John Key was on the radio this morning, trying to scare us all about terrorists again so we'll fall into line and let the spies do whatever they want. Today's scare: there are "one or two" New Zealanders so dangerous that they're being kept under 24/7 surveillance. Others are being watched specificly because they are raising money for ISIS (which is a serious crime). Which invites the obvious question: why haven't they been arrested?
Asked by Radio New Zealand why authorities did not take action against people who were sending money offshore, Mr Key said: "That's exactly the question I asked my officials: 'If you see someone that looks like they're planning some sort of activity, why can't you deal with it?'
"And the answer I always get from my agencies is that it's not as clear-cut when you get to court. They claim different things, and ... they just wanted absolutely firmer evidence to take them to court."
Right. They spend millions of dollars a year watching these people, who they "know" are involved in terrorism, a criminal activity - and yet they are unable to gather sufficient evidence to secure a conviction in court. Which suggests two options: either they're doing an appallingly bad job of it, or they're watching the wrong people. Either way, it does not inspire confidence that our spies are doing their job properly.