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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  • PlanetOrphan

    the public has only one question: “How does it feel?”


    • David

      GCSB hysteria

      Radical change is being promoted to every NZ citizen’s rights and freedoms, deserving of an informed dialogue, why are we being denied? Yes I understand it’s just to “tidy up the law” but what better time to engage in dialogue weighing up the compromise of our privacy against perceived threats, whilst it is so topical?

      We need to wake from the illusion others would create for us; that everybody needs to be monitored, just in case, to keep us safe. The government disingenuously thinks we misunderstand; they are just fixing existing laws so it becomes legal to spy, should they choose, with adequate oversight of course, worried?

      We perceive the world through our own lens. Haphazardly constructed by our environment, upbringing, experiences, we learned (self taught) it. From this we form our beliefs, truisms about ourselves, our individual identity. I am this or that, along with our own unique world view. We seek to reinforce this belief of self.

      What you believe is reality, right? Or is it just your perception of reality? If there is self, I, then there must be others.

      Perceptions formed after this lens filtering become beliefs. Our lens is the Ego.

      The Egoic self promotes separation, judgement, labelling. This is the problem. (Witnessed here)

      The media narrative can be very influential in forming these beliefs

      Repeating the same mistake, behaviour of the Egoic self over and over brings the same result; considered the definition of insanity!

      If you removed the Ego we are all the same, all one.

      Sadly you can witness these Ego’s in our Government’s debating chamber, failing to hear any competing narrative.

      Logically then our Egoic government is insane!

      This is counter-productive to good-governance. Unless insanity is the norm.

      Reality is; The GCSB proposed changes are to protect the Government from the people!

      If you were to consider the OBR (open bank resolution), another master stroke of covert legislation of this National government you might begin to feel uneasy about what this government is preparing for?

      There should be an opportunity to explore with calm rational dialogue whether such legislation at all is the way New Zealanders want to live; through fear do we want to suffer the consequences of being under the threat of constant surveillance. This is a radical change to our society, one that deserves discussion.

      Let’s remove these egomaniacs, before NZ goes down the shitter

      • PlanetOrphan

        Absolutely agree, but the opposition are arguing invalid points, the media are worse.

        Something to note in all this, is we spy on NZers every day if there is just cause, this is undertaken by undercover police, because of public request / information.

        If a Detective thinks a terrorist is operating with evil intent in this country they raise it with the appropriate beurocracy, they do this right now.

        These Law changes are meant to facilitate further investigation, and the opposition / media forecer pain ting as a “What About Me ?” issue have destroyed any chance of a resonable debate or properly analysed process being put in place.

        I.E. Thay have made this a real problem, that will not get appropriate attention from the process builders because the actual points and issues have never seen the light of day, and if it does eventually end up being abused the only people accountable will be the opposition and the media themselves.

        They are a pack of self centered obfuscating maggots that don’t give a shit about anyone but their PR profile.

        • David

          The problem with this extension of surveillance, that extension being; that the NZ government can at their whim look at anybodies data it believes to be a threat. Is its a small step to subvert this process. Is the threat to NZ? or can it be deemed a threat that someone who challenges the governments position is a threat? under the guise that it threatens stability? Do we need this at all? ,If so then who watches the watchmen? Surely any oversight must include individuals other than self serving politicians, someone from the judiciary, surely? this is not about political affiliations, equally nor is it about journos, many whom you would have to use the terminology very loosely, game show host might be more appropriate, foisting their own opinions on us and passing it off as news. Politicians and Journos here are complicit in protecting their own positions, it is a symbiotic relationship of self serving sycophantic interests, never mind selling out NZers. This is our own patriot act, please! Is the world safer with all this monitoring? says who? Is the US a democracy? corrupted by special interest groups and corporates? Hows their economy? Anybody asked the man on the street? Is this what we want? Maybe I’m crediting Key with to many smarts and it’s just a case of him brown nosing the Yanks? Problem is the result is the same. How about you journos do you job, show some integrity instead of ‘I’m in jack so pull the ladder up’

          Mr Key, yes I do understand!
          No I’m not confused!
          No I wont step back for a minute!

          • PlanetOrphan

            Well said David, if the system is abused what checks and balances are there for fair and just outcome.

      • Ducky

        think of all the jobs that this bill can create.. they need to hire a lot of personnel to sieve through all your conversations, emails etcc… Job creation, and of course them lefties will be against job creations..

        • David

          Yes I see you’ve spotted another illusion. Not sure how you arrive at that conclusion, but since you have lets explore that.
          Creating jobs is good for GDP another illusory tool of bean counters designed to suggest we all need to work harder for less money because then GDP would improve. Rather similar to another bean counters term haircut, you know, when after working hard, rewarded for that effort you save and bank those savings. The bank after acting recklessly steals your savings (Open Bank Resolution) to remain solvent legalised of course. Mining in Australia was going to bring big royalties, the reality was 20 billion deficit. So as an example lets look at GDP and jobs. This government sells deep sea drilling rights, $$, Jobs more $$, all good for GDP. Disaster major spill, more jobs to clean up, more $$ all good for GDP. Result coastline fucked, NZ not clean, green., tourism decimated etc, GDP well that now takes a dive. Long term sustainable jobs that pay a living wage in areas that will benefit the all though, that is the answer, I agree. Do you believe our government adopts a long term view?

      • Bad__Cat

        Your post should be headed “David Hysteria”

        • David

          Thank-you for your contribution

  • Steve (North Shore)

    Screaming like a stuck pig is a good NZ saying

  • Anonymouse Coward

    The dogged support that John Key given the funny police puzzles me. Then a thought crossed my mind.

    What if someone from the American security industrial complex call up John Key and said, “Nice parcel of Bank of America shares you have there. It would be a shame if someone published a pro-forma balance sheet with the Banks assets marked to market.”

    • A bit of your scalp is showing, you need more tinfoil.

      • Anonymouse Coward

        Sorry for the delay in replying. There was a satellite passing overhead and it took some time to process the messages beamed down to me.

        Are you saying my grip on reality is lighter than the auditors of the Bank of America?

        • Kopua Cowboy

          So how do you spin the same “dogged support” Aunty Hellen showed for the GCSB?

          I’d venture she was even keener on them than Key.

          • Polish Pride

            So are you saying that because Aunty Helen did it this is all ok?

          • Ducky

            definitely, don’t we all love auntie Helen… I say Bring Back Helen! …..

          • AnonWgtn

            Had a cousin over for holiday a few weeks back.
            He has been a US citizen for 40 plus years.
            Until he retired he was a senior official with the UN in New York where he has lived for many years. I asked about Helen Clark and he undertook to take a look if he could.
            He has now told me that it is very possible that Helen’s appointment may not be renewed next year.
            It is perceived that her performance has led to senior level questions. Her staff relations are not considered good.
            She is not an administrator, nor ever has been, and is out of her depth in the big world politics such as the UN.
            The politics of the UN are nefarious though.

    • Michael

      Brilliant satire – keep it up. No-one could honestly be that stupid or small minded.

    • PlanetOrphan

      Looking for investment advice AC ?

      Could always ask ya M8 Shearer … . . . … . . . …

      • Anonymouse Coward

        I have some investment advice for you Orphan. If Sheep is elected buy Fletchers. Think of all the Pink Batts that will be needed for those houses Sheep is going to build.

        • PlanetOrphan

          if …. yeah …. nah m8! …. I should start a pool on how long before they are getting 10’s in their polls M8!

        • That is easy…Fletchers have always done well out of Labour, which is why they fund them…who do you think built all those state houses.

          • Time For Accountability

            That is why most rental property owners and developers vote labour. Reference the full list on housing published on this blog a few days ago and Catus Kate reference to Hopkins property empire accumulated in a short timeframe.

          • mike

            No they don’t… investors and property owners hate Labour because they increase compliance costs and tax rates!

        • Time For Accountability

          Unless you are a registered financial planner you should not investment advice without a disclosure statement.

          • Anonymouse Coward

            OK then.

            This financial advice is worth what you paid for it.

            You will be better of taking financial advice from a nice man wearing a $1.000 suit from the flash office with framed certificates hanging on the wall.

            His warm demeanour, good grooming, and comforting surroundings should give you confidence that he is able to foresee whatever the fates have in store for your hard earned money.

    • mike

      Funny police? I’ve met a few spooks in my time… and they tend not to have a sense of humour.

  • Michael

    “Political Activists”? Only those like Tama Iti and co…

  • cows4me

    I don’t think the brown supporters care about privacy and freedom of the press, their main concerns are their shrinking welfare cheques and the collapsing of their stupid ideology. Mr Trotter paints them as noble souls who only have the interests of the individual at heart, Mr Totter is either deluded or full of it.

    • FredFrog

      They also worry about where the next point bag is coming from.

  • OneTrack

    Trotter must be the only lefty that makes any sense.

    • Ducky

      I normally never read any of Trotters garbage until today, when strangely enough, this is the first time he seems balanced. The gutter journalism of this country leaves even the worst the world has to offer by their uneducated, biased view, one comes to mind is Patrick Gower who looks like a complete twat

  • GazzW

    Trotter must have read the first two pages of readers’ comments on Bryce Edwards column in this mornings Horrid. Overwhelmingly disparaging about journalists and I suspect a most unwelcome reaction for the Horrid.

    • Hazards001

      And I’m sure they will take that reaction on board Gaz.

    • Benniedawg

      These are a must read. Clearly spell out to these self important wankers how mainstream NZ feel about them. Generally in a situation where one is seriously outed anyone with common sense quietly retreats into the background and learns from the lesson. Be interesting to see how they interpret the public mood

  • JeffDaRef

    Exactly – if Labours 20-something percent support is against the bill, so what??
    Yet again they’re completely out of touch and dont realise the hysteria doesnt extend beyond their focus groups.
    JK was right – they are muppets!!!

  • LesleyNZ

    How much is this Andrea Vance saga costing us taxpayers? That is what I am more concerned about.

    • Honcho

      Exactly! and over what? metadata? same thing that would be published on the phone bill at the end of the month! telecom/Vodafone must have links inside the GCSB!!! they also know who you have been calling!!!

      • mike

        And now the wasteful filibustering on the opposition parties… delaying the inevitable and chalking up a huge bill.

        Thanks Labour (dickheads!)

        • Ducky

          cunning DS, diverting Labour’s leadership coup attention away from himself , instead it will come to bite him when his #2 stages a coup d’gras and he will be out on his bum.

  • Edwin Wigmore

    Out of the all the lefties out there (of whom I have very little time), I think Chris breaks the mould at times. He really can give some very thoughtful and well reasoned answers. Also, I remember quite a few months ago putting a polite, but scathing comment on the performance of the Clarke govt. To my pleasant surprise he published it. More than can be said for some of the other left wing blogs.