John Key is a bully who uses the powers of his office inappropriately. Every now and then someone calls him on it – Mike Joy, Jon Stephenson, Andrea Vance and Bradley Ambrose being examples. Now it is the turn of Law Society member Rodney Harrison QC to stand up:
Lawyer hits back at PM’s attack
A top lawyer has branded Prime Minister John Key’s attack on the Law Society over its comments about new spying laws as “desperate.”
Key appeared to question the society’s impartiality after its strong criticism of the proposed Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) bill after Auckland barrister Rodney Harrison QC spoke out on the legislation on behalf of the society.
Key told a Newstalk ZB talkshow this morning that “the person that ran the case . . . one of the people involved” was “Zaoui’s lawyer”, a reference to Harrison who was lead counsel for Algerian refugee politician Ahmed Zaoui in 2002. Zaoui spent time in Auckland prisons after he was branded a national security threat when he applied for refugee status in New Zealand.
“There’s lots of different agendas out there – I’m not going to second guess them,” Key added.
Harrison today said Key’s remarks were “a bit of a desperate jibe, really”.
“I think he hoped to achieve a similar response from ill-informed listeners as he hoped to achieve by his reference to al Qaeda networks operating in New Zealand,” he said.
“It’s just trying to scare people into thinking there’s a problem. “And, personally, I do find it a bit offensive to be judged by reference to the clients I’ve had. …