Nats’ retrospective surveillance backdown

Written By: - Date published: 7:22 am, October 5th, 2011 - 27 comments
Categories: accountability, democracy under attack, law, national - Tags: , ,

The Nats most recent attack on democracy – the Video Camera Surveillance (Temporary Measures) Bill –  was outrageous in at least three respects. (1) It was an attempt to rewrite the verdict of the Supreme Court. (2) It was retrospective lawmaking which (except in benign cases such as validating legislation) is universally regarded as unacceptable.  (3) The Nats tried to (yet again) abuse urgency to ram it through without public scrutiny.

This authoritarian mess was almost universally condemned. Here for example is ex PM and constitutional law expert Sir Geoffrey Palmer:

Ex PM: ‘Fix it’ bill oppressive

The Government’s “fix-it” bill for police use of covert video surveillance gives police and all state agencies too much power, has insufficient checks and balances, and breaches constitutional principles, Parliament has been told.

Representatives from the Law Society, the Law Commission, the Criminal Bar Association and the Bar Association all rejected the Government’s Video Camera Surveillance (Temporary Measures) Bill in select committee submissions yesterday.

The bill would make legal covert video surveillance by state agencies on private property under a search warrant, a practice the Supreme Court has ruled was illegal. …

Former Prime Minister and constitutional law expert Sir Geoffrey Palmer was scathingly critical of the need for urgency and retrospectivity, which he said was unprincipled, oppressive and highly undesirable. “Laws should be prospective, open and clear … that is what fairness requires.”

Overturning the Supreme Court in this case was also a “constitutional perversion”, effectively elevating the Court of Appeal above the Supreme Court. … “If Parliament is to be supreme as the law-maker, then it needs to take principle seriously and not brush it under the carpet.”

After a brief select committee process Labour has secured significant concessions. Here’s Andrea Vance at Stuff:

Labour gains changes to surveillance bill

Labour has forced the Government to back down over controversial video surveillance laws.

After insisting the legislation go before a select committee before agreeing to support it, Labour has secured changes to more contentious aspects of the proposed law. … Labour will now lend its support after winning concessions from Attorney-General Chris Finlayson. It is understood ACT is also willing to support the revised legislation. The Green, Maori and Mana parties are all opposed to the legislation.

In pending cases, courts will be left to determine if evidence is admissible. To prevent convictions being overturned, the law that applied at the time of the verdict will stand. The legislation will only apply for six months – not one year as National hoped. …And only police and the Security Intelligence Service will be allowed to carry out “trespassory surveillance” – when a warrant is used to place secret cameras on private land in the investigation of serious crimes.

As Bryce Edwards puts it – “The Labour Party seems to have turned a very electorally-dangerous issue into a victory with its compromise agreement with National over the Police covert video surveillance fixit legislation … On a whole, National comes out of the whole saga looking weaker and less principled”.  Other positive coverage includes – Has Finlayson flunked?Goff hails victory in surveillance bill debate, and Govt waters down hidden camera bill.

For a much more critical analysis, however, see the always excellent Gordon Campbell at Scoop – On why the deal on Police covert video surveillance is a travesty (a piece which draws heavily from Andrew Geddis at Pundit).  Many of Campbell’s criticisms relate to the appalling process behind this Bill.  No argument there, but even so it was good to see Parliament work for once as it should, and at least partially check the Nats’ fondness for trampling on the democratic process.  The political Right like to vacuously accuse Labour of “arrogance”, but episodes such as this show all too clearly where the real arrogance lies.

27 comments on “Nats’ retrospective surveillance backdown”

  1. lprent 1

    Thanks for the links.

    Video evidence was always going to be a part of police work now that the tech is so cheap. The trick, like other forms of surveillance, was going to be to put its use under control rather than giving a carte blanche to any paranoid cop to trample over others privacy.

    So far, this act looks like step in the right direction. Whereas the origional one put up by Findlayson was a travesty. A supplication to the worst elements inside the police and a sop to the reflexive law’n’order voters that are a ban to the political process.

    It would have simply wound up with further abuses of the legal processes with insubstantial charges laid on the basis of quantity of evidence rather than the quality of it. The operation 8 charges show how the nutters in the police can use evidence gathered without a substantial process into a personal abuse of process. It has been a screwup from start to its eventual finish.

    • aerobubble 1.1

      The change is just as bad, from the fake outrage of too much judicial activism we’ve
      moved to too much judgical discretion in what amounts to reasonable searches.
      Given the lower courts are liable to favor full fair trials. But then there’s is the
      death to out liberty clause, the no appeals for overt surveilance.

      How is this any different!!! This is just as bad, no worse, because now it looks
      like parliament consents to this slippery slope theory of justice.

      Its wrong to collect too much information because invariably you will find
      a false positive that gets blown out of proportion and leaves citizens out of
      pocket, a large part of their lives fighting court cases based on bad policing.
      It does happen, police are human they make mistakes, and when they do we
      forgive them because they are human, and that’s why you need HIGH
      standards to keep human error at bay.

      This debate has been deplorable, its smacks of the worst kind of fascism
      to push through legal law changes at the 11th hour. Especially when the
      court case is ongoing that we all can’t talk about that eefective is being
      used to club us into consenting to this shit.

      If you spend you life fearful, building man traps, training, for the day
      Police come to arrest you, like they did your ancestors, then of course
      your activities should be investigated??? Or should Police wait until
      they have a drugs warrent to walk into a powder cake??? Do we have
      the right to do martial arts training, then reenact the battle of gettesburg
      with our mates and family???? Blow off a few fireworks, study political
      strife in the past? Is this all legal, where is the line to be drawn?

      Do Police have to have a lawful reason, accredited, sure hell yes,
      but should they also be limited in how they choose to measure, hell
      yes. If you have the choice of devices to use, the placement of
      them, the spectrum they collect, then each increasing diminsion
      of freedom implies a greater level of standard that must be operating.
      Because not all surveilance is the same, the more choice police have
      the higher the bar they need to reach.

      Pictures are worth a thousand words, so they should have a
      thousand times the restrictions of a audio bug, similarly if
      the Police are ‘fishing’ then they should be forced to tell the
      judge how the covert surveilance is to be set up, to avoid
      the dreaded unreasonable search.

      If I had a dollar for everytime a political activist set off alarm
      bells in agents of the state I’d be a very rich man, its not
      very hard at all to read too much into a heated political
      debate of radicals and then connect the dots up wrong.
      We’re in Iraq precisely because rats in washington decided
      to use 9/11, the three thousand dead, to invade a country.
      The billions spent on the militrary complex and private armies…

      • lprent 1.1.1

        I agree with you. But I think that you are missing the point of the whole search and surveillance debate.

        The police need to be able to carry out surveillance as part of their work. This needs to be both to get evidence about crimes committed and also preventative to stop crimes being committed. It isn’t hard for anyone to think of instances where that is required. The question is when and how should they be able to do so.

        The courts already had law in place via the evidence act which was that the crime had to be severe enough to justify unlawful acts in the collection of evidence. The supreme court reaffirmed that collecting evidence on private property without the owners permission was unlawful (with comments about similar questions). But the courts were and did look at the admissibility of the evidence.

        The problem is that the police collected the evidence unlawfully in the first place. They can argue all they like about how they thought that the current law applied. But essentially they are lying when they try to say that the courts would treat the evidence that was thrown out in this case as being anything other than unlawful.

        So who goes into the gun for collecting evidence unlawfully? Both in this case, in previous cases, and in subsequent cases? And what is the mechanism to do something about such events?

        Well there isn’t one and nothing is going to happen to the police who acted unlawfully. The missing part in the police/public system at present is that there are effectively no constraints on the police apart from what they choose to enforce against their own, and the rather feeble admonishments of the IPCA.

        That is the missing part. The police can literally do whatever they feel like to anyone under the current surveillance and search laws and the worst that will happen to them in the system outside of the police is that they will get told off by the IPCA. Inside of the police acting unlawfully usually seems to result in promotion as far as I can see.

        The only effective response or route that the public has is to start a civil court proceeding that will take years and cost 10’s of thousands of dollars. Not to mention that in the event that you win, you are unlikely to get a award that will cover your costs and it can be appealed.

        So regardless of the laws that parliament passes about search and surveillance there is nothing stopping the police collecting information on you. What parliament is concentrating on is what evidence will be admissible in court.

        • aerobubble 1.1.1.1

          If police find a video surveilance system then the footage would be inadmissable
          under normal circumstances unless the video evidence ‘detrimential’ to justice
          if not allowed. How Police ever got the idea that covert surveilance, the
          active positioning of a recording device was the same as happenstance
          finding video footage at the scene of crimes. You are wrong to say Police
          ever had authority to use footage from covert video because its so aggrievous
          to justice. Filming a murder might just be an ban of actors, filming a
          political meeting that gets heated people and get called aside by an
          under cover agent in line of the covert video.

          False positives are a reality, Police will proactively select to their biases and
          we will see more ‘terror’ raids when already a dozen people have been
          messed around for four years with nothing to show for it. Even if
          admitted such evidence is just as likely to be thrown out by juries
          insensed by the invasion of privacy. Justice cannot be rushed by
          parliament, or by Police ‘needing’ fishing excusions which will only
          enrage and push political actvists under ground.

          You see that’s he benefit of Human rights, they cost society less, and
          have a habit of letting views get aired before they turn into militant groups.
          Oh, but that’s the problem we have a parliament that like tail wags the dog.

  2. g says 2

    i seem to be missing something here, i thought the tories where all for less (nanny) state in our lives and yet we get this legislation.
    equally i see a major left wing party struggling to get traction in polls, rushing to the aid of the tories to help them push thru this disgusting piece of lawmaking.
    it has helped to decide where this one will vote come november and it aint gonna be for the nat lite crew. sorry guys.
    peace.

    • aerobubble 2.1

      Medical dope, Brash never said those words, every gang leader is now cheering
      how Brash has put himself at the table and wont talk any sense. Its obvious
      we need to move to cheaper alternatives for the aging population and this
      will harm gang income, so WTF ACT come out and dump pooh on the issue.
      An think about it, gangs are very freedom focused and also very threatening,
      just like ACT, who love liverty but come down hard on those they don’t like.
      Is ACT the front party for the gangs?

  3. TEA 3

    Never mind guys after the elections the torries will have free range to do what they want sad to say eh !

  4. KJT 4

    Labour should have filibustered this one. It is an even more important removal of our rights than the VSM bills trampling on the rights of students, to have a democratic vote on VSM.

    I too am getting frustrated by Labour’s own goals.

    This election will decide if we have a future. Either retaining enough assets to own our own economy or 3 more years of repressive laws and theft under National.

    A Government that will reverse the last 35 years of Neo-Liberal IMF dictated failure is essential.
    Three more years of the same disaster will leave New Zealand in an almost unrecoverable position.

    If all Labour are offering on this sort of decisions is slight variations on National’s theme. Why should anyone vote for them.

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      Labour was only able to filibuster VSM because of the particular rules around parliament for that bill. It was really a happy coincidence that they were able to do it for so long.

      That situation wouldn’t have existed with the new bill, and even more importantly since it is intended to be passed under urgency the filibuster could’ve lasted a couple of hours at most. That wouldn’t have achieved anything.

      • KJT 4.1.1

        Point taken.

        However sometimes it is important, simply, to register your disgust with removals of our rights.

        To follow principles rather than pragmatism.

        • Lanthanide 4.1.1.1

          They did. They achieved a select committee where all of the experts were 100% negative and against what National were trying to do. That in itself is pretty embarrassing for them (even the police wouldn’t comment on the “40 trials underway” bollocks that Key was trying to spin). Then they got the bill amended to get rid of the worst of it; only one concern remains as noted by micky at #6.

          It’ll be replaced by the proper search and surveillance bill early next parliament anyway.

  5. felix 5

    Disappointing, Labour. Not surprising though.

    I CAN HAZ OPPOSITION PARTY NAO PLZ?

  6. Charles Chauvel in particular did well in obtaining significant concessions from the tories.  I suspect that they thought they would get ACT to support.  But the ACT MPs, bless their cotton socks, rediscovered principle.
     
    There is one dead rat in the legislation, the right to appeal because of Hamed has been taken away.
     
    Previously an appeal could be lodged on the basis that the decision in Hamed represents a change in the law. Generally the chances of an appeal succeeding are poor, it has to be shown that there was a miscarriage of justice. As shown in Hamed the Court has a discretion to admit otherwise improperly acquired evidence, that the evidence would otherwise have been excluded, and that the totality of the evidence was not sufficient to maintain the conviction.
     
    There is no indication about how many appeals were possible and I would have thought this would be the first piece of information to justify such a decision.
     
    So there is still retrospective effect but it is minimal.
     
    I think the Nats wanted to tar Labour as being “unprincipled”.  Labour achieved significant changes and almost had the bill complying with constitutional principles.  But there is still this one blemish, of perhaps nil effect, but there may be a person or persons whose appeal rights have been taken away.
     
    Of course the tories should be held to blame for this.  It is just another example of their wanting to play politics with our constitution.

     
     
     
     

  7. queenstfarmer 7

    Good, looks like a fairly sensible compromise in the circumstances. Should be the last we hear about this – I can’t see the Nats or Labour wasting much campaign time on what is now settled.

    • lprent 7.1

      Not really. It is a short term fix. It will rise again next year when the search and surveillance bill finally comes though (after what 5 years?).

      It also leaves the issue of police accountability hanging out there to come up again after the operation 8 cases go through. Quite simply some police knowingly acted unlawfully in the way that they collected evidence. They used that evidence to puff paranoid delusions and mount a massive search and seizure exercise against people for no obvious reason. They appear to have knowingly falsely arrested and held people in prison, caused them to incur massive legal bills, and disrupted their lives in forcing them through a 4 year court battle. All because a few cops in Otahuhu have paranoid fantasies and a fetish for collecting evidence unlawfully.

      Obviously the police aren’t likely to do much about those cowboys and the IPCA is ineffectual. I think we will have a rather large and long civil court case going ahead against the police. Hopefully it will also be against the individual officers like Aaron Pascoe who look like they acted well outside the bounds of their duty.

  8. Lanthanide 8

    I’m not quite sure why everyone keeps using the term “retrospective”, when the correct term is really “retroactive”.

    Retrospective (from Latin retr, “look back”) generally means to take a look back at events that already have taken place. For example, the term is used in medicine, describing a look back at a patient’s medical history or lifestyle.

    An ex post facto law (from the Latin for “from after the action”) or retroactive law is a law that retroactively changes the legal consequences (or status) of actions committed or relationships that existed prior to the enactment of the law.

    • Blighty 8.1

      because the law ‘looks back’ at events in the past before it was passed.

      It’s the universally used legal term.

      • Lanthanide 8.1.1

        I can’t find much one way or the other, and google results for “retroactive law” and “retrospective law” are very close.

        Did find this, though:
        “The term is used in situations where the law is changed, making a previously committed lawful act now unlawful. Sir Stuart Bell used the term “retrospectivity” to describe the Thomas Legg audit of MPs’ expenses. Usually the terms ex post facto law or retroactive law are used. “

  9. Nick K 9

    Micky is right. Chauvel and Act (Hide mostly) worked together to get these changes. That’s the beauty of MMP. Hide’s departure is going to be a huge loss to this parliament.

    • Lanthanide 9.1

      Well not really.

      What is going to be a huge loss is Hide being replaced by Banks and possibly Brash. Just Hide leaving by himself though is no real loss.

  10. deemac 10

    looks like the compromise that Labour got was the best that could be achieved under the circs. Some people seem to forget that an Opposition has very limited powers. Plus this was a necessary temporary fix until the next Parliament looks at the matter in detail.

    • aerobubble 10.1

      I think its all suspect. Gangs will realize they are being filmed covertly, then
      they will act up to create a false trail that bungs up the courts for years.
      How parliament doesn’t get this aspect of reality, that the way you choose
      to measure dictates the outcome. Video found at a scene is pure luck if
      it shows guilt, that’s a whole different story in choosing the positioning
      of covert video equipment.

  11. BLiP 11

    Labour? The last bastion of civil liberties? FAIL.

  12. Jenny 12


    The Moderately Exciting Adventures of Middle Man

    If they bring a knife to the fight – – I bring a Reasonable Bipartisan Compromise!

  13. The end result was due to input from a number of parties and individuals, and a pragmatic correction by National.

    Peter Dunne:
    The outcome on this Bill is a good one. Once the original proposals were made public, it became obvious that the provisions regarding retrospective application and the twelve month temporary life of the Bill were not going to fly with the public, and that change was required.

    Although I was not part of the select committee which gave brief consideration to the legislation I did have a number of discussions with my Ministerial colleague the Attorney-General (whose office just happens to be next to my mine, so our conversations were frequent). We agreed from a very early stage that the best outcome would be to drop the retrospective provisions and to limit the life of the Bill to just 6 months, provisions which have ultimately come to pass.

    While it may not suit some people’s preferred narrative of these events, the Herald’s editorial is a fairly accurate summary of what happened.

    There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes in government, and a lot of false assumptions and flakey claims made on blogs.

    • Pete this bill was an abomination and raised such a stink from the Law Profession that the Government had to back down. 
       
      And Pete the Poodle’s claims that he somehow influenced the legislation to improve it is a joke.  He pledged support from the start. 
       
      It is only the actions of the other parties, including ACT, that meant that the most appalling provisions were toned down.
       

      • Pete George 13.1.1

        Can you back up your claim or are you making it up?

        Dunne’s claims are backed up by this:

        Editorial: Surveillance law shows MMP’s worth

        Its partners, Act, United Future and the Maori Party, hesitated to grant police retrospective authority….

        These concessions, sufficient to win the support of Labour, Act and United Future…

        As the Herald says (and I have said previously) – this was a good example of MMP at work, something flawed (and neglected for over a decade) became the best possible compromise due to the input of multiple parties, law groups and individuals.

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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    6 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    6 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    6 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    6 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    1 week ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago

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