Saturday, September 18, 2010

But not in the South

I know there are good Labour folk, some in Christchurch, who are disturbed by the Caucus’ support for the government’s bill. I have repeatedly acknowledged that this was unprecedented and done with considerable trepidation for some of us. It may end up being something we regret.
I am neither good, nor of Labour folk, but this I know: Brendon Burns is a dick. Let me count the ways. No, let me quote the New Zealand Herald:
Orders must be signed off by the Cabinet and the Governor-General.They will, however, not be able to "be challenged, reviewed, quashed, or called into question in any court". These extraordinary powers are potentially far-reaching. Effectively, Parliament has handed over its normal law-making role to the Executive. And it has done this while also sacrificing the precept of judicial scrutiny. Rarely should either be contemplated, no matter how dire the crisis. In this case, an earthquake has triggered a law that goes far beyond what is required to get things done in Christchurch.
The Labour Party, which believes itself to be social democratic, supported this legislation, which is anti-social and undemocratic. As the Herald observes, this sort of power was not needed to rebuild Napier, so why should it be needed now?

But none of this of itself makes Brendon Burns a dick. What makes Brendon Burns a dick is his comparison of his situation with that of an activist in apartheid South Africa.


Stephen Stratford said...

"But not in the south" - I dimly recall this was a classic Gamesmanship ploy for when one is confronted by a rival expressing well-informed views on some foreign country. All one has to do is murmur "But not in the south" to trump the rival.

I did use it once, experimentally, and it worked. Stephen Potter was a comic genius.

Is it in the film? I can't remember. Fortunately I have the DVD of "School for Scoundrels" so will research this tonight.

Paul said...

Spot on, Stephen. I don't think it is in the film, although it has been a long time since I last saw it. And yes, Potter was a comic genius.