Lindsay Perigo
Lindsay Perigo

The Politically Incorrect Show - 29/08/2000

[Music - Die Fledermaus]

Good afternoon, KAYA ORAAAA & welcome to the Politically Incorrect Show on the free speech network, Radio Pacific, for Tuesday August 29, 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]

Back when I was a leftie on campus, there was a smorgasbord of socialist societies to join, each with its own icon from one faction or other of the international communist movement - Lenin, Stalin, Trotsky, Mao, Castro, the Romanian & Albanian dictators, whoever. These clubs tended to dislike each other more than they did their avowed common enemy, the evil bourgeoisie. At some point two friends & I decided they were all wrong & formed our own group (some habits are hard to break), the Victoria University Socialist Education Society, or some such, & held a demonstration whose theme was "Burn money for peace." As I recall, we were the only participants.

How many variants of socialism are represented on that particular campus today I've no idea, but I can report that there is at least one - the Bolshevik Club, a Trotskyist group that publishes a thing called Campus Bolshevik. Campus Bolshevik is currently having a bitter dispute with the VUW Students' Association magazine, Salient. Its latest edition is called Sex, Lies & Salient. Most of it is to do with censorship, & is aimed at one C. Murphy, whom Campus Bolshevik considers to be the editor of Salient in disguise. But it also includes the following general observation about the state of New Zealand politics:

"The politics of smear have gained a currency in this country in recent months. But even Richard Prebble would seem to be slightly concerned about the veracity of his politically irrelevant accusations of long-past improper or underage sexual conduct by his opponents. 'C Murphy' is a creature of a lower order, however; the truth is of no concern to them. However, 'C Murphy's' smear tactics and R Prebble's have similar roots. Each is demoralised by isolation. The far right has (for the meantime) had its day. Right-wing neo-liberal ideological purity has become irrelevant to mainstream politics. The most dangerous of its adherents are patient, like Lindsay Perigo, and are content to sharpen their arguments, gather and train a cadre grouping and await a time more favourable for their nostrums. But the likes of R Prebble are impatient - unable to have impact with genuine political arguments, they descend to the gutter."

I have to say I laughed my head off when I was sent this - it's the first time in my life anyone has charged me with "patience," & I'm considering suing for libel. It's not, however, the first time I've been labelled "far right" - a curious allegation in this particular context, since among the things Campus Bolshevik says about censorship is this:

" ... we take no position on whether pornography is 'good' or 'bad'. It is just that we are opposed to censorship. We do not trust the state (or 'C Murphy' or the editor of Salient) to make decisions on what we are allowed to read or view ... The point is that unfettered discussion and debate are required to sort out truth from falsehood in every field of human activity. We believe that this process is crucial to maintain, develop and expound the ideas necessary to build a revolutionary movement. The Bolshevik Club believes that fighting for free and open debate, the right to say, print or broadcast ideas, the right to challenge authority and established ideas are all crucial to the revolutionary movement."

There's nothing in that that I would disagree with. I spend much of my time saying exactly the same thing. The "far right" WOULD disagree with it, so how does that make ME "far right"? I hasten to add that I'm not claiming to be on the left; rather, that this passage underscores what I've said many times: that as a libertarian, I coincide with the left on some issues & the right on others, that the inconsistency is theirs, not mine, & that for consistency's sake I prefer not to try to place myself on the conventional political spectrum. Pro-freedom is what I am, across the board. A pity that Campus Bolshevik's professed love of freedom stops at the economy.

In any event, savour the spectacle of libertarian Linz agreeing with a bunch of Bolsheviks about SOMETHING. It's a funny old world sometimes.

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