New Zealand Betrayed – Again

Written By: - Date published: 3:05 pm, December 10th, 2014 - 95 comments
Categories: labour, Spying - Tags: ,

The Labour Party last night celebrated the 30th Anniversary of its greatest betrayal of New Zealanders with another spectacular act of betrayal. By working hand-in-glove with the National Ltd™ Cult of John Key to usher in “spy at will” legislation, Labour has colluded in the aborting of the democratic process and reduced Parliament to a mockery. What makes the betrayal worse is that the further demolishing of human rights in New Zealand is yet another price all New Zealanders have to pay for the imposition of the neo-liberal economic agenda of globalisation on our own society and across the globe.

The neo-liberal agenda was heralded in 1981 when Ronald Reagan uttered its fundamental mandate: “government is not a solution to our problem, government is the problem.” Based on nothing but ideology, its proponents lurked in the shadows waiting for useful idiots to show themselves and, three years later, up popped Roger Douglas and the fourth Labour government. Starting in 1984 with a “blitzkieg” approach to law-making, the agenda was rammed down New Zealand’s throat so quickly and so thoroughly that the Labour Party became an international shining-star example held up to the rest of the world.

A generation later, the ideology had become so embedded into international thinking that it was adopted as the exemplar of nation-building and employed wholesale in the reconstruction of Iraq following the illegal invasion and occupation of that country. In June 2003, L. Paul Bremer, head of the then Coalition Provisional Authority, announced the broad outlines of the Bush administration’s plan to rebuild Iraq along strict free market principles. “The removal of Saddam Hussein,” Bremer explained, “offers Iraqis hope for a better economic future. For a free Iraq to thrive, its economy must be transformed — and this will require the wholesale reallocation of resources and people from state control to private enterprise, the promotion of free trade, and the mobilization of domestic and foreign capital.” Three months later, the CPA announced Order 39 permitting complete foreign ownership of Iraqi companies and assets (apart from natural resources), total overseas remittance of profits, some of the lowest taxes in the world, the privatisation of 200 state-owned enterprises, and the immediate sacking of 500,000 public servants.

Exacerbating the imposition of neo-liberal ideology at gunpoint was the process of “de-Ba’athification” but the effects of the ideology affected every Iraqi. By 2006, the unemployment rate in Iraq was 45% and, even today, some 25% of the population continue to live in poverty (i.e., on less than US$2.20 per day). The result was the creation of a mass of people ready and willing to take up arms, not only to kill infidels for the glory Allah, but simply to survive. Among the first groups to take advantage of the societal conditions was Jama’at al Tawhid w’al Jihad – the seed which germinated into ISIS.

Of course, one can go back 100 years to when earlier imperialist adventurers drew convenient lines on maps, or go back even further to grasp the workings of the intra-religious tensions within Islam to fully understand what’s happening in the Middle East, but to understand what happened in the New Zealand Parliament last night one need only go back to 1984 when Labour first betrayed the country. Now, in a sort of bizarre circle dance festival of continued support for US economic imperialism promoted with lies and myths, Labour has helped turn the “War On Terrorism” inwards upon its own people who now must now pay even more for neo-liberalism.

The cost extends far beyond just money and now includes the turning of our democracy into a parody and cavalier elimination of basic human rights. New Zealand has never seen such legislation passed so quickly, so cynically, and in so bright spotlight highlighting the blatant culture of deliberate malfeasance by our spying agencies. The week before, the SIS had been found to have been involved in the use of its material in the machinations of a Dirty Politics Machine being run directly by the Prime Minister. Over the years, our spy agencies have demonstrated that any powers they are given will be abused. The Minister in charge of the legislation, the Attorney-General, dismissed the participation of the public in the process as mere “chit chat”. The Attorney-General also gave the game away fairly early by stating that any “alienated people with a chip on their shoulder” were suitable targets for the new laws.

Last year, Labour railed against the way the National Ltd™ Cult of John Key rammed through the GCSB legislation. At the time, previous Labour Party Leader David Cunliffe promised New Zealanders that Labour would change the law to ensure it was “more protective of New Zealanders’ rights to privacy and freedom”. In the week before the new legislation introduced, current Labour Party Leader, Andrew Little, was in full-on righteous indignation about the politicisation of the security services. More than one political commentator has noted Labour’s breath-taking hypocrisy over this issue. Andrea Vance, for example, spells it out in detail, going on to suggest that John Key has played Labour like a fiddle. But no. Its New Zealand that’s been played like a fiddle by both Labour and the National Ltd™ Cult of John Key. The original drafting of the legislation has, apparently, been modified and Labour is attempting to portray its support of the passing of the laws as quid pro quo for those changes. More than likely, those changes agreed to – and negotiated by 1984 Labour Government Cabinet Minister Phil Goff – were intended give-aways designed to allow Labour to save face. I mean, is Labour seriously trying to tell New Zealanders that putting cameras in their bedrooms without a warrant is okay because instead of being able to do it for 48 hours the SIS can do it for 24 hours instead?

– BLiP

95 comments on “New Zealand Betrayed – Again”

  1. Tracey 1

    Thanks for this BLiP

    Far for me to suggest a correction but you wrote

    “when Ronald Reagan uttered its fundamental mandate: “government is not a solution to our problem, government is the problem.” Based on nothing but ideology,”

    I suggest

    when Ronald Reagan uttered its fundamental mandate: “government is not a solution to our problem, government is the problem.” Legislating greed.

    The UK has experienced various forms of terrorism for decades and, depending on your definition, centuries. Attacks resulting in deaths in 2005 and other incidents ending in deaths have not led them to sprint tot his draconian measure. They are allowing their people until May 2015 to have their say. To be heard.

    So why the unseemly haste here? What is the prid quo pro?

    The secret services have in the last few years proved themselves untrustworthy. Shame on you Labour for rewarding their damaging behaviour and worse by condoning it, encouraging more of it.

    The disabled and the recently unemployed have to jump through hoops to show themselves “worthy” of our support, but not so the secret services.

    • Murray Rawshark 1.1

      “The secret services have in the last few years proved themselves untrustworthy. Shame on you Labour for rewarding their damaging behaviour and worse by condoning it, encouraging more of it.”

      Labour seems to suffer from codependence, much like a battered spouse. They need intensive treatment before they fully morph into NAct. FJK and FAL too.

    • Iron Sky 1.2

      The purpose of surveillance is to ensure the workers don’t go shopping for a new master with better terms! The elite hate it when there slaves start to think.

      Humm, I wonder in the movie Snowpiercer, JK could play the part of Wilford The creator and caretaker of the engine (economy), while Andrew could be Gilliam (The spiritual leader of the tail section)

      Snowpiercer (2013) Movie Quotes:
      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1706620/quotes:

      “Wilford: I believe it is easier for people to survive on this train if they have some level of insanity. As Gilliam well understood, you need to maintain a proper balance of anxiety and fear and chaos and horror in order to keep life going. And if we don’t have that, we need to invent it. In that sense, the Great Curtis Revolution you invented was truly a masterpiece.” End Quote

      No doubt as with all religions and political ideologies, they are manufactured by people, then “modified” to meet the upper echelons requirements in order to maintain power. The illusion of 2 sides is what is required, a manufactured Ying and Yang.

      Still, though, I prefer the ideologies of Labour over the Nasty Nanny Nats any day. Yip, Roger me Douglas was not really Labour, just a muppet puppet for Neoliberals et. al.

      Still, I do find this quote chilling from Blip and restated by batweka below:

      “The Attorney-General also gave the game away fairly early by stating that any “alienated people with a chip on their shoulder” were suitable targets for the new laws.”

      To get a chip on your shoulder, just analyze the infrastructure, housing markets or education systems by reading widely. Thats all you have to do. Once you become aware you will end up with a whole bag of McKanes Oven chips on both shoulders. For fun, just look at Dunedin ratepayers to fork out for Forsyth Barr Stadium http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/dunedin-ratepayers-fork-forsyth-barr-stadium-6161753. Yip, couldnt have spent that on better education or public transport.

      I wonder if Chris Finlayson wants to have a Chit Chat about that or is he to busy shoveling posh mince pies down his gob at flash restaurants at tax payer expense.

  2. batweka 2

    Thanks BLiP

    “The Attorney-General also gave the game away fairly early by stating that any “alienated people with a chip on their shoulder” were suitable targets for the new laws.”

    That description could be applied to a fair few people I know including on the standard 🙁

    Does anyone know how Labour made this decision? Would it have been a vote in caucus?

    • Tracey 2.1

      I think it should have been a conscience vote. Think how many politicians would have to abstain (for want of a conscience)!?

    • Anne 2.2

      Does anyone know how Labour made this decision? Would it have been a vote in caucus?

      It certainly would have been debated in caucus and a consensus view arrived at. The
      leading lights in caucus have strong sway of course, but in the end they will abide by the majority opinion in caucus because to do otherwise is to invite trouble down the track. Ask Cunliffe.

  3. Clemgeopin 3

    I am also very disappointed that Labour did not oppose this warrant-less surveillance measure. A big mistake. I think Labour has taken this decision in haste on a very hastily prepared flawed bill. I feel that the decision by labour has been for political expediency rather than for honest valid reasons.

    I also think that we and the west will be bogged down in Iraq/Syria for a very long time. This should be the responsibility of the countries in the region and not include our direct participation, UNLESS it is approved by the UN. This isn’t!

    We will know in a couple of years if we have helped to reduce or actually helped to increase conflict/terrorists/security risks. I am skeptical. Quite a mess.

    • lprent 3.1

      I wrote a post about my views. They amounted to “let them go, the survivors will learn”.

      But National deliberately wrote the bill so it extended well beyond the scope of the ostensible target(s).

      Would you have preferred that National passed the original version of this bill *because* Labour only opposed it? National would have been happy to use it to spy on damn near anyone.

      • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 3.1.1

        You always have my deepest respect, lprent, for many reasons. Hence, I do not quickly dismiss your views out of hand but seriously think about them.

        You are saying, especially from your comments on Open Mike, that the Labour MPs gave their support to the bill because they had an active hand in diluting the clauses in it and thus had to follow up and ensure those weakened provisions were passed?

        What were the legislative trophies that Labour MPs secured from Nats to help drive through a poorly justified bill? Other than the change from 48 to 24 hours surveillance, can someone advise what concessions were won by the Labour MPs? Where can I read about how hard they had fought in successfully watering down the bill and can someone point me to the press releases where they have explained and persuaded us, their supporters, of the course of action they have taken?

        • lprent 3.1.1.1

          No because the dilution of the original was pretty much contingent on Labour supporting the revised bill.

          The governing party doesn’t have to accept what comes out of select committee.

          I think that Labour would have viewed it as a no-win situation for themselves. So they took the lesser of the two evils.

        • lprent 3.1.1.2

          Sigh. There is nothing to prevent a jilted government from amending the bill back to its form before it went to select committee or an agreement was overturned.

          http://campaign.labour.org.nz/labour_to_support_amended_terror_legislation

          “Labour has ensured that all searches on potential terrorist activity will require a warrant except in cases of urgent and extreme risk. Even in these circumstances, the Director of the Security and Intelligence Service will be required to immediately notify the Commissioner of Warrants and the Inspector General of Intelligence; and a warrant obtained within 24 hours, not the originally proposed 48 hours.

          “The SIS will have to report publicly every six months, rather than annually and in more detail, on the use of these powers.

          “Labour remains adamant these powers should only be used when New Zealanders are at risk from terror attacks and not as a means to broaden general spy powers,” Andrew Little says.

          This is why the last hundred press releases from Labour, Greens, and Mana are in the tab marked “Parties” on the right column.

          • Murray Rawshark 3.1.1.2.1

            So now the Directors of the SIS and GCSB will have to lie to the leader of the opposition once every six months instead of only once a year? I’m sure they’ll take that as a severe setback.

            • lprent 3.1.1.2.1.1

              Yes. Personally I’d like for a some better oversight into our security forces as they don’t appear to have been particularly trustworthy in recent years.

              However I also can’t see a world where we can do without them either.

              • b waghorn

                100% agree with that

              • Tracey

                I too can’t see that world but given recent behaviour the oversight and trust is important. On the other hand I don’t know how this government could satisfy me that they were trustworthy overseers. Especially given the PM thinks his office was cleared in a report from the chief watchdog

      • Colonial Rawshark 3.1.2

        NZ doesn’t really need 2 major parties operating in the style of the US Democrats and Republicans. Where in NZ National is totally awful and crap, and Labour merely hopeless and poor.

        Can we get some real choice, instead of these totally fake choices between vanilla and french vanilla.

        Labour could have used the opportunity to present further principled separation between it and National (as David Cunliffe did with the GCSB legislation last year), but in true Labour style couldn’t see any way to take the political risk. Especially when I guess that a number of prominent MPs in the Labour caucus gave the legislation the thumbs up.

        • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 3.1.2.1

          Labour could have used the opportunity to present further principled separation between it and National (as David Cunliffe did with the GCSB legislation last year)

          I want to hear about what, if any, principled separation there is between Labour and National asap and no later than next week. Tomorrow is the last sitting day of the year. I do not want to spend the days and weeks from now, through Christmas/New Year, and until February 2015, having the thought gnawing at my moral and political conscience that I am supporting the wrong party.

        • Tom Jackson 3.1.2.2

          I’m increasingly of the opinion that there needs to be a general worldwide clear out of our sclerotic elites.

      • Clemgeopin 3.1.3

        I go with what Kiwiri – Raided of the Last Shark has said below at 3.1.1.

        And:

        Why could not Labour take a principled bold stand and say that we already have sufficient powers within the police, SIS and GCSB to take care of any terrorism? Therefore, we not only do not agree with any new warrant-less surveillance powers, but we promise to repeal these draconian uncivilised abhorrent laws as soon as we come to power? That would show Labour as a more principled party than the nasty, untrustworthy National and the lapdogs, Seymour and Dunne.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.4

        But, but, it would have been worse…

        Isn’t a good reason to support legislation this bad. If National had passed it in the form that they made it everyone would have known that it was all because of National. Labour could have spent the next three years reminding people that National removes their rights but by supporting it they’ve removed their ability to remove when next in power and they can no longer use it as a Sword of Damascus.

        • Olwyn 3.1.4.1

          If National had passed it in the form that they made it everyone would have known that it was all because of National.

          Indeed, but National would then be free to use those powers for the duration of their tenure. One of the changes was that it now ends with this term of government, so they can in fact change it if they win the next election. And they will have plenty to shout about if National fail to hold to the limitations outlined in the agreement.

          I pretty much agree with Lprent, and think that they chose the lesser of two evils.

      • Anne 3.1.5

        @ lprent 3.1
        That’s my view too. A bit like the old union/government trick where the unions would demand a pay rise of… shall we say 10%. The government would offer 2.5%. They go into negotiations and they come out with an actual rise of 5% which was what both sides were going to agree to in the first place. But doing it the way they did meant both sides kept their supporters happy.

        That was in the ‘good old days’ when union membership was compulsory and governments negotiated general pay rises on a regular basis.

  4. SaveNZ 4

    I’m completely disgusted. Very disappointed with Little. My view is that the election was not a move to the right but a protest in particular to Labour about their poor performance as the opposition in the last 6 years. Hence a move to either NZ First or Conservatives or no vote. The Greens are looking better and better. The idea Labour support this bill after the Phil Goff affair is breathtaking. That a cheap apology, 7 mil in extra funding and the apology to John Key too from SIS after their performance and then greater powers. I liken it to family violence where the partner being beaten up is the offenders biggest supporter. Anyway worse than no intelligence from the SIS is flawed intelligence from the SIS – which is where this bill is headed. I think we all know (apart from Labour) how abused this law is going to be. The police already have this power but oh they are limited by something called the law and some sort of transparancy – something the SIS incompetence can hide from by making all their mistakes ‘classified”.

    • Chooky 4.1

      +100…”The Greens are looking better and better.”…and Winston NZF also stood his ground and the Maori Party

      …..really Labour has to do a rethink on this

  5. Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 5

    I happened to view one of Labour’s speeches last night, given by Jacinda, and I could not make sense of what truly are the real messages that Labour is attempting to convey:

    http://www.inthehouse.co.nz/video/35363

    Agree with the principles of the bill? Quibble about the process and some details? Criticise and verbalise some opposition against the bill, but support National anyway in passing it? Can someone help make some sense of all this?

    ?The numbers for pushing this poorly unjustified bill through the House was:

    * opposed by Greens (14) + NZ First (11) + Maori Party (2) = 27

    * passed by the simple majority of National (60) + ACT (1) + UF (1) = 62

    * supported by Labour (32).

    • Ross 5.1

      Agreed Kiwiri. Do the Labour Party not care enough to educate their supporters on the reasons for this incredible betrayal (good word to use for it Blip!) Maybe there are elements to the issue that we are not aware of? Could someone from Labour please explain what the what?

    • Chooky 5.2

      I wonder how many votes Labour has just lost…and will continue to bleed over this fiasco ?

      imo …it is going to get more and more unpopular as NZers wake up to its implications and have their democracy and rights violated

      The very least the Labour Party could have done was to make it a conscience vote …and even better, put a referendum to their members !

      • les 5.2.1

        none from the public at large.They have accepted that Keycorp is looking after them,keeping them safe.

    • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 5.3

      erm … typo
      should have been “poorly justified”

    • Ergo Robertina 5.4

      Classic bit of plaintive hand-wringing, that speech by Jacinda.
      It doesn’t make sense – she says the bill would be voted against by Labour if it was a first reading. Which implies the threat level is such that Labour now has no choice, despite the lack of democratic process. Yet she also says the security threat is higher in Australia and Britain, and those countries are going through a proper process.

    • MrSmith 5.5

      Some were suggesting Jacinda as deputy leader of Labour, please, she comes across as bright as a bucket of hammers.

      The Government attacking the Greens all day, why? Because they are the opposition thats why! Labour seem to believe what’s left of there supporters, couldn’t give a toss about more surveillance powers to the Governments pet dirt digger the SIS.

      Labour sending us mixed messages again, while waiting for the incumbents to fall apart.

      Vote Labour get National.

    • Murray Rawshark 5.6

      Jacinda Ardern conforms my opinion that she is spectacularly useless. She should have talked about her dad the cop and how he always wanted more powers for himself and his mates. That would be one of the values she shares with NAct as well. He is presently High Commissioner of Niue, where a man holding an anti FJK sign was kidnapped by the local poaka and held until FJK had left the island. Daddy was previously the Police Commissioner. We need a justice spokesperson who’s seen things from the other side, or at least a neutral perspective.

  6. adam 6

    Personally this move from labour is great – It is good to see them they laying the foundation for a grand coalition with national now. Come next election with a failing national, and a public who may just want to see a brighter and fulsome future for them and theirs. The labour party can do the right thing and form a government with national, to protect us from ourselves. Dam freedom and dam you pesky socialists. Free markets are the only answer, because of this ideology we have peace – and the people are protected. Long live labour, and their commitment to the working man.

    • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 6.1

      laying the foundation for a grand coalition with national

      Well, if the foundations for a grand coalition are being laid, then this MMP system is one that I would find very difficult to support !

      I had to come back online in the past few minutes because the actions of Labour MPs in the past 24 hours are quite disturbing and I am searching for more information on the web to figure out their thinking.

      I would hope very much that we are not seeing early signs of a grand coalition on surveillance that would set the precedent and take shape in other areas such as trade (e.g. support for TPPA), exploitation of the environment (e.g. oil drilling), etc.

  7. While I broadly agree with your post, I’d dispute: “The neo-liberal agenda was heralded in 1981”.

    The Thatcher, Reagan, Douglas era is the second iteration of Neoliberalism, the first was during the seventies in Chile, at the point of a gun:
    * Neoliberalism – Chile
    * Chicago Boys

    By the end of Pinochet’s reign around 44% of Chilean families were living below the poverty line.

  8. Sabine 8

    The National ideology comes from this guy

    http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Grover_Norquist

    2001[edit]
    I don’t want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.

  9. mickysavage 9

    Thanks BLiP. My personal view is the law changes should have been opposed. There has been no justification offered for the increase of powers apart from “terrorists will attack cricket games”.

    I have no idea about Caucus debates and I have spoken to no MPs on the issue. But instead of trying to triangulate the issue my preference is that they work out the relevant principles and stick to them.

    The principle here is that giving increased surveillance powers to the Government should be opposed unless the case for has been properly established. And changing the law under urgency means that the threshold should have been set really high.

    And if it was the police seeking the increase of power I would have been worried. But it was the SIS who have been shown recentlt to have been hopelessly politically compromised. Until they are shown to have sorted their issues out there is no way they should be given any additional powers.

    • b waghorn 9.1

      Is it possible that Little has been shown files of threats in side nz that have made them decide to back the bill?

      • Anne 9.1.1

        @ b waghorn
        Yes. Little would have had a full briefing by the SIS director ahead of the passing of the legislation. He did say within days of becoming leader that if the perceived threat could be backed up by evidence, Labour would consider supporting an amended version of the bill. He used words to that effect anyway.

        • Saarbo 9.1.1.1

          @Anne
          This is a very relevant piece of info. In saying that, post Tuhoe raids I haven’t got much faith in our intelligence….putting these new powers in the hands of these clowns could be more dangerous than the terrorists.

          • Anne 9.1.1.1.1

            As b waghorn says below… sometimes you have to trust the buggers.

            Put it this way, imagine what would happen if some ideologically deranged supporters of ISIS decided to take matters into their own hands and did an equivalent of the 1984 Wellington Trades Hall bombing incident and several people were killed. Can you imagine the fallout for Labour if they had refused to support any legislation at all.

            Edit: btw, wasn’t the Tuhoe raid f**k-up to do with the police?

            • lprent 9.1.1.1.1.1

              Unfortunate but true.

              Of course that doesn’t mean that we become trusting. It just means that the debate gets framed around the passed law.

            • batweka 9.1.1.1.1.2

              Anne, that’s an argument for Labour supporting th legislation to protect its reputation with voters 🙁

              • Anne

                Yep batweka. National doesn’t have ownership of cynical politics. They’re the worst by far, but they all do it and some point or another.

            • Chooky 9.1.1.1.1.3

              Anne…have you heard of whipped up paranoia?…most experts say ISIS is not a threat in New Zealand

              • Anne

                I’m not speaking from a platform of paranoia Chooky. In fact, I’m in a better position than most to know the consequences of politically inspired paranoia. It was visited upon me some 20 plus years ago.

                I agree with you that ISIS itself is not a threat to NZ – at least not until we start sending our soldiers to Afghanistan to do battle with them . But a handful of unstable and impressionable people living here could pose a potential threat.

                • Chooky

                  @ Anne re…”a handful of unstable and impressionable people living here could pose a potential threat”.

                  really dont think so…no more threat than ever there was one….and not according to the experts….we dont NEED warrantless surveillance

                  • Anne

                    …we dont NEED warrantless surveillance.

                    Hell yes. I agree with that. My hope is Little and co. will remove it as soon as they can.

                    I actually don’t think we’re all that far apart when it comes to surveillance practices. It’s just some of us are willing to er… trust them for er… a teeny, weeny while.
                    Time will tell who is right and who isn’t.

        • b waghorn 9.1.1.2

          Probably the wrong place to say this but some times you have to trust the buggers.

          • batweka 9.1.1.2.1

            why?

            • b waghorn 9.1.1.2.1.1

              Because if we can’t trust them ever we might as well go pull down parliament and start again.

              • batweka

                ah ok you are talking about MPs, I thought you were talking about spies.

                I will never trust a word that comes out of Key’s mouth. Little I trust, but that’s been undermined this week.

                • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark

                  Other than Little, who were the Labour MPs responsible for studying the Bill and pushing it through as we have it now?

                  Possibly related to that, who were the Labour MPs on the select committee for that Bill?

              • Colonial Rawshark

                You do know that politicians come up right near used car salesmen right, in terms of where they stand in public “trust”?

                Please explain: what good is parliament when it acts unaccountably against the people? Why not simply push MPs – who you know sway like reeds in the wind – to do the right thing instead of “trusting” them?

          • Murray Rawshark 9.1.1.2.2

            Sometimes they have to trust us.

            • b waghorn 9.1.1.2.2.1

              Nice fantasy land tell that to Lee Rigby s mum

              • Colonial Rawshark

                Don’t be a stupid prick. Is Lee Rigby’s Mum a New Zealand citizen? Would our anti-terrorism bill have prevented him from being targeted? Did the GCHQ and NSAs total control and surveillance of UK communications stop Rigby’s death?

                So why not answer the point instead of bringing up irrelevant distractions. Why don’t our political and power elite trust the rest of us noobs? Because that really is the heart of the matter isn’t it?

                And by the way, Lee Rigby – who did not deserve to die – was a serving part of a military coalition which has killed tens of thousands of civilians over the last few years. Neither did any of those people deserve to die. But you know, empire.

                • b waghorn

                  The reason I mentioned Lee Rigby is that those killers were’t sophisticated agents they were delusional muppets and that is the sort we are most likely to get in this country that need to be kept an eye on.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    What utter bullshit. Answer the point.

                    Did the massive and pervasive security and surveillance apparatus of the GCHQ and NSA throughout all of the UK’s communications systems save Lee Rigby’s life from those “delusional muppets”. Hundreds of millions of pounds of civil liberties destroying intrusion, did it manage to save Rigby’s life from “delusional muppets”?

                    TL:DR you’re totally dreaming.

                    • b waghorn

                      No it didn’t save his life but can you give me your 100% assurance that those same system s have not stopped other Lee Rigby situation s or worse.

        • The Chairman 9.1.1.3

          @Anne

          Other Parties were also briefed.

          Apart from acknowledging an increase in the official threat level (from very low to low) Labour (nor any other party) have made mention of being privy to any such additional information.

          Additionally, if an incident were to happen now or in the future, it will show that increasing security by removing our rights is no guarantee an event won’t take place, thus no fallout (of merit) for Labour.

      • Clemgeopin 9.1.2

        If that is true, why can’t he be transparent and tell us he has seen that stuff and agrees there is imminent threat necessitate this draconian bill?

    • Manuka AOR 9.2

      @MS: “my preference is that they work out the relevant principles and stick to them.”

      I think that is the only way to prevent continual erosion of fundamental human rights, by powerful entities with their own agendas.

      “But it was the SIS who have been shown [recently] to have been hopelessly politically compromised. Until they are shown to have sorted their issues out there is no way they should be given any additional powers.”

      Exactly.

  10. Draco T Bastard 10

    With their support of this bill Labour have shown who’s side their on and it’s not that of NZers or NZ.

  11. philj 11

    Ho hum. Laybour have made a boo boo. Has anything been learnt? What is next?

  12. Humphrey 12

    Why is the entrenched system of governance a system that is guaranteed to repeat its historic and psychologically repeatable failings?

    Given that history, both recent and later, and numerous psychological studies show power corrupts most people, using the same system and allowing money in politics, is pure madness, isn’t it?

    The same level of self serving, corrupt behaviour across the board, in this type of faux-democracy (40% didn’t vote), is not going to solve the problems they created.

  13. Manuka AOR 13

    Some relevant links:

    The bill itself can be read here:
    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/bill/government/2014/0001/latest/DLM6316017.html?src=qs
    It is the “Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill” and it can also be downloaded as a pdf, from that link. One section is “Visual Surveillance Warrants”

    Jacinda can be heard here:
    http://www.inthehouse.co.nz/video/35363

    Dr Graham’s response is on this page at the moment (I don’t have the inthehouse link):
    https://www.greens.org.nz/news

    • Manuka AOR 13.1

      This link gives the Committee’s amendments/ recommendations, and is much easier to follow than the original bill-link above. http://www.legislation.govt.nz/bill/government/2014/0001/latest/whole.html

      Labour and Green Party views are also set out.
      Labour intro: “Labour set out to achieve an appropriate balance between powers needed by security agencies to keep New Zealanders safe and necessary safeguards to avoid unwarranted intrusion into their privacy and freedoms.

      “This bill as introduced failed to find this balance. The process that the Government followed was appalling, pushing through legislation with intrusive powers in just over a week with only two days allowed for public submission. For a bill of this significance, this timeframe was unacceptable.”

      Greens intro: “The Green Party opposes this bill. The primary case for the legislation has not been made, the political foundation for the legislation is weak, and the drafting of the legislation is flawed.”

  14. Labour’s “breathtaking hypocrisy” ? Yes, and in the long run, vote bleeding stupidity.

    I enjoyed the Little feeling of hope and pride while it lasted, but this Party is over.

    Time to go home. The future is Green….if there is to be a future.

  15. SaveNZ 15

    Does this make sense – according to National there may be a terrorist threat heightened due to the Cricket match.

    Logic would dictate cancel the Cricket.

    But no the government just rams through laws to survey all kiwis without a warrant and to be able to cancel/suspend their passports at will. Must pass with urgency due to the impending Cricket match.

    Our government believes kiwis lives at risk are worth less that the cricket.

    Sounds about right.

    Lets face it this bill is nothing to do with Terrorism it is all about State power and control. A move towards Totalitarianism.

    But then everyone pins their hopes on the opposition in particular Labour. But again they flip flop and support it anyway with conditions. Labour are confused why so many supporters have deserted them and call them NationalLite.

    It is a worse betrayal from Labour as people expect more of them in regards to human rights. Note to Labour – reread Animal Farm.

    • Colonial Rawshark 15.1

      The cricket is, of course, nothing more than a BS smokescreen for implementing brick by brick the security and surveillance state being required of all Five Eyes partners.

  16. Sable 16

    As I have said again and again Labour are not Labour anymore, just a party with that name. The socialist ideology that Labour was founded upon has been lost in favour of neo liberal principles not too different from National.

    I think many people have woken up to this reality which is why we saw people like Winston Peters gain ground last election at Labours expense. This is a good thing in my opinion.

    The question is where will this take us next election? Hopefully a Greens/NZ First majority government with minority Labour support.

    • Clemgeopin 16.1

      Interesting! Can never say never if Greens and NZF get average about 22%each=44% +Maori 2%+IMP 5%=51%.
      Only problem is Winston may retire in peace and the Greens, Norman/Shaw may be wooing the Nats by 2017 for all we know.
      Never say never!

  17. Bob 17

    “Last year, Labour railed against the way the National Ltd™ Cult of John Key rammed through the GCSB legislation. At the time, previous Labour Party Leader David Cunliffe promised New Zealanders that Labour would change the law to ensure it was “more protective of New Zealanders’ rights to privacy and freedom”. In the week before the new legislation introduced, current Labour Party Leader, Andrew Little, was in full-on righteous indignation about the politicisation of the security services. More than one political commentator has noted Labour’s breath-taking hypocrisy over this issue.”
    I don’t see this as hypocrisy by Andrew Little at all, last year he was fighting on the basis of ideology (as most commentors here are), this year he is making decisions as the leader of the opposition who is briefed on the actual current risks.
    Perhaps if this was looked at with an open frame of mind (considering this legislation will only be in place for around a year), some may put two and two together and realise this may actually be needed in the short term….

    • Colonial Rawshark 17.1

      Ideology is critical. It creates a framework for making decisions based on sound values and strong principles. Exactly the kind of thing the right wing has tried to dismiss for decades.

      All short term operational risks were entirely manageable under the post 9/11 regime put in by Helen Clark.

      This latest move is nothing more than tightening the screws of the security and surveillance state over ordinary people.

      • Iron Sky 17.1.1

        CR, you might find this interesting:

        http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jun/19/nsa-surveillance-attack-american-citizens-noam-chomsky

        “Governments should not have this capacity. But governments will use whatever technology is available to them to combat their primary enemy – which is their own population,”

        “They [governments and corporations] take whatever is available, and in no time it is being used against us, the population. Governments are not representative. They have their own power, serving segments of the population that are dominant and rich.”

        “Take a look at drones, and what is developing. You will find new drone technology being used in 10 or 12 years from now. They are looking at [trying to make] tiny drones that can go in your living room, like a fly on the wall.” End Quotes

        Oh to be a fly on the wall at Johnny’s office.

      • Bob 17.1.2

        Ideology is critical, I agree there, however when a situation arises that requires action outside of your pre-conceived ideology and doing nothing is not an option, there has to be the ability for movement. In this case Andrew Little has more information than any of us and he has obviously decided that a short term solution is better than sitting on our hands.
        He has obviously pissed off the ideologues here, but he will likely win wider support with ‘middle NZ’ by showing he can comprimise and work towards solutions rather than throw up ideological brick walls.

        • Colonial Rawshark 17.1.2.1

          What are you talking about here?

          How do you win votes by compromising your principles and compromising what you stand for? That’s idiotic and a recipe that has failed Labour year after year after year.

          Post 9/11 intelligence and counter-terrorism legislation dealt with Al Qaeda and other threats which were far more real and present, and less media manufactured.

          All this is doing now is tightening the security and surveillance state over the rest of society, under any pretext available.

          • Bob 17.1.2.1.1

            “What are you talking about here?”
            I am talking about the fact Andrew Little seems to have changed his pre-conceived ideals when the has more information. He hasn’t gone so far as to agree to new permanent laws, but has agreed to temporary legislation as a short term answer while he has a chance to put forward a long term solution that does fit his ideals.

            “How do you win votes by compromising your principles and compromising what you stand for? That’s idiotic and a recipe that has failed Labour year after year after year.”
            Ask John Key, is it a recipe that has failed him year after year?

            “Post 9/11 intelligence and counter-terrorism legislation dealt with Al Qaeda and other threats which were far more real and present, and less media manufactured”
            Andrew Littles change of heart when presented with the true facts (I am guessing he has been briefed since he is now leader of the opposistion) would suggest otherwise.

            • The Chairman 17.1.2.1.1.1

              Bob, Key isn’t winning on principles, he’s largely sailing through on charisma, spin and off the back of a poorly performing opposition.

    • MrSmith 17.2

      “(considering this legislation will only be in place for around a year)”
      Dream on Bob, 2017 it lapses as I understand it, and we have a full review before then, so you can bet they will come up with some other imagined treat by then, or and we will be donkey deep in Iraq.

      • Bob 17.2.1

        2017 Labour will be in power won’t they? So they can run the show how they like, in the mean time, as I said to CR above Andrew Little has more information than any of us and he has obviously decided that a short term solution is better than sitting on our hands.
        He has just been voted into his position as the person Labourites trust most to lead the party (in theory), so why would they not trust his judgement on this?

        • The Chairman 17.2.1.1

          Bob, other Parties were also briefed.

          Apart from acknowledging an increase in the official threat level (from very low to low) Labour (nor any other party) have made mention of being privy to any such additional information.

          And to save face, clearly Labour would.

          Being the most trusted of what most think are an untrustworthy lot (politicians) means little.

        • Colonial Rawshark 17.2.1.2

          Because its the wrong fucking decision to give the security and surveillance state even more far reaching powers.

        • MrSmith 17.2.1.3

          Who knows Bob, but that’s hardly relevant is it, what is relevant is National appear to be preparing for a threat that I believe is only likely to eventuate if we send troops into Iraq.

          I’m a Green party supporter Bob, so trust their judgment not Labours.

          Listen to this speech it spells out clearly why we shouldn’t get involved. Clark had the good sense not to get us involved. Let the US , Ozzy and the UK clean up their own mess.

          A good speech

  18. KJS0ne 18

    BliP, really glad to see at least one author here has their head screwed on properly, and not lost in that bollocks apologist crap that seeks to paint Labour’s decision to support NZ’s PATRIOT act in a pragmatic or even positive light.

    Deeply upset by all this. Where are we going as a nation? It looks like we’re setting ourselves up to be the 51st state of the USA.

  19. greywarshark 19

    I can understand some people here wishing that we could as a country do things better and not have to compromise in a pragmatic way and manage as well as possible with our unsatisfactory reality. But they need to start a new pressure group that spells out the right way to behave and doesn’t concern itself about getting into government. And they shouldn’t slag off Labour for not going the purist way.

    Or they could start their own Party, the FG Party (Fairy Godmother), where you wave your magic wand say what you want and ‘It shall be so” and it happens.
    Theme song – When you wish upon a Star by N’Sync.

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    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The fallacy of the proximity argument.
    Longer term readers may remember my complaining that, as a political scientist, it is burdensome to have non-political scientists wanting to engage me about politics. No layperson would think to approach an astrophysicist and lecture him/her on the finer details of quarks and black holes, but everybody with an opinion ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Where We Stood: Chris Trotter Replies To Stevan Eldred-Grigg.
    Joining The Fight: Stevan Eldred-Grigg's argument for New Zealand staying out of the Second World War fails not only on the hard-headed grounds of preserving the country’s strategic and economic interests; and not just on the soft-hearted grounds of duty and loyalty to the nation that had given New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago

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