Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Controlling other people's property

As Grossman and Hart pointed out more than 25 years ago ownership is defined in terms of control rights, a point lost, it seems, on some people in Christchurch. If you own a building you have the right to determine whether or not it is demolished.

From The Press:
A last-gasp plea to save Christ Church Cathedral has been rejected by Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee.

Campaigners called for government intervention after Anglican leaders rejected a proposal to restore the quake-damaged building.

Brownlee told The Press: "We haven't gone around taking buildings off other people and we are not about to do that with the Anglican Church.
For once I agree with Gerry Brownlee. The Cathedral is owned by the Anglican Church and it is their decision as to what happens to it. Simple.

The Restore Christ Church Cathedral Group has no right to tell the Anglican Church what it can do with its property. But it gets worse,
The Restore Christ Church Cathedral Group had proposed sharing restoration costs between the Anglican diocese, the Christchurch City Council and the Government.
So not only do these people want to usurp the property rights of the Church they also  want the right to tell the Church, the Council and the Government how to spend their money!

Later the article says,
Restore Christ Church Cathedral Group spokesman Mark Belton said the Government needed to intervene to save the building.

"We want to challenge the Government to step in. It is in the national interest to take over this property and fix it," he said.
A translation: we want the government to give us the right to determine what happens to other people's property.

And what the hell is this "It is in the national interest" bit? What is the "national interest" and how is saving this building part of that interest?

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