So let me get this straight. The National Party is objecting to the Government’s recent Public Health Response bill … because of its deeply held stances around the protection of human rights, opposition to warrantless searches, and scrupulously consistent abject horror at the concept of abrogation (or expedition) of democracy.
I believe the canonical response goes: pull the other one, for it hath bells on.
This is the self-same National Party that semi-regularly treated ‘human rights’, and the Human Rights Commission as a dirty word during its time in Government – indeed, which has continued to oppose the Human Rights Commission’s stance on prisoners voting from Opposition.
This is the self-same National Party that massively expanded Police and spy agencies’ powers to engage in warrantless search and surveillance of ordinary Kiwis … and, as it happens, sided against the Human Rights Commission AGAIN in the process.
This is the self-same National Party that imposed a SuperCity on Auckland against the will of its people (as in, quite literally erased eight democracies and then some at the stroke of a pen), suspended democracy for almost a decade at Environment Canterbury, and rushed HOW much legislation through under Urgency?
National’s own track-record is abundantly clear. They didn’t care about human rights, or the views of the Human Rights Commission, or protecting you from warrantless search etc., or upholding your democratic-constitutional system …
… up until it became politically convenient to. In fact, they STILL don’t care about these things. They’re just far enough from power – and painfully aware that they’re going to be that way for some time yet – that they can semi-safely pretend to be up in arms about these concerns, secure in the knowledge that by the time they’re in a position to legislate in these areas again, all of this will be a distant memory.
The National Party was quite prepared to actively support the abrogation of human rights, sidelining of HRC, and the deliberate erosion of democratic systems here … in an ordinary, peace-time situation. In fact, in what was – by their own accounting of things – some of the best and most prosperous conditions in recent memory.
Who knows WHAT they’d have felt entirely entitled to hack away at were they in the driving seat right now instead of Labour. Hell, they’d probably be flogging off the other half of half a dozen energy companies in order to try and fund a few billion worth of tax-cuts … and that’d be before they’d even realized there was a Covid-19 Crisis demanding their attention.
Now, I am not, strictly speaking, a huge fan of Labour ordinarily. And I do think that there is legitimate room for both criticism and conversation around this Bill. As well as, of course, congratulation in no small quantity for how they’ve handled this present Crisis all up.
But I find it exceedingly difficult to believe that the man who proudly boasts of being a “former Crown Prosecutor” who’s presently leading the Opposition … genuinely has an issue with warrentless searches by Police. It’d be interesting to know if this apparent deeply-seated principled belief meant that he’d ever turned down prosecuting a cannabis charge, for instance, because the warrantless search powers we’ve already got under various legislation (even prior to the legislation he voted for on this subject) were made use of to make the arrest.
I doubt it. I really do.
There’s a lot of misinformation flying around about the Public Health Response bill at the moment.
Surely, the most egregious of it is that National has a leg to stand on.
Not least because that would imply that it hath been surgically removed from Simon’s mouth.