There is no doubt that Judith Collins’ underhanded tactics have directly caused people to be harassed and abused online. I find this somewhat ironic being that it was Crusher Collins herself who first initiated cyber bullying laws which have only recently come into effect. It's also ironic that a so-called Justice Minister has acted with such disregard for natural justice and the letter of the law.
Clearly in breach of her duty to act fairly, the Minister hasn't even bothered to apologise for her numerous and entirely unacceptable transgressions. Believing herself above the law, the Minister has even claimed that she's already been cleared of any wrongdoing.
Yesterday, the NZ Herald reported:
Collins forced to backtrack over claim she'd been cleared
Under-pressure Justice Minister Judith Collins has had to backtrack this morning, after mistakenly saying the Privacy Commissioner had cleared her of wrong-doing in giving the details of a public servant to Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater.
But Privacy Commissioner John Edwards did no such thing, and suggested that he would investigate if the public servant in question, Internal Affairs official Simon Pleasants, laid a complaint.
Ms Collins' actions were exposed in Nicky Hager's Dirty Politics. She gave the details of Mr Pleasants to Mr Slater, who published them, leading Mr Pleasants to be abused on his WhaleOil blog.
However, it was far worse than just a bit of abuse. In passing on the private details of a public servant she didn't like, the Minister and her attack blogger caused Simon Pleasants to receive serious death threats. This is something Collins won't even acknowledge let alone be properly interviewed about.
Believing herself immune to public pressure, the Minister of injustice is displaying a complete lack of any moral judgement. Clearly the unwise Judith Collins is therefore not fit to be a Minister, and in my opinion she's not fit to be in parliament at all.
Why then has the Prime Minister not sacked her? Surely John Key cannot condone such despicable behaviour as that displayed by Judith Collins? Because of the serious nature of such underhanded dealings she has been a party to, I believe it's important to find the reasons behind the apparent lack of any standards within the National party, standards that John Key had promised he would hold his Ministers accountable to.
Some commentators have claimed that the reason the Minister hasn't yet been sacked is because it would look bad in the lead up to an election. However the overwhelming consensus is that Judith Collins must have some dirt on John Key and is effectively blackmailing him to retain her position. This may seem far-fetched unless you've actually read Nicky Hager's excellent book, Dirty Politics, to see what these evil people really get up to.
Personally I think it's a little bit of both...Key cannot afford to lose such a high-profile Minister just week's before polling day. He also cannot afford to have Judith Collins and her attack blogger go feral and start campaigning against him. However there is the distinct possibility that Judith Collins has something over John Key, something that the Prime Minister will do just about anything to keep out of the public domain.