Saturday, June 20, 2009

ZenTiger Driving Made Illegal

The government has taken the surprising step of making driving illegal.

They point to a staggering number of deaths caused by driving, and caused in particular by dangerous driving, ignoring speed limits and driving whilst tired, drunk, or inattentive.

However, the news is not all bad. Police will not be enforcing the law unless they feel there is good cause. Police are quite pleased. Explains Officer Bradford:

"Previously, we tried to set speed limits to moderate behaviour, but this proved ineffective. If road conditions, visibility, density of traffic or ability of driver varied, then driving at the allowable speed was still dangerous. I think we all realise that it doesn't take more than a couple of trips to the shops before most drivers turn into raving petrol heads.

Furthermore, there is no question there are better, more environmentally friendly ways of traveling. Buses, trains and bikes offer more positive methods of travel on a number of fronts. People are relying far too much on the car, and this basically leads to higher death rates. We need to get the death rate down."

Many citizens have reacted angrily, although some bloggers suppose they are probably ones that have cars.

"Such people don't like the government telling them what to do" opined one blogger who has a very nice 10 speed bike with a bell and yellow reflectors. He sold his car three years ago. "Basic facts are trains and bikes are the transport of the future. No ifs, buts and maybes."

A referendum instigated by a group known as "Cars for Families" posed the question "Should driving a car as part of good personal travel options be a criminal offence in New Zealand?" and has already gathered hundreds of thousands of signatures, more than enough to force a referendum.

This has caused the ire of various academics and the media, who suggest that the question is confusing. "Of course a car is a fine method of travel. Just because we've made it illegal to drive, doesn't mean people cannot drive them. The police will use discretion and no doubt anyone traveling at a good walking pace will be fine. Those that clearly push the law will be put on a defensive driving course and given lessons on how to read a bus time table."

However, Officer Bradford is outraged at this action, and wants the power to block referendums if they ask a dumb question. Fortunately for NZ, Bradford has a list of sensible questions, and has confirmed that this wasn't one of them.

"A quick scan of my list", says Bradford, "indicates 'Should the penalty for being caught driving, when we know it leads to dangerous driving, be having the car impounded?' is acceptable, as is 'Should driving cars when there are so many alternatives, be illegal providing the government doesn't enforce the law unless its for the safety of the passengers or other people that are in the vicinity of the road?' We can do either of those, although lets cancel the referendum because 9 million could be better spent on umbrella stands at bus stops."

Prime Minister John Key seemed bemused by the whole thing.

"Listen, I'm not going to listen to this referendum thing. It's my job as Prime Minister to have others listen to me. I've negotiated with Officer Bradford, so there is no cause for alarm. Taxis are exempt, and government vehicles. Buses and trucks are exempt, as are ambulances and fire trucks. So we'll just wait and see how this new law works rather than over-reacting. I don't expect there to be a surge in arrests, although a few more cops might pull a few more people over - what's the harm in that. It will prove the law is working, so by all accounts this will be a good law."

29 comment(s):

MK said...

When you apply the logic of gun control, ultimately you have to ban cars. But i digress.

If you scratch a hardcore leftist/greenie, they really do want to ban cars and put people on cattle trucks, buses and trains. The car provides people with too much freedom, it's a major source of irritation for the fascist left, that people can go where they want to, when they want to.

whitaker7plus said...

Nice angle. Well done. I wish i had the brains to come up with that
Bj

tom said...

Actually MK you have very nearly got it right Our plan has been exposed.
I guess there is no point in keeping it secret any more
Firstly everybody has to ride a pushbike or catch a train or bus
The only people who will be allowed cars will be Green Party members who will be allowed to be driven down specially marked "green roads".
These green roads will be in all the major centres and on the main highways that lead to rather picturesque lakes
where we will(GP members) all have own holiday homes called Bachas .
It will be forbidden to go any where without our express permission
All dissenters will be"re-educated" in forced labour camps.These will be located in the Wairapa, a long and dangerous journey.
After your long days toiling in the lentil fields you will be permitted to eat whole grain foods and tofu.
we have compiled a list of all those people who have posted on NZ conservative,kiwiblog and Whaleoil .
These people will be hunted down and tortured to death by listening to Sue Bradford recite old speeches.
MK you will be first

ZenTiger said...

You may have missed my point there Tom.

whitaker7plus said...

I love the way you guys take the mick out of each other.
Very refreshing

tom said...

I got your point I was responding to MK

KG said...

And you missed his point too.

tom said...

"And you missed his point too."

Do you mean this diatribe?

"If you scratch a hardcore leftist/greenie, they really do want to ban cars and put people on cattle trucks, buses and trains. The car provides people with too much freedom, it's a major source of irritation for the fascist left, that people can go where they want to, when they want to.'

What that was in plain terms complete bollocks

Which was my point!

ZenTiger said...

Got it, and grokked it I hope.

I liked the choice of words in this quote:

Norway’s Finance Minster, Kristin Halvorsen, has proposed to ban petrol cars by 2015 in order to lower CO2 emissions and encourage car manufacturers to begin making more environmentally friendly models.

Encourage? I think they could have used a more truthful word. And given Norway is the sixth largest oil exporter, perhaps they need to consider banning or reducing oil exports?

And here's some pro-active banning for school kids:

“We need to forbid kids from driving to school,” he said at the time. Then at the regular meeting this Monday, he expressed surprise at a perceived lack of progress.

“The carbon footprint of the school has to change,” he said. “We don’t want to wait another year before we change anything. There’s nothing like getting people to act.”

Max Nunes, a junior who attends monthly committee meetings as secretary of the student council, would be in the bus queue if such a ban went through.

“We’ve all watched An Inconvenient Truth in Biology class,” said Mr. Nunes, who is now running for council president, “and we’re interested in making the school greener. "


The big question is, if students are banned from driving to school, will the teachers also take the bus? Another inconvenient truth that may not be answered.

And on channel 4, the Green section asks the hard questions:

So how can people be persuaded to not use their cars, or even to get rid of them altogether?

One approach, used in Singapore, is to sell expensive transferable licences to motorists....Since the London Congestion Charge was introduced in 2003, traffic has reduced in central London by an estimated 21% and more than £120 million has been raised each year..
In essence, all such measures are just various forms of taxation.


So lets not ban anything and seem draconian, lets just tax it so we hit the poor first, the middle class next and the rich, well, they'll get to the restaurant that much quicker.

Dave said...

Now all we need is UNCROC - United Nations convention of the rights of the car.

whitaker7plus said...

Zen T
What a discovery

Leonidas said...

I humble myself at the feet of a master.

KG said...

I just love devastating counter-battery fire!

crab said...

In a national radio interview this morning, officer Bradford said that theoretically, anyone caught drving a car, even at walking pace, was a criminal.

When questioned on why she had previously gone to such lengths to propagate the idea that this was not true - before the new law was passed - she had no answer. She was unwilling to accept that she was a liar and a fraud.

She would not answer questions on her own parenting skills or the untimely demise of one of her own children, merely adding, "I have no responsiblity to anyone, I only make the rules, it is your job to follow them."

Psycho Milt said...

The "fascist left?" Is that like the conservative liberals, the straight gays, the male women and the big-noting introverts? Just checking...

ZenTiger said...

I think "fascist left" is fair enough in this context, because Sue Bradford believes very firmly in increasing the power of the state. She is extremely authoritarian in her outlook, in spite of the so-called liberalism of the Green Party.

A powerful communist state seems to be very similar to a powerful fascist state, aside from the goosestep parades.

Angus said...

What is the definition of "fascism" ? The word gets bandied around so often these days.

I've always thought of it as autocratic socialism blended with strong nationalism, and whereby the state doesn't own the means of production but has a strong grapple-hold on those who do.

ZenTiger said...

I agree Angus - it is bandied about much, and I think a good argument can be made to say the meaning of the word is changing, as words often do.

I agree with your definition, and would reiterate that fascism and communism are forms of totalitarianism, although fascism does not mandate state ownership of the means of production.

Fascism is nationalistic ("buy NZ" campaign by the Greens anyone?) and tends to be headed by a cult-like figurehead (Hitler, Mussolini, the Greens if they had the chance, who certainly raised Jeanette and Rod to cult leader status.)

KG said...

"Fascism
a political/economic system characterised by heavily centralised political power presiding over a mixed private/state economy.

While much property is nominally in private hands, its usage is controlled and dictated by the state.

Fascist systems believe the individual is the servant of the state. All man's efforts must be directed towards to "good" of the state, the collective, the leader.

Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Fuhrer-One people, One State, One Leader-is the ultimate fascist motto."

Trevor Loudon's description seems as good as any. And the leftists of NZ would be a damn sight more comfortable with such a state than anybody on the 'right' could ever be.

Psycho Milt said...

Just the usual old cobblers then. OK - carry on

KG said...

Yeah, the usual leftard response to truth....

Psycho Milt said...

In this case, my usual response to rightards who willfuly define "left" and "fascism" in such a way as to highlight similarities and conceal differences, in the same way that leftists often attempt to define Soviet communism as "state capitalism," thereby making it clearly a right-wing phenomenon. It would a good laff if you all didn't actually take it seriously.

ZenTiger said...

How have I concealed differences? I was pretty clear Milt, and my point still stands.

Psycho Milt said...

Sorry, I just can't take this "fascist left" stuff seriously. Apologies also for what amounts to a threadjack, seeing as it wasn't you who used the term.

KG said...

Well, I won't apologise for taking it off-topic. Dishonest leftists need to be challenged at every opportunity and you, PM are either in denial about the roots of your ideology or profoundly dishonest.
Again and again when the atrocities of the left are brought up you deny that it has anything to do with your particular brand of leftism.
Sorry- you buy the pup, you own the dog turds.
You're a totalitarian sympathiser and you can dress it up in whatever rhetorical devices you please, but you and your kind are no friends of liberty.

Psycho Milt said...

Rich, coming from a guy who was just trying to argue fascism has nothing to with the Right...

KG said...

I didn't argue that fascism has nothing to do with the right.
My words were:
"And the leftists of NZ would be a damn sight more comfortable with such a state than anybody on the 'right' could ever be."

As usual, you slime and slither sideways Milt. Which is an old, well-used leftard tactic, just as your token criticisms of some of the most dishonest aspects of Helengrad were--giving the appearance of even-handedness only when your lot were caught with their hands in the cookie jar and were beyond defending.
Twist and equivocate and rationalise all you like, but the scoreline for your side of politics remains at 150+ million dead in the last century.
And the destruction of the traditional family unit.
And the perversion of education so that it's little more than statist indoctrination.
I know who the enemy is, and the enemy includes a lot of those who are nominally on the 'right'--those who have dishonestly moved towards what's laughingly referred to as the 'middle ground' but is in fact simply leftwards.
You may not own fascism, but by God you're the experts at it.

Psycho Milt said...

Right. So suddenly fascism isn't a leftist phenomenon (except where you describe us as "experts at it," at which point we're back to "straight gays" etc), but you want to shift things to a matter of which side's totalitarianism has a higher body count. And yet it's me who's trying to "slime and slither sideways."

Well sure, whatever. Personally, I don't think anyone's going to mistake you for a fascist or me for a Bolshevik, so the finger-pointing is kind of pointless. Either way, "fascist left" remains an oxymoron.

ZenTiger said...

Fascist Left = Authoritarian left.
Hitler = Stalin
Gestapo = NKVD

Perhaps a big difference, but pretty much the same outcome. Both founded in authoritarianism, both using the full force of the State to control the population.

Two ends of the spectrum that turn the line into a circle.

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