How to Self-Evaluate Your Own Religious Integrity, in Eleven Premises

Premise 1: My religion represents the exclusive truth.

By way of an answer, consider this: which of the following scriptures have you devoted to rigorous and charitable study: The Koran, The Bible, The Torah, The Bhagavad Gita, The Upanishads, The Tibetan Book of the Dead, The Gnostic Gospels?

Consider approximately in hours, days, months, weeks or years your devoted study to each, and then review your assertion of Premise 1 from a space of honesty and integrity. You will review this yourself with no higher authority than your own to judge.

Premise 2: My religion is unique.

Every religion is unique in its own way. This by itself does not lend a measure of truthfulness. For example, only Buddhism holds that if a statement should not accord with your own sense of reason, then you need not accept it, even if is spoken by Buddha. This may make Buddhism unique, but it does not immediately qualify it as true.

Islam holds that Mohammed flew to heaven on a winged horse. Again, this qualifies Islam as unique, but it does not immediately qualify it as true. Even the belief that Jesus was the son of a virgin and died upon the cross for our sins is not unique to Christianity, as this mythology was already present in a much earlier religion called Mithraism.

Premise 3:

I feel very strongly about my religion/
I have perfect faith in my religion/
I know in my heart that my religion is true/
I have special access to the truth/
I have had special spiritual experiences with this religion that confirm my belief

So does everyone else who adheres to a religion, even to the extent that they would sacrifice their own lives for their faith, Sikh, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Christian, Mayan. They each have heaven, miracles, saints and holy days. If their faith is as strong as your own, can it be possible that you are both correct? Are you both wrong? Is there another possibility? What are to be your standards for judging, given that you are the advocate of only your own religion?

Premise 4: When I am uncomfortable, something is wrong and I should therefore avoid it.

False. Something is not wrong when a dancing bear has the ring removed from its nose, and something is not wrong when a woman is in childbirth. When you question your convictions, you are stepping into your own authority and demanding that your assumptions meet the appropriate conditions – namely, that they reflect truth. The most wonderful and transformative change is often initially uncomfortable, this does not mean it is not worthwhile.

Premise 5: Those who encourage me to question my faith are agents of of evil or are otherwise trying to lead me astray.

To the extent that you believe this, you will remain in a spiritual cell. The only thing you have to lose by questioning your beliefs and convictions is illusion – you get to keep anything that is true. No one imprisons you but you, and by your own free choice. Are you worried about losing the illusory? Are you worried about losing what is false?

Recognise this responsibility to yourself and to those who depend upon you. There is no one to reply to, object to, or argue with in this situation, because the only person you need to answer to here is you.

Premise 6: The truth of my religion is established to the extent that we have faced persecution.

This is assumed by every religion. Every religion faces persecution from every other religion, and yet each religion assumes the role of passive victimhood. This is simply not true. All religions both persecute and are persecuted, and all have a history of violence.

Premise 7: My religious community shares love with each other and that is real.

It may very well be true, but so does every other community, religious or not. How do you treat those who choose to leave your community? Do you judge them? Often the love shared between members of a church or a religion is actually conditional. We are happy to give love, care and attention to others within our group just so long as they live up to our expectations by believing what we believe and behaving in ways acceptable to us.

If they leave, then what happens? If their religious commitments change, then what happens? If your religion teaches that they should be treated any different, does that resonate with you on the deepest level?

Premise 8: The holy scriptures that my religious beliefs are based on are very old, and can be proven authentic because within those scriptures is the promise that it is true.

Again, this is ‘true’ for every single scripture-based religious tradition. Each relies upon a circular argument. “God has divinely authored a book in which he promises he was the author, and God would not lie”. This is self-contradictory, and the absurdity of it is clearly seen when the same assumptions are championed by other religions with entirely different assumptions.

Premise 9: If I did not maintain the beliefs, traditions and practices set out by my religion, then the world would collapse into moral anarchy.

The sad irony is that the world is already in a continually worsening state of moral collapse, largely due to interfaith conflict. Please read this last sentence more than once, because it is imperative that you understand. If multiple groups are being guided by inflexible moral rules that are in fact mutually exclusive, then conflict is the inevitable result. Period.

Premise 10: I would rather be wrong with my own religious group than right by supporting beliefs that I experience as heretical, distasteful or challenging.

This is very important to review for yourself, because herein lies the crux of the issue of personal moral and epistemic integrity. That which is true will not always conform to your expectations, preconceptions, and certainly not your comfort zone. Read this last sentence twice, please. It is imperative to understand. If you choose to be wrong with your own group, you are not in your integrity, because what you are in fact choosing is to be in your comfort zone rather than in respect to Truth.

Premise 11: Other religions and belief systems are immoral and misguided.

Now, if you are fundamentalist of any kind this has to appear to be true for you, because you have concluded that the rules set out by your own tradition are exclusively correct. You may be surprised to find with a little honest research that some traditions are very much aligned to your own. They may have an attitude of high respect and tolerance for their ingroup and an attitude of disapproval and even violence of their outgroup. They may even walk the talk better than your own tradition.

For example, the Islamic practice of stoning adulterers and homosexuals is frowned upon by moderate Christians, even though the moral law is expressly the same in the Koran as it is in the Old Testament. Fundamentalist Christians may not necessarily be so far off in disagreement with Radical Muslims.

There are also very loving and moderate religious traditions that may agree with your own teachings about expressing love to outsiders, forgiving wrongdoing and respectfully allowing others of different creeds to live in peace without imposing one’s own views and constraints upon them. Does that really sound so bad? If your teachings inspire you to anger and malign against others, can you honestly say that those beliefs are in the better interest of mankind?

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Simon P. Murphy is a Nelson-based writer. He is the author of the short story collection His Master’s Wretched Organ and the forthcoming Lexicanum Luciferium (both by VJM Publishing). His fiction is heavily influenced by Gnosticism and Alchemy, placing a central focus upon the theme of our navigation of an occulted reality through the use of archetypal symbolism.

What Does It Really Mean to Be Honest?

To honestly assess information, we need to fully inform ourselves.

We have all heard ‘honesty is the best policy’ and, ‘you shouldn’t lie’, but what is honesty at the deepest level, and why is it so important?

Honesty, at the deepest level, is a form of integrity.

Integrity asks you to be spiritually courageous, and involves using your wisdom and discernment even in the face of great pain. Being honest is not always easy. Sometimes being honest means moving away from the comfort of beliefs that we hold great stock in, beliefs which we have been taught over a lifetime, beliefs which inform our our daily lives, actions, decisions, and relationships to a profound degree.

The truth is, none of the comfort or emotional well-being derived from any belief is indicative of its truthfulness. There is simply no connection between what provides comfort and what is true.

Why is any of this important?

Believing things which are untrue can be very harmful, even though we may derive enormous personal comfort from the familiarity and promises of these beliefs.

If someone comes to your door and explains that they believe something without providing charitable counter-arguments, alternatives, or competing explanations, then this is a very strong indication that that person is not acting in their integrity, their honesty.

An evangelist will stand at your doorstep and faithfully show you everything that they believe, including why it makes sense to them, and the path they have taken to arrive at those conclusions. If they present you with any material that entertains a competing explanation, such as another very different religious system, it will always be used to show that other explanations are false.

This is a very, very important point, because this is how we discover whether someone is acting in their integrity or whether they are deluding themselves or others.

For example, a Jehovah’s Witness will not charitably discuss the merits of Catholicism or Islam, regardless of how many believers there are in these faiths worldwide. Other belief systems will only be referenced in passing in order to show that they are mistaken relative to the interpretation of the evangelists’ own religious commitments.

A missionary does not go into the jungle to deepen his understanding of tribal spirituality, at least, not intentionally. He goes in order to persuade others of his culture’s views which he assumes to be superior prior to any philosophical comparison.

Now, again imagine you are an Evangelical Christian and a Muslim comes to your door behaving in precisely the same way as you might. They offer you only an explanation of how Islam is exclusively true and holds spiritual superiority over other faiths. They will not hold competing faiths, including your own, in a favourable light, nor will they provide any charitable explanation of how these work, or the benefits they provide people with globally.

In short, they are not acting out of integrity.

Let’s go back to why honesty and integrity are important.

If you are not genuinely honest about your beliefs and why you believe them, then the relationship of those beliefs to reality will be muddy at best. If we do not allow our beliefs to conform to the best available reasoning and evidence, then our worldview is at risk of stagnating for lack of congruence with reality.

Just think what this would matter to divinity – I am not speaking of religion, but of divinity itself that people on earth should not act upon their integrity. This divinity may not take offense at having been wilfully misunderstood, but it would surely not condone people believing falsehoods without question and not honestly considering different answers, particularly if those false beliefs were harmful to others.

A Baptist who comes to your doorstep to preach about the bible has nothing glowing to say about the Koran, the Talmud, The Upanishads or the Bhagavad Gita, irrespective of how valuable these may have been to millions of other lives over thousands of years.

The reason for this is clear – once people believe they have found answers that suit them, they tend to stop considering the legitimacy of other explanations, and feel justified in confidently discounting the validity of those worldviews without feeling the need for further analysis. This is not a Christian problem or Jewish problem or a Muslim problem or an atheist problem – this is a human problem.

When a politician comes to you, whether on television or in person, he isn’t telling you why his competition are wonderful and can help you in your life. He comes to you because he wants your support, he wants your vote. Your belief in his policy is a kind of transaction to him. In fact, it usually does not even matter to him that his policy should make you or your children’s lives any better. All that matters to him is that you vote for him. It is the same with religion.

There are other important reasons that people once deciding upon a belief system do not carefully and charitably explore alternative explanations, and this is because of something called cognitive dissonance.

If you already believe something, particularly if you have believed it for a long time and/or these beliefs inform much of what your personal life is built around, then there will be very strong resistance to changing or even questioning those beliefs, even if those beliefs have been harmful or false.

If an animal in a zoo has been kept in captivity for its entire life, even though it may have been kept enclosed in cramped, uncomfortable conditions, then the world outside will seem terrifying, even the wild where it belongs. Its natural freedom will terrify it to the point where for the sake of its imagined comfort, it will choose to remain caged out of fear and the comfort of an abject yet familiar environment.

We even limit our own children in order to indoctrinate them into our own views. This can be done in many ways, by limiting the friendships they have, monitoring the books they read, the movies they watch, or even schooling them ourselves, bypassing the perceived problem of our children receiving and understanding alternative ideas and explanations.

Christians frown upon Muslims for doing this, and vice versa. If anyone was truly operating in their integrity, in respect for truth they would never limit their children in this way. Now, of course we all love our children, and of course we all do for them what we think is best.

However, if we truly believed what we say we do, then we would allow our children the freedom of education that would naturally lead them to seek the truth, and if what we believe to be true was indeed true, then they would reach the same conclusions as we have.

The fact that people force their own beliefs upon their children is a form of dishonesty. It is symptomatic of a lack of faith in one’s own beliefs and assumptions.

Many religious parents, although somewhat uncomfortable with the inherent dishonesty of indoctrination, reason in the following way: “Yes, I am limiting their beliefs and freedom because I love them and I do not want them to be affected by evil, whatever the cost, because in my doing so I spare them from sin and damnation”.

However, this is precisely the same reasoning that keeps other authoritarian religious traditions which you disagree with in business. If you are a Fundamentalist Christian, you disagree with Fundamentalist Muslim children not receiving a free education.

Yet their parents reason in the same way that you do, only they consider that beliefs in departure from Islam lead to damnation, while you believe the same regarding Christianity.

In honesty, you cannot have it both ways – either you agree that all religions should indoctrinate their children, or you believe that children should be allowed freedom to seek the truth.

Questioning beliefs and assumptions costs energy. If we re-evaluate what we believe and why, then the resulting change can be very difficult, which is sadly why people, particularly those with strong beliefs, have a strong resistance to this.

It is more important to most people to remain comfortable, in familiar territory, and amongst people who believe the same things than it is even to pursue the ultimate truth of reality, who they really are and why they are really here.

They are afraid that if they question their beliefs, then they will betray their family, friends, church, tradition, culture, God.

All that is actually happening is that that person is no longer putting comfort and familiarity first, and is now stepping into the courage and integrity to hold all of their beliefs subject to a rigorous questioning. People do this out of a deep respect for themselves, for others, for truth, and for divinity. Unfortunately, many see it as easier to die for their convictions than to live questioning them.

To the extent that people do not do this, they choose to remain asleep. This is why we have traditions spanning thousands of years, and yet no peace to show for it. Violence, both physical and ideological, is rife, as is suffering, neurosis and fear of death, insanity and damnation, all despite the proclamation of great faith and righteousness. It is not loyalty that keeps you in chains, but fear.

To value and practice honest questioning and integrity is to value spiritual awareness, to be awake to the truth in whatever form it may take.

The time to remain asleep is over for those who choose to awaken and hold to question every assumption that separates us from our brothers and sisters.

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Simon P. Murphy is a Nelson-based writer. He is the author of the short story collection His Master’s Wretched Organ and the forthcoming Lexicanum Luciferium (both by VJM Publishing). His fiction is heavily influenced by Gnosticism and Alchemy, placing a central focus upon the theme of our navigation of an occulted reality through the use of archetypal symbolism.

Soft Prohibition is Still Prohibition, and It Will Still Fail

The New Zealand Government, in its limitless beneficence, has decided that we innocent Kiwis need to be protected from the insidious horror drug that is tobacco. The means they have chosen to protect us with is by taxing us more when we purchase cigarettes. Speaking honestly, this strategy could be rightly described as soft prohibition – and it’s just as stupid as hard prohibition.

The logic goes like this. A person’s willingness to buy a good such as tobacco is a function of the price of that good. Because tobacco is not considered medicinal, its use is considered to do nothing but cause disease. So, its use costs taxpayer money in the form of healthcare. Therefore, if you increase tobacco taxes, people will use it less and tax money will be saved on dealing with the effects of the diseases tobacco causes.

The fact that this had led to the absurdity of the Government claiming to impoverish tobacco users for their own benefit hasn’t stopped them from raising the taxes anyway.

The rise in tobacco tax has, predictably, led to a spate of robberies of dairies and other places selling tobacco. As Dan McGlashan has previously written for this newspaper, the majority of regular tobacco smokers were already doing it hard, even before the tax increases.

As this column has previously argued, tobacco ought to rightly be seen as a mental health medicine. The main reason it isn’t is because of the total dominance of materialist dogma in medical and scientific circles – the same materialist dogma that has created our prehistoric mental health system.

It doesn’t take a forensic psychology degree to be able to predict that making an expensive drug even more expensive, when many desperate people rely on it to cope with the stresses of the day, is going to lead to robberies and violence.

Ridiculously, if the Police were to apply the same logic to tobacco that they apply to cannabis, they would say that tobacco itself causes crime and that the dairy robberies are evidence that tobacco should be made illegal.

Obviously, alcohol prohibition failed and cannabis prohibition failed. Not only did they fail, but they did so at the cost of many billions of dollars, the destruction of many millions of lives, and the eradication of any faith that the younger generations may ever had had in the competence or good will of the Government or the Police.

So why on Earth would we want to repeat those two catastrophic errors with tobacco?

The most likely answer is that our politicians are as thick as pigshit and are either too stupid to learn anything from history or too arrogant to think that the laws of reality through which history unfolds apply to them.

Increasing the taxes on tobacco, with the intent of gradually making it prohibited, will increase the amount of violence and crime around the substance to a commensurate degree.

Just like prohibition did with alcohol. Just like prohibition does with cannabis. It will fail, just like prohibition always has done and always will do, because human nature will never concede that a bunch of old control freaks in Wellington have the right to prohibit the people from the free use of medicinal plants.

This won’t stop them from trying, of course. The politicians know that they are not affected by the consequences of the laws they pass. Thus, they know that it won’t be them getting robbed and slashed with machetes – they get their six-figure MP’s salary no matter what.

The real concern is what actions might be taken by those who are getting robbed. Already, dairy owners know that they are widely perceived as a soft target thanks to both not being armed and stocking large amounts of valuable tobacco.

The usual response to this degree of risk of violent robbery is for the dairy owners to start keeping firearms behind the counter.

Politicians in New Zealand don’t have the courage to admit that the Drug War they have conducted against the New Zealand people for 40 years has failed, so we know they will not have the courage to admit that their attempt to make tobacco illegal is also failing.

Probably they will keep raising the taxes until someone gets shot dead. After all, it’s neither them nor their families suffering.

How Individualism Defends the Anglosphere

In the aftermath of the Great Depression, a couple of extremely virulent and aggressive political movements swept the Western world – communism and national socialism – eventually leading to the deaths of some 50 million people. How did the Anglosphere avoid getting sucked up in these murderous, psychopathic insanities?

The soul-grinding deprivation of the Great Depression caused horrific trauma all around the world. Perhaps on account of an absence of historical guidance and precedent, a number of countries voted extremists, demagogues or lunatics into power on the grounds that desperate times called for desperate measures.

But none of the core Anglosphere nations of Britain, America, Canada, Australia or New Zealand came close to voting a totalitarian into power before World War Two, and none of them have since.

As the European Theatre of World War Two dawned, there seemed to be three major forces. The central powers, represented by Germany, Italy, Austria and Romania, were fascist; the eastern powers, represented by Russia, were communist; and the western powers, represented by the British Empire, America, France, Holland and Scandinavia, were liberal democracies.

The liberal democracies won, and won an opportunity to reshape the world in their image in the coming decades – which they mostly seized.

But ninety years after the streets of Europe were once filled with running battles between communists and national socialists, it looks like they’re going back to the same stupidity.

So why didn’t the Anglosphere put a totalitarian in power before World War Two, and why aren’t we going to put one in power in the coming decade, as the inexorable laws of demography push Europe closer to civil war?

There is a different culture in the Anglosphere. Namely: we are not a slave race, and so we do not tremble in worship before power. In fact, almost uniquely in the world (along with Holland and Scandinavia), we openly express contempt for those who wield it.

Because of this, we don’t get swept up in mass movements and personality cults like the Europeans. There is no concept in the Anglosphere of awaiting some great leader to free us from a terrible and unfortunate state of disgrace, such as which put Hitler in power. Neither is there the kind of entrenched, systematic corruption that leads to the mass resentment of the wealthy that puts Marxists in power.

In fact, if anyone stands up with even vaguely Hitler-like rhetoric, that person is immediately shut down for being a crackpot. There’s no way that you can stand on a street corner and rant about Jews without getting jeered at or having garbage thrown at you.

The trajectory of the British Union of Fascists was much different to that of the Nazi Party: “As the party became increasingly radical, however, support declined. The Olympia Rally of 1934, in which a number of anti-Fascist protestors were attacked, isolated the party from much of its following.”

Even at the apogee of British fascism, The Battle of Cable Street, a maximum of 3,000 fascists were met by 20,000 counter-demonstrators. They were even outnumbered two to one by the Metropolitan Police, which made them, at peak strength, orders of magnitude weaker than the Sturmabteilung in Germany.

And no fascist movement in America, Canada, Australia or New Zealand became anywhere near as strong as the BUF.

There seems to be an inherent wisdom in the Anglosphere consciousness that is capable of recognising massively dangerous egos and imposing a kind of order upon them before they become capable of doing too much damage. It is not in our nature to grovel before a big man; our nature is pulling the fingers, flipping the bird, saying “fuck you”.

It seems to be the natural gift of the Anglo people to keep order without the need for totalitarianism – perhaps a function of having the right amount (not too much, not too little) of diversity of thought, much like the Swedes with their lagom or the Dutch with their famous tolerance, care is taken to act with the correct proportionality.

This is probably a combination of the concept of fair play, which prevent anyone from falling too far down, and the concept of the tall poppy syndrome (Swedish: Jantelagen), which prevents anyone from developing a disruptively large ego.

Anglos generally don’t brook shadowy, sinister conspiracies like other Westerners, and are prone to instantly reject ideologies that require that human nature fundamentally be reshaped, believing in almost all cases that such a thing is simply not possible.

This column has long predicted that natural demographic laws will force Europe into a kind of civil war when Muslims in Europe realise they have the numbers to enforce their religious proscriptions on the natives. This will probably lead to the coming to power of another tyrant, because it is the nature of Europeans to swing from one extreme to another.

Whether the Anglosphere will shed the blood of its young men another time to put the European continent to order is another consideration.

Why Globalists Love Refugees

The biggest opposition to globalism is for people to have solidarity with the people around them, with those who grew up alongside them, with their neighbours, blood relatives and childhood friends. Having solidarity with those closest to you makes it more difficult for someone further away, like a foreign bank, to exercise influence over you.

Solidarity is what trades union depend on if they are to get fair compensation for their labour from capital interests. Without solidarity, any group of people who do not hold a monopoly on legal violence can be divided and conquered by those who do.

Solidarity is also what all political justice movements depend on if they are to change the law. Without solidarity, political justice movements also get divided and conquered because all members of any movement will, to some degree, have divided loyalties, and any divided loyalty is a flashpoint for conflict.

Having solidarity with those closest to you makes it difficult for an outside influence to come in and offer you money to work against them, or to offer them money to work against you. This means that solidarity induces those around you to work in concert instead of disharmony or opposition, making your life much easier.

Globalists, therefore, have to destroy solidarity in a territory or nation before it can be conquered. The greater the destruction of this solidarity, the greater the vulnerability of the people to predatory outside interests, and the greater the degree that those interests can exploit them before they are able to organise any resistance.

If humanity is to be dominated by an international elite loyal only to themselves, all localist sentiments have to be destroyed. Men have to be set against their wives; couples have to be set against their parents and their children; families have to be set against their neighbours.

People have to be induced to hate their neighbours in order to look to politicians for answers. Therefore, they need to fear their neighbours so that this fear might stagnate into hatred.

In any time and in any place, having large numbers of foreigners turn up in your area usually meant that you were being conquered. If those foreigners were Muslim, traditionally that meant you were about to be slaughtered and your women raped.

So Muslims naturally bring an entirely understandable fear to the neighbourhoods they arrive in, especially when they arrive in large numbers, and doubly especially if the flood shows no sign of stopping.

The face of a Muslim is for the political class much the same thing that a pit bull straining on a leash is for a working-class tough: a weapon that can be used to intimidate one’s enemies, so that this intimidation can render them submissive.

This fear has very predictable effects – know that the rulers of this Earth are master psychologists and have been refining their tricks since Babylon.

One of the predictable effects of mass Muslim immigration is for non-Muslims to form greater bonds of solidarity with each other. For example, in the face of a reinvigorated Muslim attempt to conquer the European continent, the differences between Catholic and Protestant, or Nordic and Mediterranean, suddenly don’t seem so large.

If the leaders of Europe wanted to replace the various national consciousnesses with a European one, the way to do it would be by calling all of the European peoples into an existential conflict against an outside enemy.

As it stands today, almost every native person in Europe, from Spain to Russia, from Britain to Sweden to Greece, has a shared interest in dealing with the continent-wide “Muslim problem.”

So by allowing Muslim “refugees” to flood over the whole continent, the leaders of Europe create a pan-continental consciousness that they control through their dominance of pan-continental media.

It’s much harder to control localist consciousness because this is a function of people getting together and talking and figuring out the truth for themselves. It’s far easier to control a pan-European consciousness because people at this level have to rely on the corporate media, instead of their neighbours, for information – and the globalists own the corporate media.

Because Muslim “refugees” do not get placed in the same neighbourhoods that wealthy globalists live in, the globalists escape the chaos that is wrought on the working-class neighbourhoods that are forced to accept the Muslims.

Every new person in a working-class or middle-class community that does not speak a language that allows them to communicate with their neighbours represents the destruction of the solidarity of that community. Each new entrant forces the level of consciousness away from the level of the street and the neighbourhood to the level of the globe.

For globalist politicians, therefore, opening the doors to refugees helps those globalists to bring chaos into the lives of their enemies in working-class neighbourhoods, crippling their capacity to resist other globalist measures like forcing the working and middle classes to compete with offshore labour.

This column has previously raised the possibility that many of the young liberals supporting mass resettlement of Muslims into Western working-class communities are actually crypto-conservatives deliberately acting to further right-wing class interests.

Perhaps in modern democracies there is only ever a candidate of the bankers and a candidate of the people. In any case, the battle lines are clearly being drawn for anyone with the wit to see them.

When Politicians Start Competing For Cannabis Voters, Prohibition Is Over

Gareth Morgan showed that he is a cut above the rest of the megalomaniacs who would be king by actually changing his stance on cannabis law reform in response to the wishes of his supporters. This by itself is curious (some are calling the phenomenon “democracy”), but not as curious as the reaction.

The Greens’ health spokeswoman, Julie Anne Genter, responded to the news of Morgan’s intrusion into her political niche like a mother cat protecting her litter.

She made a social media post belittling the capacity of The Opportunity Party to enact reform, calling it “some tiny new political party”, and accused them of planning to be “working with National”.

This marks the first time, ever, that politicians in New Zealand have acted like medicinal cannabis users were normal people whose rights were worth defending.

The usual approach, the English-Little-Peters-Shaw approach, is to stand aside and let medicinal cannabis users die for fear of losing votes from people who want to kill them.

If the politicians, the shallowest of shallow whores, are competing for cannabis law reform votes, then it’s fair to say that the cracks in the dam are appearing and that it’s time for those downstream to evacuate.

The next move will be a leader of a big four party stating on the record that cannabis prohibition is unjust. Any consideration of compensation will be out of the question, because to raise the point suggests that politicians can be held accountable for their crimes against the people, but someone might suggest that medicinal cannabis even be subsidised like other medicines.

Maybe one day a politician will do a medicinal cannabis user the honour of having a photo taken with them.

The ridiculous thing will be that, when all of this happens, the politiwhore in question will try to give the impression that they are bravely leading the charge, even though the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party was saying what Julie Anne Genter is now saying since 1996 – 21 years ago.

It’s taken 21 years to even get this far, where there are so many as two second-tier politicians calling for cannabis law reform. Let’s hope it doesn’t take another 21 for a leader of one of the big four parties to find the courage to say something.

Probably the next advance for cannabis law reform in New Zealand will be for someone in the ACT or Labour parties to champion the issue. Damian O’Connor has already dipped a nervous toe in the water, and if he sees the centrist Morgan take up the issue he could well interpret that as a green light to go further.