Vernon Small reports today that National party blogger David Farrar has taken out a complaint against the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union’s registration as a third party under the Electoral Finance Act. Now aside from the fact that the founder of the Free Speech Coalition is trying to use the very legislation he has so actively campaigned against, it strikes me the bigger hypocrisy is the fact that he (and presumably his National Party employers) are trying to deprive the fifty thousand working New Zealanders the union represents from having a collective, democratic voice in this year’s election campaign.
Meanwhile Farrar has registered the Free Speech Coalition (which has backers including Business Round Table members Roger Kerr, Doug Myers and Peter Shirtcliffe as well as senior National Party members) as a third party.
It seems Davey and the National Party have decided free-speech is best left to the super-rich. I very much doubt this complaint will be upheld but it does show the attitude of the Right to working Kiwis: “STFU“. I guess they figure democracy is too important to leave in the hands of ordinary people.
Just as an aside, I wonder if this attempt has anything to do with the fact that EPMU members led the campaign to stop National’s last attempt to take all work rights from tens of thousands of workers in 2006?
UPDATE: Blogblog weighs in over here.