Yesterday the Stuff news portal published one of the most one-sided pieces of pro-Government propaganda one could ever hope to see in a supposed democracy with a free press. It’s an apology piece written by media prostitute Jo Moir, and it aims to erase the historical record of Peter Dunne’s actions to resist all change to the cannabis law in New Zealand.
‘Prostitute’ is perhaps the wrong word, as most New Zealand sex workers will not allow you to piss on them and they therefore have more shame than Jo Moir, who will, it appears, write absolutely anything for money. Jo Moir has no shame, and this is why she has produced a one-sided piece of propaganda worthy of a Soviet-era newspaper.
It was titled ‘Peter Dunne feared for his and his family’s safety and may have broken the law allowing medicinal cannabis to be imported’ and sought to present a crafted image of Dunne as someone who is not responsible in any way for the current illegal status of cannabis medicine.
The article tells some transparent lies, such as “The hate mail, abuse and threats all started when Dunne approved medicinal cannabis for [Nelson teenager Alex Renton].”
In reality, medicinal cannabis users have hated Peter Dunne ever since he made it a condition of his support of the Labour Government after the 2005 General Election that absolutely no change be made to the regime of cannabis prohibition.
The article then quotes Dunne as saying he “almost” has respect for medicinal cannabis users, and also gives him a platform to blame recreational cannabis users for “hijacking” the cannabis law reform debate.
This piece of excrement masquerading as a piece of journalism even quotes Dunne, as if it was a self-evident truth, that the only reason why he has received this abuse was because of the apparently coincidental fact that he was the sign-off for medicinal cannabis in New Zealand.
It makes no mention at all of Dunne’s well-known demand that if his party should support the Labour Government after the election of 2005 there would be no progress on cannabis law reform.
Moir can’t even take Dunne’s cock out of her mouth long enough to ask basic journalistic questions that a Year 11 English student could have thought up, like: “Are not all these death threats perhaps a sign that the cannabis laws you have forced on us since 2005 have caused a large amount of genuine suffering and people are right to be angry about it?”
Or: “Do you regret the fact that, given there are at least 37 opioid overdose deaths every year in New Zealand on average and given that legalising medicinal cannabis is known to reduce opioid overdose deaths by 24.8%, your actions to prevent medicinal cannabis law reform in New Zealand since 2005 have caused the easily preventable deaths of at least 100 Kiwis?”
The sycophantic article makes no mention at all of all the people who have suffered under our barbaric cannabis laws, or of those who continue to suffer. The last two lines of it even goes as far as to recount Dunne’s hope that he can escape the consequences of his political crimes.
Make no mistake – Peter Dunne is a criminal. His actions since 2005 to resist cannabis law reform have killed at the very least a hundred New Zealanders by withholding a needed medicine, and have caused between three and seven billion dollars worth of bureaucratic waste. He should be tried on a hundred counts of manslaughter.
It’s probably understandable that the Dunne family received death threats. How could any concerned mother whose child had been psychologically destroyed by the untested mystery drugs known as “legal highs” not be angry at a politician who saw the destruction of that child as an opportunity to make money?
It must have crossed the minds of a large number of desperate people that doing physical harm to Peter Dunne might be the only way their cries for help would ever be heard.
The actions that Peter Dunne has taken as an MP since 2005 to hinder progress in cannabis law reform has caused the deaths of hundreds of Kiwis. If the media of this country were not lower than street whores, they would have held this remorseless psychopath to account.
National Party MPs are known for their kindness in the same way that Waffen-SS soldiers were known for theirs – not. Conservative politicians speak a language of fear to their constituents, who duly wet their pants and give all their power away in the hope that some mighty ruler will put it right, like their parents did back in the day.
What characterises the true right wing from the left is the degree of distance between the top and the bottom of the preferred hierarchy. Right-wing voters are generally more than happy to debase themselves before a ruler, and are thus far more likely to bow the head to one, but are at the same time far more likely to abuse or neglect someone they consider beneath them.
Essentially this is a primitive kind of social logic that has probably carried over into modern culture from brain circuits that evolved to meet the challenges of an era during which humans were much more like chimpanzees. Before the Stone Age began, your competition had to be kept down by whatever means necessary lest they kill you for your territory or women.
This suggests that, for conservative politicians, pain and misery is the only language they’ll ever understand.
The sort of person who becomes a National Party supporter is generally someone of a fairly limited degree of life experience. It’s rare that a New Zealander ever goes travelling and sees the world only to come back and vote for a conservative party, and it’s rare that one ever goes to university to mingle with a wide range of people from everywhere only to vote conservative.
The National Party psychology is a particularly unfeminine one; it prizes order above all other values. It’s as if they were taught while very young that empathy invites chaos, and is something only for the foolish.
Correspondingly, women vote National significantly less than men do, primarily because women tend to vote more in community interest and less in self-interest. Why would a woman vote for a party that cut funding to rape crisis centres? On the face of it, that seems very odd, like an unusually low degree of gender solidarity.
So if you look at National Party women like Paula Bennett, Jenny Shipley, Ruth Richardson, Michelle Boag and Judith Collins, they stand out as a particular breed. There’s clearly something missing from them, something that corresponds pretty closely to what a healthy person would consider empathy.
A normal woman is a person who one feels comfortable leaving in charge of a small child; a National Party woman is a person who feels more comfortable with a glass of bubbly in one hand and that small child on a spit roast being rotated by the other.
So when Nicky Kaye came out this week and said her diagnosis of breast cancer had changed her attitude to medicinal cannabis, the sudden change of heart demonstrates the degree of separation between the people making laws about medicinal cannabis and those needing it.
Kaye might not have encountered many cannabis users before. She might not have spent so much as one minute ever hanging out with a personal friend who had a need for medicinal cannabis. In fact, Kaye probably moved in circles that considered all cannabis users to be criminal scum, medicinal need be damned.
There’s always been that iron edge in the blue soul of the National Party, the one that believes that anyone weak deserves it, that any momentary failure or backwards step is an invite to be destroyed.
It’s why pleas to repeal cannabis prohibition on the basis of compassion will never succeed. It’s mostly the poor, Maori and mentally ill who suffer from cannabis prohibition, and none of the poor, Maori or mentally ill vote National.
Someone else’s suffering is not real suffering to the sort of person who is a National supporter. If anything, someone else’s suffering is considered by them a good thing because it keeps that someone else down and makes them much less likely to rock the boat.
So appeals to other people’s suffering, now matter how much of it there is, will not motivate a repeal of cannabis prohibition in New Zealand in 2017.
If New Zealanders want a change to our cannabis laws before the end of the year, there is only one way it will happen: if the Prime Minister Bill English himself gets cancer and comes to appreciate the value of medicinal cannabis in the same way that Nicky Kaye did.
Helen Kelly wasn’t enough. Paul Holmes wasn’t enough. Even Martin Crowe wasn’t enough. Nicky Kaye won’t be enough either. If New Zealanders want any reform to our barbaric cannabis laws in 2017 they have little option but to pray that Bill English gets cancer for the greater good of the Kiwi nation.
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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.
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.
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.