In the glorious battle over a National backbbencher’s bill to sort out the sorting out of lost property by airport authorities you can follow Professor Andrew Geddis’ contribution on Pundit and his posts on the inanity of the bill. Once over lightly will suffice if you are not a dedicated student of the law. In response the Minister of This and That Gerald Brownlie deposed that Geddis was out of order in his comments, potentially an attack on democracy — whatever that means — treason? Geddis responded by reminding Brownlee that universities are required by law to be the conscience and critic of society, here’s the link: Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa, Mea Máxima Culpa
Whoopee for that particular clause in the Education Amendment Act 1990. I don’t think means that academics are to come up with a collective conscience, an oxymoron if ever there was. I think that occurs in theocracies. And, alas, in democratically elected parliaments confronted by sticky issues when MPs comfort themselves with a conscience vote. Thus they happily impose a state conscience on the good people of New Zealand and vigorously pat themselves on the back for their keen (?and superior) consciences. Think abortion, cannabis oil and the nasty consequences that can follow if we take matters into our own hands. Of course they were never once inflenced by the fear such issues could split their parties and undermine their lifestyle.
If ever there is a time when academics must step up it is now. The mainstream media is in collapse and was always short of time, space and, in too many instances, the political objectivity to comment accurately and intelligently. This is not to say academics are perfect, but we need more people prepared to speak truth to power and not fear losing their jobs.
APOLOGISE MR BROWNLEE. Better still in the language of the great unwashed GO GROVEL. And please, please don’t punish my impudence by taking my pension away.