Wednesday, 21 August 2013

#SurveillanceState: Privacy for me, but not for thee, say National ministers [updated]

The presumption of Westminster Government ever since the 1688 Bill of Rights used to be that anything was allowed citizens except what was prohibited by law, while nothing was permitted government except what was permitted—with one important corollary therefrom that while citizens should be safe from intrusion into their privacy and property except by due process of law, government itself should be transparent.

That presumption is dead.

Apparently when it comes to privacy and property, politicians think they are our masters and not our servants. One rule for them, and another for us, it seems. 

This view is confirmed today in the questioning of David Henry by parliamentarians over his cavalier release of emails between Peter Dunne and journalist Andrew Vance.

“I found it quite chilling that the private emails and communications of ministers and staff were treated with a contemptuous attitude,” says Judith Collins, who this afternoon will file into the Ayes lobby to vote to treat our own private communications with unutterable contempt.

“Don’t you realise that communications between ministers and journalists are sacred,” says Gerry Brownlee, who after lunch will shuffle down to the Chamber to make all communications between you and I profane.

These two slugs recognise the chilling effect of making private communications public—they understand their sanctity.

But only when it comes to themselves.

They are, in a word, disgusting.

UPDATE: John Banks compounds the disgust, suggesting during his own line of questioning that the Henry inquiry had “trampled on the rights and freedoms of Members of Parliament and the fourth estate in a very cavalier manner.” This afternoon this sorry excuse for a human being, whose one vote will get the National bill through the House, will confirm his lack of any credentials to lead a supposedly liberal party by agreeing to trample on the rights and freedoms of every New Zealander.”

He is, in a word, a hypocrite.


  1. Have a read of my Twitter exchange with National MP Paul Foster-Bell last night. I put on my blog here this morning (covered Groklaw also):

  2. hypocrisy (n.)c.1200, ipocrisie, from Old French ypocrisie, from Late Latin hypocrisis, from Greek hypokrisis "acting on the stage, pretense," from hypokrinesthai "play a part, pretend,"

    person (n.) early 13c., from Old French persone "human being, anyone, person" (12c., Modern French personne) and directly from Latin persona "human being, person, personage; a part in a drama, assumed character," originally "mask, false face," such as those of wood or clay worn by the actors in later Roman theater.

  3. On the subject of hypocrisy...

    I do hope none of the 2.2 million people who at the last General Election looked down at their ballot paper, saw the Libertarianz box ...and DIDN'T tick it will be whingeing and moaning about their loss of freedoms and rights after today.

    You had your chance!

    I had the good fortune of casting both votes for the Libz - albeit not overly impressed with the candidate (who seemed a bit of a wanker, to be honest HAHAHA!) - so am one of the few who are 'pure' and have the moral highground, as with so many issues.

  4. Its not so much the doing it in the first place (which I do hate when its not for really good reason) as the inability to get redress when its done illegally (assuming it was proveably so).

    They really are a pack of complete and utter, utter bastards.


  5. Interesting to see the spin spewing out of big govt apologists dpf and whaleoil too ...


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