While we wait for real details to emerge on the Tuhoe Terrorists, we are left with sheer speculation, rumour, gossip and innuendo to base our conclusions at present. On the whole, it's best to leave that cat in the box a bit longer. What the hell, way it looks so far... A few people did some very stupid things. The cops, pushed too soon once the hunters bumped into something, over-reacted.
There's every chance I'm completely wrong. Perhaps the cops will lay out some heinous plan with a veritable cornucopia of inflammatory, incriminatory evidence. Time will tell. What is clear from Peter Wiliams QC getting involved with the Ruatoki locals, is that the cops had better come up with a phenomenally good reason to do what they did up there. The police wouldn't dream of pulling that shit in Remuera. Would they hunt for a panther by roadblocking, photographing and searching the Parnell People? The ends had better justify the means.
Not that this is a big problem for Helen Clark at present. Failing to secure state funding for political campaigns through the EFB beta version hasn't prevented her from achieving the same thing through the Appropriation (Continuation of Interim Meaning of Funding for Parliamentary Purposes) Bill.
Nor is blaming Treasury as the reason for not having personal tax cuts until election year '08 beyond the pale. Cullen remaining as Finance Minister means that Labour intend to hit big. Cullen is already underselling the tax cuts. Under-promise, over-deliver. Expect to see the first $xxxx income made tax-free and rammed through just before the election. Doing so would cost only slightly more than the interest-free student loan thumbsucker, while bringing NZ into line with Oz's tax regime.
I felt a bit of sympathy for the poor buggers protesting outside the Labour Party conference. Sure, the wild-eyed frenzies were a bit full-on, but good on them trying some amateur dramatics for the cameras. I have organised peaceful political protests before, but the media just aren't interested. Peaceful gatherings where nothing happens just isn't good telly. Guantanamo wannabes and army fatigue guy was at least an attempt to tangify the protest in the televisual aesthetic. Whacking someone with a megaphone on camera is also good telly.
I'm looking forward to the fireworks display in the harbour in just over an hour. Regardless of how crap the day of November the 5th is in Wellington, it always clears up in time for the big bangs. Tonight's goona be a corker. It's not just the main display that grabs me every time, but also the entire city's backyards full of light and sound. Pity the tyrant is threatening to ban the whole gig if we don't behave. Pressure valves are there for a reason. Pity there's no way to tell which way the wind is blowing when you're in the House of Representatives.