Home > The Body Politic > Spying on the spyers…

Spying on the spyers…




So once again, the State (through the Police), is found to be spying on a citizen,


Police seize Cuppagate texts

Source: NZ Herald – Police seize Cuppagate texts


That complaint, as we all recall, resulted in police raids on the NZ Herald and Radio New Zealand newsrooms. It’s the sort of thing that might be commonplace in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe; Fiji under the military;  or Chile, under Pinochet.

It appears to be becoming more and more commonplace in our own country. This doesn’t make New Zealand a “nanny state” as National and it’s supporters once screamed hysterically in 2008 (see:  Showers latest target of Labour’s nanny state) – this is morphing a once liberal, progressive country into a policed surveillance state.

It’s as if the ghost of East Germany and thousands of it’s STASI operatives have descended upon our country.

Key, however, doesn’t like being spied on. No, not one bit;

John Key had called in police to investigate whether Ambrose had deliberately recorded the eight-minute conversation in front of a media pack in a Newmarket cafe, after Ambrose gave the recording to the Herald on Sunday.

Source: IBID

Key will happily empower the GCSB to spy on all New Zealanders and force telcos to hand over information on their clients. His right-hand man, Chief of Staff Wayne Eagleson,  will spy on a journalist and strip away her right to privacy.  And Key’s appointed “investigator”, David Henry,  will gain access to an MP’s emails and phone log.

But if anyone dares to invade Key’s privacy (even if he was in front of a couple of dozen journalists and cameramen at the time), the Prime Minister will have no hesitation in bringing down the full weight of the state apparatus on the hapless ‘offender’s’ head.

What was it that  Russell Norman said about John Key?


Norman  Key 'acting like Muldoon'

Source: NZ Herald:  Norman: Key ‘acting like Muldoon’


Despite a bit of screeching; gnashing of teeth;  and juvenile feet-stamping from rightwing tossers like Karl du Fresne, Cameron Slater, and others of their ilk – Russell Norman called it perfectly: John Key is as autocratic and manipulative as Muldoon was in his hey-day.

Which is not good. As Martyn Bradbury pointed out in a blogpost on 2 August (see: With all due respect to ‘Si & Gazza’ in the morning ),

It’s like the more Key rips up our civil liberties, the more the sleepy hobbits love him – we are a nation of political sado-masochists. There seems to be a dark streak of anti-intellectualism in our Shaky Isles that embraces Key’s nonchalant ignorance with the passion of a junkie to their dealer.

Enough New Zealanders loved Muldoon and his autocratic style to vote him into office as Prime Minister for consecutive nine years. Now we seem to have Muldoon v.2 – and that worries me.

All I can say is; thank god for MMP.

And to hell with the notion of a four year Parliamentary term.

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 5 August 2013.



= fs =

  1. Deborah Kean
    9 August 2013 at 6:28 pm

    I am wondering whether Key has been told or encouraged to pass the GCSB bill regardless of objections? Surely he can’t think that people really don’t care. He sounded to me today, as if he had had his fill of dead rat…

  2. 10 August 2013 at 1:15 am

    We Kiwis are just a little too laid back for our own good. If we were French, we’d be rioting in the streets by now. But rest assured Mr Key, there’s a storm coming, and sooner or later you will reap the whirlwind.

    • Deborah Kean
      10 August 2013 at 1:38 am

      It can’t happen soon enough for me!

    • 10 August 2013 at 10:24 pm

      Indeed, Perfidion. I doubt the Nats could get way with half the sh*t in Europe or South America that they’re trying on here… (In fact, the Turks and Brazilians really showed their guvmints how they felt!)

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