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Thatcher Protest 1

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Thatcher Protest 1

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Face TV listings Thursday 18th April

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AM
7.30 To The Contrary
8.00 In Focus
8.45 Classic serial
9.00 Bloomberg
10.00 Nat Geo Live
10.30 Made in Germany
11.00 euronews

PM
12.00pm Beatson Interview
12.30 Bloomberg
1.00 Korean News
1.30 euronews
2.00 NHK Newsline
2.30 TV Chile 24 Horas
3.00 German news
3.30 French news
4.00 Dutch news
4.30 Made in Hollywood Teen
5.00 Euromaxx
5.30 DW Journal
6.00 Aljazeera News
7.00 Let’s Talk
7.30 Citizen A
8.00 31 Questions [PG]
8.30 The Tribute Show
9.00 Australia News
9.30 euromagazine
10.00 Speaker TV [PG]
10.30 PBS News Hour
11.30 Blokesworld [AO]

Face TV broadcasts on Sky 89 & Auckland UHF

Face TV Twitter
Face TV Facebook

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The Daily Blog Watch Wednesday 17 April

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Today’s Daily Blog Watch Round-Up of matters that have attracted the attention, assessments, and articulations of this country’s leading bloggers…

NZ Left Blogosphere

In  Lapdogs and Cronyism, blogger Local Bodies has an interesting take on work roles, gender, and sexism, and looks at the appointments of Susan Devoy and Jackie Blue from another perspective. Plus he (?) takes a swipe at rightwing blogger, Ele Ludemann for making silly assumptions.

Check out Bowalley Road’s Chris Trotter, who writes a fascinatingly insightful piece on  China’s relationship with “The Anglo Saxon Fist of Five” (no relation to “Fist of The Dragon”, starring the late Bruce Lee) and suggests that we are a ‘testing ground’ of sorts. See, Testing The Anglo-Saxons.

Chris’s scenario is not as implausible as some might think – in commercial/advertising  circles, this is known as a “focus group”. We just happen to be a verrrrry  big Focus Group.

And in  Ideologically Impure, we get to the nub of  John Key’s outlandish claims of WMDs (Weapons of Mass Distraction) and related foreign espionage shenanigans in #WMDWTF. Does anyone really, really, really believe that foreign spies are targetting us for data on how to build an atomic bomb?? In case anyone is indeed gullible enough to  believe this – please get in touch with me. I have shares in the Wellington Harbour Bridge you might be interested in…

Anyhoo. Have at squizz at QoT’s blogpost. It’s simple; to the point; and has more common sense thinking (not the Devoy variety) than John Key will ever have in a lifetime.

Blogpost of the Day

According to Gareth Renowden’s piece Watching the ice melt in The Daily Blog,  it’s conclusive, folks,

  • The Earth is round
  • Plate techtonics is real
  • Climate change is happening before our eyes

Do not tell this to climate change sceptics. Some Climate Change Denying Halfwit  has to be around to buy my beachfront property in a few years time.

Well done, Gareth. A powerfuul piece. Let’s see Lord Monckton make funny faces at that!

MSM Article of the Day

The Award goes to Andrea Vance for calling Key out on his WMD bogeyman; Where’s the evidence for GCSB law changes?

This is the msm (or bits of it) doing the job they’re paid to do; challenging authority by asking the questions the publiuc want answers to. (Even if 99% of the public are in Dozy Dreamland…)

Read the article. It’ll make your day. Money back guarantee. Maybe.

Thought For The Day

Fool me once,

Shame on You.

Fool me twice,

Shame on me.

References: Father Christmas; Tooth Fairy; Easter Bunny; Weapons of Mass Distruction

~oo~

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From Backstage To Centre Stage: Making the Working-Class Matter

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ONE DAY SOON, the National Party’s hatred of the poor is going to exceed the bounds of political acceptability. On that day, the long, slow, rightward swing of the electoral pendulum, which began with Don Brash’s toppling of Bill English in October 2003, will stop and reverse direction. Whether the leftward swing lasts for ten years or just two will depend on how far towards the centre of our political and cultural stages the next, Labour-Green, government is prepared to let working-class New Zealanders advance.

The first big test will be whether or not the new government’s is willing to revivify the trade union movement.

The Right’s testimonies to the late Margaret Thatcher have been filled with references to her success in “curbing the power of the unions”. By giving this feat pride of place among Mrs Thatcher’s “achievements”, her supporters have confirmed its central importance to the entire neoliberal project.

Rolling back the gains of the working-class was Mrs Thatcher’s mission – just as it was Roger Douglas’s and Ruth Richardson’s. An empowered working-class (that is to say a unionised working-class) will always place full-employment at the very top of its list of priorities. But, as the Polish economist, Michal Kalecki, pointed out in “The Political Aspects of Full Employment” – his famous Political Quarterly article of 1943:

“The maintenance of full employment would cause social and political changes which would give a new impetus to the opposition of the business leaders. Indeed, under a regime of permanent full employment, the ‘sack’ would cease to play its role as a ‘disciplinary’ measure. The social position of the boss would be undermined, and the self-assurance and class-consciousness of the working class would grow.”

Stripped of their tendentiousness and economic distortions, this is what those right-wing tributes to the ‘Iron Lady’ were really all about. Across the industrialised world of the 1970s upper- and middle-class voters were desperate for someone – anyone! – to shove an increasingly self-assured and politically conscious working-class back in its box. (Or was it a cage?)

A Labour-Green Government which neglects to instigate a radical structural reform of New Zealand’s labour relations regime will reveal itself to be just one more iteration of the neoliberal project which has dominated policy-making in this country since the mid-1980s.

Radical structural reform does not, of course, imply the straightforward reconstitution of the old system which the Employment Contracts Act (1991) swept away. Legislative change should only be initiated after the most comprehensive inquiry into the principles, objectives, processes and powers that working-class New Zealanders, themselves, would incorporate into the blue-prints (red-prints?) of an independent and effective trade union movement – fit for the twenty-first century.

Such an inquiry could not, therefore, rely exclusively on the submissions of existing unions. Twenty-two years under the most extreme labour relations regime (excluding outright dictatorships) that neoliberalism was able to devise has taken its toll on a whole generation of union leaders. Their definition of what is possible should no longer be trusted.

What, then, would a New Zealand in which working-class people were empowered to be, and welcomed as, full and active participants in the nation’s affairs, look like?

The most obvious change would be the complete marginalisation of those social forces with an interest in demonising and/or infantilising working-class people. The framing of issues relating to working people’s lives would cease to reflect the fears, fantasies, prejudices and interests of their middle-class managers and upper-class employers, and would, instead, begin portraying working-people as the heroically practical managers of living conditions defined by employment insecurity and material scarcity.

The political logic flowing from this reframing would no longer be that of containment and supervision, punishment and control, but of wealth redistribution and the re-prioritisation of resource allocation.

The accents of “choice” would be superseded by the languages of “need”.

If you are disposed to dismiss all this as deluded idealism and wishful thinking, just spend a little time investigating the political and cultural trends of the last century. The social and cultural history of the twentieth century is distinguished, overwhelmingly, by the intrusion of middle- and working-class values, themes and aspirations into a cultural and political milieu formerly dominated by the ruling elites.

The third quarter of the twentieth century was particularly notable for the steady advance of working-class political and cultural values, and for the middle-class jealousy, anxiety and rage which that advance inspired.

Whether it be John Osborne’s Look back in Anger, Michael Caine’s adenoidal cockney accent, or the Beatle’s triumphant conquest of the world’s pop-charts, it is impossible to miss the “shocking” intrusion of working-class taste into the heart of Britain’s cultural life. It was almost as shocking as the “beer and sandwiches” that a succession of Prime Ministers were obliged to serve aggrieved delegations of trade union leaders.

The same, mutatis mutandis, was true of this country. Perhaps the best example is the publicly funded television series centred on the exploits of a trade union secretary. With Ian Mune in the starring role, Moynihan was a 1975 TV One-ABC co-production which went to air in 1976-77.

Try pitching that to TVNZ today!

Of course, the measure of neoliberalism’s triumph is, precisely, that anyone suggesting such a series today would be laughed out of the room. The very idea that working-class people used to have their own organisations, with their own politics and politicians, and that those politicians once bargained as equals with Cabinet Ministers – well, it’s ridiculous. That a whole series based on such nonsense actually got funded – and attracted decent ratings? Preposterous!

Labour’s and the Green’s eighteen month mission, if they choose to accept it, is to harness the electorate’s anger and disgust at the National Party’s willingness to stigmatise and marginalise more and more ordinary, decent working-class families and communities, and to use that disgust and anger to strengthen the political pendulum’s swing.

And once the swing is on, assuming they’re committed to staying the course, let Labour and the Greens invite those ordinary, decent, working-class families and communities to take their rightful place at the centre of New Zealand’s political and cultural stages.

Both parties will be astounded at what working-class New Zealanders, given half a chance, can do.

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May history damn slick willy Simon Bridges for National’s latest blitzkrieg against civil liberties

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And so it passes without a whimper. National’s new law criminalizing Greenpeace and protests on the water for corporate big oil passed through Parliament last night as part of National’s blitzkrieg against civil liberties.

And what a blitzkrieg it has been.

National started by retrospectively legitimizing the NZ Police illegally spying on NZers with vast new search and surveillance powers that allow them to break into our homes and plant spy cameras with the barest of judicial oversights.

It continued with slick willy Simon ‘big-oil-have-rights-too’ Bridges and his law to allow the military to arrest NZers protesting against petroleum speculation and it will end with Key passing law to let the GCSB spy on NZ citizens.

It is no wonder that the National Party have stacked the Human Rights commission with cronies so that when the inevitable complaints that civil liberties are being breached, National have the numbers to rule in their favour.

Every day that passes under this Government we become less democratic and for National voters, that’s the way they like it. They have no interest in sharing power with other sections of society, as Nationals stealing of water rights in Christchurch can attest.

Better for National Party supporters to lock those segments wanting more from society up in the newly privatized prisons where they can slave away in forced labour camps.

Thankfully for National, with the threshold of public journalism being Seven Sharp, these issues can be quickly ignored before the next advert break.

New Zealand under Key has quickly become the land of the wrong uptight crowd.

Let’s hope history will be damning in its judgement of these pro corporate laws against protest. I hope Greenpeace live up to their promise to expect resistance.

Slick Willy Simon Bridges should never be allowed to live down what he’s done this week.

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The politics of naming and rejecting our colonial history

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Do names matter? “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”, but is that more than just a pretty saying?*

Cassius Marcellus Clay was born in 1942. He inherited his fathers’ name. Clay grew up in urban Kentucky during a period when the South’s vices – “violence, intolerance, aversion and suspicion toward new ideas” – were peaking. Clay grew up rough, like any black kid in the earlier 20th century, but he found his virtue in boxing. After a superhuman amateur career Clay defeated Sonny Liston and claimed the world heavyweight championship. Less than a month later, Cassius Marcellus Clay became Muhammed Ali.

The name change was a conscious and powerful rejection of Ali’s “slave name“. It was also an affirmation of his new faith – Islam – and his new ideology – anti-imperialism and equality. An epic fuck you to the system.

The name became as important as the man. Ali “by any other name” wouldn’t have smelt as sweet. Ali had refused to conform to the narratives that Americans expected of black people and in a community where history is closer and names are deeply rooted in slavery, Ali’s decision to deny his name and refuse to conform to black narratives offered political hope to a generation of black people.

Names can’t be divorced from their cultural and political contexts: Mount Cook versus Aoraki, the h in Whanganui, Te Waipounamu and Te Ika a Maui or the North and South islands.

Reclaiming New Zealand’s original names is about our identity. Wanganui, Mount Cook and the North and South Islands are entrenched in and represent colonial history and cultural assimilation ideologies. Aoraki, Whanganui and Te Ika a Maui and Te Waipounamu represent a rejection of the cultural imperialism of the 19th and 20th centuries and an affirmation of the bi(multi)cultural partnership.

Reclaiming the country’s original names is about reclaiming mana. If iwi can’t control how people identify their land, that loss of control is a loss of mana. On the 29th of September Parliament passed the Ngai Tahu Claims Settlement Act. The Act included cultural recognition including the reclamation of the name Aoraki. Reclaiming original names and dual naming is described, both in legislation and by Ngai Tahu themselves, as “mana recognition”. Naming is part of reclaiming the Maori identity, essentially. A mountain “by any other name” would not smell as sweet for Ngai Tahu.

The politics of naming is the politics of identity. The name change debate forces New Zealand to consider what it means to be a New Zealander in the 21st century. Do we value our indigenous past or are we rooted to our colonial history? New Zealanders are a conservative lot, not innately opposed to change, but suspicious of it where the circumstances aren’t asking for it. Are we ready to take the name change step?

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*The first and last time I’ll be prissy enough to quote Shakespeare.

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Watching the ice melt

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The sun is up in the Arctic, and summer melt season is getting under way. Time to start watching the ice disappear, because the future of our planet is being written in the far north.

Before the internet, I used to start my day by reading the newspaper as I ate my tea and toast. These days I get my morning news fix from the web — but I can access so much more than just news. I can look down on the planet from space, and see what’s happening in the Arctic. NASA satellite photographs stitched together in near real time show with wonderful clarity what’s happening to the great sheet of sea ice that covers the Arctic Ocean.

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National’s disdain for democracy and dissent

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Continued from: National’s disdain for the law

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NZ is prepared for an oil spill

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Protestors vs The Power of The State…

In the late 1970s, one of the very first protest activities I became involved in was highlighting the imprisonment of Soviet dissidents in the now-defunct USSR. (This was of intense interest to me because of my Eastern European heritage.)

The Soviet Union had approximately ten thousand political prisoners locked up in “Corrective Labour Colonies”, “psychiatric” institutions, and various prisons. (Most of which were located in the Moldavian region and not the archetypal Siberian labour camp that Westerners thought characterised the Soviet political penal system.)

Two of the charges commonly laid against Soviet dissidents were “anti Soviet agitation and propaganda” and “slandering the Soviet system.” Either charge could land a hapless political activist in prison for five, seven, ten, or more years.

The heavy sentences were handed down not just to isolate dissidents from their colleagues and the public – but to serve as a dire warning to anyone else who might ‘buck the system’.

That could never happen here in New Zealand, right?

Right?

Wrong.

It is happening here, and now, in our own country.

After the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico,  in April 2010, it was  little wonder that East Coast locals and environmental activists joined together to protest against deep-sea drilling of their coast.

East Coasters – and the rest of the country – have  had a clear warning of the potential danger of an environmental catastrophe that might strike the region. One that we are simply unprepared for, as the grounding of the MV Rena showed, eighteen months later.

Public disquiet and anger was such that by November 2011,  Key was prepared to be secretive about his meetings and discussions with oil companies,

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Acknowledgement: TV3 -Key keeps meeting with Anadarko boss quiet

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In normal circumstances it would seem unusual that a Prime Minister would keep such a top-level meeting secret. One would think that it should be quite a coup to have  a visiting CEO of such a large corporation visiting New Zealand. Especially where there is Big Money to be made.

Remember Key’s recent big trips to Hollywood? South America? China?

Recently, on TVNZ’s Q+A, on 3 April, Energy Minister and Dear Leader Mini-Me, Simon Bridges announced a new law with heavy sanctions against protesters who “want to stop other people going about their lawful business and doing what they have a permit to do and they are legally entitled to do”.

He said, in part,

JESSICA MUTCH I want to start off by asking you your predecessor in a speech, Phil Heatley, said, ‘I’m determined to ensure the mining sector is not hampered by unsafe protest actions by a small but vocal minority.’ You’ve been working on this since taking over. What are protesters in for?

SIMON BRIDGES So, that’s right. So we are acting, and so two offences are going to be put into the Crown Minerals Bill. Look, the first of those is truly criminal offence. Effectively, what it says is that it will be stopping people out there at deep sea, in rough waters, dangerous conditions, doing dangerous acts, damaging and interfering with legitimate business interests with ships, for example, seismic ships, and what they’re doing out there.

JESSICA What fines are we talking about there?

SIMON Well, for that one, 12 months’ imprisonment, or $1000 (please note: the minister meant $100,000 not $1000) or $50,000 fine, depending on whether you’re a body corporate or an individual. Then a lesser, more infringement offence, really, strict liability offence for entering within a specified area, probably up to 500 metres within that ship, again because of the dangers associated with doing that.

Acknowledgement: TVNZ:  Q+A – Transcript Simon Bridges Interview

Bridges even admitted that vested interests were involved in the law-change,

JESSICA Did mining companies complain to the Government?

SIMON Oh, there have been complaints. Look, I’ve talked with a range of businesses.

JESSICA So isn’t this just basically a sot to mineral companies and mining companies?

SIMON No, I don’t think so. In fact, I think what’s also true is this is best practice. You look at Australia, you look at other countries, they already do this. We’re also, I think, here filling a gap in the sense that to the Territorial Sea – that’s 12 miles out – you already have these sorts of provisions. Even the Exclusive Economic Zone, as I say, a massive area – 4 million-odd square kilometres – there are some provisions for oil rigs and so on. But for these moving vessels, where it was very dangerous and we thought so, that’s where we’re acting.

JESSICA Was this prompted by the Elvis Teddy case?

SIMON Look, that’s certainly part of the genesis of this.

Acknowledgement: IBID

The hypocrisy and self-serving nature of the proposal to criminalise protest action was best exemplified when Bridges assured viewers that he “passionately” supported people’s right to protest,

JESSICA Don’t you think a lot of New Zealanders would agree, though, that people have a right to protest? Even if I’m not out there with a placard, you still support people’s right to be able to do it.

SIMON Absolutely, and I think, you know, that goes to the heart of being a democracy. I believe that passionately. My point is there are a huge variety of ways which New Zealanders can protest about anything. I would never want to stop that, but what they can’t do is dangerously, recklessly interfere with other people’s rights to go about their business.

Acknowledgement: IBID

And yet, when Bridges talks about the right to protest, he is adamant that “what they can’t do is dangerously, recklessly interfere with other people’s rights to go about their business”.

I would submit to the Minister that  proposed legislative changes are directed at the wrong party. It is oil companies that should be prevented from undertaking activicties that would  “dangerously, recklessly interfere with other people’s rights to go about their business” should another blowout send millions of barrels of oil washing across our East Coast.

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MV Rena and Deepwater Horizon oil slicks

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Unfortunately I cannot submit anything to the Minister. No one can. (Except oil companies.)

It  is a startling fact: the proposed law change to criminalise sea-borne protests will not go before a Parliamentary Select Committee. It will be passed through Parliament as a Supplementary Order Paper, meaning that it will avoid Select Committee scrutiny or a Public consultation process.

This blogger cannot emphasise how repugnant this proposed law-change is – nor how much it brings to mind the abuse of State power, as happened in the Soviet/Eastern Europe bloc.

This is how National wants to rule; by decree from the Executive.

Replace “Cabinet”  with “Politburo”, and you begin to get an understanding of what I’m describing  here.

It does away with the Parliamentary process; it avoids scrutiny by a Select Committee; and it eliminates any opportunity for the public to be involved by making submissions.

This is bad law-making.

This is anti-democratic.

This is naked authoritarianism.

This has the hallmarks of a government that distrusts and fears it’s own people and views public inclusion with disdain.

Never mind Labour’s so-called  “Nanny State” that National complained about in 2007 and 2008 – this has all the hallmarks of a quasi-fascist state.

This is a desperate, shabby thing that Simon Bridges and his Party are doing.

It is so wrong that I am in disbelief that it is happening.

Continued at: National’s disdain for taking responsibility
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Addendum – Update

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Legislation cracking down on mining protests passes third reading

Acknowledgement: Radio NZ – Legislation cracking down on mining protests passes third reading

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In just under two weeks, National has rammed this legislative amendment through the House, with the assistance of two grubby MPs who should not even be in Parliament.

Nek Step: National passes legislation banning all protest activity in public places. Key reassures New Zealanders that protest activity will still be legal in the privacy of peoples’ own homes. (Though for assemblies of three or more people, a Police-SIS-ODESC-GSCB  permit will be required.)

Law abiding New Zealanders will having nothing to fear, Dear Leader Key reasurres us, as long as those New Zealanders do nothing.

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Previous related blogposts

Corporate Welfare under National

Anadarko: Key playing with fire

Petrobras withdraws – sanity prevails

On the smell of an oily rag

References

NZ Herald: Protester law avoids public submissions and Bill of Rights vetting  (3 April 2013)

Other Blogs

The Daily Blog: The Conspirators

The Daily Blog: The Guts and the Authority: Curbing the Powers of the GCSB

The Daily Blog: Worse Than We Thought: Rebecca Kitteridge and the New “Community” of Spooks

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Awful NZ First saves Labour from dishonoring itself – Winston to allow GCSB to spy on NZers

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WINSTON-YES_thumb[1]If you voted for NZ First – hang your head in shame. Not for the usual reasons (Richard Prosser, xenophobic race baiting as policy, Richard Prosser, Winnie getting caught with his hand in the cookie jar and Richard Prosser) but because NZ First will give Key the votes he needs to allow the GCSB to spy on NZers.

The only good news here is that it allows Labour to regain some shred of dignity by not voting for these changes after all, although my suspicion is that Labour are so gutless and terrified of being seen as left wing that they will still spinelessly vote for the bloody thing.

The only political parties showing any genuine concern for your civil liberties as NZers are the Greens and MANA, citizens concerned about our Orwellian spy agencies and their big brother mentality should remember that when voting next year.

Disgraceful sell out by NZ First, utterly disgraceful.

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Equal Employment Opportunities IF you happen to be a National Party MP

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So National have continued giving their mates jobs they don’t really have much credibility having, this time it’s National Party MP Jackie Blue as the new Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner.

Let’s see, in her time with the Government she has…

-Stopped pay equity reviews in public sector.
-Cut training incentive allowance for sole parents.
-Reduced targets for equal representation of women on state sector boards.
-Voted against extending paid parental leave.

…she almost makes Susan Devoy look over qualified. I’m not expecting many Equal Employment Opportunities unless you are a National Party MP.

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National’s disdain for the law

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Prime Minister John Key on the phone to GCSB boss - and mate - Ian Fletcher
Prime Minister John Key on the phone to GCSB boss – and mate – Ian Fletcher

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 ‘Fixing’ the Law when it’s ‘broken’…

As most folk are aware, I have a somewhat “colourful” past. As a young bloke I got carried away with stupid activities; bad driving habits (I saw the speed limit as a ‘recommendation’); heavy boozing; partying; and got on the wrong side of the law. One singular act of stupidity caught up with me over three decades later.

It was only in my mid-twenties and onwards that I started to grow up and – with the help of a few folk – managed to turn my wayward craziness into more productive activities. (Curiously, at the same time I found my political views  moving from centre-right to centre-left… Correlation? Dunno.)

Something I eventually  learned was that the law was there for a reason and the Universe did not revolve around my selfish desires. The law would not change for me – I had to make that change within myself.

Imagine my surprise then, that I have now discovered that the law can be changed for those committing illegal acts,

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Law change will mean GCSB can spy on Kiwis

Acknowledgement: Newstalk ZB:  Law change will mean GCSB can spy on Kiwis

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So let’s see if I have this right…

  • The GCSB acted illegally by spying on 88 New Zealanders/permanent residents,
  • John Key accepts that they acted outside the law
  • Instead of holding the Bureau accountable, the law will be changed to accomodate their illegality – in effect rewarding them, as Green co-leader, Russell Norman said?

My oh my… So that’s how the system works for those in power? They don’t have to be held accountable – the law can be  amended to sweep their wrong-doing under the carpet!?

I don’t know what the  1,058,638 voters who voted for National think of this. Especially when one of National’s main policy platforms during the 2011 election was the usual “tough on crime”  rhetoric,

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National Party staying strong on crime

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Not so “strong on crime” after all, I guess. Not when it involves a government agency for which  Dear Leader Key himself holds direct responsibility.

I know that New Zealanders have a fetishistic respect for Authority, but isn’t this going several steps too far?

Do we really want the entire GCSB apparatus (paid from our taxes) spying on us?

Do we really want to be taking a step closer to Big Brother watching our every move?

And if National Party supporters are comfortable reading this – before you shrug your shoulders dismissively, just consider for a moment  that the same increased powers of State surveillance will  also be wielded by the next Labour-led government.  How does that grab ya?

Break the law?

No problemo.

We’ll just change it.

John Key has stated,

I think GCSB should be able to provide agencies support for NZSIS, under the right conditions and with the right oversight.

Acknowledgement: IBID

Really?!?! Like… “the right oversight” that the  Prime Minister had over the GCSB since 2008? Is that the kind of  “right oversight” that he’s referring to?

Now why is it, I wonder, that his reassurances that the  “GCSB should be able to provide agencies support for NZSIS, under the right conditions and with the right oversight” – does not fill me with much confidence?

In fact, why is it that nothing Key sez or does gives me any confidence whatsoever?

Because I’ll share this with the reader for free; if Key couldn’t provide the  ” right oversight ” for the GCSB at it is now – why should we trust it with further enhancing their powers?!?!

The reality appears that National’s plan to legitamise the Bureau’s spying on New Zealanders shows a disdain for the law that, up till now, has only been evident in despotic regimes such as Zimbabwe. This is a dangerous road for any goverment to take.

When an arm of the State breaks the law, the correct response is not to pass laws which legitamises that law-breaking.

It frightens the hell out of me that, in the year 2013AD, this is where New Zealand has arrived. And isn’t it scary when bloggers have to point this out to all and sundry?!

All the previous assurances in the last forty years, from successive governments, that the power of the State will be firmly controlled and monitored – has ultimately proved to be futile. And now the minister for revenue and hairstyling, Peter Dunne, wants to extend information sharing between the IRD and other government agencies, promising us,

Client privacy and confidentiality is paramount in this process.

Acknowledgement: Law Society – IRD and MSD information sharing to be expanded

By the way. Whoever writes these Press Releases should changed the wording,

“Protecting people’s rights to privacy and confidentiality are critical,” Ms Collins says.”

Acknowledgement: The Beehive – Tax info-sharing may help fight crime

So if John Key gets his way, and the GCSB is allowed to spy on New Zealand citizens and permanent residents, what’s next? (Because in a few year’s time, the government will want more power for XYZ reasons. Governments are never content with the powers they are given.)

What will follow next? A  “special police force” attached to a more powerful SIS/GCSB entity?

Laws to detain dissidents who might oppose corporate investors or protest at visiting ‘dignitaries’ from other countries where human rights is an arcane, alien concept?

Or even laws which threaten to impose hefty fines and/or jail terms for those who dare protest corporate power?

Like this…

Continued at: National’s disdain for democracy and dissent

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Addendum

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NZ First offers support for spy law changes

Acknowledgement:  Radio NZ – NZ First offers support for spy law changes (16 April 2013)

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Trust NZ First to prop up National’s anti-democratic laws. Wouldn’t it be  exquisite irony if the GCSB and SIS have both spied on Winston Peters and recorded some of his shenanigans…

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Previous related blogposts

The GCSB – when plain english simply won’t do.

The Fletcher Affair – a warning for Labour

References

Beehive:  Tax info-sharing may help fight crime (9 April 2013)

Radio NZ: Govt proposes IRD share info with police (9 April 2013)

Newstalk ZB:  Law change will mean GCSB can spy on Kiwis (10 April 2013)

NZ Herald: GCSB needs more oversight – Key (10 April 2013)

NZ Herald:  John Armstrong: GCSB trickery and deception revealed (11 April 2013)

NZ Herald:  PM out to turn tables on rivals over GCSB (13 April 2013)

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The Daily Blog: The Conspirators

The Daily Blog: The Guts and the Authority: Curbing the Powers of the GCSB

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