Some forward-thinking people are starting to discuss the idea of a universal basic income. This is the idea that the Government would make a small but weekly payment to each adult resident citizen, just enough to keep them alive but not enough for any luxuries or even any decencies.
Predictably, the idea that the Government might help the poor in some new fashion has resulted in cries of communism from those who expect to inherit large amounts of property.
But there are reasons to believe that bringing in a universal basic income, even if it was as little as the current unemployment benefit, would significantly raise the standard of living of the average New Zealander.
For instance, a universal basic income would, at a stroke, remove all the cruel things that people do to each other out of desperate poverty.
One might object here that they would not remove all the cruel things that people do to each other out of greed – and that’s true in some cases – but consider this.
Every great dictator or tyrant who convinced a mass of people to go against their better nature, and to later regret that they had done so, convinced those people by offering them money.
They just looked for desperately poor people. Poverty is control. That’s the way it has to be understood for the psychological reactions of people to the question of a universal basic income to be understood.
Hitler could not have achieved what he did without the Great Depression and the economic restrictions imposed on Germany as a consequence of the Versailles Treaty.
People like to make a big deal about Hitler’s rhetoric and oratory skills, but the naked fact is that the NSDAP paid men to serve in the military, and they could pay a lot of men for not much money because those men were all as poor as shit.
This is why getting the rich to give up some of the money they have extorted out of the poor through their control of the Police and of private property is not a simple matter of appealing to the simple fact that it would reduce the sum total of human suffering.
One must also take into account the loss of power this entails.
Think of all the women in history who were forced to accept the sexual advances of a man they didn’t like because they needed the money.
Think of all the men in history who have wound up doing violence to strangers because they were forced to be obedient to someone violent for the sake of money.
Think of all the kings and queens who were able to raise an army to invade some other peaceful place because the peasants of their kingdom had no access to the commons on account of enclosure, and therefore were forced to take the monarch’s silver or starve.
Think of all the times a parent who, on account of stress from worry about where the next meal was coming from, took a short-sighted decision in the heat of the moment and came to regret it.
Go back as far in history as you like. How many robberies, how many burglaries, how many thefts, how many assaults and murders could have been prevented had we merely seen to it that people didn’t need to go hungry, and did so with a similar effort to what we already put into punishing and protecting ourselves from robbers, burglars, thieves and murderers?
We’re not talking about an equal distribution of luxuries, or even decencies. A person living merely on a universal basic income will be too poor to afford much beyond food and shelter – but at least they will not be so poor that they will take violent actions out of desperation.
One might raise an objection to this on the grounds that, if people were willing to look after each other enough to introduce a universal basic income, they would have done so already and would not need coercion through Government taxation.
This objection is only reasonable up to a certain historical point. When the productivity of the average citizen has advanced to such a degree that simply by pressing a button they can cause machines and computers to produce a million dollars worth of goods, there’s no reason barring a sadistic need for control to cut non-machine-owners out of this cornucopia.
Of course, much of this discussion is academic in the case of New Zealand, which is 20 years behind the rest of the world in progress on questions like this and getting worse. Medicinal cannabis was legalised in California in 1996 and we are yet to even have a proper discussion about it, so we will likely be several decades behind the rest of the world on the basic income question too.
Asians represent the fourth major wave of immigration to New Zealand, and, partially as a consequence, their voting patterns are the least well understood. What makes it especially difficult is that “Asian” covers a very large number of people, many of whom are very distinct from some of the others.
The most striking thing about Asian New Zealanders is their love of the ACT Party. The correlation between being Asian and voting ACT in 2014 was an extremely strong 0.85, which is enough to suggest that most ACT voters are Asians (note that it does not mean most Asians are ACT voters, because the population of Asians is many times higher than the number of ACT voters).
As is described elsewhere, the highly educated class tends to split into a right wing that votes ACT and a left wing that votes Green. If the correlation between voting ACT in 2014 and being Asian is so strong, one could predict that there were fewer educated Asians left to vote Green, and indeed the correlation between voting Green in 2014 and being Asian was 0.00.
Also because of the extremely strong ACT support, one could predict that there was little conservative sentiment left over for supporting the National Party. This is indeed the case – the correlation between being Asian and voting National in 2014 was 0.09. There was even less for the real Conservative Party, voting for which in 2014 had a correlation of -0.07 with being Asian.
The correlation between being Asian and voting Labour, by contrast, was 0.17. Some might be surprised by this, given that there are a large number of Asians attracted to the ACT Party. The explanation is that most of the ACT-voting Asians are from Far East Asia and the many from India, Thailand, Malaysia etc. are more likely to have social democratic sentiments.
Given that Maoris were the first wave of immigrants and Asians the most recent, it’s not really surprising that being Asian had a significant negative correlation with voting for any of the four Maori-heavy parties. Being Asian had a correlation of -0.23 with voting Internet MANA, one of -0.30 with voting Maori Party, one of -0.50 with voting Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party and one of -0.60 with voting New Zealand First.
This article is an excerpt from Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan, published by VJM Publishing in the winter of 2017.
On the face of it, it seems obvious that it should be illegal to mutilate a person without their consent in New Zealand. If the mutilation was done to a newborn baby without their consent, it seems even more obvious. But if the mutilation was part of a religious tradition intended to bind the child to a primitive male supremacist Middle Eastern cult, it’s fully legal.
We all know that the various cults of Abrahamism have the plebs of New Zealand wrapped around their little fingers, so much so that it’s only in recent decades that we have been able to stop them putting homosexuals in cages and from bashing their own kids, and we still haven’t been able to prevent them from doing the same to medicinal cannabis users.
Despite that, it’s obvious that the reasons people give for supporting male infant genital mutilation (or “circumcision” to use the religious terminology) are superstitious in nature, and that the decision to inflict the procedure upon an infant is not done with their best interests in mind.
The concept of cleanliness that a nomadic desert savage may have had 2,800 years ago is hardly the same as those of a modern nation with access to clean, fresh water and a ready supply of soap.
Getting mutilated for the sake of avoiding penile cancer, likewise, makes little sense when one considers the actual likelihood of that happening. It doesn’t make any more sense than chopping off your ears or lips for the sake of avoiding cancer, or gouging out an eyeball.
And the oft-touted idea that male infant genital mutilation could be a good thing because when the baby grows into a man he will “last longer” in bed is a bizarre and brutal enough sentiment that many women will shudder upon hearing it, especially those who feel that there’s more to lovemaking than just lying back and getting jackhammered.
The reality is that there are no benefits to the victim of male genital infant mutilation, as fits the otherwise widely-accepted general rule for cases of non-consensual physical mutilation of infants.
The major reason why this ritual continues, despite the denials, is religious. Jewish and Muslim groups were outraged when, in 2012, a court in Cologne deemed male infant genital mutilation to be equivalent to grievous bodily harm.
It has to be considered that the cult of Abrahamism still has a powerful grip on the minds of the weaker sort of New Zealander, which is why the last Labour Government ran out of political capital after it banned physical abuse as a behavioural correction mechanism on children.
Abrahamic puritanism still dominates our drug laws, which are now over twenty years behind where they are in places like California or the Netherlands that do not have societies riddled with religious fundamentalists.
Given that, it is impossible for Kiwis to expect that our politicians, whose cowardice is world-class, will do much about it.
If male infant genital mutilation is to be made illegal in New Zealand, it is best that it be done soon because of the degree of Stockholm Syndrome that the victims of this practice have with their mutilators.
It is well known that victims of male infant genital mutilation will passionately defend the practice as adults because the alternative is to face the shame of admitting that one has been mutilated with the consent of one’s parents. Few are capable of dealing with this magnitude of headfuck.
In fact, it’s arguable that the entire purpose of the procedure is to massively traumatise the boy in order to make him submissive and more obedient to the demands of his religious elders (after all, this is what it most effectively achieves, whether this is admitted or not).
If we are to go as far as making it illegal to genitally mutilate infant boys without their consent, we may also need to allocate some funding for the psychological rehabilitation of adults who were mutilated by their parents, because we can anticipate that this particular redpill might not be easy to swallow.
The limited overs leg of the 2017 South Africa tour of New Zealand was a close-fought contest that ended in South Africa’s favour. As the limited overs game is New Zealand’s strong suit, that means that the South Africans will take the ascendancy into the three-match Test series beginning tomorrow in Dunedin.
South Africa are ranked No. 3 in the world and the Black Caps No. 5. This might not be a large gap but the market is much more confident of a South Africa win. The Proteas are paying only $2.24 on BetFair to win the First Test, compared to the Black Caps paying $3.70 and the Draw $3.60.
The Black Caps will not fondly recall the disappointment from when these two sides last met in Tests – the two match series in South Africa last August. The First Test was ruined by rain and the Second saw the Black Caps at one stage 4 down for 7 runs before a respectable, if futile, rearguard from Henry Nicholls.
Since then, the Black Caps have demolished both Pakistan and Bangladesh at home. Although South Africa will be tougher than either of those two Asian sides in New Zealand conditions, the Black Caps’ home advantage should make this series more interesting than the previous encounter in South Africa last August.
If one makes the assumption that Tom Latham’s poor recent ODI form will not carry over into the Test arena, then the Black Caps top order looks as solid as it ever has been.
They will have the highest ranked Test batsman on display for either side, in Kane Williamson at 4th. His returns in the past year have been good but mediocre by his high standards and he would like to play a defining innings against the South Africans.
Ross Taylor at 15th and Tom Latham at 26th, with Jeet Raval looking solid in his limited opportunities so far, make it a respectable, if far from intimidating, Black Caps top order.
They will not be favoured to dominate the South African bowling attack, though, even in the absence of Dale Steyn. The 21-year old Kagiso Rabada had barely had time to find his feet but has already risen to 5th in the Test bowling rankings, with two five-wicket hauls in only 14 Tests.
He will likely open the bowling with Vernon Philander, who averages 21.40 with the ball over 40 Tests. In terms of bowling average, at least, it will be easily the most formidable opening bowling pair the Black Caps have faced since their last series against South Africa.
They also have Morne Morkel, whose height and bounce pose a threat that New Zealand batsmen rarely face, and an almost total unknown in left-arm orthodox Keshav Maharaj.
The Black Caps have no real bowling spearheads but are capable of sustained pressure. Neil Wagner, Trent Boult and Tim Southee occupy positions 11 to 13 on the Test bowling rankings table.
These three bowlers have proven themselves capable of hunting as a pack, and the variety of Wagner’s left-arm bouncer barrage, Boult’s left-arm swing and Southee’s right-arm seam should make it difficult for the South African batsmen to settle. It will also be interesting to see if Mitchell Santner can usefully transfer his tight ODI bowling into the Test arena.
The South African Test batting unit might not be as terrifying as it is in ODIs but it still poses a threat. They do not have AB de Villiers for this series but both of Hashim Amla and Quentin de Kock are ranked in the top 10 and either could play a matchwinning knock.
The Black Caps bowlers will back their bowling plans against the other batsmen like Faf du Plessis, Stephen Cook, Dean Elgar, JP Duminy and Temba Bavuma. None of the batsmen in South Africa’s second tier pose a particular threat but all are very good players. Even if the Black Caps pick up a string of wickets somewhere they will always have to work hard to get the rest.
A heavyweight South Africa side without their best two players and playing in foreign conditions over three Tests against a middle-of-the-pack Black Caps side hungry to make the top tier promises to be highly competitive cricket. This column is guessing the most likely outcome to be a two-one win to South Africa or a one-all draw.
The Parliamentary Profiles contain information on all manner of religions. Even though India and China are much closer to the New Zealand than the Middle East is, the Middle Eastern religions have a much higher profile here than the Oriental ones.
The vast majority of Kiwi Buddhists are Asians, despite the number of Kiwis of European descent that the reader may have met claiming to be Buddhists. Being a Buddhist in New Zealand has an extremely strong correlation, of 0.87, with being born in North East Asia.
This third factor of being Asian explains why Buddhists love the ACT Party. Being Buddhist has a correlation of 0.85 with voting for ACT in 2014, although there is nothing obvious in Buddhist doctrine that would lead a person towards supporting the ACT Party.
Probably also because of the third factor of being Asian and an immigrant, there was a correlation of -0.66 between being Buddhist and voting for New Zealand First.
Of the other three major parties, Buddhists are indifferent. None of the correlations between being Buddhist and voting National in 2014 (0.15), voting Labour in 2014 (0.08) and voting Green in 2014 (0.12) were significant. This might suggest that Buddhist immigrants to New Zealand have generally peacefully integrated.
There were significant negative correlations between being Buddhist and voting for the other three Maori-heavy parties. With voting Internet MANA in 2014 it was -0.26, with voting Maori Party in 2014 it was -0.33 and with voting Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party it was -0.52.
Perhaps most fittingly, Buddhists were perfectly indifferent to the idea of voting in general – the correlation between being Buddhist and turnout rate in 2014 was 0.00.
Hindus followed the general pattern of demographic groups that have a high proportion of immigrants voting ACT out of a lack of solidarity with other Kiwis – the correlation between being Hindu and voting ACT was 0.50.
This absence of solidarity is not something that we can say is a general rule for all Hindus – the correlation between being Hindu and voting Labour in 2014 was 0.47. This might reflect that many Hindus are from Fiji and therefore will be attracted to Labour in the same way that other Pacific Islanders are.
Probably reflecting that many of them are immigrants, there were significant negative correlations between being Hindu and voting for three of the four Maori-heavy parties in 2014.
With voting for New Zealand First it was -0.40, with voting Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party it was -0.40, and with voting for the Maori Party it was -0.24. Only for voting Internet MANA in 2014 was the correlation with being Hindu not significant – and it was still -0.19.
If the Hindu left likes Labour and the Hindu right likes ACT, we can predict two things: a negative correlation with being Hindu and voting both Green and National in 2014. Indeed, the correlation for the former is -0.09 and for the latter it is -0.13.
Perhaps reflecting a minor degree of disenfranchisement, there is a negative but not significant correlation between turnout rate in 2014 and being Hindu: this was -0.17.
Muslims were very similar to Hindus on most counts, probably reflecting the third factor of a shared South Asian origin. The correlation between being Muslim and voting for a particular political party was identical to the Hindu one in the case of both voting ACT (0.50) and voting Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party (-0.40). In the case of the others it was very similar.
It was more positive in the case of Labour (0.51), Green (-0.05), Maori Party (-0.23) and Internet MANA (-0.16). It was more negative in the case of National (-0.17), Conservative (-0.16) and New Zealand First (-0.46).
Taken together, this group of correlations suggest that Muslims are generally in the same voting bloc as Hindus, but they have slightly more leftist sympathies. The correlation between turnout rate in 2014 and being Muslim (-0.21) is also slightly more strongly negative than the correlation with being Hindu. This may reflect that Pakistan is a considerably less wealthy nation than India.
The voting patterns of Jews reflected two things: that they are generally in high socioeconomic categories and that they have very, very little nationalist sentiment towards New Zealand. These factors are reflected in the correlations between being Jewish and voting Green, ACT or New Zealand First.
Like other highly-educated demographics, Jews appear to eschew the everyday Labour-National paradigm. The correlation between voting Green in 2014 and being Jewish was 0.43, and the correlation between voting ACT in 2014 and being Jewish was 0.42. These two correlations reflect that there is also a moderate positive correlation between being Jewish and being born overseas.
Being Jewish was negatively correlated with voting for any of the parties that traditionally appeal to less educated people. The correlation with being Jewish and voting Labour in 2014 was -0.25, and with voting Conservative in 2014 it was -0.15.
If globalist sentiments are so widespread among Jews, then it comes as little surprise that being Jewish is negatively correlated with the four Maori-heavy parties, and especially so for New Zealand First, voting for which in 2014 had a correlation of -0.57 with being Jewish. For voting Internet MANA it was -0.15, for voting Maori Party it was -0.18 and for voting Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party it was -0.31.
Reflecting a low degree of disenfranchisement, mostly on account of that many Jews are highly educated and work as professionals, there was a correlation of 0.30 between being Jewish and turnout rate in 2014.
This article is an excerpt from Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan, published by VJM Publishing in the winter of 2017.
There seems to be a paradigm shift going on in the world of international cricket at the moment. The rise of T20 cricket and international T20 leagues has revolutionised viewing patterns and brought tens of millions of new fans to the game.
This essay suggests a change that, although it should be welcome, is a bit more humble: making a ODI tri-nations involving Australia, South Africa and New Zealand into a regular fixture.
It hasn’t been feasible to suggest such a thing previously because the Black Caps have not previously been up to the extremely high standards set by South Africa and Australia (apart from South Africa’s generally poor showing in Cricket World Cups).
But now it seems like the Black Caps can hold their own against both of those other sides in ODIs, and will be able to for the forseeable future, making a tri-nations a legitimate contest.
There are many strong parallels between this idea and the already proven successful concept of doing exactly the same thing in rugby.
For one, there are very close cultural links between the three countries. All three are children of the British Empire, all play cricket, rugby, hockey, all speak English etc. For decades there has been considerable immigration between the three countries.
That was the logic that led to the advent of the Tri Nations rugby tournament. This proved to be a roaring success, as there was a consistent demand to see a regular, high-quality, competitive tournament.
The Chappell-Hadlee ODI series cup played between Australia and New Zealand has also been a success, with the name of the tournament becoming a byword for close and exciting games. This would naturally fall under the ambit of this tri-nations in the same way the Bledisloe Cup fell under the ambit of the rugby Tri Nations.
The current South Africa-Black Caps ODI series has become a seesaw grudge match because of the excellence of both sides and because of feelings of unfinished business around South Africa’s loss in the CWC semifinal at Eden Park in 2015.
And cricket fans around the world know that Australia versus South Africa is the matchup most likely to pose the greatest test of skill now and in the near future at least.
So all three ingredients in this mix are high-grade.
There is already a precedent for this kind of thing – the Australians regularly play ODI tri-series with two visiting teams (or even Australia A), and there has even been one iteration when the visiting teams were South Africa and New Zealand – and it was by all accounts an excellent series (but not for Steve Waugh, who was replaced by Ricky Ponting as ODI captain in the wake of Australia’s defeat).
If Australia were to host it permanently or semi-permanently on the grounds that they would get by far the best crowds, they could arrange to play either New Zealand or South Africa in a Test series either before or after the tri-nations, smoothing the logistic arrangements.
With international cricket undergoing many changes at the moment, it’s possible that a regular fixture like this might gain in popularity as it develops a history and established rivalry.
To some extent, a person will become educated to the degree that they are a part of society. Engagement with society in one regard generally predicts engagement with society in another.
This can help explain why there is a significant negative correlation between turnout rate in 2014 and having no qualifications (-0.28) and a significant positive correlation between turnout rate in 2014 and having an Honours degree (0.25) and having a doctorate (0.27).
Some might be surprised that this correlation is not even stronger, and in truth it probably should be. This is discussed at length in the article ‘Understanding New Zealand: Demographics of Education’.
One might make the assumption that, because having a higher education is correlated with a high turnout rate, and because voting National is correlated with having a high turnout rate, that having a higher education must also be correlated with voting National.
This is not an accurate assumption. There is a positive correlation between having a Bachelor’s degree and voting National in 2014, although this is a barely significant 0.25. Holding none of the three higher degrees had a positive correlation with voting National in 2014.
The weak positive correlation between being highly educated and voting National in 2014 was mirrored in the weak negative correlation between being highly educated and voting Labour in 2014. This was only significant for having an Honour’s degree and voting Labour in 2014, which was -0.28. For the other degrees it was negative but not statistically significant.
The university educated especially love to vote for the Green Party. The correlation between voting Green in 2014 and having a degree was 0.57 for a Bachelor’s, 0.75 for a Honours, 0.64 for a Master’s and 0.67 for a doctorate. These were easily the strongest positive correlations for any party.
The only party even vaguely comparable on this front was ACT. Voting ACT in 2014 had a correlation of 0.65 with having a Bachelor’s degree, which was even higher than the correlation between voting Green and having a Bachelor’s. The correlations with having one of the three higher degrees were, however, lower with voting ACT in 2014 than voting Green in 2014: 0.40 for an Honours, 0.57 for a Master’s and 0.30 for a doctorate.
These two parties were balanced by New Zealand First, voting for which had easily the strongest negative correlations with having a degree. Voting for New Zealand First in 2014 had a correlation of -0.76 with having a Bachelor’s degree, -0.72 with having an Honours degree, -0.76 with having a Master’s degree and 0.63 with having a doctorate.
The reason for this is that New Zealand First draws much of its support from pensioners and Maoris, the former having few higher degrees because of limited educational opportunity when they were young and the latter having few degrees on account of various socioeconomic disadvantages and cultural disincentives.
Voting Conservative in 2014 was not significantly correlated with having any of the degrees. In fact, all four correlations were bordering on significantly negative. This suggests that the Conservative Party targets the same kind of poorly educated, paranoid and aggressive religious fanatic that the American Republican Party does.
Although voting for the Maori Party in 2014 was significantly negatively correlated with having any degree, voting for Internet MANA was only significantly negatively correlated with having an Honours degree, whereas the correlations for the other three were, although negative, not significant.
This probably reflects the fact that Internet MANA appealed to a slightly broader cross-section of New Zealanders than the Maori Party, and hence to several demographics that are better educated than the Maori one.
This was also true of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party, voting for which in 2014 also had significant negative correlations with holding any of the four degrees. With having a Bachelor’s it was -0.46, with having an Honours degree it was -0.42, with having a Master’s degree it was -0.46, and with having a doctorate it was -0.38.
Predictably, these figures were all, for the most part, mirrored in the other direction. Namely, all the voting patterns of people with very low qualifications or none at all were the opposites of the patterns of people with high qualifications.
This article is an excerpt from Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan, published by VJM Publishing in the winter of 2017.
There are many power-worshippers in the world today who think it would be just great if their area politicians passed a law banning this or that – some minor irritation that probably does not affect the quality of their life in any meaningful way but which they believe ought to be stamped out for the sake of maintaining good order at the very least.
These people are as dangerous as any fanatic that put a dictator into power.
The reason for this is that the Police, who are tasked by politicians with enforcing laws, will go as far as killing any citizen to enforce any law that they have broken, no matter how trivial.
A lot of people balk at this assertion, usually because they have neither encountered Police officers in operation nor thought the whole process through as a thought experiment.
But if you think it through as a thought experiment, the meathook clarity of it cannot be denied.
Take the case of a medicinal cannabis user. If you have a psychological condition such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or if you have pain related to terminal cancer and do not want to take opiates, you might end up as another of New Zealand’s hundreds of thousands of cannabis users.
Now let’s say that the Police come to your house with a search warrant, on the grounds that they have reason to believe that you have cannabis in your possession or a cannabis operation in your house. They are going to arrest you, and you know that you face up to seven years in prison for the offence.
You might well protest that you are fully within your rights to use cannabis as it is a medicine which legitimately alleviates human suffering, whether physical or psychological. And so the search warrant is not valid, because it was granted on the grounds that a crime had been committed, and none has.
This is perfectly reasonable – after all, you have harmed no-one. But what will happen at that stage is violence. The Police will escalate to violence at this point, probably by forcing their way into your home.
Let’s say that they are unsuccessful at doing so, either because you manage to lock the door in time or because you brandish a weapon in an effort to show them that you are willing to respond to their violence with violence of your own in order to defend yourself and your home.
In that case, you can probably assume that the Police officers will withdraw – and come back with the Armed Offenders Squad. They will call the AOS on the grounds that you threatened a Police officer with a weapon – the fact that you were only doing so to defend yourself against an immoral attack will not help you at all.
Jan Molenaar ended up shot dead at his own hand, probably in full awareness that escape was impossible.
Note here that this pattern of escalation of violence all the way to your death will happen if you don’t submit to the Police for any reason, no matter what it is.
It doesn’t matter what the crime is. It could be a hundred counts of serial murder, or it could be a parking fine. The inescapable rule is that you must submit to any state-allocated legal punishment for any offence you have been deemed to have committed, no matter how vindictive and cruel the punishment or how petty and victimless the offence, or the Police will kill you in the enforcement of it.
This is why there is cause to think very deeply before deciding that something should be illegal. Constable Len Snee would not have been shot dead if cannabis had not been legally prohibited, as Jan Molenaar would have been left in peace to treat his mental condition in the way that he knew best.
Anyone who supports a law also supports the consequences of enforcing that law. Those consequences might involve the Police shooting up a house with no-one in it, as happened in Napier last year.
In the case of cannabis prohibition, this means also supporting the expense of $400,000,000 per year and the occasional death of a Police officer – is it worth it?
The Substance Addiction (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Bill received Royal Assent this week, now making it legal for any New Zealander to violate Section 11 of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act, as long as the victim uses a psychoactive substance.
This column has already reported on human rights abuses of psychiatric patients in New Zealand, and it seems Peter Dunne, in his decades-long, multibillion war on the poor and vulnerable, has laid the legal foundations for more.
Like the Psychoactive Substances Act – another invention of the psychopathic Dunne – the Substance Addiction Act is worded so vaguely as to almost be meaningless. Almost anyone can be involuntarily interred for almost anything, raising the possibility that the barbaric New Zealand mental health system is about to get even worse.
Section 7 of the Act lays out the criteria for compulsory treatment. These are vague enough that use of almost any psychoactive substance, legal or otherwise, is enough to force compulsory treatment on someone.
Section 8 lays out the criteria for severe substance addiction. They are broad enough that most of the New Zealand population would have qualified at one point in their lives. For example, anyone who has tried to give up cigarettes but has found it hard could have “treatment” forced on them.
Why is the New Zealand mainstream media so obsessed with whether or not Donald Trump is a fascist, when our own Government is passing laws giving itself the right to force mental health treatment on any Kiwi expressing their right to cognitive liberty?
Having a “very serious addiction” that “seriously diminishes the person’s ability to care for himself or herself” is one thing – but the problem is that the people defining what a serious drug addiction is don’t have an accurate idea of what the drugs they are legalising compulsory treatment for actually do.
New Zealand has, after all, fallen behind Arkansas, Uruguay and South Africa in social progress on the medical cannabis issue. Many New Zealand mental health patients have had the experience of trying to explain their medicinal cannabis use to a doctor who, by some crude calculus, simply decides that the regular use is a sign of addiction.
Section 9 states “A person’s capacity to make informed decisions about treatment for a severe substance addiction is severely impaired if the person is unable to…(a) understand the information relevant to the decisions.”
Potentially this means that if you disagree with a doctor that your medicinal cannabis use causes reefer madness, creates holes in your brain or makes you psychotic/schizophrenic/depressed/anxious/insomniac/narcoleptic (or whatever stupid shit the Govt. says that cannabis does), then you can be said to not understand the relevant information.
Given the rubbish our authority figures already believe about drugs, how can we trust them for one moment to make accurate decisions about who is so addicted that they need to be forced into treatment?
It’s already clearly not in the interest of medicinal cannabis users to be forced into prison, yet they are, at the cost of $400,000,000 per year – so how can we trust that the same Govt. doing that won’t also use this new law to aggress against medicinal cannabis users?
Section 12 of the Act states “the interests of patients should remain at the centre of any decision making.” But the Government is already supposed to be making decisions on the basis that the interests of the governed are at the centre – and they have utterly failed, because they have made it a law that medicinal cannabis users are to be brutalised by the Police and by the Health and Justice Systems.
In the Hansard record of the third reading of the Bill, Ruth Dyson said “We are putting a significant number of new patients into the system under this compulsory treatment regime.”
So we can expect that these new powers to detain the mentally ill will be used against them, and especially against those who have found relief for their mental illness in medicines that they do not have Parliamentary approval for.
It’s worth noting that the New Zealand Police can and will go as far as killing any Kiwi who resists treatment under this law.
If a patient will not go voluntarily, even if they have a good reason – like being one of the five New Zealanders who had electroshock therapy forced on them after they had explicitly withdrawn their consent last year – the Police will use force to get them to comply.
And if the patient resists that, the Police will kill them. We know this because the Police will go to that extent to enforce any law, no matter how trivial.
For the Catholic Dunne, this latest persecution of the mentally ill is a continuation of the brutal religious tradition he embodies; a tradition of abuse stretching even further back than the Inquisition.
The Psychoactive Substances Act made it illegal for anyone to have anything to do with any psychoactive substances that were not on a Government-approved list, and this Substances Addiction Act makes it possible for the Govt. to go as far as violating the Bill of Rights Act in enforcing compliance with that.
The mainstream media, of course, is too busy copy-and-pasting the latest social media gossip about Donald Trump to report on any of this. Other channels will keep you informed.