Written By: - Date published: 9:35 am, April 16th, 2015 - 61 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, Dirty Politics, national, uncategorized - Tags: intimidation, rape prevention education, stifling dissent
National has a long history of attacking and intimidating people who are expressing inconvenient opinions. It’s a culture that brought us dirty politics, and one of its recent manifestations was the attempt to silence a roading advocacy group during the Northland by-election.
Back in January, New Zealander of The Year Dame Anne Salmond wrote:
Over the past decade or so, politicians seeking to uphold their own power have abused democratic freedoms in New Zealand. Journalists including Jon Stephenson (for reporting on New Zealand’s involvement in Afghanistan), Andrea Vance (over a suspected leak of a report about the GCSB spy agency), and Nicky Hager (for exposing scurrilous relationships between senior politicians and muck-raking bloggers) have been intimidated and attacked.
While our leaders do not shoot people, they work with others to try to ruin the lives and careers of those who disagree with them. The means may be different, but the intent is the same. One way or another, their critics (however valid their points of view might be) must be silenced.
It is not just outspoken individuals who are at risk. Institutions that are the bulwarks of our democracy have been undermined. Since the 1980s, the civil service, which is supposed to offer informed, impartial advice to politicians, has been brought under ministerial control, and instead of serving civil society now largely serves its political masters. …
And so to the most recent case in point:
Rape prevention group ‘told not to speak out’
The departing head of a rape prevention group says she was told its funding was at risk if she continued to speak out against Government policy.
Rape Prevention Education executive director Dr Kim McGregor said the comment came in a phone call from a public servant and she was shocked by it.
“I had a phonecall when I was at RPE and our funding was threatened because we were being advocates, we were speaking out against Government and that was quite shocking to me at the time.”
This is disgusting. National is leading by example in creating a culture of intimidation and fear. Is this really New Zealand?