How right wing or conservative

I’m not much into political labels, but they are often used, sometimes to describe someone’s political alignment, but more often as a form of put-down.

Robert Guyton has labelled me as right wing several times recently but I don’t care much as his credibility is poor – he has often made things up about me, here, and since ceasing commenting in a huff has continued to make digs false assertions at The Standard (he was at it again yesterday). With Robert I don’t know if it is through ignorance, through seeing most people as ‘right wing’ from his fairly far left perspective, or if he is deliberately trying to provoke and smear, as he often does.

But another comment at The Standard was curious:

He is tribal conservative but has reached a position where he thinks the centre provides the best result in a goldilocks sort of way.

That was from mickysavage (Greg Presland) who is fairly straight up and doesn’t join the bash wagon at The Standard, so I take this as his genuine perception of my political leanings. But being described as “tribal conservative” is quite a laugh.

Last century I tended to vote Labour (never National). Early this century I voted Green, and Labour in 2005 to help help Don Brash out of power. I don’t know how tribal conservative this record is.

I approached Labour in 2009 thinking I could contribute to them rebuilding, but didn’t follow through because they (primarily Clare Curran) gave me the impression they wanted workers but not thinkers or contributers.

I have never considered being involved with National or NZ First. I have considered Greens but while I’m in line generally with their environmental ideals am not in favour of their radical social goals – in particular because they are unproven ideals.

I don’t think “the centre provides the best result in a goldilocks sort of way”. I considered myself centre-ish for a while, but my preferences are wider than that, depending on the issue.

I was never a fan of Colin Craig’s Conservative Party, and what I’ve seen of the New Conservative Party leaves me cold, they are not my thing at all.

My political preferences are similar to the more liberal National MPs like Nikki Kay and Chris Bishop and also similar to moderate Labour MPs – certainly not in line with conservative National MPs (including Simon Bridges). I agree in part with others more leftward, like James Shaw, Julie Anne Genter.

I’m sure I have some conservative-ish views, but on social issues I think I am usually not conservative aligned at all.

Homosexual law reform – strongly in favour, the laws up until the 1980s were terrible.

Smacking children – strongly against, except in very mild cases (tap/smack and not whack/smack). I voted against the smacking referendum. I am strongly anti-violence in the home.

Marriage equality – I supported the civil union law reform as adequate, but shifted to supporting full marriage equality after talking with people at a gay group meeting.

Marriage generally – I guess I’m conservative on this to an extent, I value marriage as a way of showing commitment to a partner. However I ‘lived together’ for several years prior to both my marriages – this is commonly accepted practice this century, but was quite a bit more radical first time round in the 1970s and certainly not conservative.

Abortion – I strongly support moves to make our abortion laws line up with our abortion practice, scrapping the ridiculous requirements women have to comply with now, making it women’s choice up until about half term.

Euthanasia – I support euthanasia in principle, and i think i will probably vote for if it goes to a referendum, depending on what we actually get to vote on.

Cannabis law reform – I have strongly support cannabis law reform and have campaigned politically on this. The current drug laws are not working, causing more problems than they solve. I want the legal, medical and social mess cleaned up. I have never used cannabis or any other recreational drug except alcohol.

MMP – I have supported MMP as a better than most of the rest option, albeit flawed. I oppose FPP. I strongly support lowering the MMP threshold, preferably to 2-3% if not scrapped entirely. The priority should be put on making as many votes count as possible. The 5% threshold is a large party imposition to protect their positions by excluding small parties, I think this is appalling and undemocratic.

Tax and benefit reform – I support a major rethink of our tax and benefit system. I’m disappointed by the timidity shown by the current Government with their hobbled tax working group – with the economy currently strong it would be a good time to change things more radically. I’m interested in some sort of universal basic income. I have some reservations, but in a total reform package it should be considered in the mix.

I’m interested to hear why Greg thinks that I was or am ‘tribal conservative’. I really doubt he has any real idea, my views have been generally heavily clobbered and misrepresented at The Standard – since I started commenting there thinking it might be the political blog most in line with my thinking about ten years ago.

43 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  January 5, 2019

    The Standard is a left blog. If you’re not hard out left you’re conservative in the thinking there I suspect. Robert, from my observations of his childish contributions here, was probably accurately described by BM, at least in terms of his blog contributions, as an utter fuckwit.

    • I don’t want this post prompt a bashing of Robert or anyone else. I included Robert in the post as one of a a number of people who frequent The Standard who just make things up about me, perhaps I should have named others but Robert seems to have a bit of a thing about lashing out at me daily there. He seems to be in a huff because I asked and eventually demanded he comply with some simple standards of behaviour required here. I think that people can judge Robert on his behaviour, but I don’t want to perpetuate an inter-blog slanging match.

      • Gezza

         /  January 5, 2019

        I wondered if you might delete that label PG because I know you try to dissuade personal insults here and I haven’t & wouldn’t use the same to describe any other poster here. But he did little but troll this site and in particular maintain a petty vendetta against you which I personally found tiresome and objectionable. It wouldn’t have been so bad if he actually addressed some of the issues he was asked to but he rarely, if ever, did.

        He’s better off commenting at TS where he might occasionally say something worthwhile.

        As far as labelling you conservative goes, I think the label conservative – which is a loaded one in the political sphere these days – is almost meaningless in some ways. At our age most of us have become somewhat conservative in a general sense & I would even see someone like robert as conservatively left.

  2. Griff.

     /  January 5, 2019

    You are a social Liberal Pete.
    I note you had very little to say on economics.
    We have an infection of the American disease were left and right are considered two dimensional.
    You can be economically conservative and socially liberal.

    • Economics is complicated. I am really not sure where I stand on it.

      I agree that major and urgent economic reforms were required in the 1980s post-Muldoon. Generally they rescued the country from a dire situation – but as with any major change in direction there were mistakes made and negative effects. Mostly that has been sort of fixed.

      I am conservative on current demands for a major reform to ‘undo neoliberalism’ – it would be a huge risk with an unproven economic and social experiment.

      I think usually the economy is best tweaked rather than lurched.

      • Patzcuaro

         /  January 5, 2019

        The economy is more flexible now, it is able to adjust to changing conditions as they occur rather than waiting till the pressure builds up. The budget is more or less signalled in advance rather than the pre 1984 situation where everything was revealed on the night.

        Interest rates, the dollar etc are floating or adjusted at regular intervals as conditions change. The difference between Labour and National is more a change in emphasis, the majority of voters accept the general direction of the economy.

        The extremes on both the left and right think their way is the holy grail but both have been discredited. I think the advent of MMP has lead to a more responsive government where politicians must keep in touch with the electorate as a whole, operating with slender majorities. Under FPP governments that represent less than 50% of the electorate could operate with large majorities, causing wild lurches with a change in government.

    • kluelis

       /  January 5, 2019

      Labour 1984 brought in Conservative economics and Liberal social policy which has been NZ ever since.

  3. Ray

     /  January 5, 2019

    Conservative suggests a very rigid point of view with not much room for change but in truth the far left and Greens are far more rigid and would like us all to follow a systems that mostly have been tried and tried again even though they just don’t work. Except the aforementioned lefties think if they were in charge they could make it work though there might be a bit of collateral damage ( think millions dead in Russia, China, Cambodia etc).

    I like your positions PG, very close to mine.

    • phantom snowflake

       /  January 5, 2019

      You really can’t see the difference between ‘Green’ ideology and Soviet/Chinese/Cambodian Communism?? The massive environmental destruction which took place under such regimes is utterly antithetical to any environmentalist political movement such as our own Green Party. And as for “have been tried and tried again even though they just don’t work.”; I’m struggling to think of examples where Environmentalism has been embraced by any government.

  4. Gezza

     /  January 5, 2019

    I was interested to see you support some form of UBI, PG, because UBI sits in the back of my mind as something our Western developed societies may need to move towards if increasing automation in particular creates an even larger international class of uber-rich earning income off their money & while more and more others lose the ability to earn a satisfactory living.

    But I don’t think we’re ready to move towards that yet. There is still too much of a perception by those who see themselves as hard-working medium to high income earners (those who live to work, or at least live to make as much money and acquire as much material wealth and comfort as possible) resent the idea that they will end up keeping a growing number of people who want to fuck around and live off others.

  5. kluelis

     /  January 5, 2019

    When it comes to politics simplicity sells.
    Right and wrong, good and bad,for us or agin us.
    Slogans and labels, sound bites.
    The key is to always highlight only our strengths and highlight only their weaknesses.
    TV especially and commercial radio news was almost totally aimed at
    pleasing the majority but especially right wing audiences.
    That’s why I gave up watching TV One news by 1975
    as I realised it was not news at all just a form of propaganda for certain audiences.
    National radio without the constraints of financial pressure
    was the only balanced news medium in NZ..
    Talk back radio firstly like radio Pacific and later 1ZB were and remain heavily right wing.
    Only since cheap social media has become more accessible since around 2005
    has balance started to percolate the heavy right wing bias of the media.
    But little changes because people choose to follow their “own truth” outlet
    and avoid sites with alternate points of view because they don’t want information
    they really want confirmation of their already held beliefs.
    Every one on my site in agrees with me so i must be right.
    Very few with alternate views visit sites and are quickly
    hounded out by intense bashing by the locals who like to say all are welcome
    but should add (so long as you agree with us).
    Trying to debate with the converted is like trying to
    discuss with religious fanatics who come to my door.
    There are no balanced blogs in NZ though they all claim to be.
    But they would all just part of the delusion of we are right.
    Oh the joys of political debate.

    • PartisanZ

       /  January 5, 2019

      Sad … but at least the current ‘situation’ leaves UNTOLD room for improvement …

  6. david in aus

     /  January 5, 2019

    When you are extreme Left-wing, anybody who is not extreme Left-wing is considered Right-wing. Even if you are Centre-Left or Moderate they will label you as Right-wing. They label the Libertarian ACT as far-right but they do not label themselves as far-left.
    The opposite of Libertarian in my view is Fascism/Communism. Fascism and Communism have more similarities than differences.

    We should treat these labels with a grain of salt especially from journalists. Many journalists are from the far-left, you can tell when they label ACT as far-right but label a Xenophobic/Racist party as being centre.

  7. Zedd

     /  January 5, 2019

    I accept your comments PG.. but there are those on the right/’Tories’ who label us; ‘the LOONY Left’.. (Lab/Grns). It seems that IF we dont think MONEY is the 1st, 2nd & 3rd highest priority, then we must be ‘Commies’ OR ‘Loonies’. BUT there are still many, who think that: Clean Air, Water & Soil IS actually more important, (for as ALL to survive) than a mountain of Gold (or an ivory tower) to sit above the rest, which you can neither breath, drink or grow food from.

    Form One Planet.. its the only ONE we have :/

    • david in aus

       /  January 5, 2019

      I think you are conflating communist economics with environmentalism. They are not the same and is disingenuous to suggest otherwise.

      There are many people who want to protect the environment and also believe in a market economy.

      There are many a communist country with poor environment records and market economies who care for the environment.

      • Zedd

         /  January 5, 2019

        ‘I think you are conflating communist economics with environmentalism. They are not the same and is disingenuous to suggest otherwise.’ sez david

        I did no such thing.. I am just pointing out that there are still many (on the Right) who lump us in the same basket; as ‘Loony Left’ etc.

        btw: I accept that we can have market economics alongside protection for the environment, BUT those who seem to ‘make these noises’.. perhaps need to be asked; “which is your main priority ?”

        • kluelis

           /  January 5, 2019

          Zedd@ “I accept that we can have market economics alongside protection for the environment, BUT those who seem to ‘make these noises’.. perhaps need to be asked; “which is your main priority ?”
          “Your main priority” sounds like an ultimatum one or the other.
          You could have said,
          “So explain how market/enviro economics might work well”.

  8. kluelis

     /  January 5, 2019

    For what ever rhyme or reason centrist blogs,
    Political parties, TV, Radio news or papers don’t sell..
    Apparently them v us, right v wrong and conflict sells better.
    Are the outlets just reflecting market demand or do they drive the demand?
    I don’t know.
    Do people generally search for information to learn or to confirm?
    Once a debate becomes a winner takes all contest views harden,
    minds close down and mouths and fingers revert to type (no pun intended)
    and folk churn out the same hard line rhetoric which only draws
    the same similar hard line rhetoric which leads to personal abuse
    leading to even more hard line stances from everyone.
    The cynic in me says most outlets like conflict because its profitable.
    Why is conflict so popular and are political views just positive venting outlets?.

    • Gezza

       /  January 5, 2019

      Why is conflict so popular
      Because we’re still apes & we’re still territorial and hierarchical – forever trying to dominate others or resist being dominated by others. Our brains haven’t lost that animal instinct as our species intelligence increased. Our capacity for living inside our heads to view the world makes it easy to simply transfer that fighting instinct from real to imaginary or abstract “territories” like politics instantly.

      • PartisanZ

         /  January 5, 2019

        Conflict is so popular because it is cultivated in so many different ways …

        • PartisanZ

           /  January 5, 2019

          Conflict is so popular because we are acculturated into it from an early age in an enormous variety of ways …

          • PartisanZ

             /  January 5, 2019

            ‘The 10 Benefits of Conflict’ – Entreprenuer – Asia/Pacific

            https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/279778

            “The more we expose ourselves to conflict the better we become at handling it, and the more successful we become as business people.”

            ’10 Petty Conflicts That Changed History’ – Readers Digest

            https://www.rd.com/culture/petty-conflicts-changed-history/

            “Here’s what happens when people in power decide to let silly squabbles influence their possibly world-altering decisions.”

            • Gezza

               /  January 5, 2019

              You actually have to teach children not to hit each other when they’re little and get frustrated because another one does something they don’t like or takes something they wanted or were using. It’s something we come pre-wired for & have to educate against. It never takes much to make humans angry with each other. We’ve simply adapted the way we smack each other to a variety of different methods, including insults.

            • Gezza

               /  January 5, 2019

              Including downticks on blogs 😎

            • PartisanZ

               /  January 5, 2019

              “Because cooperation is evolutionarily useful for human beings, social norms that help us cooperate have become part of human nature. These norms include principles of morality and social fairness.”

              https://opentextbc.ca/socialpsychology/chapter/conflict-cooperation-morality-and-fairness/

            • Gezza

               /  January 5, 2019

              Yes they do until you encounter somebody with a different set of societal norms that conflict sharply with yours. Then the animal part comes out again.

  9. Alan Wilkinson

     /  January 5, 2019

    I am often labelled conservative or right wing but I simply believe in economic and social freedom and within that am very far from conservative and relatively radical.

    • Duker

       /  January 5, 2019

      Because thats what it is now – right wing.
      In the 30s some very right wing governments ( we know who they are) were authoritarian but not for social freedom , but they have their own description now.
      Dont be scared of being called right wing, after all Farrar is rightwing – economic and social freedom, but hates unions ( so no freedom for them to act their members best interests) and only likes free speech when it doesnt involve Hone Harawira when the right of protest is paramount.

    • phantom snowflake

       /  January 5, 2019

      Yes I recall you claiming to be “not right wing.” Sure, you are free to label (or not label) yourself in any way you wish, but it’s a bit misleading. I doubt that many others would consider ‘Classical Liberalism’ to be not a right wing ideology.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  January 5, 2019

        There’s probably more understanding of the difference between liberal (=freedom) and conservative (=no change) since the Douglas reforms but the Left and their media often ignore it, intentionally or not.

        • phantom snowflake

           /  January 5, 2019

          You still seem to be equating ‘conservative’ with ‘right wing’ whereas there are clearly ideologies which are both ‘right wing’ and ‘radical’. A prime example being Anarcho-Capitalism, which you often sound close to.
          On another track; I think you opined recently that Libertarianism and Conservatism were opposites? I’m puzzled about the recent proliferation of public figures who describe themselves as “Libertarian Conservative” or “Conservative Libertarian”; that makes zero sense to me.

  10. MaureenW

     /  January 5, 2019

    Left, right; red, blue, conservative, progressive; etc, are all labels for dividing people. Actual policies are imposed (eventually), irrespective of an individual’s labels or whatever label one thinks their Governing body is aligned with. I liken our government to what used to be the role of Local Government, fucking around with a bit of pocket money to keep the voters amused, but the real policies are those we never vote on, they’re imposed via our global alliances.

    • Duker

       /  January 5, 2019

      “the real policies are those we never vote on, they’re imposed via our global alliances.”

      Thats because the other ‘way’ , economic autarky doesnt really work anymore

    • kluelis

       /  January 5, 2019

      To be fair real politics takes place in select committees. All the parties are involved with research, debate, formulating policy and voting on it.
      It is a very thorough process but receives little or no public attention.
      Most Kiwis only watch news clips of the most raucous moments
      of the 1 hour question and answer session in Parliament.
      The bills themselves are usual very long, calm formula debates
      proceeding at glacial speed with about 6 members
      in a near empty house with no one watching.
      But the majority of Kiwis do’t bother watching these other debates
      because it would spoil their image of raucous out of control politicians.
      It would mean taking politicians and politics seriously
      when all we want is clips of controversial issues
      to keep our political views firmly in place.

      • PartisanZ

         /  January 5, 2019

        I gave some attention to the Health Select Committee’s consideration of Medicinal Cannabis Law Reform … the one which decided it couldn’t come up with any recommendations … and I found it quite FUBAR …

        Despite some Labour & Green politicians efforts to keep it on track, National seemed determined to derail it … after which they’ve introduced their own Bill which is much the same if not more ‘liberal’ …

        I wonder if that could have been because the HSC’s deliberations were being streamed on FaceBook?

        Anyhow, I concluded the Select Committee process is now under ‘politicization’ attack …

        • Duker

           /  January 5, 2019

          national changed a lot after Bill English went- he was the conservative catholic who was calling the shots. Shane Retis work didnt come out of the blue, just he couldnt mention the c word in public – cannabis- until Bill finally off to his ‘favoured career’ in
          a retail group

          • PartisanZ

             /  January 5, 2019

            I think Bill had already gone by then? Can’t be 100% certain though …

            I think they would have derailed it anyhow just because it wasn’t ‘theirs’.

            Such is the childishness of all politics and the infantilism of National Party politics …

  11. Kitty Catkin

     /  January 5, 2019

    As far as I know, abortion is to all intents and purposes on demand, and the fuss that is made of it being still a crime is pointless.

    It seems that the father has no rights at all in what is his baby, as well. If a man does something to make his partner lose the baby, he will be charged and probably imprisoned. If she kills the baby, the state pays for her to do so.

    Half term is 4 1/2 months. Babies have been born and survived as early as that. The idea of state killing of babies that far along and longer is abhorrent. Some are killed, others have fortunes spent to keep them alive.

  1. How right wing or conservative — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition