Will Key resign after the Moment of Truth? | The Jackal

15 Sept 2014

Will Key resign after the Moment of Truth?

You might recall that around this time last year the National party, along with tobacco lobbyist Peter Dunne and the convicted criminal John Banks, changed the Government Communications Security Bureau Act 2003 (PDF) so it was retrospectively legal to spy on the general public. They did this because the GCSB had been caught out illegally spying on Kim Dotcom and more than 80 other New Zealanders, as revealed in the Rebecca Kitteridge's report (PDF).

After some prompting by Green party co-leader Russel Norman, an investigation was launched by the Police, who found that the GCSB had in fact broken the law. They then incorrectly decided not to lay charges, likely because of more government interference by certain National party MPs who have a vested interest in the law not being upheld.

Instead of coming clean about who exactly was being spied on, the Minister responsible, John Key, tried to rely on people's ignorance about the law by claiming the changes simply clarified the GCSB's legal framework. This was a blatant lie, with the amendments allowing for mass surveillance, widespread surveillance that was already within the GCSB's job description.

Today, the NZ Herald reported:

PM withheld spying data - critics

The Prime Minister has been accused of withholding critical information on proposed mass surveillance from the public ahead of new spying legislation going through Parliament.

The claims have come from Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald, Opposition parties and his own coalition partner, United Future leader Peter Dunne.

Greenwald and Mr Key are engaged in a high-stakes game of chicken over claims Kiwis are spied on - the journalist says spies at the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) are carrying out mass surveillance, while the Prime Minister says he stopped plans for such a scheme in March last year.

It would seem highly unlikely that a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist would put his reputation on the line without having some solid and irrefutable evidence. It would also seem that there's some pretty damning evidence if the right wings attempts to discredit and Key's "henchmen" reaction is anything to go by. The nervous little Prime Minister has once again resorted to name calling, because basically he doesn't have a leg to stand on.

So what are the consequences for John Key if Glenn Greenwald's evidence is robust?

On 20 August 2013, the NZ Herald reported:

Key: I'll resign if GCSB conducts mass surveillance

Prime Minister John Key says he and the head of GCSB would resign if the spy agency were found to have conducted mass surveillance.

He made the comment to reporters at Parliament in the light of assurances that the changes to the GCSB Act 2003 would not mean mass surveillance of New Zealanders.

Asked if he and GCSB chief Ian Fletcher would resign if there were mass surveillance, he said yes.

"But the facts of life are it won't happen."

Unfortunately for him, it looks like John Key's bluff is going to be called. In my opinion, if this major political event proves there's mass surveillance, Key should resign forthwith. Much of this will come down to public opinion, public opinion that is based on how well the mainstream media report on what's revealed. Unfortunately they've already been somewhat disparaging about the event and the people behind it.

Personally I think the Moment of Truth, which will be live streamed on The Daily Blog, will live up to the hype. The Prime Minister however, who isn't known for being a man of his word, will arrogantly refuse to resign. He may even try to discredit people by calling them more names...devastating!