Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Knives Out

Mike Moore has thrown a Molotov cocktail in amongst the pigeons. Oh, to be the tea lady in the Labour caucus room right now. This looks like it could get very nasty. Good. Politics is supposed to be a blood sport. While Audrey Young ponders what rationale Mike Moore had for declaring war on his old party (was it the clumsy attacks on Key, was it on behalf of an old mate?), it's pretty clear what the catalyst for this swipe at Helen Clark is. The Electoral Finance Bill.

Although it's difficult to pinpoint exactly when the Labour administration began diverging from the public good per se, the Electoral Finance Bill conclusively demonstrated how far gone wrong it all is. Appropriate words to describe how mind-gawpingly bad this self-serving slice of shite is is a challenge. I had to call in the professionals. The day the Law Commission released its comprehensive trashing of the Police Search & Surveillance practices, I sent this off to the Commission:

Good on the Law Commission for its constructive criticism of the police search and surveillance laws. Will the Law Commission be releasing a public statement on its position on the Electoral Finance Bill? Due to its constitutional ramifications and severe impact on the Bill of Rights Act, it is in the public interest for the Law Commission to form a view on the issue. If the police laws can be described as a mess, I'd be interested to see what metaphors Sir Geoff can come up with for this Bill.


Will de Cleene
A week later, this pops in Tuesday last week:
Will De Cleene

Thank you for your endorsement of our recent comments on the need to reform search and surveillance powers. Our comments on this followed release of a very substantial Law Commission report (NZLC R97) on the topic, which is available on our website,

The Commission's principal work is on major law reform projects, such as the search and surveillance one, and we do not normally comment on Bills introduced to Parliament. I note that the Crown Law Bill of Rights vet of the Electoral Finance Bill can be found on the Ministry of Justice website.

Law Commission staff provide a template report on all new Government legislation for the Legislation Advisory Committee (LAC) based on the LAC Guidelines. These relate to technical legislative standards rather than the policy or political content of new legislation. LAC may choose to take any matters further.

Thank you for your cheerful message.

Margaret Thompson
Special Projects Adviser
By Friday, Sir Geoff had been roped in to sacrifice his reputation for this godawful Bill. Or had he? I credit the man with enough intelligence to stand well clear of this craptacular Bill. I like to think I did my part in the whole thing.

The Crown Law Bill of Rights vet thing is cunningly neutral, not even a link. This is probably the same Crown Law Office that would see no Bill of Rights issues if a Bill to prevent Americans from emigrating to NZ whisked past their rubber stamp.

So, I am glad that Mike Moore has joined Michael Bassett and others to give this Labour administration a few well-deserved slaps across the face. I am a Labour man born and bred, but I cannot abide the willful destruction of so many hard-earned footholds on this land just to preserve the power of this Labour Government.

The choice open for Labour is to lose graciously or lose badly. Everything spewing out of the Beehive points to the lose badly path. Cullen's mouthing off over suspending monetary policy points to a complete disregard of common sense. The Finance Minister, like the Reserve Bank Governor, is supposed to smooth the waters of economic management, not jitter the fuck out of the currency markets. We've got enough external shocks to cope with without having a malicious clusterfuck of a Finance Minister spooking the horses.

Labour's attempted strategy to smear Key has been obvious and clumsy. And, in the case of the Air NZ Aussie troop transporter debacle, bordered on self-mutilation. You wanna get personal? Sure, we'll get personal. Know this, Jim Anderton. I will dance on your grave. See? It's easy. But this is what Oppositions do, not Governments. Govern, Labour, govern!