On Q & A , the Prime Minister made his case for the GCSB amendments.
First, he dismissed criticism as misinformed or politically aligned. On this issue, none of the people I heard addressing the recent public meeting or the march sounded misinformed. In fact, none of the expert testimony I have heard or read seemed misinformed. Quite the contrary. As for politically aligned, if opinions are to be dissed for their political alignment, presumably the National Government, indeed Key himself, would have to recuse themselves from the debate for their political alignment. Only Peter Dunne could express an opinion via this logic, for as we know, he has no political alignment, let alone a political party.
Then the PM went on to say that if we wanted to host big events like the Rugby World Cup, we need adequate security laws. Fair point. Well, it would have been had the Rugby World Cup not actually gone off without a hitch under the existing legislation. Then he said we needed to get our laws in line with those of our allies. Debatable. Well, it would have been had New Zealand not, all by itself and with the extreme disapproval of its allies, adopted staunch anti-nuclear laws that prevent the visits of US warships. So quite what the man was banging on about on Q & A this morning, beyond fear-mongering propaganda, I’m not sure.
When it comes down to it, I suspect the threat that he’s so concerned about is economic. I doubt he’s even considered your physical well-being. Kim Dotcom’s ‘crime’, whatever it is, is economic. He didn’t kill anyone or rape them or fly anything into anything else. Ostensibly (and deportably: remember I’m talking about FBI-armed-raid-on-you-house-ably), he breached someone’s copywright. This whole issue is about security only to the extent it’s about securing some people’s right to print money. And I far as I’m concerned, my right to privacy, like Dotcom’s, and like yours and your children’s children’s right trumps this anyday, everyday and forevermore. Case closed.
Speaking of Trumps, on a more serious note, RT financial commentator Max Keiser is reporting a worldwide run on physical gold bullion, with demand now exceeding supply. Astoundingly, the bankers of the world seemed to have leased, sold or otherwise absconded with other people’s shiny stuff and now, when they want it back, it’s nowhere to be found. Another commentator just quietly advised his subscribers who had any gold stored with JP Morgan to immediately withdraw it to avoid “another MF Global fiasco” (MF Global being the huge investment bank that recently went belly-up after US$1 billion of customer funds mysteriously disappeared into someone’s ether). Some readers may already be aware that when Germany asked the US for ‘some’ of its gold back from ‘safe storage’ in Manhattan, it was told it could have half back in seven (count them, seven) years! Wars have been fought for less.
This is, of course, a troubling development for the global economy. When everyone catches on that their gold is gone and their money isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on, we will all be up the proverbial wishing we too had a cabbage boat. So I suppose it’s no wonder that Key & Co are keen to keep control of the printing presses that have served them so well. Various bubbles are about to burst and it won’t be soap we are covered in. At that time, whether or not having a former currency trader / Merrill Lynch partner at the helm is an asset will be a topic of hot debate. If such a thing is still permitted under the law. But I guess we should have thought of that before. He did.
On an even more serious note, this week saw Wellington hit by a sizable earthquake. Mercifully, it struck on a Sunday and there were only minor injuries. The advisability of oil drilling near an active fault will now be a topic of even hotter debate. If such a thing is still permitted under the law. There’s nothing 100% pure about an oil disaster gushing thick, black fluid onto the coastline of the lower North Island. With Christchurch still picking up the pieces, even the thought of another major urban area sustaining seismic damage on that scale is sobering to say the very least. So it is not inconceivable we could be facing twin tsunamis of water and debt. The worst of all possible worlds: something to fear and nowhere to hide.
All in all, there’s much to ponder. Some things we can change. To that end, I was proud to participate in the protest march against the GCSB Bill and happy to take my place alongside Dame Anne Salmond as ‘misinformed and politically-aligned’. Some things however we can’t change. It’s probably too late for the global economy. The chickens of 2008 are coming home to roost. In spite of the best efforts of the powers-that-be to spin otherwise, 2 + 2 turns out to equal 4 after all and thanks to them, the world is a day late and a dollar (or should I say, a gold bar) short. Meanwhile, underneath us, the Earth is moving!