Snapper vs democracy | The Jackal

13 Aug 2013

Snapper vs democracy

It was disappointing to see the Prime Minister sidestep a majorly important issue by saying to Campbell Live reporter Rebecca Wright at the National party conference that New Zealanders are much more interested in the snapper quota. Whether they are or they are not is beside the point...John Key should answer questions put to him by the media, especially questions about the GCSB bill.

Sidestepping the issue by saying people care more about the snapper limit is like dismissing the thousands of GCSB protesters by saying more people were on the anti-mining protests. The government is now ignoring all protests, no matter the numbers or people involved.

Some of those opposing the GCSB bill for instance include The Law Society, Geoffrey Palmer, constitutional law experts and Dame Anne Salmond. John Key has dismissed these highly qualified people by saying they aren't experts, simply because he doesn't want to hear what they're saying.

Personally I think both topics are important. As a keen recreational fisher I think it's highly unfair that National wants to cut snapper limits while they aren't considering similar cuts to commercial fishing. As a private citizen of New Zealand I don't want to have all my communications intercepted by an agency that has already shown huge disregard for people's privacy and the law.

Contrary to what many are saying, I don't believe National has planned the snapper debacle as a red hearing. They have simply been caught out developing policy that only benefits private interests. John Key using that stuff up as an excuse to not answer questions about another stuff up, namely changing the law because the GCSB was caught illegally spying on at least 88 citizens, was clearly not planned. If it was, National needs a new spin-doctor, because Key looks like a complete dictator!

This isn't about snapper being a bigger issue than the GCSB bill. This is about the government not listening to the general public at all. Whether their fingers in the ears relate to mining, deep sea oil drilling, fishing or spying doesn't really matter. John Key isn't listening. That's why National deserves to lose the next election.

You can vote to support or oppose the GCSB bill here.