Can Andrew Little really take moral high ground on GCSB?



Andrew Little is not pleased…

GCSB spy chief Ian Fletcher’s departure raises questions
GCSB Minister Chris Finlayson also said Mr Fletcher wanted a successor to be in place for the full duration of a review of New Zealand’s security agencies and laws due to begin in July.

That prompted Labour leader Andrew Little to ask whether Mr Fletcher had been told about “something disagreeable” in the review.

“A lot of things are put down to family reasons,” Mr Little said, describing Mr Fletcher’s departure as a surprise. “He certainly seemed to be well in control and very keen on the job just before Christmas. Now he’s going and there’s reference to the review coming up.”

He suggested the Government could be planning to merge the GCSB with the domestic spying agency, the Security Intelligence Service (SIS), which might have unsettled the director.

…but does he have any moral authority to criticise the Government over mass surveillance when he decided as Labour leader to roll over and grant Key his wish for 24 hour warrantless searches?

It’s all well and good for Andrew to suddenly start talking about the mass surveillance powers the GCSB and Key created, but when you consider Labour do what they always do on National Security and overcompensate by agreeing to warrantless spying, his criticisms ring pretty hollow.

Labour of course will claim that they managed to water down Key’s latest erosion of civil liberties but that’s a weak comeback, if Little wants credibility he needs to show the sort of spine Cunliffe showed by demanding a far reaching review of all these mass surveillance powers, unfortunately Labour believe that their new electorate target – the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind – associate all these issues with Kim Dotcom and as such have rolled over and acquiesced to Key’s demands rather than stand against them.

The irony of course is that Little granted the SIS these wide ranging powers just as the evidence emerges that this very same department colluded with the PMs Office to falsify information to smear Phil Goff and influence the 2011 election. How the christ Labour can justify giving the SIS MORE unchecked powers when they have been caught red handed directly interfering in the political process is evidence of how far Labour are prepared to go to not look ‘soft’ on National Security.

I just have 3 words to counter Labour’s long list of justifications to try and explain why they rolled over on SIS powers – Get. A. Warrant.


  1. Totally agree that Little can not claim the moral high ground. That is precisely why National ‘consulted’ with Labour on the issue. Leaving Labour in an uncomfortable position of being NationaLite taking unpopular policy from National and watering it down with the promise of a review in the future.

    The only way Little can gain any credibility and integrity is by repealing the laws in their entirety and apologising for getting sucked into the murky National world of ‘compromise’.

    As for Fletcher, everything is wild speculation. He might be seeing red after becoming the front whipping boy for surveillance he may no longer believes in. Who knows? Kitteritge probably gets the bonus points from the focus groups for looking so wholesome and selling the new image, and becoming the Dolores Umbridge type character, a political appointee believing in the cause.

    As for Joe Bloggs don’t think he is ever aware of the new surveillance laws, the MSM did their usual hack job and with the rush through of the legalisation.

    • Yes Martyn @ SaveNZ,

      I also believe Fletcher is smart enough to now know how FJK uses every one he touches as the fall guy.

      This happens with so much frequency during this dirt bags tenure.

      Key always burns someone else after their use is expended or Key has got himself to much mired in controversy.

      Fletcher now knows his head is next on the chopping block as Key needs another “sacrificial Lamb” to make a diversion away from Key.

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