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Not PC: Shania, Michael Cullen and Bad Law

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Shania, Michael Cullen and Bad Law


Two 'Not-PC' opinion-pieces by Peter Cresswell from his Blog Not PC
www.pc.blogspot.com

This week, Howling about Shania, and examining what Michael Cullen has to do with bad law.

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1. Meddling Arseholes

I’ve never knowingly heard anything by Shania Twain so for all I know howling may be how she makes her living. If it’s not, she’s probably howling now about the Resource Management Act after her plans for a house near Queenstown were rejected because in the opinion of local busybodies “the complex would not be in harmony with the surrounding landscape.” Story here .

Andrew Henderson, the planning wanker from CivicCorp who rejected the application and Julian Haworth, head busybody from the Upper Clutha Environmental Society, decided that man-made mounds to screen the house from being seen by anybody other than the house’s occupants after dark in a blindfold were “not appropriate,” particularly because “the house would still be visible from a new walking track” to be built by the Twains themselves as a previous consent condition.

I guess even a camouflage net wouldn’t have satisfied these meddling arseholes. Remind me again how the RMA is “permissive” and “far-sighted environmental legislation.” As Ayn Rand observed, when the productive have to ask permission from unproductive arseholes in order to produce (I paraphrase slightly) then you know your culture is stuffed. And so it is.

If you want to understand why that's a sign your culture is stuffed, I recommend the 'Money Speech' from Rand's novel Atlas Shrugged which explains why. You can find the speech online here .

Here's how the speech starts (no baloney here):

So you think that money is the root of all evil?" said Francisco d'Anconia. "Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can't exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them.

Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil? [Read on here .]

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2. Cullen and Bad Law

Our new Attorney-General seems as ignorant about the independence of the courts as the last. Michael Cullen -- yes, him again -- was telling judges yesterday that Parliament is supreme. Chief Justice Sian Elias had properly taken issue with that notion last year; chief historian Michael Cullen still disagrees. Herald story here .

Delivering a speech to the Legal Research Foundation Cullen restates his objection to judicial activism, but shows his confusion when he equates judicial activism with judicial independence, and demonstrates too that he knows little about how such judicial activism became so common.

When Geoffrey Palmer was having legislation drafted back in the eighties, his intention with the law being drafted was to ensure 'flexibility.' Whereas in the past good law would be clear and unambiguous, and consequently what was legal and illegal known for sure in advance, Jellyfish Geoffrey wanted instead to make the language of legislation vague, ambiguous and unclear -- all the better for it to be flexible, you see. Palmer purposely put vague undefined terms into legislation in the expectation that the courts themselves would explain what the hell the law meant by means of the cases in front of them.

Not so good for the people whose cases are in front of the courts, but who don't know what the law actually allows in advance. Concepts such as 'kaitiakitanga' from the RMA are still awaiting 'clarification,' as are the 'principles of the Treaty' clause which infests nearly everything written since the State-Owned Enterprises Act of 1986.

Until they are clarified, law that contains phrases such as these are just so much dangerous mush, with no-one knowing precisely what is and isn't legally permitted. This is idiocy, and Cullen has his erstwhile parliamentary colleague to blame for it. He certainly shouldn't be blaming the judiciary who have to ask themselves when dealing with such vague law 'what was in the mind of the parliamentarians when they write this.' The answer is in most cases: Nothing.

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