Home > The Body Politic > Moral justifications in a moral vacuum cannot be heard

Moral justifications in a moral vacuum cannot be heard

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A recent TVNZ story,

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Spy law legislation passes second reading

Source: TVNZ – Spy law legislation passes second reading

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In the same TVNZ story, note the invocation of Helen Clark’s name by John Key;

“That is just the way things are,” he said. “We live in a global environment where there are real threats, that’s the point we make with the GCSB legislation, it is why Helen Clark passed the legislation in 2003.”

And,

“It is obviously small numbers but there are small numbers of radicalised New Zealanders, who have either gone over into those environments or returned, and I don’t think this is terribly new, I suspect Helen Clark would have signed warrants as well.”

Source: IBID

It’s not that Key is trying to shift blame on to Labour – as he usually does when avoiding responsibility for one of his stuff-ups (see: Taking responsibility, National-style, and National’s disdain for taking responsibility). No, this time he is invoking the credibility and mana of his predecessor to justify his own dubious  actions on the scandals and unpopular legislation swirling around him.

Despite a few trivial errors of judgement, Clark left Parliament with her reputation intact; enhanced; and invited to work for the United Nations.

Contrast that to John Key whose reputation for distortion; fudging the truth – and in my opinion, some outright lies – has left his reputation in tatters.

Channelling his predecessor’s name appears to be  Key’s last card to justify an unwarranted extension of governmental power; the growth of the policed surveillance state; and his involvement in illegal spying on a member of parliament and a journalist.

If that is all he’s got left , then he’s heading for rock bottom.

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 4 August 2013.

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= fs =

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  1. Fern
    6 August 2013 at 10:45 am

    Key: “I don’t think this is terribly new, I suspect Helen Clark would have signed warrants as well.”
    A reassuring image of a well-briefed PM signing a warrant on a fully informed basis. But what is abhorrent now is the scooping up and filing away of everything every citizen does online.

    • 6 August 2013 at 3:54 pm

      Indeed, Fern, one has to wonder why he can’t rely on his own integrity (!!!) to justify signing warrants. I think we know the answer to that one!

      Somehow I can’t see a future Labour (or Green!) Prime Minister ever trying to invoke Key’s “reputation” to justify any action…

  2. Theodore
    7 August 2013 at 5:34 pm

    How much more inept or corrupt can this government get?? And when will Nat voters take notice??

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