Saturday, November 3, 2007


Nanny, a word heard more and more to describe a government that has lost sight of its essential function: to honour and protect our natural rights. A simple definition of a natural right is that right that can be enjoyed by each one of us without using force on others. Thus the right to paint my house pink is a natural right, while receiving a state-benefit forces someone else to provide it, so is not a natural right but called a human right. I simplified the explanation for this essay, but it is clear that human rights can never be universal, which would mean that everyone else would have an obligation; a bit like each of us doing our neighbour’s washing.

There are about four million New Zealanders, all individuals with their own outlook on life, no two exactly alike. It would be hard to think of any action that would not find one or more people disagreeing with. But we couldn’t outlaw them all and so developed the concept of natural rights, which allows all acts that don’t breach the natural rights of others. This requires tolerance, but is easy to understand and follow. It is time to send Nanny back to minding children

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