Posts by Rich of Observationz

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  • Hard News: Where the crazy comes from,

    I just got back from the US, where there were people campaigning, inter alia for the impeachment of GW Bush, for "something" to be done about the upcoming end of the world in 2012, to avoid paying tax because Hamilton had his toes crossed when voting for the constitution, that Obama is a space alien, that Texas isn't a state, etc, etc.

    I'm not sure what the answer is - medical LSD cards or something?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5400 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: The Inexorable Advance,

    Can you do school vouchers next?
    I can in four sentences. Here goes...

    Those were outcomes. Outcomes don't matter to Propertarians. If a solution provides objectively better benefits to most people, but interferes with property rights (the only valid human rights) then it's Wrong and Evil.

    It doesn't matter that universities develop all the social cohesion of a group of people taking Microsoft exams, so long as the students sacred property rights are preserved.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5400 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Does My Mortgage Look Like a…,

    You know, for us Pol-Pot-Had-A-Point-Ists, it's becoming ever easier to work who will go into the Automatic Categories for liquidation after the glorious revolution:

    - Referendum voters
    - Those who opt out of student unions
    - Listener subscribers (Emma, you may make a special "professional exemption" list, but I really wouldn't rely on it)
    - Dom Post and NZ Herald correspondents
    - Garth George

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5400 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: The Inexorable Advance,

    On the ECHR cases, the common finding in all of them is that article 11 only protects the right to join or not to join *trade* unions and similar bodies, and that a student union is not such a body.

    If, as you say, the current Bill of Rights makes it unlawful for a university to require its members to join a student union, why has there been no challenge in the courts?

    On the broader question, you create an unbalanced situation where a wealthy, right-wing foreigner has the right to use their NZ customers money to propagandise freely, whilst poorer, left-wing students do not. That is of course the Tory attitude to human rights, but I don't consider it fair or desirable. For me, there are such things as community rights, and the student community have a right to exercise these where they collectively choose to do so.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5400 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: The Inexorable Advance,

    I don't know, but certainly not because the New Zealand Parliament passed a law giving him the power to require you to fund him.

    (Third post. I know)

    But Souter doesn't need one. He has a monopoly of buses in Wellington as well as receiving state funding (in much the same way as Vic Uni does for its domestic students).

    Because no law regulates the disposition of profits from his business, he is able to apply those profits (derived from my bus fare) to homophobic political campaigns in the UK.

    It comes back to my point on state and non-state actors: a powerful person or corporate doesn't *need* the backing of law to impinge on human rights.

    (I'm not suggesting that it would be practical to prevent any income from NZ consumers being used for political campaigning; simply that student union fees are just one form of such income and should not be treated as a special case).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5400 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: The Inexorable Advance,

    Graeme, why are you referring to a case about Icelandic cabbies when the ECHR has specifically ruled (at least three times) on compulsory student unions and found them to be legal?

    See:
    Association x v Sweden

    Halfon v UK

    MA v Sweden

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5400 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: The Inexorable Advance,

    I don't know, but certainly not because the New Zealand Parliament passed a law giving him the power to require you to fund him.

    So, why not repeal the whole of section 16A of the Education Act, so that student association membership becomes a matter for contract between universities and students? That would put universities in the same position as any other business - being able to offer a service on the terms they choose (like Stagecoach do).

    Like Kyle says, student unions were compulsory before the state got involved. It's not the law that makes them compulsory (except insofar as it sets out a framework as to when they can or can't be; it's an agreement between university and student association).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5400 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: No Surprises,

    the Maori Party will instead get favours for the Seabed and Foreshore in compensation

    Nah. Cars. Free air travel. Being called "Minister". That's basically the deal Maori get out of giving NACT their support.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5400 posts Report Reply

  • Field Theory: The Real Deal,

    I'd just like to point out, that whilst England may be a nation of moronic chavs and retarded public school twits, I still support them when playing Aussie at cricket.

    WE WON THE ASHES!!!

    Kiwi's who were around in 1985 will remember the pleasure in beating the Aussies..

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5400 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: The Inexorable Advance,

    If they try to pass a law which requires newspapers to be NACT pamphlets we can fight it together.

    Classic Tory disingenuousness, the idea that powerful people and bodies can't infringe human rights.

    Newspapers generally are bad business propositions. Only very rich people and companies (or a few well-endowed bodies like the Scott Trust, which doesn't apply in NZ) can afford to run one. Hence there exists as effective a barrier to an NZ newspaper being owned by anyone other than right-wing interests as one were mandated in law.

    Universities are independent bodies, and have historically chosen to have student associations. What this law (and the predecessor requiring ballots, for that matter) is to dictate that they cannot have such associations as part of the package of university membership.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5400 posts Report Reply

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