Wednesday, January 5, 2022

On Thomas Nash and the hundreds of other troughers embedded in the public sector

I’ve never met Thomas Nash – in fact hadn’t consciously heard of him until this morning. Yet I feel I know him.

The Wairarapa Times-Age devoted its prime centre-page spread to an opinion piece, originally published on The Conversation but supplied by New Zealand Herald owner NZME, in which Nash outlined his vision for New Zealand in 2040. It’s a standard left-wing Utopian wish list, big on public sector control of the economy, central planning, pure-green transport modes (pure-green everything, in fact) and heavy iwi involvement in decision-making.

It ends on a note of bright-eyed optimism, envisaging a society in which “Government agencies [are] now seen as useful and relevant, having been equipped with the money to provide housing, social services, environmental restoration and support for economic change”. But Nash notes that it took “strict rules” to make it all happen – a telling pointer to the incipient authoritarianism that underlies the neo-Marxist agenda.

The footnote to the article described Nash as “Social Entrepreneur in Residence” at Massey University. As I say, I don’t know him but felt I recognised him, simply because I read examples of verbal flatus from people like Nash every day. New Zealand is full of Thomas Nashes, all with their noses deep in the public trough and determined to transform the country whether the rest of us want it or not.

My recent resolve to cut back on letters to the Times-Age turned out to be short-lived. I sent them the following this morning:

Thomas Nash, who took up a large chunk of yesterday’s paper with his idealistic vision of New Zealand in 2040, was described as a “Social Entrepreneur in residence, Massey University”.

Let me translate that for your readers. Nash is paid by the taxpayer to promote the idea of a dreamy socialist Utopia. The words “Social Entrepreneur” are capitalised as if they mean something, when in fact the term is meaningless and often serves as a synonym for political activist. 

There are dozens more like Nash – no, make that hundreds – embedded in the public sector who know what’s best for us and are paid by us – not that we have any say in the matter – to guide us into the sunny uplands of enlightenment.

Some of the goals outlined in Nash’s article seem harmless – indeed, hard to argue with. What worries me is the degree of state authoritarianism likely to be required to force citizens to comply.  As C S Lewis said: Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.”

Incidentally, Nash also exerts influence as a Green Party member of the Greater Wellington Regional Council. And like others of his ilk, he’s hyper-active on social media.

Ordinary working New Zealanders, busy raising families and paying off mortgages, have little chance of countering the influence of the highly motivated, publicly funded ideologues who increasingly shape public policy. 

I could have added that people like Nash have sympathetic connections in the media, which would explain why his opinion piece appeared not just in NZME papers (although independently owned, the Times-Age publishes content from NZME) but on Stuff as well. What used to be a broad-church press is now a monoculture  bent on indoctrination and increasingly (one might say suicidally) out of touch with readers, as illustrated by plunging circulation figures.


Trev1 said...

"Verbal flatus". Perfect! Yes, New Zealand is indeed full of these troughers, especially in local government, all parading their "progressive" group-think credentials. These aspiring petty green dictators do a lot of damage and make life harder for many other New Zealanders, for example those aspiring to home ownership. When it comes to housing they refuse to allow land beyond the city boundaries to be opened up because of the "climate emergency", and they instead insist families should be crammed into shoebox apartments along imaginary inner city light rail routes - very much like Eastern Europe in the 1950s which is in fact where their imaginations are located. Meanwhile the rest of the world moves on making use of new technology, and indeed the practical lessons we have learned from managing for COVID, to decentralize and devolve our workplaces beyond the CBD. When the COVID panic is over you can be confident thousands of young New Zealanders will vote with their feet to find better living conditions overseas and they will never come back. We are about to lose a generation thanks to the flatus merchants.

LNF said...

Past Mayor Kerry wrote a very balanced and sensible article on the realities of the private car. In the Dompost
This guy wrote a letter to the Editor commenting to the effect that past fools should keep their outdated view to themselves
Greens, Regional Council and Massey seem to be from the same bunch of people who have never been in the "front line" All idealistic and would fail in any enterprise other than being a trougher
Whenever I rad that someone is descried as an "Entrepreneur" I know exactly what they are. Either broke and after your money or a Tosser
Note to Wairarapa. A vote for this guy will see you get what he thinks is best for you. Too bad what you think

Karl du Fresne said...

Cars are popular because they confer the freedom to go where you want, when you want. Public transport Nazis hate that.

Anna Mouse said...

I read the article, thanks Karl.

All I can say is that it was literally ideological drivel, written like it was an assignment from an intermediate school pupil on what they wish the world was like. Reality is never a strong point in these ideologies.

Someone should archive this crap so that in 2040 Mr. Nash can have it thrown back in his face because Greenies and folk like Mr. Nash will always be do as we say not as we do types.

Karl du Fresne said...

Doh. I just realised I inadvertently said the article outlined Nash's vision for 2020. Smart readers will have deduced that it should have said 2040. The error has been corrected and the proofreader fired.

David McLoughlin said...

I saw the headline for his article on The Conversation, a left-wing Australian academic website I have followed daily for years to help to ensure I know what is being plotted for us. I didn't open the article because the heading and author told me all I needed to know, which is the norm for The Conversation (which occasionally does have an interesting science article).

Then I saw it as the main item on RNZ's website last night (it is now downpage on RNZ). Thank you for telling me it is also on Stuff and NZH.

While I accept that Mr Nash and his ilk genuinely believe in their cause, their lack of living in the world inhabited by the other 98pc worries me deeply, because of the power they wield.

Kiwi Dave said...

Good grief! Utopia is only 18 years away and it’s so easy. But why did he leave out the flying pink unicorns, lemonade springs and the big rock candy mountain?

Max Ritchie said...

And this genius won the Nobel Peace Prize! Or so he claims. I’ve just had the misfortune to read his 2040 wishlist which includes such gems as no more privately owned houses. No more privately owned anything, I suppose. Marxist drivel dressed up as entrepreneurship. If that is entrepreneurship then the French are lucky not to have a word for it. According to Thomas we’ll all live happily provided we go 50/50 with Maori. I wonder if Thomas does so himself? What part of cloud cuckoo land do these people occupy?

Unknown said...

My favourite saint Thomas Moore coined the term Utopia.
Roughly translated from latin, it means, No such place.

pdm said...

Karl - two questions if I may.

1 Did the paper publish your letter?
2. Is this Nash fellow connected to the incompetent Stuart Nash in any way?

Karl du Fresne said...

1. Not yet, but they don't run letters every day.
2. Don't know, but I doubt it.

hughvane said...

You somehow missed the word "Alternative" from your description (Para 4) of Nash' role in the position he holds. In the vernacular ... as much use as gumboots on a duck.

What Nash and his ilk promote is foaming nothing-burger . I think that quote* should become a compulsory entry in the definition of almost everything published in the political Greens' handbook - printed with vegetable dyes on bamboo paper of course.
*It comes from public reaction on YouTube to the thimble-sized furore over a S Korean milk advertisement.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

Good on you Karl. I read it on RNZ initially and sighed.
"Many government agencies and councils are now seen as useful and relevant, having been equipped with the money to provide housing, social services, environmental restoration and support for economic and land use change."
Equipped by who??
Anybody left who can be screwed over.
It's more than concerning that, as you point out, there are hundreds of these types about. And they are not benign. They reject private property rights. Take SNAs as one practical harbinger.
There will be more protests in 2022 and I think they will escalate in size. This kind of utopian idiocy is a red rag to many.

Unknown said...

When you said Wellington City Council I remembered this video where Julia Whaipooti tells us Ngai tahu gained equal power with CCC "by stealth"

or was it a survey (which no one seems to remember)?

Unknown said...

I forgot to mention
AOTEAROA TOWN HALL | PART 2: From Recovery to Revolution
30 Apr 2020
Tamatha Paul features on Bernard Hickey's Spinoff Podcast "Three stories high and rising".
People in houses are the problem (she calls them "privileged").
When you follow other players they are either developers or advocates of open borders (Giovani Tiso/ Stu Donovan. On Twitter Stu Donovan contemplates moving to Malta (you don't get the feeling he is worried about being built out and blocked of sunlight). Immigration is airbrushed out of the discussion

Kiwiwatcher123 said...

This first link is Graham's brilliant article:

The second link is what I have written here:

Post on Facebook and Instagram wherever you can. Let's educate, educate, educate. The more New Zealanders who become informed, the more traction we are going to get. Thanks so much

Karl du Fresne said...

I'm not sure of the relevance of your links and I somehow doubt that many readers of this blog will have the patience to sit through a two-hour video, but I've posted them in the interests of free speech. (BTW, I said Greater Wellington Regional Council, not Wellington City Council.)

Karl du Fresne said...

Thanks, but I can't help thinking that what you say would carry more weight if you put your name to it. Why are people so reluctant to identify themselves?

Libertyscott said...

Given the Government has as an explicit goal (expressed by the Climate Change Commission) of the reduction of vehicle kilometres travelled by 20% by 2035, Nash is expressing the agenda that regards private car use as "bad" in its own right. It used to be that traffic congestion was the issue, and of course that is usually addressed by fixing road bottlenecks, and road pricing (as a market mechanism). Then it was all about emissions, but the rise of electric and hybrid vehicles, plus cleaner engines means that that issue is going to resolve itself through technology, but the reality is that the Green/new urbanist agenda around transport is to make driving as inconvenient, costly and slow as possible. One comment around why they are pushing trams is because it will take away road space from other vehicles, that is seen as a positive. It is nothing to do with enabling people to move faster, cheaper and safer, but all about making the option that people prefer (driving) slower and more expensive. You just need to look at Let's Get Wellington Moving, which was a cross-government initiative set up under the National Government to get local government buy-in to a package of transport spending to reduce congestion. It is now explicitly about changing modes of travel and reducing emissions, and ludicrously includes proposals for a new Mt Victoria Tunnel for cycling and walking only - something virtually nobody outside Green Party activist circles wants.

Tom Hunter said...

It's not just the Green aspects. As I pointed out in this post, <a href=">All the right connections</a>, we have on our hands a massive Administrative Class that cycles between the private and public sectors, with each influencing and enriching the other.

Take a look at that post for the description of the family connections of billionaire fraudster, Sam Bankman-Fried: Yale prof parents, MIT, the SEC and other connections. Now you know how he could get people to invest and how he got away with it for so long.

Also in that post is a link to a 2022 article by an actual Green Party member and former blogger of The DimPost, Danyl Mclauchlan, where he's spotted the same thingL
<blockquote>It’s almost as if the primary role of the administrative state is shifting from serving the people to the redistribution of wealth to the staffers, lawyers, PR companies, managers and consultancy firms that work in them, or for them. A billion dollars a year in public sector consultancy is an awful lot of money when you’re running out of teachers and nurses because you don’t pay them enough, and the fire trucks are breaking down.</blockquote>