Agreeing with Pagani, Again

I need to stop making a habit of agreeing with John Pagani, but he keeps on saying sensible things. This time on the Urewera issue and the Search and Surveillance Bill:

I’ve filed a longer piece elsewhere on this, but it’s worth a mention because of the deafening silence among other left blogs today:

Members of the “Urewera 18” group threw Molotov cocktail fire bombs and fired semi-automatic weapons at training camps in the bush, court documents show.

This news demolishes the comfortable, smug analysis of Urewera that said the cops over-reacted and that the local cop could have just wandered up the hill and told them all to calm down.

No wonder they didn’t want the evidence to come out.

There is a twisted far-left narrative that goes: The cops needed to confect a conspiracy because they were so excited about a war on terror! Having a Terrorism Act they had to find some terrorists! They made it up!.

Anyone repeating this claim now discredits themselves.

Molotov cocktails and semi-authomatic [sic] weapons require lengthy and detailed explanations from the accused (and now acquitted) long before they require explanations from the police.

Yes, there is a right to silence in criminal law. But we are talking not about criminal sanction.

These people have demanded the moral high ground, and demanded the support of the left. Far to many gifted it too cheaply.

I now have a new found respect for John Pagani.


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  • GPT

    These turkeys were able to rely on a monumental cock up by Parliament in not giving police appropriate investigative powers despite 14 years of warning (in 1997 the CA opined that there did not appear to be any legislative authority for trespassory video surveillance). They were able to rely on the Bill of Rights Act – as any citizen can – to their benefit all the while claiming the moral highground. Well that’s fine. There’s another legal principle in play as well as their rights to not be subject to unreasonable search and seizure – the right to open justice. The public have a right to know what was so important that the police acted unlawfully in their investigation and committed significant force to stopping it. Every piece of evidence released to date suggest that AT THE VERY LEAST police were acting proportionately and on credible concerns.

    Is refreshing to see someone on the left expressing that and moving away from the ridiculous notion (peddled by Jon Johanssen (sp?)) on Q&A that the police should have sent the local bobby up on his bicycle to suggest they might like to dial back on the revolution rhetoric and playing with things that go boom.

    Another clue to how serious the issue was is foundat para 139 of the Hamed judgment where Blanchard J quotes Winkelmann J who recorded that [the police had cause to suspect] “…a planned event would take place inthe near future, and would involve civil disruption and at least risk of injury and death”

  • Pagani

    I need to stop typing shit on my iPad because it leads to the ignorant looking typos you have extracted here. I have corrected them on my site.

    • Doesn’t detract from what you had to say though. Good on you for saying it.

    • What WO said. Full marks for having the guts to confront what will be a highly unpopular subject on the Left.

  • GPT

    As an aside he even made sense on Q&A the other day, in between some carefully timed barbs at the government (fair enough given his leanings), he gave Imran Khan a pretty good hit noting he was all for having a go at the people building schools in Afghanistan but never criticised those who throw acid in the faces of girls who go to those schools.

  • Anonymous

    That’s what I like about the VRWC. We can approve of the opinions of others that we generally disagree with on idealogical grounds.

    Even if some believed it, you would never see statements such as John’s on Red Alert. And even if someone commented to that effect, it is likely it would be moderated out.

  • The silence from the left-leaning blogs on this has been deafening. Over at Keeping Stock, I have had Robert Guyton compare me to Michael Laws, which would probably not please either Laws or myself!

    Clearly, the Urewera defendants were up to no good. The only reason that the prosecutions have been dropped is because the evidence against them was ruled to have been illegally obtained. That does not mean that they were innocent babes-in-the-woods.

    Full marks to John Pagani for having the guts to call it as it clearly is. Watch for the knives to come out now, as they did for Sir Peter Leitch.