Tuesday, 17 October 2006

Darnton: We're screwed

The legislation introduced under urgency this afternoon to validate this Labour Government's theft of money by which they stole an election is to be rammed through without the bill being available to view even by those voting on it, without debate on the Auditor-General's report which was the proximate cause of, without the advice on which the bill has been drawn up being made available, without any substantive debate on the bill being allowed by the speaker, and without any formal commitment to pay back the money illegally used. [Hat tip DPF]

Not only that, the advice is that the legislation has the effect of knocking out Bernard Darnton's case against Helen Clark, the Labour Party and Parliamentary Services. Says Bernard Darnton:

Retrospective legislation introduced into Parliament today will probably spell the end of Libertarianz leader Bernard Darnton's lawsuit against Helen Clark and other Labour members but Darnton is claiming a moral victory.

He says, “if Labour had thought they were in the right they would have seen us in court. In reality, they knew they were going to get a hiding and so they're changing the law before the case can be tried.

“This government has proven that they have no respect for the law. They've said they have legal opinions that differ to mine but they aren't prepared to see them fail in court. Right at the start of this case I said that this government thought they were above the law. They've proved me right in a very disturbing fashion.

“Changing the law to escape charges against them is something I'd expect from a third-world dictatorship. Sadly, New Zealand has no constitutional protections to prevent this type of abuse by a government that is, quite literally, out of control.”

Darnton is continuing to look at his legal options.

If the Foreshore and Seabed Act was introduced with the express aim of making it impossible to go to court to prove pre-existing property rights then this bill has the express aim of making it impossible to hold this Government to account, and the manner it is being introduced just shits all over any pretence at this country being a western liberal democracy in which the Government is subject to the rule of law.

We're fucked. Free speech is under attack. The rule of law is now a joke. And we have a Government that will do anything, including stealing an election, to stay in power.

This is not just a whiff of corruption: this is a whole toxic cloud of fetid power-lust that in a very short time has engulfed the political processes of this country.

UPDATE: Reaction everywhere. David Slack's is perhaps the most temperate, contrasting this to Fitzgerald v Muldoon and pointing out that the ruling then indicated that Parliament is supreme, something Muldoon at least was unwilling to use to his advantage -- a surprising scrupulousness this Government is unwilling to emulate.

LINKS: Moral victory for Bernard Darnton over pledge card - Bernard Darnton, Scoop
The Government is above the law - Darnton Vs. Clark
Fallout - David Slack

RELATED: Politics-NZ, Darnton V Clark, Free Speech, Constitution, Law, Politics-Labour


  1. They are scumbags, complete scumbags.
    I hope Brash has the balls to state that this will be overturned post election.

  2. Goodbye any pretence to being a democratic country.

  3. I think your comment from weeks ago that she is very much like the Red Queen is being proven true. Also my best friend has been saying Helen is acting a bit like Stalin in some ways. I think Helen might be trying to prove him right.

  4. I am not going to forget all that labourhas done when it comes to the next election (assuming we still have those then) & will be actively reminding joe public at the time . I suspect there be a hard swing towards national & united future & winston first will disappear into the midst of time.

  5. Helen Clark, 2003: "The government's role is whatever the government defines it to be."

    Thomas Jefferson: "The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground."

    Goodbye, democracy. You may not have worked very well, but at least we had one vote every three years. We'll miss you.

  6. All is NOT lost. This is a moral victory - the big task now is for all those who are offended by this act to not forget and let them know we do not forget it. Labour is hoping that given it is two years till the next election, that people will forget and be smiling at the new beads and trinkets they have thrown their way courtesy of the taxpayer.

    Labour used taxpayer's money to buy a cornerstone of its election campaign - the public knows it, and Labour changes the law to make it legal. Labour supporters can't, without some sort of Orwellian twist of reality, believe in their heart of hearts that if this had happened under National, that this would be seen as legitimate by them. It wouldn't be either.

    So don't forget and don't forget those other parties that complied with it.

  7. There is one last thing all of us can do in respect of this legislation, although it probably won't work.

    It is not law until the Governor General signs it, so I intend writing to the G-G and suggesting the 'Royal Ascent' be withheld. There is a (theoretical) power to do so, although it would mean plenty of brown stuff hitting the whirly thing.

    Remember, something similar has happened before in Australia in the 1970s. If the G-G loses confidence in the government, he could dismiss them and install a caretaker government (National) pending another election.

    Not going to happen, of course, but it never hurts to have enough people ask for it.

  8. Bernard Darnton comment...
    [Sadly, New Zealand has no constitutional protections to prevent this type of abuse by a government that is, quite literally, out of control.]

    Why can't NZ form a 'Constitution' to prevent this type of abuse by the sitting current or future government? If Tonga has a 'Constitution' (drafted by European missionaries in the 1870s based on British systems) which is smaller country than us (NZ), then there should be a referendum on this.

  9. Liberty Scott - Is that it? The sheeple now just go home and wait for an election? Where's the Hungarian spirit?


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