National needs a David Hockney - the artist himself, not just one of his works to auction and raise money. Don Brash floundered explaining exactly what he means by political correctness, but Hockney sashayed into the British Labour Party's conference recently and, with the same aplomb used to produce his pop art, demolished those in favour of banning smoking in pubs and clubs. "I smoke for my mental health, so do most people actually. If they are not on it, what replaces it? Anti-depressants. I'd prefer a cigarette."

And to the grim-faced Labour MP promoting anti-smoking legislation, Hockney delivered this retort: "You're too bossy, chum. People don't want to live like you do."

Thus Hockney summarised the harm of political correctness - using the power of the State to force your views on to others. Don't like other people smoking in pubs? Get the Government to ban it. Don't like being stopped from breastfeeding in cafes? Get the Government to ban cafe owners from asking you to stop. Don't like employers choosing pretty girls to work on reception? Ban photographs accompanying job applications. Don't like clever students coming top of the class? Bring in a system where no one fails and elitism is a dirty word.

Remember Anna Penn? She was the Christchurch nursing student who in 1993 was thrown out of nursing training because she dared question the cultural sensitivity component of the course. One example of the nonsense she refused to let go unchallenged was the allegation - made seriously by a tutor - that pre-European Maori had printing presses which were thrown into the sea by the white colonial oppressors. Penn's last stand (she left to work in Australia after being cruelly ridiculed) was, in my opinion, the alarm clock which clanged New Zealanders awake to the growing tyranny of thought control via political correctness.

That was 12 years ago, when the National Party was in government, led by the Great Helmsman, Jim Bolger. He, and his successor Jenny Shipley, steered the good ship Godzone through legislation and into public policy which gave official status to political correctness. Much of that legislation, and the culture it spawned, National now wants to eradicate. Yet it was under the watch of Prime Minister Jenny Shipley that specialty cigar shops, and even the sale of magazines for cigar aficionados, were banned.

A National Government gave us the Resource Management Act and its endless consultation with iwi, greenies, and busy-bodies who may live 200 miles away from proposed developments; legislation concerned with property but which not once in its pages of clauses mentions private property rights. The Human Rights Act which outlaws discrimination on the basis of gender, age, looks, political beliefs, health, mobility, marital status, ethnicity - legislation which gave rise to Orwellian double-speak such as "differently abled" for disabled, "follically challenged" not bald. The Privacy Act, which recently enabled a convicted violent criminal to be paid compensation for hurt feelings and humiliation because a prison manager refused to show him a letter written about, but not to, the criminal.

The PC Eradicator could look no further than the National Government-initiated "seamless education system" (Lockwood Smith's own words), introduced in the 90s. This was the genesis of the National Certificate of Education Achievement which now decrees there will be no failures. All must have prizes in this system, because making kids feel good about coming last is more important than explaining to them why they can't read, write or add up, and how to work harder in order to pass.

Why? It's a philosophy based on quicksand. There is no truth. Truth is what you make it to be. All views are equal including the view that violence, in the name of freedom or religion, is valid and should be tolerated. Even the meaning of tolerance has been bastardised - we must now be tolerant of criminals and mindful of their backgrounds or ethnicity. There are no absolutes, these weasels say as an absolute.

It's all bollocks, as Hockney might say if he were here. Capture the language and you can change the culture - force square pegs into round holes. If the National Party is serious about eradicating political correctness it could start by ceasing the insane practice of using gender neutral words like "spokesperson" and "chair". As an MP I refused to insult the English language and sign my press releases in this way. "Spokesman" is grammatically, but not politically, correct. The "man" comes from the Latin manus meaning hand. A spokesman is the one who manages the portfolio, a chairman presides over a meeting or a board of directors. Viva la difference (or should that be le?).