Monday, 7 December 2020

Free Press: A Week Of Reckoning


A Week Of Reckoning

It is 20 months since ACT stood alone against the madness of rushed gun laws. We are not pleased to be vindicated. The spate of gun violence shows how irrelevant the Government’s laws were to those who would do harm with guns. Imagine understanding a problem, then legislating. The Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Terrorist Attack on Christchurch Mosques, delayed twice before, will release its findings tomorrow.

What Will It Say?

The report must be about how such an obviously unfit person was able to get so many firearms and so much ammunition. It must be about how an individual who openly expressed such odious views was able to plan such an attack under the noses of the security agencies. It is impossible for this to happen if everyone was doing their job and following the law.

The Government’s Problem

The Government legislated with Police as its main advisor on firearm laws. But what if Police is culpable for not doing its job under the existing laws? Did the Prime Minister and her Ministers ask the obvious question: How did this happen on your watch last March? What answers did they receive? Why were they happy to take the Police’s advice and legislate the way they did?

The Week

ACT will be asking these questions and more all week. 51 people died and it is impossible that every government agency was doing its job. The Prime Minister and her Ministers were asleep at the wheel. Did they make rules punishing the innocent, at the behest of the guilty, doing nothing for the victims? ACT will be asking the questions that all of New Zealand deserves to have answered.

Charity Begins At Home

ACT’s Environment Spokesman Simon Court skewered the Government for its posturing ‘climate emergency’ this week. He pointed out that Members of Parliament have unlimited travel budgets. We are not aware of any other organisation in the world that gives staff an unlimited travel budget. It is not every week that a rookie MP keeps a story going on One News for two nights. The best bit of the story (best for cynics, at least) is watching James Shaw and Grant Robertson and someone who was reported as a National MP say they couldn’t possibly cap their air travel budgets.

A Huge Question Time

Brooke van Velden had a commanding first day in Question Time, highlighting that the Government has a big job implementing the End of Life Choice Act. Meanwhile James McDowall had his first run as immigration spokesman, pointing out the absurdity of letting only 60 sheep shearers into the country. To top it all off, Nicole McKee had the Speaker force the new Police Minister to answer her question again after dodging it. All this while David Seymour confidently left the caucus in Wellington to attend events in Auckland.

A Good Read

If you are looking for a thought provoking piece, you can’t go past Cai Xia’s piece on President Xi. Xia was close to the centre of the CCP, an academic who hoped Xi would be a liberal reformer. Today, she explains, it is not safe for her to be in China. A useful insight into the Middle Kingdom. Free Press is afraid to predict that, as Covid-19 was the story of 2020, China may be the story of 2021.

Handout Culture

As David Seymour said in his Address in Reply speech: “This Government is so focused on dividing up the pie for its own political advantage instead of growing it.” The logic of this Government’s handout culture reached its tragicomical crescendo when desperate people descended on Aotea Square hoping for free money to solve their problems. When they didn’t get it, they turned violent and people were hurt.

Commentators No Better

If you find this odd, you are (almost) alone. Rather that noticing how bad handout culture has got, we hear a constant refrain of how cruel it was to get people’s hopes up by promising more handouts. Free Press has not detected anyone in our society who says it’s ridiculous to think your problems will be solved by a handout in the first place. Successive governments have turned us into peasants.