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Editing away idiocy

Written By: - Date published: 2:36 pm, April 28th, 2011 - 18 comments
Categories: Parliament - Tags: , ,

Parliament now puts all of its discussions online through youtube which you can view at In The House. It is an excellent addition to the public sphere as it allows people to see the quality and nature of MPs speeches far more easily. Previously people had to rely on the Hansard official records of Parliament alone. Something not so widely known that MPs may edit their Hansard records to make minor corrections meaning some of the quirks of the House are lost by reading only Hansard. David McGee in his work Parliamentary Practice in New Zealand states:

Members are tied to what they have said in the House and may make only minor or grammatical alterations to the report. The meaning or substance of what was said cannot be altered in any way, though occasionally there may be controversy as to whether this has occurred.

An example of this editing is the recent Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill speech by Katrina Shanks. The full Hansard record is online here about a third of the way down the page and the video is here.

Here are the two version of her speech. The official Hansard record on the left and what is said in the video on the right:

KATRINA SHANKS (National) : It is my pleasure to take a call on the second reading of the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill tonight. It is interesting to note that this bill repeals section 92A of the Copyright Act 1994, which was introduced under the leadership of Judith Tizard of the then Labour Government. We talk about technology and how fast it moves, and we know that since 1994 technology has moved extremely fast. What was relevant then is not necessarily relevant now. It is important when we are looking at legislation around technology—for example, this bill, which is very narrow; it is about file sharing—that we get legislation that can stay true for a period of time and will not be outdated. It is more principle-based, I believe, and that is the way it should be in order to ensure it stays current for a longer period of time in a very fast-changing environment. 

The Commerce Committee worked really hard on this legislation, I have to say. The select committee had it for a long time. In fact, I felt very sorry for the officials when they first came in. I think I am relatively savvy when it comes to computers, but when it comes to file sharing my generation does not know much about it; it was not around when I first started using computers. It actually took them a while to explain file sharing to a few of us on the committee. It came down to having little boxes in front of the select committee, and the officials would explain that a bit is taken from this box and a bit from that box—a bit from this computer—until there are a thousand little bits and they make up a file. It takes a bit to get one’s mind round it.

Hon Steve Chadwick: It does.

KATRINA SHANKS: That is right, I say to Steve. It took a little while for the committee to get its mind round what this bill was about. At the end of the day, the committee came to a compromise. We had a huge debate over how we discourage file sharing and how we ensure we are not over-regulating or over-penalising people who file share. But it is really important to remember that file sharing is actually an illegal activity. We talked about two things. One was Internet service provider warning notices. An Internet connection provider such as Telstra or XTRA would give customers a warning if they think they have committed a breach and have been file sharing. One can then get a second warning and a third warning. We also talked about it being about not just breaching it but knowing that one has breached it. A whole generation out there is coming through that does not understand that file sharing—

Jonathan Young: Don’t care.

KATRINA SHANKS: Or they do not care, but I do not think that is necessarily true. They do not realise that what they are doing is illegal and is not right. Out there we have peer-to-peer file-sharing programs. One can put a software program on one’s computer and file share. What is wrong with that? I have three children, who are on the Internet all the time. I do not know whether, as a parent, I would be able to find out whether they are file sharing. I like to think they are not, and I like to think we have educated our children about it. But until I had this legislation before me at the select committee I did not know about it, I have to say. It is quite different from breaching copyright, where someone sends someone else a file. That is different again. If someone sends someone else a file, they may be breaching a copyright, as opposed to what this legislation is about, which is peer-to-peer file-sharing programs. I think it is important to educate the many kids out there. Ōhariu, the electorate where I live, has very high usage of computers, especially by youth. It is really important that we educate our youth and their parents about what file sharing is, and educate them that we should not be doing it. It is different from breaching copyright, and we must bear that in mind.

I am looking forward to debating this bill further in the House, in the Committee stage and the third reading. Thank you very much.

 

KATRINA SHANKS (National) : Its my pleasure to take a reading a call on the second reading of the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill tonight. I think its interesting to note that this bill is to replace the original bill of s92A from 1994 under the leadership then of the Labour government of Judith Tizard and as we know when we talk about technology and we talk about how fast it moves actually since 1994 technology has moved extremely fast and what was relevant then isn’t necessarily relevant now. So its important when we are looking at legislation around technology and for example, this, which is very narrow; which is about file sharing—that actually we get a bit of legislation which can stay true for a period of time and won’t be outdated. So its more principle-based, I believe, and that’s the way it should be to ensure it stays current for a longer period of time in a very fast-changing environment.

Now the Select Committee worked really hard on this bit of legislation, I’ve gotta to say. We had it for a long time in our select committee. In fact, I felt very sorry for the officials when they first came in. Because you know I think I am relatively savvy when it comes to computers, but when it comes to file sharing which actually is mostly not my generation I’ve gotta say because it was not around when I first started using computers. It actually took them a while to explain what file sharing was to a few of us on the committee. It actually it came down to we had little boxes along around the front of the select committee, and they’d explain how it takes a bit from this box and a bit from that box and a bit from this computer—until you’ve got a thousand little bits and it makes up a file. Which actually it takes a bit to get your mind round.

Hon Steve Chadwick: It does.

KATRINA SHANKS: It does that’s right Steve. So it took a little while for the committee to get its mind actually round what this bill was about and it came to at the end of the day what this committee came to was it came to a compromise. Cos we had a huge debate over how do we discourage file sharing and how do we ensure that we are not over-regulating or that we’re not over-penalising people who file share. But its really important to remember that file sharing is actually an illegal activity and so two things that we talked about. One was ISP warning notices. So you’ve got a provider you’ve got Telstra or XTRA who gives you your internet connection and they give you a warning if they think you’ve breached a by using file sharing and then you can get a second warning and a third warning and with that also we talked about its not just about breaching it but knowing that you’ve breached it. We’re literally whole generation out there and coming through that actually don’t understand that file sharing—

Jonathan Young: Don’t care.

KATRINA SHANKS: Or or don’t care, but I think that’s not necessarily true. They actually don’t realise that what they are doing is illegal and actually its not right because what we’ve got out there is we’ve got peer-to-peer file-sharing programs. So you can actually go out there, put a software program on your computer and file share. So what’s wrong with that? And I know you know I’ve got three children, who are on the Internet all the time and I actually don’t know how to find it actually as a parent about whether they were file sharing or not. I’d like to think they aren’t, and I like to think that we educate our children about it. But until I had this bit of legislation before me in a select committee I actually didn’t know about it, I’ve got to say and its quite different to copyright, where someone sends you a file. That’s different again because if someone sends you a file you may be breaching a copyright, as opposed to what this legislation is about, which is actually about file-sharing programs peer-to-peer file-sharing programs. So I think that its important to note there are many kids out there. Especially you know in Ōhariu my electorate which has got a high usage of computers, especially in the youth. You know I think its really important that we go out and we educate our youth and the parents about what file sharing is, and how we shouldn’t be doing it and it is different to copyright, so bearing all that in mind.

So Mr Speaker I am looking forward to debating this further in the House, through Committee stage and the third reading. Thank you very much.

 



18 comments on “Editing away idiocy”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    It would be really really nice if the actual differences were highlighted with bold/italics, or colour, or even at the very least the significant differences could be noted at the bottom of the post.

  2. felix 2

    This is such blatant bullshit. Shanks was rightly ridiculed for her speech and she deserves to be ridiculed all over again for this.

    It goes way beyond fixing the grammar. She’s inserting things she never actually said into the record. In parts she actually inserts the opposite of what she said.

    The standard of diction has plummeted under National. Airheads like Paula Bennett and John Key regularly stand in the house and abuse the ears of anyone with an ounce of consideration for the language.

    It’s a bloody disgrace that a member of parliament can stand in the house and talk complete gibberish and have it recorded as if she’s Winston Fucking Churchill.

    I’d prefer that they make an effort to speak like adults, but if these clowns want to stand in the house of representatives and talk like pissed-up teenage bogans at a bbq then that’s exactly how it should be recorded.

    • Tigger 2.1

      Thanks felix, been a shitty day and your sterling words have brought a welcome smile to my face.

      Best part of this for me that the text alone doesn’t record is that she can’t even pronounce the name of her electorate! Keeps calling it Oh-hariu, rather than Or-hariu. I swear, National could put up a bowl of maggots as the candidate instead of her and it would do a better job.

  3. Samuel Hill 3

    Isn’t it called doublespeak? Or something. The Ministry of Truth? Been so long..

  4. nadis 4

    But even after she has edited the transcript, it still doesn’t make sense.

  5. Rich 5

    Unlike me to be fair to the National party, but I’d say that the Hansard version is pretty much the sense of her words. She’s still reported as saying: “it is really important to remember that file sharing is actually an illegal activity” and going on about little boxes of bits – the former being her main error.

    Apart from that it’s just repairing her syntax. Plenty of MPs and others can be hauled up for that when they’re speaking.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Apart from that it’s just repairing her syntax.

      Sorry, but her screwed up massacred perhaps I would do better with a drink in hand next time “syntax” was extremely informative and a valid message in itself.

      It should have been left.

    • felix 5.2

      It’s not just syntax Rich, she spoke fucking gibberish and had it translated into English.

      I would agree with you if it was a slip up here and there, or taking out the umms &arrrs, but it’s every sentence. She barely forms a single coherent meaningful phrase in the entire speech that doesn’t need editing to render it readable.

      I don’t think it’s acceptable to alter the public record to make it look like you spoke thoughtfully and carefully when you actually stood in the house and dribbled on your notes like a fucking moron. I think that if she can’t speak in sentences – and she can’t – then the record should reflect that she can’t speak in sentences.

      Also compare the meaning of this:
      “If someone sends someone else a file, they may be breaching a copyright, as opposed to what this legislation is about, which is peer-to-peer file-sharing programs.”

      with this:
      “That’s different again because if someone sends you a file you may be breaching a copyright, as opposed to what this legislation is about, which is actually about file-sharing programs peer-to-peer file-sharing programs. “

      She lied there. She changed her words to hide how horribly awfully woefully wrong she was. Syntax?

      What do you make of this? Compare:
      “Hon Steve Chadwick: It does.
      KATRINA SHANKS: It does that’s right Steve.

      with this:
      “Hon Steve Chadwick: It does.
      KATRINA SHANKS: That is right, I say to Steve. “

      I think that’s a staffer having a laugh about working for a moron. A vain, dishonest moron apparently.

  6. ghostwhowalksnz 6

    New version :Ōhariu, the electorate where I live

    Old version:Especially you know in Ōhariu my electorate

    Isnt that a hanging offence , claiming to be an electorate MP ?

    Using google docs, saving one version and then overwriting with the other, then check revisions and the result is:
    Everything has changed

  7. ropata 7

    Tried using diff but MS Word has the best doc comparison, here’s the result (a sea of revisions)
    http://j.mp/iLxuEA

    Word counts:
    101 insertions, 120 deletions
    Total: 221 revisions for 742 words

  8. ropata 8

    oh shit, that was a “file” and i have “shared” it, shanks will hunt me down (if she can figure out how to turn on her PC)

  9. James 9

    Don’t have time to read just now. But if they are substantially changing the record of the house that is fraud and extremely extremely undemocratic.

    Surely there is some actionable way somewhere of stopping the Nats messing with the planks of our democracy?

  10. johnm 10

    When I see Katrina’s picture around town I am reminded of a saintly nun waiting for beatification by the pope and subsequent ascension to Church’s pantheon of saints! Like Key, it’s how nice you are and look counts more than what you say?

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