ACT Conference

I’m attending the conference as media. First speaker this morning is .

Gibbs, like many on the right, started life as a dedicated socialist, and was active in Wolfgang Rosenberg’s New Left Club. He saw the light after visits to Yugoslavia and East Germany.

Gibbs talked about how the liberal market solution is often counter-intuitive. That instinctively people want to block Chinese imports to protect New Zealand manufacturers, even though almost everyone knows logically free trade is better.

He whacked at National for refusing to sell Kiwirail, and indeed refusing to sell any state assets at all. That got more resonance than his next statement about how the assets that most need to be sold are the public hospitals.

Overall a very interesting, if some what disjointed, speech about liberalism, markets and democracy. Gibbs also made a plus for more direct rather than representative democracy, through Internet voting on bills proposed by MPs.

In an aside Gibbs also said he thinks countries should go back to the gold standard. Hopefully someone will ask Don Brash what he thinks of that.

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