Stealing property with weasel words

Peter Cresswell's picture
Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Sun, 2006-02-26 02:06

Let me try a phrase on you: "Local loop unbundling." There. I'll wager most of you have switched off already, haven't you? But you shouldn't. While geek phrases aplenty are being flung about, plans are afoot to dismember New Zealand's largest company and to nationalise the bits left over.

What "local loop unbundling" really means is this: nationalising Telecom's telephone lines because other telecommunications companies can't be arsed building their own, and the RMA makes it all but impossible to do so if the will were there in any case -- which it isn't. In a word, it is theft.

Why invest in your own lines when the RMA makes it too damn difficult to lay them or string them, and when you can get them anyway by stealth - by theft, and with the vigorous support of all sides of the traditional one-dimensional left-right spectrum it seems, from Green to Tory and all points in between. (Observe that the very terminology of left and right was derived from the post-Revolutionary French parliament when both left and right sides of parliament were arguing over to whom to dole out all the proceeds of loot and pillage.) The honorific seems no less appropriate to today's apologists for theft and interventionist dimememberment of private property, who think their desire for broadband internet trumps Telecom's right to keep what is rightfully their's.

You may argue about how Telecom was set up if you like, but the fact is that Telecom exists as it is and may rightfully go about their business as they and their shareholders wish, with their private property remaining their's just as long as they wish it to do so. LibertyScott fisks Russell Brown's own piece in favour of and concludes his piece with the promise to...

blog later on what I think should be done about New Zealand telecommunications, after reading the report from InternetNZ. It comes down to being more creative than simply the government taking away property rights, but about those who want a better deal negotiating it and using the power they have. After all, Telstra is hardly a minnow in the lake.

The fact is that as long as Telstra et al figure they can get their way by theft, they'll be unlikely to be making their own plans to install their own wires. The sooner this demand for nationalisation is closed down, the better for us all. As former Libertarianz leader Russell Watkins said last year:

The only thing that needs to be regulated is the government, the only price that needs fixing and reducing is government spending, the best savings for the consumer will come when the government abolishes outfits like the interfering Communist Commission—and many more government departments besides.

LINKS: Left? Right? A plague on you both - Peter Cresswell
Telecommunications and Russell Brown - LibertyScott
Leave phones alone - Libertarianz

TAGS: Politics, History, New Zealand, Politics-NZ

RMA = Resource Management

Frizzy's picture

RMA = Resource Management Act.

It is how the government can take property ('resource') by legal force.


Rick Pasotto's picture

What is the RMA? Is it a Return Materials Authorization?

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