A recent provincial newspaper editorial suggesting the likely liberalisation of some of the laws governing social issues in this country, while an accurate summary of public opinion trends, was also a sad reflection of the nation's ambivalence towards safeguards of our sovereignty.
Every time an issue that requires some sole searching of our attitudes to what some would call a more "progressive" society, we are challenged to asked ourselves if the move will really provide the environment that will benefit us all or just a few.
It takes a lot of courage to stand up and be counted as one who believes the suggested changes will bring more problems than we need even if the evidence supports such a stance.
To do so will inevitably make the lone defender of long valued cornerstones of our social fabric the subject of ridicule from those who find it difficult to move public opinion any other way.
It is not enough to argue the issue on the basis of hard evidence these days. A necessary part of the progressive movement's repertoire is to question the more conservative proponent's intellectual capacity and mental state. If you go public with your beliefs, you are demonised as some sort of half wit unable to reason. You are presented as being sub human and attempts are made to make you a laughing stock.
Is that the kiwi way? I think not but, given the current public apathy, it will probably be enough to swing it.
One of the proposed changes mentioned in the editorial is classic example of how this works.
The process being undertaken to liberalise the law governing the availability of cannabis for both medicinal purposes and personnel use.
Even though the evidence suggests that cannabis as a pain relief drug can be prescribed now for any patient who doctors think would benefit especially those under palliative care, the supporters of a wider availability are not satisfied.
The more sinister development is the likely introduction of a referendum on the availability of the drug for personal use.
You'd have to be short in the brain department to not recognise this as the first step in a move to change the law allowing every adult to grow their own plot of cannabis. That effectively means universal availability irrespective of any age restriction in the legislation to supposedly prevent its use by minors. That situation exists now so who are they trying to kid. There is no question that this type of law change would have serious repercussions for our whole work force yet the advocates ignore the evidence.
One of the biggest problems faced by the forestry industry across the nation is the difficulty contractors are having finding enough drug free candidates to fill their crews operating the high tech equipment in an industry with a history of serious accidents.
If cannabis is used as a recreational drug by these employees over a weekend then the problem can only get worse and would be repeated in other major industries where drug tests are required by law. Why would we want that?
The tragedy of the progressive movement is that every time we are conned into giving away another bit of personal responsibility for our own actions, we collectively chip away at the basis of our sovereignty until there is nothing left to support a society strong enough to withstand the pressures of living in the modern world.
We become a rabble - every person for themselves. That means anarchy and history tells us, in those circumstances, we will not survive.
Clive Bibby is a commentator, consultant, farmer and community leader, who lives in Tolaga Bay.