Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The crybaby philosopher

130 Responses

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  • Sacha, in reply to Mikaere Curtis,

    philosophically challenged

    and logically-challenged, and morally-challenged.
    what a dick.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Sacha,

    But he says he wants to be challenged, philosophically, and logically. *
    So ... wilfully ignorant, then.

    (* Albeit, only by his limited definitions of those terms; and he may not have any definition of morality sufficient to recognise, let alone respond to, challenges on that front.)

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1944 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Michael Meyers,

    But the important part he fails to see is that we don’t live in an ideal world. We live in a world where the market isn’t always right and the privileged take advantage of the disadvantaged.

    I’m not convinced that ACT and its supporters don’t see this. I think many of them simply don’t care. Support for the ACT Party (whether directly or through some of the links with other parties) is an indication of people who believe it’s right and proper for powerful and influential people to dominate, take advantage of and stomp on the weak for their own benefit, and leave it up to those people to sort out their own problems even when the odds are stacked against them.

    To look at ACT and try and understand it by applying the standards of someone who doesn’t think this isn’t necessarily that different from applying those standards to something like the ubiquity of slavery in various civilisations like the ancient Roman Empire (maybe also some modern ones), or the expendable nature of people’s lives when considering risks during the early 20th century Antarctic expeditions. Any of these might be hard to understand by modern first world standards, but it’s simply how things worked.

    Not to suggest that ACT subscribes to either of these lines, which are specific examples, but I don’t think Jamie Whyte’s blabbering is automatically a case of him and his supporters not realising that we don’t live in an ideal world. It’s more a case of them dismissing anyone who can’t or doesn’t wish to fit into their ideal world (like maybe those people who have nothing to gain from being severely disadvantaged) as simply not mattering.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1142 posts Report Reply

  • Jim Cathcart,

    How about non-honky, non-Maori perspective? How does that fit in?

    Since Nov 2006 • 228 posts Report Reply

  • Jimmy D,

    So...without wading through all 79 responses, I have a legal question. Which laws, specifically, are in question? Not Mr Whyte, nor any of the news reports, actually provide this detail, and without being snarky, I'd actually like to know.

    In a debate about racial prejudice in the law, it'd be nice to see the recial prejudice in the law. Please excuse me if I'm being naive, ignorant or just can't think straight.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 16 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to Jimmy D,

    Which laws, specifically, are in question?

    Umm ... none "specifically" AFAICT. Although Whytey has a go at the RMA and a few legal bodies. He just seems to be whining out loud , and being a "big picture" sort of joker. He needs a hat with bells on it.

    Rich, sounds like I'll give the movie a swerve haha thanx

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1891 posts Report Reply

  • Caleb D'Anvers, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    Philosophy can be a bloody affray too. I can’t agree with those who say Whyte should ‘go back to academia’. He doesn’t, prima facie, seem capable enough.

    Yeah. And those representing Whyte as a former Philosophy Lecturer seem to be misreading the complexities of early career academia. From what I can see, he had a three-year Junior Research Fellowship after finishing his PhD, followed by a short-term (stipendiary?) position teaching at undergrad level. Junior Research Fellowships are prestigious postdoc appointments alright, although they’re a lot easier to get if you’re already inside the Cambridge system. But they're fixed-term: after three years, you're on your own. The “Lectureship” looks to have been another fixed-term position, essentially a Teaching Associateship. So he seems never to have managed to secure a bona fide permanent job lecturing in Philosophy.

    These things are hard to read: it could be that had he stuck around for another year or so, he might have found a position. Or it could also have been that no Department anywhere wanted to touch him with a barge pole. Nevertheless, the title “Cambridge Philosophy Lecturer” delivers less here than it promises.

    London SE16 • Since Mar 2008 • 482 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood, in reply to Jimmy D,

    Jimmy D, on Morning Report Whyte claimed repeated that Maori had special representation in parliament due to the Maori roll. He was repeated challenged on this as an error in fact as non-Maori can, and have, stood on the Maori roll. He eventually reluctantly modified it to only Maori could vote on the Maori roll, but due to the tenacity of his initial claims I would be unsurprised if he continues making them in forums where his errors in fact are not challenged.

    For a debate on racial prejudice in the law, Whyte has not been keen on the debate where is arguments get unpicked as unsupported, he has not brought in much in the way of example in actual law, but I will certainly grant it is racial.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Young,

    Might I draw your attention to this fascinating article by Dr Whyte, within the centre-right Institute for Economic Affairs website: "Evidence based policies are damaging UK policy making" Institute of Economic Affairs: 21.09.2013: http://www.iea.org.uk/in-the-media/press-release/%E2%80%98evidence-based%E2%80%99-policies-are-damaging-uk-policymaking

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 573 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    Someone once said that:

    The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.

    It's pretty brazen of ACT to argue that the statistically unambiguous disparities in New Zealand's society are caused by pro-Maori legal bias. This feels like a rehash of the Orewa speech.

    There's little point in discussing the finer points of constitutional law with people who deny the need to use policy to help the disadvantaged.

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to WH,

    Someone* once said

    * Anatole France, Le lys rouge [The Red Lily](1894)

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1944 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis, in reply to Jim Cathcart,

    So…without wading through all 79 responses, I have a legal question. Which laws, specifically, are in question?
    One law he referenced is the Electoral Act 1993, specifically the provisions for Maori seats. One way to address Whyte's concerns would be to allow anyone who feels Maori (regardless of whakapapa) to be allowed to enrol on the Maori roll. This would enable Pakeha who feel Maori to be on the roll. Ergo, the Maori seats are no longer race-based. Job done, and Whyte can get back to proper classical liberal issues like drug decriminalisation.

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 528 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to andin,

    He needs a hat with bells on it.

    Shoes might be more appropriate.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis,

    I did not know that Whakapapa recital, was required for eligibility to be on the Maori electoral roll
    AFAIK, it's not (it's been a long time since I applied for the Maori roll). What I meant was that Pakeha could switch the the Maori roll if they feel Maori (yet have no Maori ancestry), thus defeating Whyte's objection.

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 528 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Danyl contemplates why Act resorts to race-baiting.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    I just looked at the Electoral Act. It says you have to be `a Maori' to register on the Maori roll, but nowhere does it define who is `a Maori'. There's no requirement for proof that you're Maori. There's no requirement for Maori descent, or whakapapa. So if feel yourself to be Maori, I can't see anything preventing you from registering on the Maori roll regardless of your descent.
    If the Crown was unconvinced by someone's claim to being Maori and wanted to take the matter to court, it would have to prove that the person was not Maori. I'm not sure how you'd do that. It's not about blood, because of adoption and its variants (e.g. misidentified fathers).
    So I'd argue that if you feel Maori, you can already enrol on the Maori roll, regardless of your bloodlines, and therefore it's not about "race" at all, it's about a sense of membership of a particular culture. Therefore, there is "one law for all": anyone who considers themself Maori can sign up to the Maori roll.

    The only counter-argument could be that the Electoral Commission information suggests that people can sign up to the Maori roll if they descended from Maori, even if they don't feel Maori themselves, whereas someone who's not descended from Maori and doesn't feel Maori can't sign up to the Maori roll.

    So we have two variables: whether you consider yourself Maori, and whether you are of Maori descent. Three of the the four combinations can sign up to the Maori roll, but people who don't consider themselves Maori and who are not of Maori descent can't.

    The thing I can't figure out is: why on earth would this bother them, or anyone else?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    well except that it would be would be a huge waste of money

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2623 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall,

    ...and now Colin Craig's starting to play the race card

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 760 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Grant McDougall,

    …and now Colin Craig’s starting to play the race card

    What next, "the Muslims are coming, the Muslims are coming!"? So far, apart from Richard 'Wogistan' Prosser, few pollies have played that card like it's played out in Europe and America. Sadly it may not be far off in these parts.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5445 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Latest I've heard is that the Big-Earringed One is standing for Colin Craig in Epsom. The potential electoral pile-up will be fun to watch.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5445 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh,

    Well, it's not often I'll open an article by John Roughan, but the headline on this one was just too intriguing. And it's a pity nobody's allowed the space to fully develop an argument any more, because this one has the beginnings of what could be quite an interesting, even fruitful, discussion:

    One of them is our founding Treaty, which he thinks is just about property rights. The other is the national needs of indigenous minorities, which he ought to know about because the library at Cambridge contains some interesting work in political theory that attempts to build ethnic identity into principles of individual rights.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • SHG,

    He first compares the status of Māori in Aotearoa (New Zealand) to the aristocrats of the Ancien Régime

    But that's not what he does. He compares their status as legally privileged groups within the legal frameworks of their respective countries and eras. That is a sense in which a comparison is completely sensible and uncontroversial.

    See, this is like one of those "words that scientists use and what they actually mean" examples that have to be trotted out in climate science discussions. When Whyte used the word "privileged" everyone flipped out because in postmodern PC wank that word signifies PATRIARCHAL DOMINANCE. So postmodern PC wankers instantly reacted as if Whyte had accused Maoris of occupying a PATRIARCHAL DOMINANT position within NZ culture.

    But that's not what he said, in the same way that a climate scientist reporting "positive results" is not saying that the results are good. Whyte simply said that Maoris of modern NZ and the Ancien Regime of pre-revolution France are comparable in that they are legally-privileged groups. That's a simple statement of fact.

    Anyone who splutters latte onto his scarf in outrage about it is, simply, a fucking idiot.

    nup • Since Oct 2010 • 77 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to SHG,

    postmodern PC wankers

    Oh put it away, you'll go blind.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to SHG,

    He compares their status as legally privileged groups within the legal frameworks of their respective countries and eras. That is a sense in which a comparison is completely sensible and uncontroversial.

    I suggest you take a look at the legal status of the aristocracy in pre-revolutionary France (Hint- they were close to being completely outside the law) . Then at the whole range of legal 'privileges' of 21st Century Māori. (Hint: this will only take a moment.)
    Then think again about whether it's a 'completely sensible and uncontroversial' comparison.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • SHG,

    That's like saying "calling a Tiger Moth an aeroplane is ridiculous, because a Boeing 747 is really really big".

    It is completely sensible and noncontroversial to at that Tiger Moths and 747s are both aeroplanes.

    nup • Since Oct 2010 • 77 posts Report Reply

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