicing their religon. Practices that try and ban people from practicing religon should be considered violations of human rights, and secular fundamentalism.  In general the aproach to church and state should be to give all religons equality under law, even if allowing for minor exceptions (e.g. public holidays on Easter and Christmass, national anthem), allowing people the right to practice their religon, and tolerating religon and other religons. All attempts to forcibly stop people practicing their religon, without very good reason, should be opposed.

Polls show Labour in big trouble.

May 28, 2007

Over the last three days two polls have been released showing big leads for National over Labour. The first is a NZ Herald-Digi-Poll. The results are as follows:
National: 50.9%- 64 seats.
Labour: 33.6%- 43 seats.
Greens: 6.1%- 8 seats.
NZ First: 3.2%- 0 seats.
Maori Party: 1.7%- 4 seats (2 overhang).
United Future: 0.8%- 1 seat.
Act: 0.7%- 1 seat.
Progressives: 0.4%- 1 seat.
Destiny: 1.5%- 0 seats.
I emailed Andrey Young for the results of the smaller parties, which are not mentioned in the original article. the seat calculations above are asuming no seats change hands. If NZ First wins an electorate, it will have 4 seats, National will go down to 63 seats and Labour down to 41, and the Progressive seat becoming an overhang.

There is more bad news for Labour in the latest One News Colmar-Brunton poll. The results are:
National: a massive 56% with 70 seats.
Labour: 31% with only 38 seats.
Greens: 6%- 7 seats.
NZ First: 2%- 0 seats.
Maori Party: 3%- 4 seats (1 overhang).
United Future: 1%- 1 seat.
Act: 1%- 1 seat.
Progressives: below 1%- overhang seat.

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Field to be prosecuted for “trying to be helpful to someone” and “working hard on behalf of his constituents”

May 26, 2007

The police have decidied to prosecute Taito Phillip Field for “trying to be helpful to someone” and “working hard on behelf of his constituents” 14 counts of bribery. It is very good that the police have decided to prosecute as it shows even a non-Labour MP is not above the law.

It is important to remember that the following statement was made by Helen Clark when the allegations against Field came to light. “I think the only thing he is probably guilty of is trying to be helpful to someone.” After a independent inquiry which was very damning of Field, Micheal Cullen said “Mr Field …. works incredibly hard on behalf of his constituents. … He works harder on those matters than I suspect the entire National Party caucus on constituency cases. If that is what he is guilty of, then I am sure he is happy to plead guilty to working hard on behalf of his constiuents”. It is also important to remember that the reason he was expelled from labour wasnt because of his corruption and bribery, or the fact he lied to the Ingram inquiry, or that he exploited the poor vulnerable workers labour pretends to help, but because he hinted he might not stand for Labour.

What should come as a suprise is not the governments tolerance of corruption. This is to be expected from a government that stole $800 000 from the taxpayer for electioneering, refused to pay the money back until forced to do so by public pressure, and finally passed retrospective legislation to legalise the theft of such money. Labour’s failure to punisg field for lying to the ingram inquiry should come as no suprise from a party that put out a pledge card accompanied by a brochure, paid for using stolen tapayers money in 1999, with the brochure saying “this card was paid for and delivered by Labour supporters” (see the speech by Don Brash here). What should come as a suprise is that an MP is actually going to be prosecuted for breaking the law, after choosing not to prosecute for stealing $800 000 of taxpayers money and election overspending by a massive 33%, paintergate or Benson-pope putting a tenis ball in someones mouth, despite prima farcie cases in all three times. But since Field’s no longer a Labour MP, it should come as no suprise, given that National MP Shane Arden was prosecuted for driving a tractor up the steps of Parliament.

Predictable results of socialist policy

May 26, 2007

Guess what the results of Labour’s new carbon-neutral policies to fight climate change have been to date? An extra 800 000 tonnes of carbon in our atmosphere.

New figures have come out showing that three millon trees have been cut down in the last 12 months which will not be replanted. This has had the effect of putting an extra 800 000 tonnes of carbon into our atmosphere.

What is so tragic about this is it was so predictable. Idiot/Savant at No Right Turn blames this on the market. Waht he ignores is that this year one third of trees felled in New Zealand were not to be replanted, compared with 2.5% traditionally. Although the market may play a role in this, probably a much bigger factor is the new $13 000 per hectre tax the tax-hungry Labour government has imposed on anyone who converts forrested land into agricultural land, with no carrots involved. The results were completely predictable: people owning forrests would deforset them as quickly as possible before the new tax came into effect. What should have been done was too give carrots for planting new trees and not cutting trees down.

United Future has no future

May 26, 2007

Dave at big news has information that United Future has fallen below the 500 members required to be registered as a political party. Dave does not give the source of the story on his blog, and asuming he is honest, I doubt United Future will be derigistered given that even small fringe parties like Legalise Cannibis have 500 members. If true, United future is in big trouble. Given that its only two weeks since Copeland’s defection, it is likely there will be more defections with him, and some members may not renew their membership. If derigistered Dunne can stay in parliament if he keeps his Ohariu seat in 2008, but can’t bring anyone on the list with him.

Key to do student loan U turn

May 26, 2007

NZ Herald quotes John Key giving a strong indication his party will do a U turn on interest free student loans. It says during a speech at Tauranga Boy’s college he said it would not be in national’s best interest to reverse the policy, a sure sign he intends to keep the policy.  There shpuld be no doubt the policy was a election bribe by Labour, hence why it was released a few weeks short of the election. I expect Labour to come up with similar bribes in 2008.

Political change in the UK

May 24, 2007

Alex Salmond of the SNP has been elected Scotland’s first minister, heading a SNP-Greens coalition, dependent on the Liberal Democrats. This means that the SNP can still govern Scotland, but there will be no referendum on independence. Also, as all readers will probably know, Tony Blair is stepping down as UK Primeminister  to Gordon Brown.
hat tip: No Right Turn