Blame my Irish Catholic Working class background or because of my family my immersion in Trade Union activity from birth but I have always thought that the National Party was a bunch of self indulgent, rude and arrogant miscreants who are under the illusion that they are born to rule and superior to the rest of us.
Last night’s speech by Attorney General Chris Finlayson reaffirmed my beliefs.
He gave the appearance of being utterly convinced that he is right and the fact that a huge number of legal heavy hitters such as the Law Society, former Justice Ted Thomas, the Human Rights Commission, Rodney Harrison QC, the Privacy Commissioner, and Geoffrey Palmer disagree with him did not cause him to rethink his views in the slightest.
The Herald has chronicled his array of insults as follows:
On Rodney Harrison, QC
“It’s not true that we haven’t allowed for enough time to craft good legislation but maybe we haven’t allowed enough time for the rate at which Dr Harrison can get to grips with this legislation.”
On Sir Bruce Ferguson, former GCSB director
“Let us not forget that despite his recent attempts to reinvent himself as a political commentator, many of the problems we are dealing with today in this legislation occurred on his watch.”
On Sir Geoffrey Palmer, former Labour PM
“[He] allowed the GCSB to operate with no legislation at all when he was Prime Minister. Sir Geoffrey has claimed this legislation is rushed. Well it isn’t … If we want to talk about rushing something let us look at the debate on the SOE bill in 1986 … He has managed to recast himself as the guardian angel of constitutional propriety. He’s not. He’s deeply partisan.”
On Dame Anne Salmond
“The worst contribution has come from Dame Anne Salmond … some of her shrill and unprofessional comments … [have comparisons with] McCarthyism and comparisons with Nazi Germany.”
In many respects his attack on Anne Salmond is the worst. She has responded with dignity and class. She has accused him of engaging in gutter politics. Her original reference to Nazi Germany was because Germans were also told “if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear”.
Stuff reports her as saying
It’s incredibly sad. I think people who have raised concerns about the bill are raising them because they care about democracy, and they care about the rights of our citizens.
If we’re talking about democratic freedom in New Zealand, and it’s descended into gutter politics like that, I just find it so sad.
Anne Salmond is so right. People standing up for what they believe in should not be subject to this level of insults, let alone the mass surveillance we are now subject to.
It clearly is time for a change of Government.
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