Wednesday, November 22, 2006



More National hypocrisy

As I keep pointing out, there's a massive inconsistency between Don Brash's labelling his leaked emails as "stolen", and the Opposition's everyday reliance on leaked material to do its basic job of holding the government to account. This inconsistency was perfectly displayed yesterday at the end of Question Time:

Nicky Wagner: I seek leave to table the leaked internal Ministry for the Environment report—[Interruption]

That "interruption" was the rest of the House guffawing with laughter at the hypocrisy on display.

So, what's the difference here? Is Dr Brash really saying that the difference between a "leak" and "theft" is whether he is on the receiving end? And if so, how does this fit with his slogan of "one law for all"?

11 comments:

This is huge- if the claims are as bad as I have heard - and speaking to people who HAVE read it suggest it is - Brash, Key and other major players are for the high jump - we are about to see how dirty Don really is - it won't shock us on the left (we've always suspected the guy was a right wing nutbar) - but I think it will leave many National Party supporters with jaws hanging. I think if the injunction isn't lifted, www.tumeke.blogspot.com will publish the Don Brash e-mails on-line.

Posted by bomber : 11/22/2006 11:08:00 AM

Going for contempt of court to add to the notoriety then?

There's no need to expose yourself. The internet has created a free market in legal jurisdiction, and we have the technology to exploit it safely and anonymously. And once something is out there, it is impossible to suppress - not even the Scientologists could do it.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 11/22/2006 11:30:00 AM

Dammit I/S, first Tonga, now this. It always feels strange to agree with you :-)

Seriously though, this case should come as a reminder of the old rule of thumb w.r.t. internet privacy: don't send or post anything that you wouldn't want printed on your t-shirt.

Posted by Duncan Bayne : 11/22/2006 12:08:00 PM

And the broader rule around information: if someone wants to suppress it, that's a clear reson for making it public.

Though actually, sticking a juicy Brash email on a T-shirt would be amusing...

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 11/22/2006 12:23:00 PM

It doesn't really reduce the hilarity, but for completeness I will point out that Wagner's document would surely have been obtainable under the OIA.

But, yes, if the media can't use documents leaked from private organisations the we may as well give up now.

I assume one thing that will be reinforced by the book is National's deliberate hypocrisy. Hardly a unique quality, but it seems an extreme case to me.

Posted by Lyndon : 11/22/2006 01:06:00 PM

Lyndon: Labour learned its lesson from the80's and 90's: don't lie about your platform, or make promises you have no intention of keeping. National - or rather, Brash - doesn't seem to have. Like the Bourbons, they have learned nothing and forgotten nothing.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 11/22/2006 01:34:00 PM

Quote of the day - no, the year!

"Dr Brash said he did not have a copy of Hager's book and to look at it could constitute a breach of his own injunction."

(source: NZ Herald online)

Superb.

Posted by Anonymous : 11/22/2006 02:32:00 PM

There's nothing more painful than a breach in your injunction.

Posted by Anonymous : 11/22/2006 03:11:00 PM

"So, what's the difference here?"

It's National's job to hold the Government to account as the main opposition party. In many cases these reports are leaked because they've been hidden from legal scrutiny in some way.

The report in question isn't internal Labour party conversations.

Posted by ScrubOne : 11/22/2006 03:38:00 PM

According to Brash's logic, he isn't able to read his own emails...I wonder who the legal genious is giving him advice now?

Posted by noddy : 11/22/2006 04:50:00 PM

Anyone who does have them (or anything similar in future) could look at sending them to Cryptome for publication. It's not quite their usual fare, but it's reasonably within their scope. And completely anonymous.

Posted by Anonymous : 11/22/2006 05:23:00 PM