Chris Trotter on the GCSB Bill and whinging journos

Chris Trotter has perhaps the most sensible left wing analysis of the GCSB Bill and the whining of journalists.

[T]his is where I believe New Zealand public opinion currently stands in relation to the GCSB Amendment Bill, and the apparent, state-sanctioned, invasion of journalists Andrea Vance’s and Jon Stephenson’s professional and personal privacy.

If directly challenged on these issues, I suspect most Kiwis will come out unequivocally for the protection of their own personal privacy and, rather less enthusiastically, for the freedom of the press. What they remain to be convinced of, however, is that the GCSB Amendment Bill constitutes a serious threat, either to themselves or people like them

So, a few political activists will have their “metadata” analysed and their e-mails intercepted. So what? It’s probably prudent to keep a watchful eye on such people. And, as for the rights of journalists? Well, for these exploiters of personal grief and political misadventure, the public has only one question: “How does it feel?”

Labour and the Greens have come out swinging on behalf of the public’s right to privacy and the freedom of the press because their MPs know that the people who vote for them care passionately about such things and expect them to take a strong stand in their defence.

National MPs, by contrast, are quietly confident that the Centre-Left’s concerns are minority concerns. Mr Key’s majority support is not about to abandon his government for left-wing activists, or journalists. At least, not any time soon.

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