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On The Right: Reasons For Leaving

It's one of those days, when you'd rather be out enjoying the Auckland sun listening to 'Take No Prisonerz' on CD than being stuck behind a computer. But stuck here I am, at least for a couple more weeks. You see, I have decided that December 19 will be my last column. After that, I will be taking a break from the political scene.

For the last eight years, I have been not too much different from the trainspotters who stand around in their yellow anoraks and record serial numbers all day. Anyone who has even barely known me in that time rightly labels me as a total political freak, in that I just know too much for my - and particularly their - own good. So I'm going to take a break for a year or so and find myself another interest or two, like fox hunting.

Now I've got that out of the way, I can concentrate on what I really want to talk about. Which I can pretty much sum up in two words: Jordan Carter. A couple of weeks ago he chose to reply to my last column, 'Confessions of a Misspent Youth'. (I don't come up with these names people.) I was delighted that he did, because it demonstrated my point beautifully. My column stated that one of the left wing's most negative traits is their habit of blindly attacking any good idea that might also benefit higher income earners in any way, and of attacking these people as if they were their deadly enemies. In addition, everyone on the right seem to be horribly, terribly, tragically, horrifically, unspeakably, horrendously, atrociously, appallingly, inexcusably, unforgivably and deplorably evil.

Carter's response? See for yourself:
'...the people who give ACT its public face - a nasty, far right group of rabble rousers who are out to protect their own pockets and do not give a
damn about anyone or anything other than themselves.
'We didn't need to buy someone else's model and strap it on to our country. It should have been obvious it wouldn't work, and it's spurious for people like Mike to ever think that it can.
'...people like Mike who believe in the future of this place and our peoples should come back to Labour. If they don't, they simply exhibit an inability to understand what's going on.'

I think that proves my point.
I have learnt quite a bit during my Auckland trip. I learnt that you can buy twelve toothbrushes for $3.95 in Otahuhu. I also discovered that there are approximately 260,000 McDonalds outlets in the Auckland region. But above all, I have had my belief in what I wrote last time reinforced, particularly in my Otahuhu excursion. Poor people need the opposite of what Labour and the Alliance has prescribed for them. Tax cuts can achieve a lot more than a benefit increase, and a tax hike has not, and will not, have any positive effect on anyone.

Another thing I have had reinforced this week is my firm belief in Voluntary Student Membership. I have been able to spend a lot of time on the Auckland University campus as of late and I'm very impressed. There were a lot of doomsayers on the left who argued that VSM was going to be the death knell for Auckland. The Union is looking in very good shape from what I have observed. It's lively, non-members are not being excluded, and it's not too expensive either. I had lunch there, and the food made Otago's food court look like something Oliver Twist had to deal with.

And in case you're out there thinking 'hey this guy's an outsider, he doesn't know jack about Auckland', well then we should look at the Voluntary Referendum results from last month: with a 34 percent turnout, voluntary won a 1731 majority over compulsory. Compare this with the narrow 108 vote victory just over a year ago, and you can see the idea of freedom of association has really taken off - much to the chagrin of our left-wing student leaders.

It really makes me wonder why I'm still at Otago. Then I remember that the train station is really close to the city, and there are still so many serial numbers left to record...

- Mike Heine is a member of ACTivist

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