The Politically Incorrect Show - 29/10/2001
Music - Die Fledermaus
Good afternoon, Kaya Oraaaa & welcome to the Politically Incorrect Show for Monday October 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!]
He lights up our landscape, does Bob Jones. As far back as I can remember the pugilist property tycoon has been opinionating in one forum or another, deftly jabbing away at those who presume to take our money & boss us around with it, often landing knock-out blows. He's not afraid to cause outrage - once, when asked by a letter-writer to the Herald whether he thought that being so rich entitled him to shove his opinions down the throats of the rest of us, he replied simply, "Yes." He's one of the few free-marketeers to challenge the ACT/Roundtable/Reserve Bank inconsistency that a state planner should set the price of money - or that there should even be a "central bank" operating under the state's auspices to begin with.
He has contradictions of his own, though. One would imagine him to be rapt in the mindboggling innovations his beloved market system has wrought - yet he once had me doubled over with laughter as, with unstoppable, curmudgeonly eloquence, he denounced that diabolical contrivance of modernity, the computer. He refuses to own one, & to mention e-mail to him is to risk a demonstration of his punching prowess.
Sometimes his contradictions are more than just quirky - they're ominous. In 1984, having spent months denouncing arts subsidies, he set up the New Zealand Party & included in its manifesto the establishment of ... wait for it ... State Art Banks. More recently he proposed mandatory state registration for journalists. I hit the roof over that, & we haven't kissed & made up since. I can't explain his contradictions. He's far too intelligent to be unaware of them. Being the contrarian he is, I suspect he delights in them.
All of which is by way of introducing a brief, belated tribute to his Dominion column of October 20, in which he praised the Italian Prime Minister for saying, "We should be conscious of the superiority of our civilisation." While other commentators tut-tutted & mouth-foamed, Bob got straight to the heart of the matter:
"Mr Berlusconi is charged with the protection of his nation, one of the world's major economies & the victim of many terrorist attacks in recent years. It is not a time for pussy-footing & skirting the issue but instead for blunt truth-telling, which is what the Italian Prime Minister did, & all credit to him for that."
One of the most nauseating bromides of our time is that one should never be "judgemental" & that where different cultural values are concerned one CANNOT pass judgement anyway - there is no basis on which to do so objectively. There is, one can, one may & one SHOULD. Western civilisation IS superior - & all credit to Bob Jones for being one of the few professional pontificators brave enough to say so.
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