When the mask slips | The Jackal

13 Jul 2013

When the mask slips

Yesterday, the NZ Herald reported:

The Government's controversial legislation extending the GCSB's powers to spy on New Zealanders lacks sufficient checks against abuse of power or adequate transparency and accountability, the Human Rights Commission says.

Being that National has already stacked the Commission with right wing sympathizers, it's surprising they've come out against the proposed law change. This fact alone should give the government pause for thought.

But Mr Key dismissed the commission's concerns and criticised the quality of their work.

"I think the Human Rights Commission actually should take a step back and ask themselves the question why they failed to put a submission in on time. They are funded by the Government and they were the only people that couldn't actually make the deadline."

Except it’s not a submission, it's a report (PDF), which the Human Rights Commission can provide to the Prime Minister at any time it wishes. John Key should have known this, especially if he had bothered to read the first page that clearly says it's a report, not a submission.

But if that wasn't bad enough, the idiot Prime Minister follows up with:

"Actually the bill narrows the GCSB's scope in its current form, it doesn't extend it," he said.

Which is a complete lie! Everybody knows that the GCSB amendment bill (PDF) increases the powers of the GCSB. It's a pity the Prime Minister isn’t being properly held to account for his numerous untruths. Here’s another one:

"I actually don't think it was a very good submission at all, and they need to pull their socks up. If they're going to continue to be a government-funded organisation they should meet the deadlines like everyone else did."

If John Key had read the HRC’s report, he should have known it wasn't a submission. The first page has 'REPORT TO THE PRIME MINISTER' on it FFS! Key is clearly being dishonest and shouldn’t be commenting on something he hasn’t read. If he has read it, he’s simply manufacturing an excuse to threaten the HRC, which is totally despicable!

That’s what really got my goat about all this…threatening to cut the watchdog's funding because he didn't like their report is an abhorrent act that even Piggy Muldoon (if he were alive) would have trouble surpassing.

In light of the HRC coming out against extending the GCSB's powers because of insufficient safeguards, which is backed up by every submission so far, there should be no further progress of the GCSB law change through the House of Representatives. It clearly has no support from interested parties, nor does it have a mandate provided by the people of New Zealand. If John Key had any concern for our democracy, he would halt his pigheadedness forthwith.

Here's the Commissions response to Keys accusations: