This year the biggest burst of political knowledge for me last year has been the role that the GCSB has in NZ (and security services elsewhere) and how pathetic the political and legal oversight of their role currently is. In NZ it is a self-supporting club of the heads of the security services, a pliant Prime Minister, and a Inspector-General who appears to not prepared to do much of the oversight that their role is meant to perform.
In view of the revelations about the depth of surveillance by the US and its allies (like us) over citizens coming out of the whistle-blowers overseas, you’d have to wonder how far our own paranoid individuals in the security organisations have been extending themselves into the local polity.
While I’ve been travelling over Xmas, I’ve been using various political quips as an informal way of identifying political topics that have penetrated into the political conciousness of voters. This one has been the obvious winner.
The GCSB – the only government department that really listens.
To date, I’ve been getting a 100% response rate from everyone. Left, right, green, and apolitical. Moreover, virtually no-one seems to comfortable about what they’ve been hearing.
With the ever increasing information coming from Snowden and other whistleblowers from the surveillance community, I’d say that this political hot potato has a whole lot further to run over the current year. It would not surprise me if it becomes a major election topic.