Horrific and ugly

Written By: - Date published: 5:50 am, July 30th, 2009 - 17 comments
Categories: corruption, human rights, national/act government - Tags:

That’s what Bennett is calling the Right’s attacks on the women she released confidential information about.

As if she didn’t know that would happen. As if she didn’t know that releasing this information on what seems like large amounts of money when you don’t have the facts would send every knuckle-dragging redneck, reactionary in the country onto the blogs and talkback. As if her intention wasn’t to release a shit-storm on these women to bully them into silence.

Already worked on one of them.

She doesn’t have any sympathy for these women. Only a cretin would genuinely believe that.

No journalist worth their salt is buying this crap. Listen to Ryan eviscerate Hooton as he tries to run Bennett’s lines. Pity not all of them have the brains to understand issue.

I’ll say it once for the ones that can read: this is about the right of New Zealanders, living in a democracy, not to have those in power use that power to try to intimidate and bully them by releasing confidential information if they dare to oppose the government.

I look forward to the Privacy Commissioner standing up for the right for all of us to be free from the arbitrary and undemocratic abuse of power.

Bennett revealed that she did not seek the CEO of MSD’s advice before releasing the information. She asked her staff for it. (excellent work by Labour getting those details out of her). That means it was not released through the normal chain of command. It is impossible that it went through the Ministry without Hughes being involved.

Means the MSD secondee in Bennett’s office or one of Bennett’s staff accessed the data. That person will lose their job for breaking the Privacy Act, the Public Service guidelines, and MSD’s rules. It will be Bennett’s fault.

She will lose hers too. It’s just a question of how she goes.

17 comments on “Horrific and ugly”

  1. You’re assuming the Privacy Commissioner will find against Bennett. She may not. Not all lawyers who have commented on the matter are in agreement on whether there was a breach.

    • Tigger 1.1

      Whether or not it was a privacy breach doesn’t mean that heads won’t roll – I mean, did Worth lose his job because he was found to break the law?

  2. Zetetic 2

    I believe that breach will be found. We are fortunate in NZ to have strong rights commissioners who put rights first.

    According to Colin Espiner last minister found to have breached Privacy Act was Shipley. Very analogous – person opposes govt policy, Shipley releases private info on him to media.

    Face it. Bennett is stuffed.

  3. Zetetic 3

    You read the Privacy Act. Tell me under which of the limited and defined grounds that release is permitted (the assumption is against release of private info) Bennett’s actions fall. Cause I’ve read it. None apply.

    • You could be right. I just don’t know, as I’ve avoided making a judgment on the matter, and haven’t had time to analyse the Act.

      But I’ve been in the law long enough to have seen many seemingly open-and-shut cases get chucked out. So I’m usually reluctant to make a call on something like this.

      • travellerev 3.1.1

        Ah, a law man eh? That explains a lot.

        • So Bored

          The law, the fine old art of making black white and white black, or if in doubt all grey.

      • BLiP 3.1.2

        I can’t see how she can wriggle out of a conviction for breaking the law but, no doubt, the taxpayer will fund a highly paid lawyer for the defence. In the meantime, I’m reminded of an old quote:

        Nobody has a more sacred obligation to obey the law than those who make the law – Sophocles

        Yes yes yes – applies to all politicians. I agree.

  4. So Bored 4

    Time to take a look above the parapet. What are the NACTS up to whilst the Bennett affair drags on? Its a bloody good smokescreen, knuckle draggers making anti Benny noises. Read Trotters blog on the attack on education, you really have to watch this pack of sociopaths, they are on a mission.

  5. Maynard J 5

    Now this was an interesting development. I think that at some level Paula Bennett is genuinely disgusted by the abuse directed at beneficaries. Consider their normal narrative:

    “Go Paula, you are awesome, these scum have had their snouts in the trough too long and need to get off their lazy babies-for-business arses and get a job”.

    The obvious idiocy of these bigots is that Paula was once in a virtual carbon-copy situation. Unless Bennett loathes herself, and it is evident that is not the case, I very much suspect she is genuinely affected by those comments.

    Which brings us to naivety. Any fool would pick the reaction of Joe Bigot to her disclosure. Ms Bennett seems to have overlooked that, somehow, or knew it would happen but did so anyway.

    If she overlooked it, it would appear she has some glaring inadequacies, if she knew and went ahead anyway then I consider her actions more disgusting – knowing the abuse that would be directed at these people through her initial abuse of power and plowing on regardless.

    I wonder how it feels “bringing balance to the situation” now, Paula. Those supporting you are at the same time calling you scum.

  6. Doug 6

    Look’s like a setup.
    Solo mother’s income made public before.

  7. There are too many people who grasped this issue in the wrong manner. Instead of complaining about how much a DPB beneficiary gets in the hand every week, for doing, as they call it, “nothing” – they should be complaining to their employers about the long decay in real wages over the last 25 years.

    I don’t think there is any doubt that Work and Income, not naturally a profiligate government department since being burnt by the Christine Rankin scandal, fairly assesses and calculates the amount needed in each beneficiaries case.

    The semi-permanent DPB beneficiary is a mythical dragon brought out to slaughter by the righteous St. George talk back caller – i.e. it only exists in their head.

  8. Maggie 8

    The media’s habit of “personalising” the news has a lot to answer for. Whenever a new policy is introduced or a current one changed, the media insists on running a piece about one person or family affected by it.

    This superficial approach might sell papers but it totally skews any debate.

    Take eligibility for the dole as an example. The current system is incredibly mean, but this issue was lost completely in a public frenzy over whether one man with several investment properties should be eligible. The fact that around 68% of our unemployed CAN’T get the dole and vast majority of them have no investment properties at all was just lost.

    Now, once again, we have become immersed in an argument over two women, who are just a microscopic part of the entire picture.

    Journalists, politicians, editorial writers are all guilty of the same approach. Far from not being able to see the wood for the trees, most wouldn’t recognise a forest if it fell on their silly heads.

  9. NickS 9

    Oh damn that interview was difficult to listen to.

    Why the hell is Matthew Hooten so stupid?

    Why can’t he see that “but they did it too!” isn’t a defence?

    Why is he probably getting paided for this?

  10. Rex Widerstrom 10

    As if she didn’t know that would happen. As if she didn’t know that releasing this information…

    That’s a huge assumption to make, Zetetic, and one I think is wrong.

    There’s a lot of things Paula Bennett doesn’t know. After all, she didn’t have a clue that acting like a power-cazed bully, hectoring and intimidating people with what ought to have been confidential information, would sink her Ministerial “career”.

    It’s not like foresight is one of her strong points…

    (Or finesse. Or common sense. Or an understanding of the Cabinet Manual. Or a grasp of her portfolio. Or an ability to think on her feet during interviews. Or…)

    • Armchair Critic 10.1

      Paula Bennett has demonstrated in no uncertain terms that she is not competent to hold a warrant as a cabinet minister. And she is not the only minister who is not competent, which is what you get after nine years in opposition. The longer John Key lets Paula Bennett hold a ministerial warrant the less credibility he has as prime minister.

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