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Lindsay Perigo Omnibus: Goodbye P.I.

Lindsay Perigo and his troublemaking libertarian ideas are still broadcast weekdays, midday to 2 PM, on New Zealand's Radio Pacific - but only just! They will still be found on his website

To mark the last week of Lindsay Perigo's Politically Incorrect Show, a Lindsay Perigo omnibus:


[Originally broadcast Monday 30 July]

As you may have read in the Sunday Star-Times yesterday, this is the last week of the Politically Incorrect Show. This Friday's show will be the final one. Shortly after that, I shall be let loose in the heart of darkness itself as Radio Pacific's parliamentary correspondent. There, it will no longer be my job to express my opinions & be a foil for yours, but to report the facts & ask the questions.

There's something in yesterday's Star-Times article I wish to clarify. The reporter, Guyon Espiner, describes my views as "unfettered capitalism, individualism, & passionate hatred of the state." I don't hate the state as such. I hate the state when it oversteps its role & becomes, not the protector of individual rights, but their violator. I would be a "state-worshipper" myself if the state confined itself to its proper functions. It doesn't, so I'm not.

The report also describes me as a "failed politician" on account of the small number of votes cast for Libertarianz. I never saw myself as a politician. Being part-time, unpaid leader of a radical new party, as I was for a time of Libertarianz, doth not a politician make. For another thing, I often remember the remark of a young friend who told me to judge my success not by the number of Libertarianz in Parliament but by the number of people whose lives I've touched. That number, too, may not be great - but each of those people goes on to touch the lives of others. That IS happening. I would say I threw a small pebble into a large pond & created ripples that may yet turn into waves. In the battle for freedom, it is far too early to assess success or failure. I have more to say about this in my editorial for the new 'Free Radical' magazine which is out today.

On Friday, August 10, supporters of the PI Show will be throwing a commemorative bash at Eden's restaurant in Auckland. You're all invited. There's a $15 door charge, & the promise of a great night's carousing. In the meantime, for the rest of this week, the show goes on. Ring me here on (09) 309 3099, and let's make each one a sizzler ...

LINDSAY PERIGO: Putting My Mouth Where My Mouth Is

"Technology is integral to the advancement of the world. Fire, the wheel, steam power, electricity, radio transmission, air and space travel, nuclear power, the microchip, DNA: the human race has ever been on the cusp of innovation. Currently, biotechnology is the new frontier. Continuation of research is critical to New Zealand's future."

Not my words, but those of the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification, which I would be proud to have written. The Commission adds, "As in the past we should go forward but with care."

The only "care" that needs to be exercised here is that at no stage are the rights to life, liberty & property violated. Otherwise, I say to the geneticists, tamper away - from your work will come more & better food, new medicines, & the unlocking of more of life's secrets. I hope you make bucket-loads of money from it. Send me lots of those new potatoes, if you will, & I'll be happy to put my mouth where my mouth is.

Whenever science advances, religion tries to hold it back. Robert G Ingersoll observed that "The church never wanted disease to be under the control of man. Timothy Dwight, President of Yale College, preached a sermon against vaccination. His idea was that if God had decreed from all eternity that a certain man should die with the smallpox, it was a frightful sin to avoid & annul that decree by the trick of vaccination. Smallpox being regarded as one of the heaviest guns in the arsenal of heaven, to spike it was the height of presumption."

Christianity has not been at the forefront in the attempt to ban genetic engineering, but two other contemporary religions have - the Greens, with their primitive earth-worship, & Maori witch-doctors with their primitive ancestor-worship. Neither should be taken any notice of, & it's a travesty that the Royal Commission was obliged to write separate chapters on "Cultural & Spiritual Issues" & "Te Tiriti O Waitangi." In fact, it's a travesty that there was a Royal Commission at all - but given that there was, we can be thankful that the main thrust of its findings was sensible. We can only hope that that common sense will be permitted to survive the troglodyte hysteria of those whose fear is matched only by their ignorance.

LINDSAY PERIGO: Dead Geese Lay No Eggs

The first country in 50 years to lose its "developed" status. That is what New Zealand is at risk of, according to one of the participants in the current group-grope talk-fest in Auckland, Catching the Knowledge Wave. Professor Robert Wade, of the London School of Economics, himself a New Zealander, says we have had one of the slowest economic growth rates in the developed world since 1985, & are in danger of dropping out of it altogether. Actually, the growth rate prior to 1985 was nothing to write home about either. Actually, too, growth had hit 6% in 1996, but was torpedoed by the Winston Peters spend-up when New Zealand First went into coalition with National. Now, however, such genuine reform as there has been since 1985 is being blamed for the ongoing mediocrity of New Zealand's economic performance. The fact of the matter is the more things changed in that period, the more they remained the same.

Rob Muldoon ran a "command economy" that was often likened to Polish shipyards. Clamps - along with artificial props - were everywhere, taxes were high, initiative was stifled. Roger Douglas removed some of the clamps & props, but imposed new ones. He slashed income tax, but introduced GST, the provisional tax regime, the Fringe Benefit Tax, the Entertainment Tax & God knows what. GST enforcement led to the Inland Revenue Department's Reign of Terror. The tax take as a percentage of GDP went UP by 6%. The apartheid gravy-train was converted into a juggernaut. The RMA, which effectively nationalised private property, was conceived, & later enacted. Political Correctness was unleashed in state schools, making it "uncool" to be ambitious & "cool" to be dumb. For some reason that still eludes me, all of this was depicted as a "free market revolution" which is now deemed to have failed. Free market revolution? Was this, overall, any less of a "command economy" than before? And is it not still a "command economy" now?

Professor Wade says we should all have a sense of national emergency, the response to which has to be led by the government. The antidote, in other words, must be identical to the poison. On cue, the Prime Minister unveiled an "innovation framework" at the same talk-fest. Here's one innovation it didn't include - getting the government out of the way, freeing the economy from the shackles of the state.

The current government's associate-Minister of Revenue recently likened taxation to plucking a live goose. "The object is to extract the maximum number of feathers for the least amount of hissing." David Lange likened it to slipping your hand into someone else's pocket without being noticed. As long as politicians operate with this sort of mentality - & as long as voters endorse it - we will continue to have a "command economy" & little or negative growth. The goose will eventually die from all the plucking, for want of freedom.

The politicians & every other variety of bludger will then have to confront a stark fact - dead geese lay no eggs.

For Lindsay Perigo's daily "Politically Incorrect Show" editorials, visit: or listen to Radio Pacific from noon to 2pm weekdays. But be quick!

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