Category Archives: Green Party

‘Single Use’ shopping bags! How Socialism turns virtue into vice.

Some one I know was at their childs school purchasing Schoolbooks for the new year when another parent struggling with a Big stack of stationary was asked if she would like a bag, it was then that my friend said she had plenty of bags at home and asked the school staff if they would like her to drop them in, yet they declined her offer exclaiming “Oh we dont used plastic bags at this school!”.
Obviously this was part of their ‘Conscientious Environmentalism’.
‘How virtuous’ one might think… ‘Great example for the children!’ one might think… and yet again… how disingenuous given the ecological fact that the more often a plastic bag is utilized… the less wasteful… the more ‘environmentally friendly’ it becomes… when you do the math… so this school is *Not* really acting conscientiously but is actually ‘not thinking’… I think thier no plastic bag policy is simply pretentious ‘virtue signalling’ and pushing a populist Liberal anti-plastic bag agenda… which has managed to get the New Zealand government to impose a freakish prohibition on Supermarkets using ‘single use’ plastic bags to carry groceries from the counter… yet you can still put your various veges into their own plastic bags… etc etc, and now for 15 cents you can buy Plastic bags that are far more substantial than the old ones with handles and Big Word ‘REUSE, REUSE, REUSE’ printed on them! 😀
Its just plain weird.

The whole thing is absurd and I am sure that mathematically this new prohibition has achieved less than nothing for the New Zealand environment… and yet no doubt there are thousands of Anti-plastic bag Liberals who are gushing with delight when they see the thousands of socially engineered Shoppers using hessian baggies to transport their purchases to their Fossil fuel burners.
And of course this is only the beginning of theses Environmentalist lobby to use Government force to impose their personal values on their subject Neighbours.
What will be their next target? Disposable paper cups and straws have already been targeted… what about Disposable paper towels?
They are already hard at work trying to discourage people from buying Meat and dairy products, and are lobbying for Tax increases on these things as we speak!
This is how Socialism works… how socialism despises Freedom… and encourages Taxes,Tyranny and oppression to grow… all under the cloak of virtue… ‘Saving the planet’… etc etc.
And absolutely nothing is safe from their Self righteous gaze.

“Who Cares!” a Woke Vegan might declare!
For the Masses of zealous Eco-warriors they have little concern for how they achieve their goals… to them ‘the end justifies the means’.
To them if Government crushes *their values* and refuses to impose *their whims* ‘Government is Evil’, yet when Woke Party political people wield the power and they use it to Crush the values of those they despise… all of a sudden ‘Government is Awesome!’.
Socialism is all about Power and Control.
Their ‘Woke’ agenda is that they hate the dairy and Meat industries and want to force everyone into becoming vegetarians, and to do this they go to extreme lengths in their propaganda to demonise these things and make out that they are on a crusade for ‘Better Diets and Health’ when in reality they simply want to destroy their ideological enemies… people who enjoy Steak and Ice cream… and there is no extreme to which they will not stoop to Legislate away our freedom to choose for ourselves.

Yet Let me state for the record that Socialism *is immoral*… Socialism is *Anti-virtue/pro-slavery*!!!
Walk with me a while and i’ll explain how Socialism can take Good Values and turn them into the evil tools of oppression… it can take virtuous ideals and make them the tools of Evil powers… and this current plastic bag ban is a great example.

Now I know of a good and decent person (whose name is not important for the purpose of this monologue) who from reading and watching all the horror stories about ‘Massive floating islands of plastic waste in the oceans… photos of Fish and birds with plastic items trapping them, or carcasses on the beach with plastic spilling out of their entrails , etc (some of these images are obviously Politically fabricated for propaganda purposes) she has become very concerned about Plastic waste in the environment to the degree that she will wash out all the plastic packaging from their household usage, and store it all, and then travel to wherever necessary to ensure it is either recycled or otherwise ‘ethically disposed of’.
Even though I believe New Zealanders suffer a gigantic amount of deceptive Propaganda about Environmentalism, I would never suggest that her concerns for the environment are not of themselves virtuous, or that her activities and self imposed disciplines with respect to plastic were not completely within her rights so to act… and that as long as she was doing these things voluntarily… even if some of her behavior was not actually achieving *any real world benefits to the environment* … she is absolutely within her right to try and live her life according to her own values and the dictates of her heart…That is what having personal values and beliefs are all about! That is what *self responsibility is all about* … and this is what a free society is all about… having a society of enlightened self responsible citizens who voluntarily follow virtue!
And ultimately… if by any means the world is to be saved from Evil… That is how you go about saving the environment!
Multipy this type of personal voluntary action, and that is how you have a population that does not need a policeman in every bush to prevent them from littering… or Government Laws to prevent them from making poor choices when they shop.

Mason building a screed coat cement

And a Year ago… when she was voluntarily bringing her own carry bags to the supermarket so as to avoid using the plastic bags they provide for convenience… she could claim that she was acting *Conscientiously and Virtuously*… but not now… not since the Labour Green Governments silly Ban on shopping Bags… because the Government has taken away any virtue there was in this activity, and effectively turned it into an act of involuntary slavery… and Virtue is a matter of Conscious action… not compulsion.
A year ago some supermarkets (like Countdown) were picking up on this populist environmental feeling and had decided that they would voluntarily stop using plastic carry bags!
Ie They acted *without the need for a government Law to be imposed*… and though this did impose some inconvenience for shoppers and some would not have appreciated that, many others like my environmentalist friend I have been talking about would have been greatly pleased by this and no doubt would have switched shops to do her shopping at Countdown… a perfect match of Capitalism and happy consumers… which because it was mutually voluntary… and involved no coercion… *this form of getting rid of plastic carry bags was completely within the Libertarian paradigm*… completely within the requisites of virtue… and showed that Social change *can and does happen without socialist Government intervention*… *yet of course the socialist Liberal Eco-warriors of The Labour and Green Parties have zero respect for Liberty and voluntary action* and effectively *RUINED* the progress of Freedom by imposing a nationwide ban on plastic supermarket carry bags… taking away from Countdown their ‘voluntary Progressive decision and point of difference with other supermarkets’… and now These political parties act/ ‘Virtue signal’ that *their use of political power has made New Zealand Cleaner and Green* when in reality our country was already moving in that direction *without prohibitions*… via voluntary conscious action.

These are the very same Socialist Political parties that have the cheek to think they are experts on Adult behaviour and the principle of Consent!!!
Everything they do… all their policies are anti voluntary action… Pro-force… anti-consent.
Multiply this Anti-freedom… anti- Voluntary action… anti-consent mentality and activity across the board and you easily see why Socialism is oppressive and tyrannical and functions by coercion… Not enlightened voluntary actions flowing from enlightened values.
It generates a Nation of Slavish zombies… whose actions are not truly virtuous at all!
A typical example of a virtue {Environmental concern) being used as a pseudo-moral justification for Evil Political parties manufacturing evil and oppressive laws.

And Like I said above this modus opperandi is constantly at work… constantly looking for more apparent ‘virtues’ to turn into political weapons to rob their enemies of their Freedom and to further their Party political ambitions.

And the bitter irony is that despite all the brainwashing about Global warming… all the eco-indoctrination going on in the School system… and all the pretentious Veganism and ‘Woke signaling’ we see, These Liberals can still be found *Littering* on our Beaches and roads!
This is because they have not been instilled with virtue… but have instead been lobotomized!
This is the un=expected consequence of Socialism’s attempt to circumvent personal values and Voluntary actions.
A society of Less personal virtue.

The Notion that ‘the end justifies the means’ turns out to mean Any supposed desired end can be dressed up as ‘Good for society’ and then used to pass Despotic Laws.

Libertarians already know all these things, and so my post is mainly hoping to reach out to ‘Woke folk’… eco-warriors, feminists, etc to show them how their values and ideals are being contorted and fooling them into supporting Tyranny… as surely a foolish Christians have been duped by Politicians into supporting tyranny against gays, Prostitutes, Drug uses, etc etc.
This is the *vice* I am referring to… the vice of supporting Totalitarian Government that tries to circumvent Liberty and personal virtue substituting these with Compulsions and prohibitions.
This is what I mean when I say Socialism systematically turns virtues (and values) into vice.

I despise being ‘Socially Engineered’ by Nasty politicians who have Zero respect for my Rights.
I constantly shake my fist towards the Beehive when I have spontaneously decided to ‘duck in’ to the Supermarket and get a few things only to realise I dont have any re-usable Bags with me in my car… yet a mountain of them at home in the cupboard!
Blowed if I am going to buy another 3-4 Hessian bag, and so I end up staking loose items in the dirty Boot of my car and drop a few in the carpark!
All this because of arrogant politicians want to pretend at being virtuous!
Via their Evil politics they can turn otherwise good intentions and values into a great new Evil… because a virtuous ‘End’ cannot justify *Evil and Oppressive means*.
The only virtue any individual can be credited for or take self esteem from are their personal voluntary actions and ideals.
And just because I oppose oppressive environmental legislation does not mean I dont care about the planet!
It means I believe in Liberty and seeking to make the world a better place by Reason, enlightenment, and *converting individuals* to following virtue.

I am a Christian who holds Christian values and beliefs, yet I know that Christian virtues cannot be imposed upon unbelievers by political force, but can only be legitimate when voluntarily embraced by those whom have herd the Christian arguments… and believe them in liberty…. for this is *the only way* true virtues like charity work!… from the heart! So Social welfare is *not Charity* because it is funded via involuntary Taxes… It is the opposite of charity… it is a counterfeit charity of the Devil… so too is the current Ban on the use of Plastic shopping bags a *counterfeit virtue*… Socialism is a Counterfeit Morality…. Satan appears as an Angel of light… and Laughing spreads his wings.

Tim Wikiriwhi.
Libertarian Independent.

More from Tim…

REAL VOLUNTARY PRIVATE CHARITY VS THE EVILS OF WELFARE AND POLITICAL FORCE. .

THE CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP IS A VOLUNTARY PRIVATE SOCIETY, NOT A THEOCRATIC POLITICAL MOVEMENT

ALBERT J NOCK AND THE ATROPHY OF CHARITY AND SELF-RELIANCE

GEOFFREY PALMER AND THE RAPE CULTURE OF SOCIALIST GOVERNMENT. TEACHING LIBERALS THE PRINCIPLE OF CONSENT

SATURN’S CHILDREN. LIBERTARIANISM AND ABORTION.

Whale Oil Blog…. Plastic bags: Another useless green moral panic.

For Reference, an edited version of my blogpost appeared as a Guest post on the Whale Oil Blog here : How socialism turns virtues into vice

Stuff: The rise of vegetarians: 1 in 10 New Zealanders mostly, or completely, meat-free
Kiwis are eating less meat than ever, and are more concerned about plastic than climate change.

I tried voting but it didn’t work

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My pet issue has always been cannabis law reform. I’ve always voted for cannabis law reform.

In 1996 I voted in the first New Zealand general election held under the MMP voting system. Naturally, I gave my party vote to the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party, who gained 1.66% of the party vote. Their result was simultaneously disappointing and encouraging. Disappointing, because it fell well short of the 5% threshold required to gain seats in Parliament under MMP. Encouraging because it was a solid base of support on which to build.

So in 1999 I voted for the ALCP again. But this time their share of the party vote fell by about half a percentage point to 1.10%. Instead of voting harder, people were realising that a vote for the ALCP is a wasted vote under MMP. But in a sudden plot twist, former ALCP candidate NĂĄndor TĂĄnczos entered Parliament as a Green Party MP and started making noises about cannabis law reform.

Clearly, I hadn’t been paying attention. Here was a party with a serious cannabis law reform policy that was actually in Parliament. So in 2002 I voted Green. NĂĄndor was returned to Parliament and the Greens gained two more seats. Meanwhile, the ALCP’s share of the party vote fell again to 0.64%.

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Then I discovered what seemed to be my natural political home, the Libertarianz Party. I became their Spokesman on Health and stood for Parliament for the first time on the Libertarianz Party list in 2005. We gained a solid 0.04% of the party vote. Meanwhile, the ALCP’s share of the party vote fell to a record low of 0.25% and NĂĄndor lost his seat. The Greens had lost interest in cannabis law reform and the dreadlocked skateboarder was now being seen by some as increasingly out of favour. He’d been moved down to 7th place on the Green Party list and the Greens were now down to 6 seats. But Green Co-Leader Rod Donald died tragically in late 2005 which meant that NĂĄndor got to re-enter Parliament for one final term, during which he achieved the cannabis law reform movement’s one and only small success, new licensing rules for industrial hemp.

After the 2005 election I came out fully as a drug user and became the Libertarianz Party’s Spokesman on Drugs. In 2008 I stood again on the Libertarianz Party list and also as the Libertarianz Party candidate for the Mana electorate. I got 64 votes. The Libz gained 1% of a percentage point, skyrocketing to 0.05% of the party vote. Meanwhile, the ALCP rebounded from their record 2002 low and got a 0.41% share of the party vote. NĂĄndor quit Parliament and went away to cleanse his soul. After the 2008 election I jumped waka and joined the ALCP.

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In 2011 I stood for Parliament again, this time on the ALCP list and as the ALCP candidate for the Mana electorate. Of course, by this time I fully realised that my chances of ever getting into Parliament on a cannabis law reform ticket were close to zero. I now regarded what I was doing as an exercise in educating the public and getting the cannabis law reform message out there, and my electoral results as a barometer of my success in that regard. I was simply taking a stand and speaking out against the injustice of the War on Drugs. I’d figured that I’d get more bang for my buck, as it were, campaigning under the ALCP banner instead of the Libz banner, and I was right. I got 334 votes as an ALCP candidate, up from 64 votes as a Libz candidate, and the ALCP’s share of the party vote went up 0.05% to 0.51%, its best result since 1999. The Libz once again barely registered with a mere 0.05% of the party vote, and soon after called it quits and disappeared from the New Zealand political scene.

Significant and sensible cannabis law reform started to happen elsewhere in the world. On 1 January 2014 cannabis law reform activist and Iraq war veteran Sean Azzariti became the first person to legally purchase cannabis for recreational use in Colorado. I was sure in my own mind that this could only bode well for the ALCP’s electoral prospects here in New Zealand. In 2014 I stood for Parliament again, again on the ALCP list and as the ALCP candidate for the Mana electorate. I got my best result yet with 403 votes as the ALCP candidate, but the ALCP’s share of the party vote dropped back down to 0.46%, much to my surprise and chagrin. And, also much to my surprise and chagrin, John Key’s National Party was returned for a third term. Worst of all, National’s lapdog Peter Dunne was returned as Associate Minister of Health, thereby ensuring that there would be no cannabis law reform for a further three years.

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I’ve become very cynical. To me it doesn’t seem like a very big ask to be allowed to grow and use a harmless medicinal herb. I’ve been advocating for safe, sane and sensible drug law reform for three decades and seen nothing happen except some farmers who were prepared to jump through bureaucratic hoops being allowed to grow industrial hemp.

I’ve participated in our democracy, at some considerable financial and emotional cost to myself. And achieved precisely nothing in terms of legislative gains. Meanwhile, arch-prohibitionist Peter Dunne, in league with Satan, pushed through the Psychoactive Substances Act. Instead of drug law reform, New Zealand got landed with peak prohibition. What a total fustercluck.

I’ve always voted for cannabis law reform but I’ve never gotten what I voted for. Insanity is voting for the same thing over and over and expecting a different result every time. But I’m not crazy, just a bit of a slow learner. I tried voting but it didn’t work. So now I don’t vote. I’m plotting to overgrow the government instead.

overgrow-the-government

Won’t somebody else please feed the children?

I got an email from Metiria Turei, co-leader of the Greens.

Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can’t learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let’s break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country’s hungry kids, if we work together.

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I have taken over the Feed the Kids Bill which Hone Harawira introduced to Parliament. The Bill is at a crucial stage of its progress – part way through its First Reading – and may be voted on as early as next Wednesday 5 November.

The way the numbers stack up in the new Parliament the Bill will be voted down unless we can persuade the National Party to change its position and support it to go to Select Committee.

If the Bill goes to Select Committee, MPs will be able hear from  parents, kids, teachers and others about what they think are the best solutions for feeding hungry kids at school. There are lots of ideas about how school food could be delivered and who should get it. The key thing is to have the public debate about addressing child poverty, and come up with the best solution for helping hungry kids.

Please help this happen, by emailing John Key, asking that National support my Bill at least to Select Committee.

Because of the potentially short timeframe, you’ll need to send your emails as soon as possible and before Monday 3 November at the latest.

I’m probably not going to email John Key but if I did I wouldn’t be urging him not to support the bill. At least, not on its First Reading. If National Party MPs vote for the bill on its First Reading, it can go to the Select Committee stage. I agree with Turei that

The key thing is to have the public debate about addressing child poverty, and come up with the best solution for helping hungry kids.

Won’t somebody else please feed the children? No doubt the best long-term solution for helping hungry kids is not state food. But as quick-fix statist solutions go this one is surely unexceptionable. Paying state(-funded) schools to feed hungry kids is an advance on paying state(-funded) parents to feed them, isn’t it? The Bill targets the funding for school food at Decile 1 and 2 schools, too. The Feed the Kids program could probably be nearly fully funded by concomitant deductions in the benefits or WFF tax breaks of the parents of those children attending the schools in question. Isn’t this an advance for “a hand up, not a handout” safety net state welfare system? Or am I missing some serious unintended consequences?

I went to primary school in the U.K. in the early ’70s. We had school milk at morning break and school dinners at lunchtime. Morning milk was a third pint of silver top, and lunch was typically a dollop of mince meat, a dollop of mashed potatoes and a spoonful of (mushy?) peas. Followed by a serving of stodgy pudding and watery custard. All lovingly served by the matronly school dinner ladies. It all seemed perfectly normal, because it was. (But then came Thatcher the Milk Snatcher …)

Dinner ladies serving lunch at a school in Derby.

While our MPs debate the merits or otherwise of the bill, and alternative statist approaches such as the existing “income management” regime, my thoughts are with the children who continue to go to school without breakfast or lunch. Children like the early John Banks who grew up in poverty in the 1950s. “Of course, I support sandwiches and food in schools,” says Banks. “I would have loved some sandwiches and some food in schools, but that is not the answer.”

So what is the answer?

According to Banks, the way out of child poverty is children living in homes “with unconditional love, and I never knew anything about that,” and having access to a world-class education. But the state cannot provide unconditional love.

According to the Bible, it comes down to us. James tells us simply

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. (NIV)

Children whose parents send them to school sans breakfast and lunch are, in effect, orphans. Won’t somebody please feed the children?

Colorado called but you were at home

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I wasn’t physically present at yesterday’s NORML conference—one of the few usual suspects who wasn’t—but I was there in spirit and by live stream.

The conference went well. Credit where credit’s due and credit is due to Phil Saxby who put in a colossal effort organising the event. Thanks, Phil. Job well done. Also, thanks to Vinny Eastwood and Gary Chiles for setting up the live stream on YouTube.

It’s no secret that I’m at loggerheads with some of the peeps in NORML. There are right ways and wrong ways to go about implementing drug law reform. To hell with the Psychoactive Substances Act! Dissent to be continued …

Here’s the event in two parts, the morning session and the afternoon session, for those interested.

  1. Max Abbott
  2. Fiona Hutton
  3. Kylee Quince
  4. Ross Bell
  5. Chris Fowlie
  6. Grant Hall

  1. Rosie Baird
  2. Geoff Noller
  3. Phil Saxby
  4. Martyn Bradbury
  5. Lydia Nobbs
  6. Julian Crawford
  7. Kevin Hague
  8. Iain Lees-Galloway

https://norml.org.nz/2014/conference-14-june-2014/

Legalise Drugs and Murder

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Green Party to decriminalise abortion

The Green Party will decriminalise abortion and assert the right of women to make decisions regarding their own health and the wellbeing of their family or whanau.

But will the Green Party assert the right of unborn women to make decisions regarding their own health? Check your born privilege!

Abortion is currently a crime under the Crimes Act. It is only legal if two consultants agree that the pregnancy would seriously harm the woman’s mental or physical health or that the fetus would have a serious disability.

So let’s get this straight. Abortion is already legal if “the fetus would have a serious disability.” That’s disability based discrimination, isn’t it?

“The Green Party trusts women to make decisions that are best for them and their whānau/family,” Green Party women’s spokesperson Jan Logie said.

“The Green Party believes the time has come for New Zealand to take an honest approach to abortion, to treat it as the health issue it is, and remove it from the crime statutes.

I think the time has come for the Green Party to take an honest approach to abortion, and acknowledge that abortion is killing an unborn child. Abortion is a form of infanticide.

“The fact that 99 percent of abortions are approved on ‘mental health’ grounds and that rape is not grounds for an abortion reveals the dishonesty of the current legal situation.

“By keeping abortion a crime, New Zealand has created an unnecessary stigma around abortion that has led to delays, erratic access to terminations depending on where you are in the country, and unnecessarily late terminations.

Perhaps there should be a stigma around killing babies. Nice to have?

“Decriminalisation will reduce the stigma and judgement that surrounds abortion, and enable abortions to be performed earlier in pregnancy, which is safer for women.

“The Green Party’s policy would allow terminations after 20 weeks gestation only when the woman would otherwise face serious permanent injury to her health or in the case of severe fetal abnormalities

“Our policy will ensure that women have access to neutral counselling, if they want it, and that women who choose to continue with their pregnancy are given more support and are not financially penalised for doing so.

“We would also ensure parents are fully informed about the support available for families and people living with disabilities and address discrimination against disabled people that exists in the current laws around abortion,” Ms Logie said.

I don’t see how the Green Party can “address discrimination against disabled people that exists in the current laws around abortion” by amending the abortion laws to make it legal to kill disabled people in the womb. But maybe my head’s just too muddled by smoking too much of the other thing the Greens want to decriminalise?

When is a disability not a disability? When it’s a severe fetal abnormality.

Green Party women’s spokesperson Jan Logie also posted this clarification on Facebook.

Some people have raised concerns that our policy might allow abortions post 20 weeks based on disability. This is not the intent of the policy. The Greens have a commitment to human rights and the acknowledgement of international obligations runs under all of our policies. The UN Committee with responsibility for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) has already ruled that any distinction in abortion law on the grounds of fetal abnormality breaches the CRPD so our policy will not do that. The intent is to re to allow abortion after 20 weeks for a baby who has conditions so severe that they are extremely unlikely to survive post birth.

So the intent is to allow abortion after 20 weeks for a baby who has conditions so severe that they are extremely unlikely to survive post birth. But not if those severe conditions are fetal abnormalities. What other severe conditions are such that a baby is unlikely to survive post birth? Being sucked out of the womb with a vacuum cleaner?

Provisions later in the policy make it clear that we wish to extend protections against disability based discrimination.

We just read (above) that abortion is already legal if “the fetus would have a serious disability.” Is this the disability based discrimination the Greens want to protect against?

Also, if a baby has “conditions so severe that they are extremely unlikely to survive post birth,” why not just let nature take its course? That would be the Green thing to do, after all.

I’m not sure what disgusts me the most. Killing babies in the womb or the Green Party’s blatant contradictions, Orwellian newspeak and senseless rape of the English language.

Memories of Peter Dunne

Wednesday night last week I was at the Backbencher pub on Molesworth Street, across the road from Parliament Buildings, for the filming of the first episode of the 2014 season of Back Benches.

Back Benches is a political panel discussion show. Hosted by Wallace Chapman and Damien Grant, it airs on Prime TV 10:30 pm Wednesday evenings, having been filmed earlier in the evening. It’s a great show. (You can watch it here.)

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Last week’s political panel featured Labour MP Trevor Mallard, National MP Mark Mitchell, Green MP Jan Logie … and Peter Dunne. Topics included cannabis law reform … and animal testing.

Animal testing has been a hot topic in New Zealand in the last couple of years because of the Psychoactive Substances Act. The Psychoactive Substances Act, which became law in July last year, made provision for the testing of new psychoactive substances on animals. Peter Dunne, the National government’s Associate Health Minister, was the bill’s main architect and front man.

Earlier this month, in a surprise (to some) move, Parliament enacted the Psychoactive Substances Amendment Bill. The amendment, drafted by Peter Dunne himself, rules out the prospect of any testing of psychoactive substances on animals being incentivised by the government. This is very good news.

Section 12 replaced (Duty of advisory committee relating to use of animals when evaluating psychoactive products)
Replace section 12 with:
“12 Advisory committee not to have regard to results of trials involving animals
“(1) In performing the function set out in section 11(2)(a), the advisory committee must not have regard to the results of a trial that involves the use of an animal.
“(2) However, the advisory committee may have regard to the results of a trial undertaken overseas that involves the use of an animal if the advisory committee considers that the trial shows that the psychoactive product would pose more than a low risk of harm to individuals using the product.”

Wednesday night last week, Peter Dunne made the following remarks.

Can I just say two things.

I’m in favour of testing for medicinal purposes on low down the stratum [sic] sets of animals.

With regard to psychoactive substances I ruled dogs and that level out as long ago as November 2012. They were never, ever in the frame. The debate subsequently was about rodents and more latterly rabbits …

Well, that’s not how I remember it. I remember a headline from December 2012 which told a very different story.

Last year hundreds marched against animal testing. With their beagles. It’s not how they remember it, either.

Peter Dunne is a sick puppy.

Is still my opinion.

But how do we best square what Peter Dunne said last week with what he apparently said and thought back in December 2012?

Let’s canvas the possibilities.

1. The Sunday Star Times misreported.

2. Peter Dunne misspoke.

3. Peter Dunne is in denial about what he said.

4. Peter Dunne is trying to rewrite history.

Politicians lie. We know this because their lips move. Peter Dunne is a consummate politician. So I’m rooting for option (4). Otherwise, it’s hard to explain why Dunne is so specific about the date. “I ruled dogs out as long ago as November 2012.” Except that he didn’t.

Here’s what I think really happened. I think Peter Dunne lacks empathy. Otherwise, how to explain this? And he simply forgot to remember that normal people consider the gratuitous poisoning and killing of household pets to be morally unacceptable.

It’s an administrative violation, not a crime

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I was contemplating reading a white paper on Drug Decriminalization in Portugal: Lessons for Creating Fair and Successful Drug Policies by Glenn Greenwald of the Cato Institute.

On July 1, 2001, a nationwide law in Portugal took effect that decriminalized all drugs, including cocaine and heroin. Under the new legal framework, all drugs were “decriminalized,” not “legalized.” Thus, drug possession for personal use and drug usage itself are still legally prohibited, but violations of those prohibitions are deemed to be exclusively administrative violations and are removed completely from the criminal realm. Drug trafficking continues to be prosecuted as a criminal offense.

Perhaps the Green Party could learn some Lessons for Creating Fair and Successful Drug Policies. Because, let’s face it. Their drug policies so far have been neither fair nor successful.

The Big Con. Lew Rockwell

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Click>>>> Enslaved by your own Gullible Stupidity! Taxation and Tyranny.

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Click>>>>> Tim Wikiriwhi’s Submission to the New Zealand Government’s Constitutional Review. 2013

Crank it up….

Haggling about the price

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There is a famous anecdote about a conversation Winston Churchill once had with a woman at a party.

Churchill: Madam, would you sleep with me for five million pounds?
Socialite: My goodness, Mr. Churchill … Well, I suppose … we would have to discuss terms, of course …
Churchill: Would you sleep with me for five pounds?
Socialite: Mr. Churchill, what kind of woman do you think I am?!
Churchill: Madam, we’ve already established that. Now we are haggling about the price.

The moral of the story is obvious. If you sleep with someone for money—any amount of money—then you are a prostitute. Even if that someone is Winston Churchill.

Even though it was Winston Churchill, it was rather a cruel trick he played. But not as cruel as testing recreational drugs on animals. And that brings me to the point of this post.

The government has played a cruel trick on those in the drug law reform movement who give the thumbs up to the Psychoactive Substances Bill.

Government minister: Activist, would you accept significant drug law reform if it meant some limited amount of animal testing?
DLR activist: My goodness, Mr. Dunne … Well, I suppose … we would have to make submissions to the Select Committee, of course …
Government minister: Would you accept significant drug law reform if it meant that thousands of the nation’s beloved family pets are made to suffer slow, agonising deaths?
DLR activist: Mr. Dunne, what kind of drug law reform activist do you think I am?!
Government minister: Activist, we’ve already established that. Now we are haggling about the depth of your depravity.

Five pounds or five million pounds? If you accept animal testing—any amount of animal testing—as the price of drug law reform, then you are a sadist. Even if the drugs are really, really good.

Now, I’m not suggesting that any of my friends in the drug law reform movement are sadists. But I am suggesting that they’ve been cruelly tricked. And I am suggesting that they think carefully about how far down this particular slippery slope they’re prepared to slide. And I’m suggesting that after they’ve thought about it they claw their way back up to the moral high ground.

Thank God for the Greens

16969KevinHague

12437MojoMathers

7800MetiriaTurei

Credit where credit’s due. Credit is due to the Greens—in particular, to Green MPs Kevin Hague, Mojo Mathers and Metiria Turei—for their input into the Psychoactive Substances Bill, which has its third and final reading on Thursday.

I endorse the Green Party minority view on animal testing. Here it is.

Animal testing

The introduction of a requirement that psychoactive substances are proven to be relatively safe before being sold in New Zealand inevitably creates the requirement for a whole new area of product safety testing. It is unsurprising that this has given rise to very significant concern from New Zealanders who oppose the cruel treatment of animals and who believe that testing of these products on animals in order to establish safety is unnecessary and, indeed, inferior to alternative methods. This view has widespread public support, as public opinion polls on the subject have demonstrated, and many individuals and organisations received encouragement from the Minister and others to express their concerns in submissions to the select committee.

However, on 8 May 2013 the Health Committee Chair ruled that all submissions received on the subject of animal testing were outside the scope of the bill, and these submissions were returned to those who made them without being considered. By a majority the committee decided to reject a Green Party motion to hear evidence from these submitters even if their submissions were out of scope. It is the Green Party’s very strong view that both of these decisions were wrong.

The Clerk of the House had provided advice that amendments to the bill that sought to outlaw product testing on animals were out of scope. However, nearly all of the submissions that were rejected raised issues that could have been addressed by an amendment to the bill to prohibit the use of information derived from animal testing in an application for a licence. The Clerk has advised that such an amendment would clearly be in scope, and the Green Party believes that it was therefore manifestly wrong to refuse to hear public submissions on the matter.

Belatedly the committee did receive advice from the chair of the Interim Psychoactive Substances Expert Advisory Committee, which had been asked by the Minister to comment on the animal testing issues, but which also did not have access to the submissions that had been rejected by the Health Committee chair. That advice was that the interim committee does not believe substances can be established to be low risk without animal testing. This effectively introduces a requirement that there be animal testing data for licence applications, and this new requirement has been introduced entirely without any views from the general public, animal welfare organisations or experts (except those who happen to be on the interim committee).

The Green Party believes this to be profoundly unsatisfactory. In our view, with the initial decision to reject these submissions having been shown to be in error, the correct course of action would have been to reopen submissions on this specific matter.

In the absence of a select committee hearing these submissions, the Green Party invited those individuals and organisations who wished to have their voice heard to do so in a separate hearing. We found as follows:

Non-animal tests are available and more accurate

Evidence was heard that many countries do not use animal testing for pre-clinical trials for safety because the results from non-animal testing are more reliable. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) said that in 2008 the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the National Institute of Health, and the Food and Drug Administration started a process to replace all toxicology testing on animals with non-animal techniques to produce results that are more relevant to humans.

Submitters talked about other countries that use these non-animal testing programmes as a preference to animal testing. Evidence was presented that the data from animal testing was actually less reliable in safety testing than non-animal testing. It was argued that if the bill allows for the lower quality data from animal testing to be acceptable evidence of safety then human health would be put at risk.

NZAVS gave evidence about the Ministry of Health’s proposed testing regime and outlined in detail the non-animal testing options that are available to provide an adequate, if not superior, guarantee of safety.

A safety testing regime would include four stages:

  • •manufacturing and controls information

  • •preclinical toxicology studies

  • •human clinical studies

  • •post registration surveillance

It is this pre-clinical testing where animal testing would be used.

The initially proposed pre-clinical testing involves four proposed parts, each of which has well regarded non-animal testing options.

Type of testing Non-animal option
Acute toxicity
  • •Ames Test

  • •Neutral Red Uptake Assay

  • •In vitro micronucleus assay as required by Health Canada

  • •3D models with cultured human cells

  • •Computer models

Repeat dose toxicity
  • •Various in vitro human cell line studies e.g. liver, lungs, bone marrow (tests for effects on the immune system)

  • •Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationship (QSAR) computer modelling

Toxicokinetic investigations
  • •Cell line tests

  • •In vitro absorption tests e.g. Caco-2 cells

  • •Computer modelling

  • •In vitro assays on hepatocytes (liver cells)

  • •Physiologically Based Toxicokinetic (PBTK) modelling

Genotoxicity
  • •Ames test

  • •In vitro cell gene mutation test

  • •In vitro chromosomal aberration test

  • •In vitro cell micronucleus test

New Zealand’s international reputation is at risk

It was argued by submitters that New Zealand is known as an innovative country with a reputation for good animal welfare. Submitters said that developing legislation which allows for unnecessary animal testing will damage this reputation, especially given that there is an international trend towards avoiding animal testing wherever possible. SAFE submitted that this is an opportunity to avoid risking our reputation and to enhance our reputation as an innovative and ethical country.

Submitters also gave evidence that other countries are looking to New Zealand’s development of regulation of psychoactive substances as a potential model for their own regulation. Some of these countries also do not allow animal testing of recreational drugs. If they choose to follow the model developed in this bill as it stands they will adapt it to fit their bans on animal testing of recreational drugs.

NZAVS gave evidence gained from an Official Information Act request of correspondence between the chair of the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee and her equivalent in the United Kingdom that showed the UK ban on animal testing would also apply to psychoactive substances.

Animal testing is ethically and morally questionable

One submission from an animal rescue organisation, Helping You Help Animals (HUHA), talked about the pain and discomfort that these sorts of tests inflict on animals. Their organisation was involved with rescuing dogs from an animal testing facility and they witnessed serious damage and harm to those animals.

They spoke about their experiences of working with some people who carry out animal testing who had been overexposed to animal suffering and had lost their empathy when it came to the animals under their care.

Submitters told the hearings that unless it was ruled out in the bill, then animal testing would most likely be carried out in other countries, some of which have no animal welfare regulations and so the conditions can be assumed to be worse.

A number of countries already ban non-medical animal testing from an ethical standpoint. Toxicity testing is particularly painful experimentation. Submitters argued that the consideration of this bill is the chance for New Zealand to draw an ethical line on this issue.

Cost implications of non-animal testing

The cost of alternatives to animal testing is significantly higher. Because the cost of safety testing for a product will be carried by the manufacturers, not the Government, submitters argued that this higher cost of non-animal testing creates an incentive for animal testing to be used.

In fact, the point was made that if the bill does not rule out the use of data from animal testing then the cost difference will ensure that manufacturers use the cheapest method to provide evidence, and that will be animal testing regardless of the quality of that evidence.

Submitters spoke about the dominance of animal testing in the industry in New Zealand—it is the norm, rather than a last resort. Evidence was received to show that this is also the case in some countries such as China where a large amount of contract animal testing is undertaken.

There was evidence presented by submitters that, if data from animal testing is ruled out, businesses will adapt their practices and the cost of non-animal testing will drop as demand for these tests increases and capacity to undertake these tests develops.

Recommendation

The Green Party recommends that an amendment should be made to the Psychoactive Substances Bill to exclude the use of new information gained through animal testing as evidence in determining the safety of an application.

(Disclaimer. I’m not a big fan of the Greens as a general rule. Their economic and environmental polices are whack. A Green government would be ruinous for New Zealand. But, at times like this, I’m very glad that the Greens have a Parliamentary presence.)