Compassing The Economy’s Death


IN ENGLISH LAW “compassing the king’s death” was treason. “Compassing”, in this context, meant ‘imagining’, ‘contriving’ or ‘plotting’. Medieval jurists held fast to the notion that the thought is father to the deed. Which made even thinking about the king’s death a capital crime. After all, if the Gospel of Matthew (5:27-28) could hold that “whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart”, then any subject looking darkly upon the monarch was, at the very least, guilty of entertaining treasonous thoughts about his future. Thought Crime existed long before George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four.

It would be interesting to live in a world where simply thinking negative thoughts about important people and institutions could get you arrested. What would become of business leaders, for example, if they were shown to have consistently experienced (let alone given voice to) a woeful lack of confidence in the personnel and policies of the Government? Such negativity would, almost certainly, be drawn to the “monarch’s” attention. How would she respond?

It’s probably fair to say that “Queen Jacinda’s” response would be somewhat more robust than inviting Air New Zealand CEO, Chris Luxon, to chair a Business Advisory Council!

One can easily imagine her humbler subjects demanding that she take a very hard line with such rebellious noblemen. After all, compassing the demise of the kingdom’s economy strikes directly at the livelihoods of tens-of-thousands of hard-working men and women. Excessive business negativity costs jobs. It stymies much needed investment. Taken to extremes, it can seriously jeopardise the economic well-being of the entire country. It’s hard to see “Queen Jacinda” regarding this as anything other than economic treason.

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In the Middle Ages, rebellious nobles faced not only execution, but also the complete forfeiture of their estates to the Crown. Were such draconian powers still available to the leaders of today, then it is easy to predict the outcome of what most of the country’s leading economists have characterised as a completely unwarranted “Crisis of Business Confidence”.

Queen Jacinda’s Attorney-General, David Parker, would be asked to draft her a sheaf of all-purpose Bills of Attainder which she would then pass over to her Justice Minister, Andrew Little, for presentation to the House.

Bill of Attainder? Oh, these were extraordinary documents! A “Bill” or, once passed, an “Act of Attainder” was a piece of legislation declaring a person or persons guilty of a crime, or crimes, without the irksome necessity of first securing their conviction in an ordinary court of law. Essentially, Bills of Attainder forced their victims to undergo “Trial by Parliament” (in the United States they call this “Impeachment”) in which the role of the jury was played by the assembled parliamentarians. A simple majority was enough to strip “over-mighty” subjects of their titles, offices, properties – even their lives.

With Lord Shane Jones playing the role of the Queen’s Special Prosecutor, it isn’t difficult to predict how these Trials by Parliament would go. The rebellious business barons would be found guilty of “Compassing the Death of the Economy” and their companies and corporations would be declared forfeit to the Crown. “Nationalisation”, you see, goes back a lot further than the Twentieth Century!

And what about Master Simon Bridges? Surely, Queen Jacinda and her counsellors have a strong prima facie case that he is not only the prime mover in this plot to kill the economy, but that he also intended the misfortunes flowing from its demise to effect the political death of the Queen?

Did he not declare on Thursday, 30th August that: “Business confidence has slumped further to levels not seen since the global financial crisis 10 years ago. This time the crisis is of the Government’s own making and the return to duty of the Prime Minister a month ago has only made it worse.”

No loyal subject of Queen Jacinda could read those words without forming the strong conviction that Master Bridges means his monarch harm. That he has already committed treason against her in his heart.

“Convey him to the Tower! Prepare the Bill of Attainder! Fetch timber for the scaffold! Sharpen the axe!”


  1. Winston was 100% correct in october 2017 as he warned us all that the economy was at the top of the cliff on the night he chose to partner labour in October 2017.

    Winsrton warned that this correction would happen in his election speak as he announced that he will join NZ First coalition with Labour.

    Time to refresh our memories here.


    “In his explanation of why New Zealand First went with Labour over National, Winston Peters said the agreement reached in talks was a summation of policies that survived negotiations.

    He went on: “As the song says, You can’t always get what you want.”

    “Our negotiations have taken place against a backdrop of changing international and internal economic circumstances which we cannot ignore.”

    Those in New Zealand First believed that an economic correction, or a slowdown, was looming, and that the first signs were already apparent, he said.

    “There’s no denying that a enormous correction is looming and pretending low business confidence is just all spite misses the much more dangerous signals”.

    • Kings being able to consistently bring truculent nobility to heel largely only came with gunpowder artillery, that being the mechanism by which monarchs could wrench them from their castles, helping transition to more centralised states and what would become absolutism.

      You get a feedback loop, whereby only a central power can raise significant artillery, or in New Zealand’s case a navy. And being able to raise that artillery makes for a stronger central power, with more ability to grow the economy and fund standing armies and artillery.

      So we replaced noble houses with corporations and nobles with wealthy families. Now we seek to make corporations public facing and wealthy families more transparent. Done.

  2. One commentator has commented that while individual businesses remain confident, it is the national business outlook which is being constantly negativised by eg the big banks, including ANZ with John Key on board; as an ex-PM never appearing to be all that interested in this country, but only small groups within it, some may regard Key as being likely to say or do anything to damage the coalition govt and help get his self-serving mates back into power.

    Braggart Bridges is running around in ever decreasing circles – he shouldn’t need to be axed – he could be collapsing from his own self-inflicted giddiness in the fullness of time, and drive off sadly into the sunset – in a govt limo – while Key dreams away about long-haired girls.

  3. ‘Excessive business negativity costs jobs. It stymies much needed investment. Taken to extremes, it can seriously jeopardise the economic well-being of the entire country.’

    Chris, I think it’s long past time you recognised that the ‘economic well-being of the entire country’ is the cause of our demise.

    The ‘economic well-being’ is what drives the looting and polluting of the environment and the cramming of yet more people into this already overpopulated land mass.

    The ‘economic well-being’ is what drives importation of fossil fuels and drives up the emissions that contribute inordinately to planetary meltdown. And the latest on that is more dire than ever:

    The ‘economic well-being’ is what drives the commercialisation of practically every aspect of life in this country and is what causes the quality of life to continually decline.

    It is now too late to prevent catastrophic climate change and it is now too late to avoid the energy depletion cliff that eroding the economy. However, establishing a different kind of economy would result in a softer landing than attempting to perpetuate the dysfunctional set of arrangements that currently dominate people’s lives.

  4. It’s St. Jacinda not ‘Queen Jacinda.

    And anyway the self selection aspect of the so-called surveys on business confidence makes them invalid and irrelevant. Remember the John Key self selected crowd that kept David Seymour in the Dancing with Stars competition.. and Hoskings’ self selected survey – (I’ve forgotten what it was about- whether he could drive his Maserati into town or something?).

    Columnists like Tracey Watkins and others love using the words ‘plunging’ and ‘plummeting’ when describing the business confidence survey results so its good to hear economists providing facts about what is really happening instead of right wing opinions masquerading as journalism.

  5. Haha you had some fun with this one, you went down some Alice in Wonderland wormhole. Funny but only a daydream. Monarchies are only ornamental these days.

    In my opinion the 5-eye alliance constitutes a thalassocratic pentarchy, in that it features five legislatures mostly captured by the interests of the thalassocratic merchant class (shipping and finance, Phoenicians, Athenians style). They own all the political parties and run the commerce so they are the real royalty here on a pure power basis. What’s an island nation going to do without shipping and finance? Have a bad time I would say. So that nature of our status does somewhat dictate our agenda permanently.

    This confidence game is only the strumming harassment that continuously flows from those aforementioned wealthy groups, I think you feign naivete somewhat when it is patently evident the factions are effectively the same team. But still a funny article, “off with their heads! lol” cheers

  6. Chris, how on earth do you manage to produce these elegantly crafted essays on pretty much a daily basis? Was there a need for revision, or did the whole flow as it came? Do you have time to do anything else?! Was your first degree (I assume you have one) in English literature, history, or Pol Sci, or all three?

  7. Ahhhh ,… but you see,… that is why the Barons made the King sign the Magna Carta in 1215…

    Them Barons weren’t silly back in them days…

    There was an article about Richard 111 in the Herald the other day,… and the clear case of treason going on against him at the battle of Bosworth field. Nothing ever changes with these power-heads,…


  8. Jacinda’s ‘nuclear moment’ – another thing she missed the loss of oxgen in our air that sustains us all is depleting now, as the new ‘elephant in the room’ and this changes everything now.

    O2 Dropping Faster than CO2 Rising
    Implications for Climate Change Policies
    New research shows oxygen depletion in the atmosphere accelerating since 2003, coinciding with the biofuels boom; climate policies that focus exclusively on carbon sequestration could be disastrous for all oxygen-breathing organisms including humans Dr. Mae-Wan Ho

    Threat of oxygen depletion
    Mention climate change and everyone thinks of CO2 increasing in the atmosphere, the greenhouse effect heating the earth, glaciers melting, rising sea levels, floods, hurricanes, droughts, and a host of other environmental catastrophes. Climate mitigating policies are almost all aimed at reducing CO2, by whatever means.

    Within the past several years, however, scientists have found that oxygen (O2) in the atmosphere has been dropping, and at higher rates than just the amount that goes into the increase of CO2 from burning fossil fuels, some 2 to 4-times as much, and accelerating since 2002-2003 [1-3]. Simultaneously, oxygen levels in the world’s oceans have also been falling [4] (see Warming Oceans Starved of Oxygen, SiS 44).

    It is becoming clear that getting rid of CO2 is not enough; oxygen has its own dynamic and the rapid decline in atmospheric O2 must also be addressed.

  9. Except we are not in the Middle Ages, no fealty to a feudal lord and unfortunately no allegiance to country, only self.
    This is capitalism, a dollar figure on everything physical, no value on society, nationhood is an inconvenience to the free movement of labour and capital.
    Dangerously, the far left now share the globalists no border objective to reduce wages in their ideological stupidity.
    So yeah it’s disloyal of business to talk our economy down but the truth is worse by degrees,
    Being a kiwi in 2018 means cheering for the all blacks while giving our water and swamp kauri to the Chinese while paying three times international prices for goods from our good friends the Americans, paying more at the supermarket than the rest of the OECD and having our wages diluted by cheap unskilled labour imports.
    Business confidence what?

  10. Doubt the Christian hating Daily Blog will post this:

    “whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart”

    Pretty sure Jesus was making the point that our thoughts proceed our actions. We can look good outwardly, even give lovely gifts, but if our thinking is rotten – things will inevitably unravel.

    Jesus was pointing out that our thinking needs to be addressed before trying to do good works.

    Trust TDB to quote the Bible out of context and imply it’s advocating for thought crimes on the level of human governance. Pretty sure Jesus said, ‘let he who is without sin cast the first stone’.

    Shameful cultural appropriation and exploitation here from TDB – though I wouldn’t expect anything less!

    • Isn’t it obvious. Conservatism and traditionalism often use religion to control the people. Where as the left is usually seen as liberal and progressive.

    • As if there is only your interpretation of the meaning …

      If it is consistent with the wider sermon on the mount approach, its relevance is that the law is a base standard, and above law there is a higher standard based around ethical behaviour. And this is based on how we choose to behave, rather than how we are required to behave (by law).

      What then is ethical behaviour based on (if not law?) is the question this leads to.

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