Lindsay Perigo
Lindsay Perigo

The Politically Incorrect Show - 21/03/2000

[Music - Die Fledermaus]

Good afternoon, KAYA ORAAAA & welcome to the Politically Incorrect Show on the free speech network, Radio Pacific, for Tuesday March 21, proudly sponsored by Neanderton Nicotine Ltd, the show that says bugger the politicians & bureaucrats & all the other bossyboot busybodies who try to run our lives with our money; that stands tall for free enterprise, achievement, profit & excellence against the state-worshippers in our midst; that stands above all for the most sacred thing in the universe, the liberty of the human individual.

[Music up, music down!]

Regular listeners to this programme will know that I am no great fan of the ACT party. Deborah Coddington & I were involved in the very first discussions with Roger Douglas, Rodney Hide & Derek Quigley in which the formation of ACT was discussed. As freedom-lovers, we balked at the new forms of compulsion being proposed by Sir Roger in his book, Unfinished Business, which was intended as a blueprint for the new party. It became clear to us that he had not really abandoned the mindset of his socialist past, that he still believed the state should force people to do what he thought was good for them, that he differed from his former Labour Party colleagues only as to the form that force should take, & that the value of personal freedom weighed on his mind not one jot. His attack on the cash economy & insistence that there should be "stiff penalties" for those who didn't follow "correct procedures" regarding his precious GST - the Government Slavery Tax - sent chills down my spine. After a few weeks Deborah & I decided to have nothing more to do with ACT, & I began referring to them as the Association of Compulsion-Touters.

Have they learned anything? Certainly their pragmatism carried them into Parliament, which would not have happened had they adopted a strict libertarian platform. But it's obvious that something is eating away at them. Their weekend conference heard a constant refrain about the need to return to principles & stop sidling up to despicable opportunists like the National Party in the name of expediency. The problem is, ACT were never clear about their principles to begin with, so they don't really know what it is they should be repairing to. The references to personal freedom & responsibility in their founding documents were written by Ian Fraser, who also left in disgust early on in the piece & went on to form Libertarianz.

There were glimmers of hope in the keynote address by Douglas Myers, who displayed impressive perspicacity & excellent taste by quoting my very own updated version of the old "ant & the grasshopper" fable when bemoaning our culture of envy & indolence. He wryly observed what would happen should Bill Gates decide to relocate Microsoft to New Zealand: "About a quarter of Microsoft's staff are reported to be millionaires. It would not be long before a poverty researcher at one of our universities pointed out that the arrival of Microsoft would increase income inequality in New Zealand ..."

But right at the end of his speech, Dougie blew it, when he said that the early pioneers "did not believe that being your brother's keeper meant delegating the job to Big Brother," accepting as axiomatic that you ARE your brother's keeper. If that is so, you have unchosen obligations. If you have unchosen obligations, you are a slave. If you endorse the slavery, you can have no moral argument against Big Brother. It's as simple as that. What a true freedom-lover says is: keep your brother if you want to, but it's not your duty. As Ayn Rand would put it, you have a right to live for your own sake, neither sacrificing yourself to others, nor others to yourself.

The day that ACT grasp THAT & stop cowering around like me-too altruists will be the day I announce my support for them.

Politically Incorrect Show. Freedom! No apologies! 309 3099.

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