National’s disdain for the law
As some folk are aware, I have a somewhat “colourful” past. As a young bloke I got carried away with stupid activities; bad driving habits (I saw the speed limit as a ‘recommendation’); heavy boozing; partying; and got on the wrong side of the law. One singular act of stupidity caught up with me over three decades later.
It was only in my mid-twenties and onwards that I started to grow up and – with the help of a few folk – managed to turn my wayward craziness into more productive activities. (Curiously, at the same time I found my political views moving from centre-right to centre-left… Correlation? Dunno.)
Something I eventually learned was that the law was there for a reason and the Universe did not revolve around my selfish desires. The law would not change for me – I had to make that change within myself.
Imagine my surprise then, that I have now discovered that the law can be changed for those committing illegal acts,
Acknowledgement: Newstalk ZB: Law change will mean GCSB can spy on Kiwis
So let’s see if I have this right…
- The GCSB acted illegally by spying on 88 New Zealanders/permanent residents,
- John Key accepts that they acted outside the law
- Instead of holding the Bureau accountable, the law will be changed to accomodate their illegality – in effect rewarding them, as Green co-leader, Russell Norman said?
My oh my… So that’s how the system works for those in power? They don’t have to be held accountable – the law can be amended to sweep their wrong-doing under the carpet!?
I don’t know what the 1,058,638 voters who voted for National think of this. Especially when one of National’s main policy platforms during the 2011 election was the usual “tough on crime” rhetoric,
Not so “strong on crime” after all, I guess. Not when it involves a government agency for which Dear Leader Key himself holds direct responsibility.
I know that New Zealanders have a fetishistic respect for Authority, but isn’t this going several steps too far?
Do we really want the entire GCSB apparatus (paid from our taxes) spying on us?
Do we really want to be taking a step closer to Big Brother watching our every move?
And if National Party supporters are comfortable reading this – before you shrug your shoulders dismissively, just consider for a moment that the same increased powers of State surveillance will also be wielded by the next Labour-led government. How does that grab ya?
Break the law?
We’ll just change it.
John Key has stated,
“I think GCSB should be able to provide agencies support for NZSIS, under the right conditions and with the right oversight.”
Really?!?! Like… “the right oversight” that the Prime Minister had over the GCSB since 2008? Is that the kind of “right oversight” that he’s referring to?
Now why is it, I wonder, that his reassurances that the “GCSB should be able to provide agencies support for NZSIS, under the right conditions and with the right oversight” – does not fill me with much confidence?
In fact, why is it that nothing Key sez or does gives me any confidence whatsoever?
Because I’ll share this with the reader for free; if Key couldn’t provide the ” right oversight ” for the GCSB at it is now – why should we trust it with further enhancing their powers?!?!
The reality appears that National’s plan to legitamise the Bureau’s spying on New Zealanders shows a disdain for the law that, up till now, has only been evident in despotic regimes such as Zimbabwe. This is a dangerous road for any goverment to take.
When an arm of the State breaks the law, the correct response is not to pass laws which legitamises that law-breaking.
It frightens the hell out of me that, in the year 2013AD, this is where New Zealand has arrived. And isn’t it scary when bloggers have to point this out to all and sundry?!
All the previous assurances in the last forty years, from successive governments, that the power of the State will be firmly controlled and monitored – has ultimately proved to be futile. And now the minister for revenue and hairstyling, Peter Dunne, wants to extend information sharing between the IRD and other government agencies, promising us,
“Client privacy and confidentiality is paramount in this process.”
Acknowledgement: Law Society – IRD and MSD information sharing to be expanded
By the way. Whoever writes these Press Releases should changed the wording,
” “Protecting people’s rights to privacy and confidentiality are critical,” Ms Collins says.”
Acknowledgement: The Beehive – Tax info-sharing may help fight crime
So if John Key gets his way, and the GCSB is allowed to spy on New Zealand citizens and permanent residents, what’s next? (Because in a few year’s time, the government will want more power for XYZ reasons. Governments are never content with the powers they are given.)
What will follow next? A “special police force” attached to a more powerful SIS/GCSB entity?
Laws to detain dissidents who might oppose corporate investors or protest at visiting ‘dignitaries’ from other countries where human rights is an arcane, alien concept?
Or even laws which threaten to impose hefty fines and/or jail terms for those who dare protest corporate power?
Acknowledgement: Radio NZ – NZ First offers support for spy law changes (16 April 2013)
Trust NZ First to prop up National’s anti-democratic laws. Wouldn’t it be exquisite irony if the GCSB and SIS have both spied on Winston Peters and recorded some of his shenanigans…
Continued at: National’s disdain for democracy and dissent
This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 17 April 2013.
Previous related blogposts
Beehive: Tax info-sharing may help fight crime (9 April 2013)
Radio NZ: Govt proposes IRD share info with police (9 April 2013)
Newstalk ZB: Law change will mean GCSB can spy on Kiwis (10 April 2013)
NZ Herald: GCSB needs more oversight – Key (10 April 2013)
NZ Herald: John Armstrong: GCSB trickery and deception revealed (11 April 2013)
NZ Herald: PM out to turn tables on rivals over GCSB (13 April 2013)
The Daily Blog: The Conspirators
The Daily Blog: The Guts and the Authority: Curbing the Powers of the GCSB
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