Bryce Edwards Drinking Liberally

August 20th, 2009 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

I’m tempted to quip Bryce likes to drink liberally when my credit card is on the table, but this is about his address to the Dunedin gathering of Drinking Liberally.

His topic was “What’s left in 2009 in New Zealand?”. It is too long to try and paraphrase but I found it very interesting. Bryce is a big fan of Bruce Jesson and quotes him often.

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23 Responses to “Bryce Edwards Drinking Liberally”

  1. Grant Michael McKenna (1,156 comments) says:

    the thing that irritates me about ‘drinking liberally’ is that they aren’t liberals. They are socialists at best.

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  2. Dumb Fuck 4 Justice (554 comments) says:

    @Grant – shouldn’t that be “They are socialists at worse” :-) Yes they have stolen the word Liberal and bastardized it for their own purposes.

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  3. big bruv (13,217 comments) says:

    ha ha…love the name DF4J

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  4. Dumb Fuck 4 Justice (554 comments) says:

    @big bruv – thanks. I am thinking of auctioning it on Trademe to raise money for Steve Crow to donate to the Breast Cancer Foundation :-)

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  5. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    BB, it is Spondre, the blogosphere’s most real fascist, hypocrite and addle brained fuckwit, back with yet another new name.

    Actually, this time, at least the first half of it is pretty accurate.

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  6. Dumb Fuck 4 Justice (554 comments) says:

    @Russell Fletcher – you have to admit fascists get things done. You are however wrong, I am unrepentant pragmatist.

    Helen Clark did very little that was good – among her few wise acts was a) the Civil Union legislations though she should have had the balls to rewrite the Marriage act and b) ditching the English honours system. Key betrayed the republican cause when he brought back the old honours system.

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  7. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    Been fired from any blogs today you sad blathering fuckwit?

    …Smirk

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  8. PaulL (5,872 comments) says:

    It is a very interesting speech from Bryce. I agree with much of what he says in terms of the old economic split being less clear than it was before – Labour did manage to keep most of the “failed reforms of the 80s”. There are still differences, but they aren’t as large as they would have been in the past.

    On the new split he chooses though, he is defining it based on what people care about – equality, foreign affairs, the environment. It is true that people care about these things, but what is more interesting to me is what the different points on the spectrum want to do about it:
    – some don’t want more equality, more rights for, for example, gays
    – others want to do something, but they want that something to involve lots of individual choice
    – still others want to do something, and want to use the coercive power of the state to force that something.

    To me that is a real differentiator of the left at the moment – not the issues that they choose to care about, but the fact that with many of those issues they want to tell you how to live your life, rather than removing laws that were previously preventing you from living your life as you wanted to.

    It is an open question as to how National will respond to those same pressures – I am seeing elements of the same belief that government can somehow cause changes to happen, rather than allowing changes to happen.

    It used to be the case that ACT could be relied upon to always be on the side of freedom. I’m no longer sure that is the case either.

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  9. Dumb Fuck 4 Justice (554 comments) says:

    @PaulL: “It used to be the case that ACT could be relied upon to always be on the side of freedom.”

    Pragmatically speaking ACT have very limited leverage on National. And why the Libertarians have a very attractive raft of policies they managed to attract somewhat less support than Social Credit in the last general election.

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  10. PaulL (5,872 comments) says:

    It isn’t about leverage. It is about what they say and do. They aren’t bound by their confidence and supply agreement in a whole bunch of areas. Some of the law and order policies are infringing on individual freedoms, for example the ban on gang patches was, to me, an encroachment. ACT shouldn’t have supported it. There were plenty of other ways to deal with gangs in Wanganui – banning particular clothes that some people want to wear wasn’t the right one to choose. In fact, just enforcing the existing laws against criminal organisations, and in particular the laws that allow you to seize the proceeds of crime, would have been useful.

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  11. Dumb Fuck 4 Justice (554 comments) says:

    @PaulL – unless ACT are able to force actual change then what they say is irrelevant.

    I have heard the Libertarian argument from Peter Cresswell that their appalling polling is irrelevant as they are putting ideas out their and into peoples minds. Well “it don’t mean shit” if you can’t make your policies happen.

    That is why I am a pragmatist.

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  12. PaulL (5,872 comments) says:

    I have no problem that they need to compromise in government – that isn’t an issue for me. I’m not happy when they just don’t care any more. They didn’t need to vote with the government on the gang insignia – it was going to pass anyway as Labour supported it. It wasn’t a confidence and supply issue, nor did their coalition agreement require them to support it.

    They supported it because they thought it was a good idea, and that is my problem. They used to care about freedom, and they don’t as much any more. Stephen Franks, funnily enough, I think was the backbone in this area.

    I’m not a libertarian in the sense that some who post on here are, but I do believe that we should be careful about curtailing our essential freedoms without good cause. Whilst what I choose to wear may not feel like an essential freedom, it is freedom of expression. If there were no other possibility to deal with the problem of gangs, and this the only option, I would agree we go with the greater good. But there were plenty of other good options, the government just don’t feel like using them, so they went with a symbolic feel good initiative that reduced our freedoms for no benefit. ACT should always oppose things like that.

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  13. Chris Diack (723 comments) says:

    PaulL:

    It’s a tad more complex than that.

    Riddle me this.

    Classically liberally minded individuals like federalised government; small constrained with different communities being able to adopt different approaches. Thus some don’t like the reform of Auckland local government – they like lots of little TLA’s what you can sack, replace or shop around for a new one if you really don’t like it. It will always be apparent which are working and which are not. This is the subsidiary principle on steroids.

    However when one local community asks to adopt the subsidiary principle and be permitted to pass circumscribed and limited By-laws that cut across bill of rights freedoms, some classical liberals want a uniform approach (excuse the pun) to these fundamental freedoms; they are not interested in the subsidiary principle. They hold that the patch law wont practically work; the gangs will just shift elsewhere; exit that community.

    For 10 points compare and contrast.

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  14. Cerium (22,754 comments) says:

    Interesting article. The political boundaries aren’t just blurred now, the whole pot is stirred. It’s not surprising no one wants to own the far left. I wonder if the far righties will ever stop clinging to their side.

    Yeah DF4J, pragmatism, tolerance, compromise, picking the best policies and using the best people rather than squabbling over theoretical ideologies seems common sense. Has Key has coincidentally found himself in the right position at the right time for this approach? Or had he foreseen the way to go?

    Labour have to rethink to compete. I’m a potential Labour voter, but not until they can learn to pick the right fights, but much more often present themselves as a competent and positive force. They’ve got a year to make a difference, but still might not be enough, they might have to learn a bit of patience.

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  15. F E Smith (3,301 comments) says:

    • French Revolution – representatives seated left-to-right
    • Leftwing: equality, combatting oppression, worker’s rights, economic interventions; larger government, collectivism
    • Rightwing: efficiency; smaller government; laissez faire capitalism; protection of freedom; individualism; rights of private individuals; opposite of left-wing politics.
    • Largely an economic/materialist cleavage

    Actually, despite the proper discussions above, that is a relatively good analysis of the divide. However, it appears that the Nats have forgotten what it means to be right wing…

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  16. Dumb Fuck 4 Justice (554 comments) says:

    @Cerium – “Yeah DF4J, pragmatism, tolerance, compromise, picking the best policies and using the best people rather than squabbling over theoretical ideologies seems common sense. ”

    I don’t agree with a lot of what John Key is choosing to do but appreciate he is constrained by the need to get re-elected in 2011. The last thing we need is another Labour government.

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  17. Cerium (22,754 comments) says:

    “I don’t agree with a lot of what John Key is choosing to do …”

    Could you estimate what proportion of his choices you don’t agree with?

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  18. Dumb Fuck 4 Justice (554 comments) says:

    @Cerium – probably 80%. I voted for NIkki Kaye in Auckland Central because I wanted to see Judith Tizards kicked out . I voted for ACT on the party vote.

    National needs to have the balls to take the tough decisions and ditch Working For Families, up GST , introduce an CGT and flatten income tax across the board. They need to bring back vouchers for schools and cut all funding of tertiary education without a strong science and engineering focus.

    They are however constrained by the fat and lazy electorate in NZ. The average KIwi doesn’t realise they are being slowly benefitted into financial oblivion.

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  19. Cerium (22,754 comments) says:

    80% of his Cabinet choices?
    80% of his budget?
    80% of the bills that he supports through parliament?

    The instant fix mentality needs a dose of realism.

    It is possible he may realise that they can’t just make a lot of major changes abruptly. I think you have to give them time, they have got a number of things under review, and they are constrained by election promises.

    I think it will be possible to make a reasoned judgement in a couple of years time.

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  20. Dumb Fuck 4 Justice (554 comments) says:

    @Cerium – agreed.

    I disagree with John Key’s decisions so far e.g. restoring titular honours but understand the real politic driving them.

    It is possible to hold two or more conflicting thoughts at the same time.

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  21. lyndon (330 comments) says:

    Yes they have stolen the word Liberal and bastardized it for their own purposes

    What a long memory you have.

    http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=liberal

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  22. Jack5 (4,569 comments) says:

    What’s going on DPF? This thread, headlined drinking liberally is followed by another headlined “caron emissions”.
    Is it time for blogger breath tests?

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  23. Haiku Dave (273 comments) says:

    wotta surprise; as
    soon as russell left the thread,
    issues were discussed

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