I don't approve.
If we remove the conspiratorial rubbish from many commentators drawing connections between this amendment and recent arrests -- a coincidence that makes passing of the amendment more difficult rather than less, and a connection for which not a shred of proof has been adduced -- I'm in the unusual position of largely agreeing with quoted statements by two different parliamentary parties on the amendments.
Rodney Hide supported the original legislation in 2002 (as did I with some reservations), but he points out that removing High Court oversight of how powers are used is a step too far.
The very freedoms that we are trying to protect are being eroded... We can't defend our freedoms that we cherish by adopting fascist policies.True. Meanwhile Keith Locke pointed out that existing criminal law is quite able to tackle domestic terrorism without any need for increased powers, and he points out too that it's iniquitous to politicise sentencing by imposing higher sentences for 'political' violence than for more 'normal' and more 'senseless' violence.
Why should someone trying to save dolphins or native snails, if they ever happen to turn violent, be subject to more years in jail than a violent gang member with no social conscience?Fair question. (And pleasing to see Keith conceding the possibility that some of those trying to save dolphins or native snails might have turned violent. Would that others of Keith's persuasion consider the possibility.)
While it's gratifying to note these two principled stands, Labour-Lite meanwhile was trying to have it both ways, voting for an amendment that removes restraints on police and government while wringing their hands and whimpering that when anti-terrorist action is taken 'police better get it right, or else' -- hoping no one notices that it's the 'or else' that they've just voted to have removed.
So much confusion, so little sense. Much of the confusion comes from the genuine need to combat non-domestic terrorism (which is more a defence issue than a judicial one), and too from the foolishness of the appellation 'War on Terror' -- essentially a war against a tactic. Yaron Brook has been in the forefront of pointing out the foolishness of fighting a war against a tactic instead of accurately identifying your enemy, and the many advantages of accurate identification.
You don't fight a tactic. Terrorism is a tactic, and I believe we have to look at the ideological source of terrorism in order to identify the true enemy.As he points out, the primary ideological surce of non-domestic terrorism is Islamic Totalitarianism. Several advantages accrue from defining that non-domestic threat more clearly, including being able to examine alleged domestic threat less confusedly and with considerably less fear of hyperventilating -- avoiding especially the risk of wrapping up domestic threats of violence in flawed and conspiratorial package deals that give ammuntion to those skilled at using such conspiratorial capital for their own nefarious advantage .