Understanding New Zealand: ACT Voters

Thought by most to be the big money party, ACT cuts an odd figure on the New Zealand political landscape. Although there is a fairly strong correlation between voting ACT in 2014 and net personal income (0.36), this is considerably less than the correlation between voting National in 2014 and net personal income (0.53).

This tells us that the average ACT voter is not as wealthy as the average National voter, despite the reputation of the ACT Party as the party of millionaires only. Where ACT manages to cleave off votes from National appears to be by targeting the specially ambitious, the specially driven, and those with a specially low level of solidarity with other Kiwis.

Voting ACT in 2014 had a correlation of 0.57 with having a Master’s degree, and one of -0.64 with having no academic qualifications. ACT voters were also much less likely to be on a benefit than average: voting ACT in 2014 had a correlation of -0.30 with being on the pension, of -0.38 with being on the unemployment benefit and of -0.59 with being on the invalid’s benefit.

The two occupations that correlated significantly with voting for ACT in 2014 were professionals (0.39) and sales workers (0.27). Perhaps surprisingly, there was no significant correlation between voting ACT in 2014 and being a manager (0.06). Managers tend overwhelmingly to vote National and are usually Kiwi-born.

All of the correlations with working-class occupations were significantly negative: technicians and trades workers (-0.39), community and personal service workers (-0.47), machinery operators and drivers (-0.52) and labourers (-0.61).

In terms of industry choice, ACT voters seem to gravitate to the sort of job where one is paid on commission. The strongest correlation between voting ACT in 2014 and the industry of the voter was with wholesale trade (0.66). Other strong correlations were with financial and insurance services (0.59) and professional, scientific and technical services (0.50).

Notably, there is a significant negative correlation with voting for ACT in 2014 and working in the healthcare industry (-0.29). So can guess that the wealthy foreigners voting ACT are not often doctors, psychiatrists or psychologists – this sort of person tends to vote Green.

Some might note with curiosity that the correlation between voting ACT in 2014 and being born overseas is a very strong 0.78. This is much higher than for any other party; in fact, it would almost be fair to say that ACT is a foreigner’s party.

Voting for ACT in 2014 has a significant negative correlation both with being of European descent (-0.28) and with being of Maori descent (-0.42). It is the only party of all of them for which this is true.

By contrast, the correlation between being of Asian descent and voting ACT is a very strong 0.85. Given that there are many more Asians in New Zealand than ACT voters, this correlation suggests that the majority of ACT voters are foreign-born Asians.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, then, the party with which voting for ACT has the strongest negative correlation is with New Zealand First: this is -0.55. It’s probably fair to say that very few ACT voters are particularly patriotic about New Zealand.

Other negative correlations exist between voting ACT in 2014 and voting ALCP (-0.45), voting Internet MANA (-0.25) and the Maori Party (-0.29). Given the strength of the negative correlation between voting ACT in 2014 and being Maori, none of these are really surprising.

The only party to have a significant positive correlation with voting ACT in 2014 was National, for which it was 0.35. None of the correlations with the other three were signficant: Labour -0.19, Greens -0.06 and Conservative 0.13.

ACT voters are often religious, but not Christian. Voting ACT in 2014 and being Christian is almost perfectly uncorrelated (-0.01). Given what we know about the tendency of ACT voters to be foreign-born we can predict that the religions with the strongest correlations with voting for the ACT Party are those with the weakest foothold here.

And so, the correlations between voting for the ACT party and belonging to a religion are significantly positive if that religion is Buddhism (0.85), Hinduism or Islam (both 0.50) or Judaism (0.42).

Of all the personal annual income brackets detailed in the Parliamentary Profiles, the top three have a significant positive correlation with voting for ACT in 2014, and the higher someone goes the stronger the correlation. For an income of $70-100K the correlation was 0.33, for an income of $100-150K the correlation was 0.43 and for an income above $150K it was 0.44.

The only other income bracket with a significant positive correlation with voting ACT is that of ‘Loss or No Income’ – here the correlation is 0.32. This can easily be explained by the number of entrepreneurs who are still losing money, and it might be a major reason why the correlation between median personal income and voting ACT is less than it is with the National Party.

A picture starts to emerge of the typical ACT voter as the sort of foreigner who found their home country too economically restrictive for their own ambitions, so they came to New Zealand to work long hours, usually on commission, and hopefully not have to contribute to a social safety net that neither them nor anyone they care about should ever have to rely on.

What makes the ACT Party different to a true libertarian party is their emphasis on economic freedom at the expense of social freedom. Their website is full of rhetoric calling for greater punishments for burglaries but does not mention cannabis law reform. This might lose them half of their votes, but if the intent was to be a National Party support partner it could make co-operation easier.

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This article is an excerpt from Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan, published by VJM Publishing in the winter of 2017.

Smokefree New Zealand is a Sadistic Idea Dreamed up by Morons

A recent Customs report suggests that the New Zealand Government may lose up to $10,000,000 in revenue per year from a black market in tobacco as a consequence of raising taxes on both cigarettes and loose tobacco. The predictable Government reaction will be more restrictions against home growing and even more taxes, but this essay will argue that if the Government had any sense they’d drop the whole hubris-fuelled idea.

An example of how the Kiwi political class has more shit for brains than it does grey or white matter was provided by Nicky Wagner’s response to the report. She said:

“We’re monitoring it very closely, we’re intercepting [tobacco] the border, you may be aware that the Customs and Excise Act is changing in the New Year. That cuts the amount of growth for personal use from 15 kilograms down to 5kg… We’re attacking it on several different levels.”

So rather than accept that they may have made an error, or that the 40-year failure of the War on Drugs may have taught us anything, or that the failure of alcohol prohibition in America may have taught us anything, our politicians are just going to double down on pissing our taxmoney up the wall.

Tobacco prohibition, however gradually it might be brought about, is a sadistic idea dreamed up by morons.

Some might ask, given the evident physical dangers of smoking tobacco, how this can be.

The answer: tobacco is a mental health medicine. This is not generally understood by either doctors severely brainwashed into taking a physicalist perspective towards everything or by politicians who are generally either ignorant or indifferent to mental health and the people suffering from a lack of it.

It has long been noted that people who are hard done by and the majority of severely mentally ill people smoke something, almost always either tobacco or cannabis.

An article from the Journal of the American Medical Association points out that “individuals with mental illness smoke at rates approximately twice that of adults without mental disorders… and comprise more than half of nicotine-dependent smokers.”

In other words, half of the haul of increased tax revenue from the Smokefree New Zealand policy comes out of the wallets of mentally ill people who are taxed for trying to obtain relief from psychological distress.

And the higher they pump the tax up, the more the mentally ill will just have to keep paying, because people with high levels of psychological distress have no other reliable way to control that distress when it gets out of control than to have a cigarette.

Why the Smokefree New Zealand policy is so cruel can be summarised with a line from a recent article in the Journal of Nicotine and Tobacco Research: “people with high levels of psychological distress do not benefit to the same extent as others from existing tobacco control measures.”

In fact, people with high levels of psychological distress lose out immensely from the Smokefree New Zealand policy, because they have to pay more for tobacco which leaves them in increased poverty, which increases the psychological distress (and thus the demand for tobacco).

Here’s a question that the gutless chickenshits in Parliament will never have the courage to ask themselves: Is there a connection between the tobacco prices and our world record teen suicide rate?

They won’t ask themselves that question, because they lack either the integrity or the courage. The rest of us, for our part, might like to consider this question: will the attempt to ban tobacco be any less of a futile waste of resources, achieving nothing but human misery, than the attempts to ban alcohol and cannabis have been?

This column contends that it will not. The crusade against tobacco has all the hallmarks of being another futile, self-destructive suicide mission foisted on an unwilling populace by the morons in Parliament.

Is David Seymour the Biggest Coward in the New Zealand Parliament?

On the face of it, it seems self-evident that a New Zealand libertarian party would be a staunch supporter of cannabis law reform. There’s nothing less libertarian than the government putting people in cages for using a medicine they don’t approve of, and there’s nowhere in the world with a greater appetite for a repeal of cannabis prohibition.

The New Zealand ACT Party claims to be a libertarian party. They have wrapped themselves in the libertarian yellow and their website boldly states “We believe the current role of government is far too large and should be limited on a principled basis.”

Sounds good, as probably 75% of New Zealand agrees that the New Zealand Government’s decades-long war on medicinal cannabis users has been a governmental overreach and should be limited.

The ACT Party Crime and Justice page even goes as far as to state, at the top: “We’re striving for a progressive, vibrant New Zealand that encourages individual choice, responsibility and excellence.”

From all this rhetoric you’d think a repeal of cannabis prohibition would be front and centre, but it’s not even mentioned. Instead the entire Crime and Justice section is just a lengthy diatribe about how burglary is the greatest evil facing our nation and ought to be punished severely.

David Seymour shares more than a gormless possum-in-the-headlights look with Andrew Little – he’s also a coward when it comes to our cannabis laws

The inability of the ACT Party to make good on their rhetoric about compassion and freedom by supporting a repeal of New Zealand’s cannabis laws – despite their unprecedented degree of leverage on the current Government – marks that party, and David Seymour, as a pack of weaklings.

What takes the ACT Party’s behaviour from disappointing to pathetic is the fact that it has already been well established that a repeal of our cannabis laws would save the taxpayer $400,000,000 per year.

So changing our cannabis laws, and making good on all the lofty rhetoric about compassion and freedom and fulfilling New Zealand’s destiny as a forward-thinking nation, would be a simple matter of negotiating with the current National Government $400,000,000 worth of tax cuts that would be paid for with the savings from cannabis prohibition.

It isn’t clear why Seymour has yet to kick the ball into this wide open goal.

Probably because he is a coward, but it’s unlikely that a man could possibly be so craven. Imagine being so gutless, so lily-livered, so chickenshit, that a 76-year old former leader of your party was saying what needed to be said six years ago, and you still can’t find the stomach to walk the same trail blazed by this geriatric.

A more charitable explanation though, going by his wittering about the need to do work on evaluating what’s happening overseas, is that Seymour is just in the same twenty-year time warp as most of the rest of the country.

It was pointed out in a previous Dan McGlashan column that supporting the ACT Party has a very strong negative correlation with being born in New Zealand (-0.74). Has the ACT Party sold its soul to corporate globalist interests so that Seymour could be a National party puppet?

Considering that there are significant correlations between voting ACT and both having a professional occupation, or with working in financial and insurance services, it’s unlikely that ACT voters or supporters have much in common with cannabis users at all, much less using cannabis themselves.

If those are the circles Seymour moves in, perhaps this is why Seymour has failed to observe the immense appetite for a change to our ridiculous laws.

So maybe he needs to climb down out of the ivory tower and get a clue.

Coming out in support of cannabis law reform would lend credence to the idea that ACT might really be a libertarian party, instead of what most Kiwis suspect them to be – paid whores of big corporate interests.

The question is whether Seymour has the courage to stand up to a Catholic prohibitionist National Party leader, or whether he’d rather scurry away and prepare himself for the aftermath of the likely National loss later this year.

The most sure thing of all is that if ACT does not make an appeal to libertarian New Zealanders by updating their cannabis policy, they have little hope of winning more than one seat in this year’s election.

Understanding New Zealand: Voting Patterns of the Religious I

Many people are aware of the long-standing alliance between conservative forces and religion. Indeed, the party with the strongest correlation between voting for them and being Christian was the Conservative Party, which was 0.37.

The Conservative Party of New Zealand appeals to much of the same sentiment as the Christian Heritage Party when it was run by now convicted child molester Graham Capill.

Christians are also significantly more likely to vote for the National Party – the correlation here is 0.29. This is significant but barely so, and perhaps even less so once one considers that this correlation can be well explained by the fact that both Christians and National voters tend to be older than average.

However, this is not an area where the Labour Party forms a natural counterweight. Voting Labour in 2014 has a correlation of 0.10 with being Christian. Neither does New Zealand First – voting for them and being Christian has a correlation of -0.11. Neither of these two are significant.

The significant one is between voting Green in 2014 and being Christian: this is a very strong -0.57. This suggests that the religious see very, very little merit in what the Greens have to offer.

Although this is true, the likely reason for it is that many Green voters are either young students – who are the group least likely to be Christian – and many who are older have postgraduate degrees in the sciences, the holding of which has a significant negative correlation with being Christian.

Many are already aware of the widespread cynicism of Maoris towards Christianity, which is often seen as a pack of lies that was told to confuse them while their land could be stolen. Not surprisingly, then, being Christian has a significant negative correlation with all of the parties that have heavy Maori support, apart from New Zealand First.

Being Christian has a correlation of -0.44 with voting Maori Party in 2014, -0.41 with voting ALCP and -0.40 with voting Internet MANA.

Because there are so many Christians – slightly fewer than 50% of the population – it’s worth taking a look at the next level down.

At this level, Anglicans seem to form the foundation of the national freemasonry. Being Anglican has a correlation of 0.41 with voting National in 2014, one of 0.34 with voting Conservative and one of -0.59 with voting Labour.

To all other parties Anglicans are mostly indifferent. The correlation between being Anglican and voting ALCP in 2014 was -0.01, with voting New Zealand First it was 0.17, with the Greens it was -0.06, with Internet MANA it was -0.07, with ACT it was -0.23 and with the Maori Party it was -0.06. None of these are significant.

Their eternal enemies, the Catholics, are predictably therefore more internationalist. There is a significant postive correlation between being Catholic and voting Labour in 2014 (0.28), and with voting ACT (0.24).

Also predictably for a religion that has a significant negative correlation with both being European and being Maori, being Catholic has a significant negative correlation with voting for New Zealand First in 2014 – this was -0.44. Other negative correlations existed between being Catholic and voting for the ALCP (-0.27) and voting Conservative (-0.26).

Presbytarians, for their part, seem like a kind of less Maori-friendly Anglican. The correlation between voting National in 2014 and being Presbytarian is almost identical with that of being Anglican – this is 0.40. The major difference is that the correlation betwen voting Labour and being Presbytarian is a mere -0.22, which is not significant.

The correlations between being Presbytarian and voting for any of the Maori-heavy parties were negative. With voting Internet MANA it was -0.40 and with voting Maori Party it was -0.37.

These correlations reflect the degree to which Presbytarianism is more common in the Southern South Island, which was settled much more heavily by Scots than by the English and where few Maoris live.

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This article is an excerpt from Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan, published by VJM Publishing in the winter of 2017.

The Four Realms of Human Awareness

Dividing the Great Fractal along two particular masculine-feminine axes gives us four realms of human awareness. These axes arise in response to two fundamental questions about any new piece of knowledge that are natural for a conscious entity to ask themselves as reality becomes more apparent after the birth of a physical body.

The first question is “Is this knowledge actual knowledge or is it a lie masquerading as knowledge?” The second question is “To what area of existence does this knowledge pertain?”

The first question gives us a basic division into truth and falsehood. The second question gives us a basic division into physical and metaphysical.

In the quadrant corresponding to both truth and physical, we have the realm of knowledge we call science. Human awareness probably entered this realm in conjunction with the mastery of fire, because it was not until then that the scientific method became necessary.

It was necessary for the mastery of fire because we had to learn, by trial and error for the most part, that dryness of the air was a factor that determined the possibility of starting a fire, as was the degree of contrast in terms of hardness of the two woods that were rubbed together, as was the temperature of the embers created by the friction.

This primitive scientific methodology led to the invention of the bow drill – a technological leap as ingenious as anything humanity has taken since, and one that increased our chances of survival in nature by more than any other. All scientists are the spiritual descendants of those early shamans who had the courage to master fire.

In the quadrant of truth crossed with metaphysical, we have philosophy. This arguably preceded the mastery of fire. More likely, though, it arose as a consequence of the leisure time that itself was created as a consequence of the massively increased efficiency of food consumption afforded by the ability to cook food in fire and therefore pre-digest it.

In other words, because eating cooked food was hyper-efficient it gave early man an opportunity to relax, and this brought with it consideration of basic existential questions like “What the fuck is going on here?”

The advent of philosophy massively increased human survival prospects because it allowed us to think ahead in a rational manner. This naturally led to an appreciation of the cycles of nature such as the seasons and the tides, and the migration patterns of the game animals upon which nomadic tribes depended.

These two realms of human awareness increased human survival chances so much that our population began to swell to a degree that could not be sustained by the hunting and gathering practices of the time. This overpopulation naturally led to increased competition for the now relatively scarcer resources.

It would have soon been apparent that this increased population led to increased violence. There was one way around it, though: there is one way to compete with one’s fellows without using violence, and that is by telling lies.

Science and philosophy come naturally to men. To get them to behave in an unnatural manner, one needs politics and religion.

This mixture of the physical world and falsehood is the realm of human knowledge that we know as politics.

The earlier developmental stages of politics can be observed in the ever-shifting alliances of chimpanzee troops. Essentially the objective of politics is to position oneself or one’s group so that one is in an optimal position to compete for scarce resources without violence.

For example, it can be seen that in our modern civilisation that the men of silver generally have an easier time attracting fertile women than the men of iron. This is because being of silver – a part of which having the capacity to derive advantage by telling lies – is more closely associated with having a capacity for resource acquisition.

The politics of today have arranged the minds of the rest of us so that if the man of iron tries to take what he wants by force, as he did in prehistoric times without anyone being able to stop him, he will be outgunned by the Police.

The simplest way, however, to arrange a group of people so that they will do whatever you tell them is with religion. This is why the intersection of the metaphysical and falsehood is the quadrant of religion.

That philosophy and religion are the opposing poles of one axis can be understood by knowing that the purpose of philosophy is to enlighten and the purpose of religion is to confuse.

Make no mistake – the purpose of religion is to confuse its victims into passivity, from where they can be herded wherever their shepherd desires. This is why religious scriptures are absolutely riddled with contradictions.

These contradictions, such as the Biblical admonitions to both love thy neighbour and to destroy all enemies of God, have not arisen because the authors of these texts were philosophically unsophisticated.

Quite the opposite. It has been known since Babylon that if you can rot the minds of the populace with moral confusion they will become compliant with any decree from a ruler, as long as that decree promises to impose the order that all confused people desperately crave.

Telling lies, therefore, is an end in itself to both political and religious rulers. This point cannot be overemphasised if one wishes to make sense of the world.

The Fallacy of Pre-Emptive Violence

At a march in Washington D.C. this week, accused neo-Nazi Richard Spencer was kinghit from the blindside by a mystery black-hoodie-clad protester. Footage of the incident was the most viral meme of the entire Inauguration period, trumping even anything the U.S. President said. The reaction of the Internet, predictably, was divided.

One part of the viewership was appalled by the purposeless attack on the sacred value of free speech; another part was excited to an almost sexual state of arousal by the sight of a Nazi getting what they thought he deserved.

Justification for the latter reaction began almost immediately, and was earnest, although convoluted. The basic premise, however, was eerily familiar: Spencer was a Nazi, Nazis want to violently take over the world, therefore they can essentially be attacked at any time in pre-emptive self-defence.

On the face of it, it’s hard to argue with that line of reasoning. The excuse that “I just got the bear before the bear got me” was after all, the excuse George W. Bush used to invade Iraq and kill a million people – and he completely got away with it.

There’s one glaring problem with the Bush Doctrine though, especially when it is applied to blindsiding people in the street for their political opinions: the potential excuses that a person might make to conduct ‘pre-emptive’ violence against another is limited only by human ingenuity.

In the same way that conservatives delude themselves into believing they are compassionate, liberals delude themselves into believing they are tolerant.

For a start, the logic that any violence against Nazis is justified because Nazism is a supremacist political movement also justifies violence against any of the Abrahamic cults, as they are also supremacist ideologies.

It would then be legitimate to beat the shit out of any Christian or Jew one met on the grounds that their holy book contains a command from God to kill homosexuals. One could also conduct pre-emptive violence for a number of reasons against any Muslim you met.

Any American could be dealt to under the logic that American imperialism is one of the prime threats to the stability of the world order, and any European could be shown some fist on the grounds that prior imperialism suggests a high likelihood of future imperialism. Any Chinese or Indian could be bashed because their massive populations threaten the viability of the biosphere.

If someone calls you a Nazi, whether you are one or not, that could be an excuse for pre-emptive violence on the grounds that the epithet is generally only levelled at people who are murderous totalitarians and therefore should be killed with extreme prejudice. And people are being called ‘Nazi’ at ever-increasing rates – it’s almost become synonymous with ‘to the right of the speaker.’

If someone calls you a Commie, whether you are one or not, that could be an excuse for pre-emptive violence on the grounds that the epithet is generally only levelled at people who are murderous totalitarians and therefore should be killed with extreme prejudice. And people are being called ‘Commie’ at ever-increasing rates – it’s almost become synonymous with ‘to the left of the speaker.’

This means that anyone can find a reason to attack anyone else pre-emptively. It’s just a simple matter of knowing if you are doing it because your target is a Nazi or because they are a Commie.

As anyone who walked the streets of Weimar Germany could tell you, National Socialists and Communists are just ready made for fighting, like the yang and yin of violence. Their natural instinct is to go each other like two stags in rutting season.

Perhaps the best course of action for reasonable people is the Churchill Doctrine that served Britain so well in World War II: just stand back and let them kill each other.

P.S. Our anarcho-homicidalist readers usually enjoy seeing any kind of political extremist get punched in the head, so here’s the funniest dubstep remix of the incident we could find.

Understanding New Zealand: Demographics of the New Zealand-Born

Predictably, the ethnic groups that correlate the strongest with being born in New Zealand were those whose waves came here first. With being born in New Zealand, being Maori has a correlation of 0.70, and being European has a correlation of 0.33. Being a Pacific Islander has a correlation of -0.39 with being born in New Zealand, and being Asian has one of -0.88.

It’s not really surprising that Maoris are most likely to be born in New Zealand when one considers that there are very few Maoris born overseas who could have opportunity to move here. It’s also predictable, given that the second great wave of settlement was European, that people born here are more likely than not to be European.

Some might be surprised at the absence of a strong negative correlation with being a Pacific Islander and being born in New Zealand, since Islanders are generally portrayed as immigrants in popular culture. However, the start of the Pacific Islander migration to New Zealand was in the early 1970s, and it has now been forty years since then. So many of the Pacific Islanders born in New Zealand will also have parents (or one parent) that are born here.

One correlation that might surprise many is the one of -0.24 between being born in New Zealand and being Christian. After all, we often hear rhetoric about how this is a Christian country. But it’s more Kiwi to be a post-Christian than an actual Christian.

However, there was a moderately strong correlation between being born in New Zealand and being Anglican – this was 0.42.

Being a Spiritualist or New Ager has a correlation of 0.44 with being born in New Zealand, and having no religion at all has a correlation of 0.49 with being born here. These are moderately strong correlations, and reflect the degree to which more mature cultures tend to reject the more juvenile religious traditions.

Being Christian had a correlation of 0.46 with being a Pacific Islander, which is moderately strong, and allows us to conclude that immigration from the Pacific Islands has left New Zealand a much more Christian country than it otherwise would have been.

Perhaps predictably, being born in New Zealand had a correlation of -0.38 with voting to change the flag in the second flag referendum. It’s understandable that those born in the country will have more loyalty to its traditions than those born outside of the country. For some of the voters in the referendum, who had recently moved to New Zealand, the current flag didn’t hold enough emotional investment to overweigh the National Party flag.

The New Zealand-born are also significantly poorer than immigrants as a whole. The correlation between being born in New Zealand and median personal income was -0.32. The major reason for this is that our immigration policy heavily discriminates against potential immigrants who are not able, or less able, to pay their way. Generally a person needs a high-paying profession or a fat wad of cash to be allowed to immigrate here.

The strongest correlation between being born in New Zealand and any income bracket was the $25-30K bracket – here there was a correlation of 0.79. With being born outside of New Zealand the strongest correlation was 0.40 with the $100-150K bracket.

Given that, it is entirely unsurprising that there is a strong correlation between being born here and having no academic qualifications – this is 0.74. The flip side of this is, predictably, that the correlation between being born in New Zealand and having a Master’s degree is -0.59.

It’s easy to believe, then, that the correlation between being born in New Zealand and being on the unemployment benefit is 0.53, hefty enough to be more than significant. Even more so, understandly, is the correlation between being born in New Zealand and being on the invalid’s benefit, which is 0.74. This strong correlation can be explained simply by considering how difficult it would be for anyone incapacitated enough to go on an invalid’s benefit to successfully immigrate.

Following the general trend that immigration is easier the higher one’s social class, it can be observed that being born in New Zealand correlates significantly with working-class occupations. With working in healthcare the correlation is 0.57, with agriculture, forestry and fishing it is 0.55, with manufacturing it is 0.46 and with healthcare and social assistance it is 0.45.

Correspondingly, the correlation between being born overseas and working in financial and insurance services is 0.61, with wholesale trade it is 0.53, with professional, scientific and technical services it is 0.51 and with information media and telecommunications it is 0.48.

Smoking patterns fall along the lines one might predict once it is understood that immigrants to New Zealand are generally more middle-class than the natives, and that usually only people who are a bit hard done by smoke tobacco. The correlation between being born in New Zealand and being a regular smoker was 0.75, and with having never smoked it was -0.81. Considering that smoking is highly correlated with being Maori this is not especially exciting.

New Zealand-born Kiwis, though, are significantly more likely to bike to work – the correlation between the two was 0.28.

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This article is an excerpt from Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan, published by VJM Publishing in the winter of 2017.

The Peter Pan Generation

The Peter Pan Generation believes that whatever it wishes to be true is true. Whatever would be the most personally gratifying interpretation of reality is the natural one to, not only believe in, but to insist upon, as if the rest of us had a duty of care towards them akin to that of their biological mother.

This has led to many adopting the attitude that they can believe whatever they like with no obligation to pay any regard to consensual reality. If reality disagrees with me, it is wrong, and therefore has the obligation to change.

We can observe the consequences of this in the form of delayed adulthood, in particular a child-like total failure to accurately appraise the degree of danger in the world and to respond accordingly.

For this reason, some call them the ‘Special Snowflake Generation’. This was to distinguish them from their predecessors in Generation X, for whom Fight Club was a seminal influence on the collective identity, and who were told in which “You are not a special and unique snowflake. You are the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world.”

The generation who came after X, who weren’t latchkey kids, who were brought up with technology rather than catching the wave of the disruption it caused, who were bathed in hysteria about Islamists rather than the very real threat of the USSR and who, crucially, didn’t hear the message of Fight Club – they are the snowflakes, so named for their striking fragility.

wtf
The Peter Pan Generation doesn’t like being told no

If there is an overarching narrative in one’s social circles that rich white men are the devil and everyone opposed to The Man is on the same side and knows they’re on the same side and feels solidarity with each other, then one might be horribly surprised to find some of these people on your side want to throw gays off buildings.

Yet this is the natural consequence of the unnatural degree of naivety and unprecedented delayed infancy that is due, in a large part, to the absence of war or belief in the need for war or to prepare, either physically or mentally, for it.

Those of us in Generation X may not have had World War II or Vietnam to contend with, but we did grow up hearing the death throes of the Soviet Union and, with it, an entire paradigm that had until then given the world meaning. We were still brought up under the very real possibility that we might end up going to war one day.

Not so the snowflakes. War – like Hillary Clinton losing the last election – is unthinkable simply because they do not want it. There is no concept of war coming to them. After all, the Muslims blowing up Western targets are opposed to the same Man that is oppressing us!

And because those Muslims are opposed to the same patriarchal capitalist interests as the young and trendy there couldn’t possibly be any problem with letting in a couple of dozen million of them – they’re just like us, right?

As any regular reader of this column knows, all things comes in time, and the yin always turns into yang.

A sense of entitlement, in an indifferent world where you’re going to die, is like the potential kinetic energy created by raising a heavy object against gravity. Sooner or later, it is going to fall back to its natural starting point, and the further away it was before it fell the more noise and violence it will make on the way down.

It’s too early to tell what will slap the Peter Pan Generation awake in the way that 9/11 slapped awake Generation X, that Vietnam slapped awake the Boomers, that World War II slapped awake the Silent Generation, and the Great Depression slapped awake the Greatest Generation.

But what we do know is that nature will out, and that nature loves to punish stupidity with violence.

The Solution to Nelson Drunkenness is Cannabis Cafes on Bridge Street

Nelson does exceptionally well as a tourist town over the summer. We get thousands for the Abel Tasman alone and the Black Caps played here twice this season. It means big money for Sun City – but it won’t continue if we continue to get a reputation for mindless violence.

Retail group Uniquely Nelson is especially concerned by what they see as a spike in antisocial activity, in particular “drunkenness, violence, abuse, theft, rubbish and broken glass.” But as anyone who has lived in Nelson for any length of time knows, violence, abuse, theft rubbish and even broken glass are natural consequences of the first problem named – drunkenness.

Neither can we glibly blame everything on ‘North Islanders’ as if Nelsonians are not subject to the same loss of inhibition as everyone else on the planet who drinks booze. Drunk people in Nelson do the same things in Nelson that drunk people in any low-wage area get up to.

The problem with the drinking culture of Nelson is this – most of the intelligent people who have lived here for long enough have secured cannabis hookups and use that instead. Cannabis has driven out alcohol among the sort of consumer that is most sensitive to being turned away by dickheads, and this has left the drinking to the lowest common denominator.

Anyone new to Nelson looking for a good time will quickly encounter this lowest common denominator, and the results are usually as described in the examples given in the opening paragraph.

The sad thing is, there is plenty of opportunity for people to come here and have a good time. Being the oldest of Kiwis, we Nelsonians naturally represent what is the best of us, in particular a sunny nature, a social attitude and a genuine joy of life.

But we’d rather smoke weed at home than come into town to get our heads kicked in.

So the solution is obvious.

We ought to demolish the dive bars of Bridge Street and replace them with a handful of cannabis cafes, so that Nelsonians and our many visitors can relax in public without fear of being attacked by some drunken animal.

As it is, if I’m driving East on Bridge Street late on a weekend night and I see some young backpackers heading the other way for a night on the town, I feel sorry for them, knowing that they will not get to see the best of my city or of its people.

Cannabis cafes on Bridge Street would provide the revitalisation that Sun City needs. It would bring the young people back out of their homes and life back into the streets of the CBD. It would also create a festive atmosphere in the city centre to replace the fighting, vomiting and vandalism.

Not least, the local retailers of Nelson stand to make a packet from the idea. The wider Nelson region is already, along with Coromandel, the most popular destination in New Zealand for underground cannabis tourism owing to our widespread local embrace of the plant medicine. International visitors know that they can come to this region for some of the world’s best natural cannabis.

If Nelson could get it together to take advantage of the impending repeal of cannabis prohibition we could position ourselves first in the queue for the hordes of young tourists that would flock here to escape from the drunken shitheadery that plagues most other Kiwi towns and cities.

If we did it right, many of those tourists would be other Kiwis. These people should leave Nelson with a sense of being impressed by our forward-thinking, gregarious and positive attitude, not with relief at getting out before they were glassed by some pisshead.