GCSB diversions and won’t anyone think of the kids?

Written By: - Date published: 9:26 am, August 13th, 2013 - 18 comments
Categories: democracy under attack, john key - Tags: ,

John Key Nat Billboard Corproate vote

As Karol reported last night John Key thinks that Kiwis are more concerned about the amount of snapper that they can catch then they are about their rights of privacy.

Over the past few months many kiwis have repeatedly expressed concern about the GCSB and the proposals to give it increased power.  Key has attempted to denigrate the opposition and has suggested that opponents do not know what they are talking about.  But when such august bodies as the New Zealand Law Society, the Human Rights Commission and the Privacy Commissioner dare to poke their heads above the parapet and say this law is wrong then a responsible administration would take note.

But the Government has prepared a counterattack or possibly three.  John Key is obviously a believer in the maxim that you should never let a good crisis go to waste.

Key has said that Kiwis are more concerned about the reduction in the numbers of snapper they can catch.  This is an unusual response.  It appears clear that David Cunliffe’s attacks on the issue have struck a rich vein and Nathan Guy’s proposal that fishermen’s daily catch of snapper be restricted to three while commercial quotas are untouched has caused a great deal of dissent.  The proposal is an awful one and Nathan Guy ought to have had the foresight that it should not be offered up even as an option for consultation but it pales into insignificance to the attack on our rights of privacy.  Expect the possibility of Guy’s cabinet career being thrown overboard if for no other reason than it seems to boost Key’s standing with the electorate.

The second counterattack is the Government’s proposal to enact a law under emergency to give Ministerial Inquiries the power to summons witnesses and subpoena documents, using the Fonterra fiasco as a justification.  Excuse me but have people already forgotten about the Henry report into the leak of the Kitteridge report and his intrusion into Andrea Vance’s rights of privacy.  Do we really want to give this Ministry the legal power legitimise what Henry did?  And why does the Fonterra difficulty require this.  Is Fonterra refusing to cooperate?

There is an important constitutional understanding at stake.  These sorts of inquiries are normally conducted under the Commissions of Inquiries Act 1908 which give the Governor General the power to appoint persons to investigate any matter of public importance.  Commissioners have power to summons witnesses and require production of documents.  But the understanding is that this work is performed by an independent person, normally a Judge, rather than giving this power to the Executive.  If Key really wanted to get an inquiry going he would use this existing power rather than ram through under emergency an increase in executive powers.

And has anyone else noticed that at times of crisis Paula Bennett or Judith Collins pops up and proposes either further beneficiary bashing or some further attack on civil rights?  The latest is Bennett’s proposal that child abuse suspects ought to be kept away from kids.  At a totally gut level reflexive response who could disagree?  But the proposal is that courts be given powers to ban an adult’s contact with kids for a period of up to ten years even though that person may have been acquitted of child abuse allegations made against them.  Whatever happened to the principle that individuals should only be punished for illegal activity after they had been convicted of the allegation?

As Bomber Bradbury has pointed out this new law would require a vast active surveillance network to keep tabs on everyone who is under these orders.  Perhaps the GCSB will have some spare capacity that could be used for this purpose.

There is a clear pattern here.  When this Ministry is boxed into a corner it will throw up a smorgasboard of issues to divert attention.  And hope that our attention is diverted.

18 comments on “GCSB diversions and won’t anyone think of the kids?”

  1. King Kong 1

    New Zealanders are more concerned about how much Snapper they can catch than the GCSB bill, and rightly so.

    Unlike the narcissists and egotists on the left who somehow think the GCSB is interested in watching them beat off in the shower, most New Zealanders realise that if you are not planning on blowing something up, hacking into secure sites, or raping and torturing children (to use the example from above), then this wont affect you one jot.

    • Pascal's bookie 1.1

      So if it wasn’t for the tax rates you would’ve supported the east in the cold war then. Charming.

    • shorts 1.2

      from my limited interactions with dyed in the wool national party supporters they do seem infuriated by the snapper issue

      • Colonial Viper 1.2.1

        that would be right; they’re doubly infuriated that its a frikkin National Government doing this.

    • richard 1.3

      KK, here’s some essential reading for you. You’ll be happy to know it even mentions watching people in the shower and says why that is not the problem.

      http://chronicle.com/article/Why-Privacy-Matters-Even-if/127461/

      Edit: the 2nd last para is quite a good summary”

      “My life’s an open book,” people might say. “I’ve got nothing to hide.” But now the government has large dossiers of everyone’s activities, interests, reading habits, finances, and health. What if the government leaks the information to the public? What if the government mistakenly determines that based on your pattern of activities, you’re likely to engage in a criminal act? What if it denies you the right to fly? What if the government thinks your financial transactions look odd—even if you’ve done nothing wrong—and freezes your accounts? What if the government doesn’t protect your information with adequate security, and an identity thief obtains it and uses it to defraud you? Even if you have nothing to hide, the government can cause you a lot of harm.

      • Colonial Viper 1.3.1

        There is also an overriding principle at play here: that of civil liberties.

        In other words –

        1) clear restrictions on the power that government can apply to its citizens
        2) the due process through which that power is applied
        3) the overall balance of power between the citizenry and the government.

        Put it more simply – why should they know everything about what you are doing, planning and seeing on a day to day basis, while we know absolutely nothing about what they are doing, planning and seeing?

      • Tiger Mountain 1.3.2

        Interesting piece richard. Curtain twitching, underwear sniffing, garbage riffling, spending following, communication monitoring, your computer/other device watching you etc is always about power relations and thought and behaviour control. Compliance and subservience.

        Stuff ’em.

      • Chooky 1.3.3

        @ richard…thanks for that article…just about says it all

        I had a friend who went to live at Bert Potters commune..later regretted it…..it would be interesting to know how such communes and cults use lack of privacy as a means of power, control , corruption and abuse…especially sexual abuse of children and teenagers

        It would also be interesting to know the effects that lack of privacy have on child development and the development of creativity…I would think that maybe the importance of privacy/ one way or another is enormous…

      • Paul 1.3.4

        He won’t answer because he has no answer.

    • Murray Olsen 1.4

      I suspect KKK means that anyone who thinks showers are mainly for beating off in is unlikely to understand enough about the Bill to be worried about it.

  2. irascible 2

    Interestingly, public concern about the intrusion of the State into their private activities is real and palpable. Key and his PR spinners are totally out of touch living as they do on the vast, empty golf course of Planet Key.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      It was good of Clark, Key, Dunne, Banks, Collins and Bennett to have pre-warmed public sentiment on the topic via – publishing beneficiaries details, open access WINZ kiosks, Kim Dotcom debacle, Urewera 8 illegal surveillance, Teapotgate, etc

  3. Anne 3

    Grant Robertson gave a speech to our local members on the Shore last night. His grasp of the GCSB legislation is very impressive. He spoke passionately about his deep concerns… so much so I would be more than happy if he was to represent Labour at the GCSB protest on the 19th August. I understand Labour will be sending a speaker.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      Grant can certainly connect with audiences when he speaks in person.

    • Jilly Bee 3.2

      Anne, Grant Robertson will be on Citizen A (Face TV) on Thursday evening with Martyn Bradbury – I believe Dr Rodney Harrison QC is the other guest.

  4. Rogue Trooper 4

    The GCSB may not have much “spare capacity” by the time the neo-libs have finished making and un-making law. There’ll be more surveillance than subjects to survey.

  5. tricledrown 5

    Primitive primate you like john keys supporters came down in the last shower.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Housing report earns Nats the red card
    National’s failure to acknowledge and fix the housing crisis will be their legacy. Labour will tackle the housing crisis head-on, says Labour Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    3 days ago
  • Sluggish growth reflects nine years of drift from National
    Today’s GDP figures reflect an economy that the National Government has allowed to drift along on the basis of growing population rather than improving productivity and adding value, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “It is important to recognise that ...
    3 days ago
  • National’s campaign of deception an affront to democracy
    Voters this week have a clear choice between Labour’s optimism and honesty, or rewarding National’s campaign of relentless lies, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Day after day National has been deliberately spreading lies about Labour, our intentions and what ...
    4 days ago
  • National’s economy scorecard: D for drift
    New Zealand’s economy is failing the very people it is supposed to uplift, characterised by stalled productivity, exports going backwards and a Government content to let it drift, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “Voters have a clear choice ...
    4 days ago
  • Another day – another health crisis
    News today that the emergency department at Waikato has turned 180 patients away is another crisis for the Government and its besieged health system, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “It’s astonishing that the Government has had to rely on ...
    4 days ago
  • Labour will get tough on loan sharks
      Labour will take a tough stance on loan sharks and make sure that the Commerce Commission is properly resourced to protect Kiwi consumers, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs spokesperson Michael Wood.   “People on low incomes must be protected from ...
    4 days ago
  • GP letter more evidence of failure in mental health
      A letter of complaint by medical practitioners to the Ministry of Health and Capital and Coast District Health Board underlines how badly patients are being let down by mental health services in Wellington, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “The ...
    4 days ago
  • GP letter more evidence of failure in mental health
      A letter of complaint by medical practitioners to the Ministry of Health and Capital and Coast District Health Board underlines how badly patients are being let down by mental health services in Wellington, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “The ...
    4 days ago
  • Tax cuts when kids go hungry shows National’s lack of moral compass
    National’s campaign of tax cuts that give $400 million to the top 10 per cent of earners, at a time when 120 Kiwi kids every year are being hospitalised for malnutrition, shows they have lost their moral compass, says Labour’s ...
    5 days ago
  • Freight being shifted off planes as fuel crisis worsens
    Export freight is being shifted off flights because of the Government’s failure to manage the risk of disruption to jet fuel supplies, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson Stuart Nash. “It has been revealed to Labour that non-perishable export freight is ...
    5 days ago
  • Apologise now Jonathan
    Health Minister Jonathan Coleman must apologise for his part in a $2.3 billion shortfall that has contributed to delays in cancer diagnosis and treatment, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “All the Minister could say in an interview this morning ...
    5 days ago
  • National’s health report card shows need for new plan
    From increased GP fees, to kids getting sick from cold homes, to denial of important surgeries, National’s underfunding of health has hurt Kiwi families, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern.   “It’s time to invest in the health of ...
    5 days ago
  • Eye clinic wait downright dangerous
    The fact that 9,500 Kiwis are waiting one and a half times longer than they should to get follow-up eye appointments is unacceptable and dangerous, says Labour’s Health Spokesperson David Clark. “These people are entitled to the reassurance that if ...
    5 days ago
  • National has serious questions to answer over Auckland fuel crisis
    Thousands of air travellers looking for answers to Auckland Airport’s fuel crisis should be demanding the National Government come clean over its failure to secure fuel supply for the airport, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “There are serious questions the ...
    6 days ago
  • Come clean on trade before the election
    In the two days before the election, New Zealand MFAT negotiators will attend a negotiations meeting in Japan on the successor to the failed Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), now called the TPP-11. The negotiations are shrouded in secrecy but we ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    1 week ago
  • National unravels on transport
    The release of extraordinary information showing that the East-West link could be the most expensive road in the world, at $327 million per kilometre, shows that National is fiscally reckless and out of ideas on transport, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson ...
    1 week ago
  • Saudi cover-up a perversion of democracy
    The Government has been exposed as dishonest after it was revealed that  they were wrong to claim they paid out $11 million dollars to a Saudi businessmen after legal advice, says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Parker.  “OIAs revealed on ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour supporting Te Reo Māori in schools
    Labour will support a future where New Zealanders from every background will have the ability to use Te Reo Māori in everyday conversations, says Labour’s Deputy Leader and Māori Development spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “Labour will commit to a target that ...
    1 week ago
  • Is National planning a secret fuel tax?
    Sources suggest National is considering a secret fuel tax to fund its controversial Roads of National Significance (RONS) programme, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Michael Wood. “While the Government keeps up its stream of lies about Labour’s tax policy, sources indicate ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s plan for West Coast prosperity
    Labour’s regional development plan for the West Coast will build on its strengths in engineering and tourism, while delivering a much-needed upgrade to the Buller Hospital, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “Labour’s vision is for a thriving regional New Zealand, ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour committed to fair and progressive tax system
    Labour is committed to a tax system where everyone pays their fair share and where we start to address the imbalances that have fuelled the housing crisis, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson and Labour’s Revenue spokesperson Michael Wood. "Today ...
    1 week ago
  • A challenge to Bill English
    ...
    1 week ago
  • Flavell’s fake news an insult to Māori voters
    A desperate Te Ururoa Flavell has resorted to fake news about Labour’s position on his unpopular Ture Whenua reforms, says Labour’s Ikaroa-Rawhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s tax cuts reckless and irresponsible
    It is time for Bill English and Steven Joyce to stop the scaremongering and lies, and front up to New Zealanders about the impact of their tax cuts, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Bill English has no credibility on ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Calculator shows Labour’s Families Package delivers
    Labour has launched a new online calculator that show how much extra families with kids will get from Labour’s Families Package, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “Families can go to www.labour.org.nz/calculator and see how much better off they ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Strengthening New Zealand’s identity through Labour’s media and film policy
    Labour has today launched its media and film policy aimed at strengthening New Zealand’s identity and providing sustainability for the industry, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to invest in parents and babies
    Labour will fund an additional 100 Plunket and Tamariki Ora nurses to increase the help available for vulnerable parents and babies, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “It’s so important that our children get the best start in life. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to build affordable homes and state houses in Hawke’s Bay
    Labour will build a mix of 240 affordable KiwiBuild starter homes for first home buyers and state homes for families in need in Napier and Hastings, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “In 2016, the populations of Napier and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour pledges more for Whānau Ora
    Labour will strengthen the oversight of Whānau Ora and provide an extra $20 million over four years to improve outcomes for whānau and families, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Kelvin Davis.    “We’ve created a new position of Whānau Ora Reviewer ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s housing band aid
    Throwing subsidies at an under-supplied housing market is one last desperate bid by National to be seen to do something about the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “First home buyers have been the collateral damage of National’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing, families, education and environment top priorities in Labour’s first 100 days
    Labour will take urgent action in its first 100 days in office to expand support for families and students, make rental homes warm and dry, find solutions to the mental health crisis and accelerate efforts to clean up our waterways, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour pledges to unlock funding for Te Hiku sports hub project
    The Labour Government will inject nearly $3 million into the Te Hiku Sports Hub project, to help realise a much-needed health and recreational facility for the Far North, says Labour Deputy Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s plan to get job seekers into better work
    Labour will provide real support for people looking for work by increasing the amount of money someone can earn before their benefit begins to reduce, reinstating training incentives, and putting a renewed focus on upskilling and training, says Labour’s Social ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour sets strong target and plan for climate action
    Labour will set a target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and take the necessary steps to achieve it, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern.  “Climate change is my generation’s nuclear-free moment. We have to take our place ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Are education cuts missing in National’s Fiscal Plan?
    National needs to explain why its plans for cuts to school transport have not been announced in its fiscal plan, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.   “Buried in the Pre-election Budget update is a $5m a year cut to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Joyce must come clean on Health and Education funding
    Steven Joyce needs to front up to New Zealanders and tell them whether he will fund health and education to meet increasing cost pressures, or risk seeing services cut and costs increase for parents, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing crisis is National’s legacy
    Reports of tenants languishing in boarding houses for years because they cannot get a state house is yet more evidence National’s legacy is the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “We used to pride ourselves in this country ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Labour calls for release of report into civil defence flaws
    The National Government must stick by its word given to other political parties and release a technical report before the election addressing critical flaws in New Zealand’s civil defence capability, Labour Civil Defence spokesperson Clare Curran said today.  “Cross party ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Credibility shot as Government runs out of steam
    New Zealanders are witnessing the desperation of a government clinging to survival, evidenced by policy on-the-hoof, dodgy maths and dirty politics, says Labour MP Phil Twyford. “New Zealand had been hoping we’d seen the end of dirty politics, but what ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Steven Joyce must apologise to New Zealand
    Steven Joyce needs to front up to New Zealanders and apologise for his patently false and cynical attack on Labour’s Fiscal Plan, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Every respected economic commentator has come out and said that Labour’s Fiscal ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Bill English didn’t answer because the Oreti is badly polluted
    Last night Bill English was asked by Paddy Gower in the Leader’s Debate: “Which river did he swim in as a kid, and is it now polluted?” Bill English named the Oreti River, but did not answer whether it is ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Nats put out dodgy numbers – again
    National’s promise to increase the number of elective surgeries to 200,000 is bizarre, given Jonathan Coleman has claimed 200,000 electives are already being performed, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister’s Award to encourage young people into trades training
    Labour will introduce a $2,000 award for the best pupil in vocational courses in each public secondary school, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “We know there’s huge demand for trades workers, particularly in the building sector, where construction ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Not another Nick Smith wild goose chase
    Only the election on September 23 can save the country and the RMA from Nick Smith, say Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford and Environment spokesperson David Parker. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government supresses Climate Change report
    The Government has deliberately sat on a critical Climate Change report for 5 months which they must now release, election or no election, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “I want the report released immediately, so that New Zealanders ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Joyce gets it wrong on Labour’s Fiscal Plan
    Labour’s Fiscal Plan is robust, the numbers are correct and we stand by them despite the desperate and disingenuous digging from an out-the-door Finance Minister, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Steven Joyce has embarrassed himself. This is a desperate, ...
    3 weeks ago