Written By: - Date published: 11:45 am, October 16th, 2012 - 26 comments
Categories: accountability, democracy under attack, Ethics, hone harawira, housing, john key, paula bennett, police, privatisation, slippery, Spying - Tags: hone harawira, hypocrisy, john key, paula bennett
Public trust in the police is at a new low. But should the buck stop with the police? On their increasingly dubious record, shouldn’t the trust in our government also be at an all time low? Electronic means of surveillance are increasingly available to the government, state agencies and their international allies to monitor and control or manipulate anyone who goes against their interests. But citizens are also making use of digital technologies to expose the dangers and weaknesses in these very systems that monitor and regulate behaviour.
Recent events, such as the Kim Dotcom saga, raise questions about the degree of collusion between the police, government, spy agencies and foreign governments. And other events, like the arrest of Hone Harawira, raise questions about the relationship between the police, politics, and corporate interests.
A new Horizon survey shows trust in the police has hit new low.
Public trust in the police has fallen, with overwhelming support for a beefed-up Independent Police Conduct Authority, a survey has found.
What a surprise!
The survey also found that, overall, net trust in the police had fallen 11.5 per cent to 59.9 per cent during the past five years.
Comments in the survey indicate that the fall in public trust centres on the police’s management of complaints against its officers, and actions considered heavy-handed, including the Urewera and Dotcom mansion raids.
How ironic that when Dotcom complies with his bail conditions and checks in with the police, he is faced with sign saying that if he txts, his Privacy is Assured!
The suspicion many of us have, is that electronic surveillance is increasingly being used by, for, or in the interests of the powerful political elites; not just our government, but those of countries like the US. And they sometimes seem to be used for the benefit of powerful corporates, as with Internet copyright issues (Dotcom), and the privatisation of state housing on land wanted for private investors, to ‘create a cafe culture by the sea‘.
But our government, that so frequently thumbs it’s nose at democracy, needs to be careful because some ordinary people are watching them. Some of us remember their speech and actions for more than 2 minutes. And some people record them. Using citizen recordings, Campbell Live last night showed the country exactly how slippery and two-faced our PM is. The show broadcast a video recorded in the aftermath of the mine disaster, of John Key pledging to do everything in his power to recover the bodies of Pike River miners. Yeah, John, Right! We now know how much he kept that promise!
it’s not only trust in the police that should be falling, but also trust in our state systems used for monitoring and recording information about citizens, trust in our government, trust in our prime minister, and trust in his ministers.
We are increasingly seeing the dangers of surveillance by untrustworthy authorities and systems, which reveal breaches of privacy, rule for the elites and wealthy corporates, and broken government policies. I’m glad some citizens are watching, recording and telling the stories of failures in democracy, social justice and accountability.