In March of this year National recycled a private member’s bill that Mike Sabin originally championed. The bill if enacted would have permitted a Judge to draw an adverse inference from a defendant facing child sex abuse charges exercising the right to silence.
The bill was in the list of private members bills released on March 19, 2015. It had been in previous lists released in 2013 and 2014. But I have checked subsequent bills ballot lists and it has disappeared. It was not in any of the subsequent five lists including the latest list posted in September.
There are other scary sounding bills such as
Obviously these bills are designed to feed raw meat to National’s base. Clearly government backbenchers spend their time working out how to attack and marginalise poor people for political advantage.
I am pleased however that Sabin’s bill has been dropped. It was the worst sort of proposal. It lacked principle and was a crude attempt to engender red neck political support to solve a non existent problem. The fact the Government was not prepared to put it up as a Government bill shows how bad it was.
But the timing is interesting and I would like to claim a little bit of credit for this occurrence. My post of March 20, 2015 must have caused National to rethink its support for the bill. Maybe the strength of the argument made National realize it should ditch the bill …