“Anyone who is innocent has nothing to fear”

Written By: - Date published: 9:34 am, November 17th, 2011 - 19 comments
Categories: brand key, john key, Media - Tags: ,

Pop quiz, who said “Anyone who is innocent has nothing to fear”? Answer, just about every politician ever who was arguing for an increase in state powers, especially powers of surveillance. On this particular occasion it was John Key defending the powers of a newly created “customs center” to monitor and preserve comprehensive details on air passengers.

Those words might just come back to haunt Key.  His government has been busily ramping up Search and Surveillance powers and recently rammed through the Video Camera Surveillance Bill to boot.  “Anyone who is innocent has nothing to fear” is very much the subtext. Brian Rudman in The Herald considers the recent teapot tape fiasco in this context. He pulls no punches:

Key plays risky game over taping

… Trotting off to the police on Monday full of injured innocence about a nasty cameraman recording his open invitation, “secret” meeting with Epsom Act candidate John Banks is all very well. But isn’t this the same John Key who shoved through retrospective legislation last month legalising widespread covert and unlawful videotaping by police.

… The tapes recorded police spying on a diverse range of suspects, capturing images ranging from the alleged Urewera revolutionaries through to, according to Mana Party leader Hone Harawira, speaking in Parliament, “a very high-profile politician caught during surveillance of a woman as part of a P investigation …”

Mr Key’s rushed legislation, overthrowing a Supreme Court ruling, met with universal outrage from civil rights experts. Dr Rodney Harrison, QC, counsel for one of the Urewera defendants, attacked the initial bill as “validating illegal conduct deliberately engaged in by the police”.

It was “contrary to fundamental constitutional principle and a serious violation of individual human rights”. Canterbury law professor Philip Joseph said it undermined the basic principle that no one was above the law. The move was “constitutionally objectionable”. Auckland QC Grant Illingworth said the Government was taking away the fundamental right of citizens not to be monitored in their private lives. Like other experts, he attacked its retrospective nature.

All of these increased (and retrospective) powers were just fine with Key.  Now we get to the teapot connection:

For Mr Key to now get all sanctimonious about his right to privacy is, what’s that word … ah yes, hypocritical. As for calling in the police, after the surveillance tape legislation disgrace, it reads like a case of you scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours.

I’m no lawyer, but it’s surely pushing the limits of credulity to call the stunt that Mr Key and Mr Banks got up to last Friday a private meeting. They courted each other courtesy of newspapers, radio and television for weeks beforehand. The whole world was signalled of the very public venue, where the first date would take place.

The whole point of the meeting was to exploit the media to the full, to ensure the message was delivered loud and clear to Epsom voters that the Prime Minister was calling on National Party supporters in Epsom to rort the MMP voting system in the hope that Mr Banks, the NACTional candidate, would win and drag in by stealth his unelectable leader, Don Brash. …

And the sting in the tail:

In putting ethical behaviour on the agenda, the National leader has also drawn attention to the deliberate gaming of the MMP system that this stunt was all about. Mr Key has already declared he wants to replace MMP with SM, the disguised version of the old discarded First Past the Post voting system. By exploiting a loophole in the MMP rules with his Act allies, he’s not just trying to get himself an extra vote or two in the House, he’s also discrediting the voting system he wants replaced.

A clever political move. But hardly a smart one for a man preaching ethics to the rest of us.

Powerful stuff from Rudman.  Key is very much hoist by his own petard.  He’s all for increases in surveillance. He’s recorded at a public meeting to which he invited the media.  Now he doesn’t want the tape released.  He’s acting a lot like a man who has something to fear, don’t you think?

19 comments on ““Anyone who is innocent has nothing to fear” ”

  1. mik e 1

    one ought to have a good memory when he has told a lie

  2. mik e 2

    Alzhiemers then would be the next best lie

  3. Enough is Enough 3

    “Anyone who is innocent has nothing to fear”?

    I think he is innocent of a criminal act to which he was referring. He is guily of idle gossip about silly old politicians named Winston and Don.

    As I have said in many places now this is a distraction to the real issues that matter. I watched One News last night and Goff wasn’t shown once. One week before arguably the most important election in modern history and the PM in waiting can not get air time. The media really needs to get some perspective.

    While Europe melts and Key personally benefits financially through his “blind trusts” by borrowing on behalf of New Zealand to fund his own tax cut (follow that?) we have a tabloid media playing games about a meaningless tape.

    For fucks sake release it so we cab get on with the election campaign. New Zealand can not afford to waste more time on this.

    • seeker 3.1

      And Labour’s really good six point jobs policy came out yesterday too. No mention on either news channel last night nor tonight. And tonight Duncan Garner delivers his poll and says Phil Goff has become invisible. Is he blind as well as dumb?

      Close Up- still no mention of Labour’s jobs policy -even by Mark Sainsbury.an ex- political journalist who should be better informed and what’s more he was interviewing a Dr. Bovine from the NZ Institute about jobs for young people!
      They mentioned the wonderful work the mayor of Oterohanga is doing and how the students are supported from school through training and into employment. Bovine says this is what is needed everywhere. Sainsbury then says that Labour and the Nats hadn’t done much and Bovine says the Green’s technology jobs are good but the young need to be trained. Unbelievable! Labour’s jobs policy for the young school leavers who could become disengaged centres on these very needs!

      In fact Phil Goff visited Oterohunga earlier this year and I am sure this has informed Labour’s intelligent jobs policy- which Tv1 and Tv3 have ignored and now many New Zealanders will be uninformed to .

      Will be ringing Close Up tomorrow and suggesting they rename themselves Closed Up. Closed Up ears, eyes and mind when it comes to Labour, who as far as I can see are the only party who have comprehensive and detailed policies for every area of Government. They are so on the ball it is not funny.Well done Labour. Now to get every New Zealander to realise this.

  4. conorjoe 4

    I keep hearing – [I don’t think such speculation is wise thanks — r0b]

  5. Jackal 6

    John Key is caught in the web of his own lies.

  6. vto 7

    Imagine if we could carry on like Key in our normal everyday lives?

  7. Arthur 8

    How do you tell when John Key is lying; ———————————-?

    • Treetop 8.1

      “How do you tell when John Key is lying; _____________________?”

      1) When he runs to the police to have the Herald on Sunday and TV 3 gagged.
      2) When he will not answer teapot media conversation questions.
      3) When he uses a lame excuse that the teapot conversation was private and he knew the media could eavesdrop.
      4) When he tries to put the teapot interview in the same league as News of the World covert tapes and the damage which they may/do cause.

      Key’s scenario on a comment being published (a name without consent in March 2007) by the media and this resulting in a suicide happened in June 2007 because of the Sunday Herald. The reporter who was on TV 3 talking to Banks last night was the reporter who ran the March 2007 story.

      For Key to expect special treatment is a farce and he really needs to step up to the plate.

    • McFlock 8.2

      “How do you tell when John Key is lying; ———————————-?”

      When he shows concern for another human being
      when he makes an economic prediction
      when he describes a past event
      when he says “actually”
      when he claims to be “relaxed” about something
      when he quotes somebody
      when he speaks in parliament
      when he breathes

    • Draco T Bastard 8.3

      His mouth is moving.

  8. marsman 9

    How do you tell when Key is lying? When sound comes out of his mouth.

  9. The truth will set us free.

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