Nasty fighting within socialist political parties is nothing new. Such behaviour goes right back to Lenin's Bolsheviks.
Chardonnay socialist intellectuals consider themselves to be the rightful occupiers of the moral high ground while offering the pretense that they are for the workers. Nothing could be further from the truth.
How can it be pro-worker to whack up tax on his cigarettes and then tell him that if he can still afford to smoke he will not be able to do so in his favourite bar? And while he is reeling from this he is told that some of his taxes will be going in to a bureaucracy which will administer a scheme for locked-up criminals to be given conjugal rights for good behaviour, and for the children of incarcerated criminal women to be allowed to live with their mothers behind bars.
Well, this stuff has just surfaced in New Zealand. Another attempt at infringement of rights, coupled with a morally repugnant prison reform, rightfully created a nationwide uproar.
Being conscious of public opinion polls government panic set in.The bonking behind bars faction of the socialists said they would not support the smoking ban, and the smoking ban totalitarians scuttled the prison reform. It was a case of you played dirty over our scheme and we're playing dirty over yours.
Thankfully, the winners were those who mattered: the people, a nation of decent freedom loving people who just want to get on with their lives without being bossed around by tin gods, and who do not want jails turned in to brothels as well as play centres for the children of criminals.
June 7, 2000
Colin Robertson, a former office of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, is a businessman and writer. He is working on a book on New Zealand’s race relations industry.