Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Greens on sedition

The Greens have strongly backed the law commissions call for the repeal of sedition, saying that these archaic laws have no place in a democracy, and pointing out that

"Many New Zealanders convicted of sedition as now considered heroes, including Te Whiti and Rua Kenana. Catholic Bishop James Liston was also charged.

"Helen Clark should remember that three former Labour Party leaders - Harry Holland, Peter Fraser and Walter Nash - were once convicted of sedition under conservative governments. Given this history, it is a sad irony that the first sedition prosecution for decades (of Tim Selwyn) recently occurred on Labour's watch.

But they save the best for last:

"The Government should move with some urgency to get rid of this draconian law. If Labour won't take action the Greens will. I already have a Private Members Bill drafted and ready to be put into the ballot," Mr Locke says.

Needless to say, I'm looking forward to it.


Good stuff. Great to see action on this.

And well done for pushing it I/S.

Posted by Peter Cresswell : 10/17/2006 01:31:00 PM

Perhaps the left should allow the pendulum swing off to the BRT and Bush worshipping Brash Boys, and in the ensuing backlash... reform with the Unions backing the Greens and remnants of Labour.

Posted by Anonymous : 10/17/2006 08:27:00 PM

Another citizen has been arrested by the police and charged with sedition, this time in Rotorua.

See http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3831753a11,00.html

Helen Clark's goons are at it again.

Posted by Anonymous : 10/18/2006 09:55:00 AM

anon - are you claiming that judges are the labour parties goon squad?

Yes the law should be struck off the books, but i think you are stretching things quite a lot to try and claim that this charge is the work of the labour party.

And hes also been charged with threatening to kill as well.

two questions for you.

1, did the current labour govt write the sedition laws?


2, is the current labour govt instructing judges to prosecute people for sedition?


Posted by Anonymous : 10/18/2006 10:41:00 AM

Anon2 - The police arrested and charged the guy with sedition. (The judge has simply remanded him.) The police could have just charged him with threatening to kill. They CHOSE to charge him with sedition. I call them goons because they are. I call then Helen Clark's goons because if the guy were a Labour MP he would not have been arrested for either offence.

Posted by Anonymous : 10/18/2006 12:22:00 PM

Anon2 - BTW the answers to your questions are no and no.

Posted by Anonymous : 10/18/2006 12:23:00 PM

anon - ok fair point - its the police not the judge.

but i see you answered no and no to the two questions, kinda blows your "PM's goon squad" claim out of the water, does it not?

"police are goons" + "if they were labour mp's" doesnt equal "helen clarks goon squad"

If you want to make that assertion to your self thats fine by me, but were talking about reality here.
And if you want to make that claim you should have more to go on than an "if things were this way round" angle.


PS: im not trying to have a go at you, just engaging in friendly debate:-).

PPS: my names at the bottom of the post, anon1, anon2 etc gets a little hard to follow sometimes. Oh look at that i just figured out how the "other" button works.

Posted by Anonymous : 10/18/2006 12:45:00 PM

fraser - we have managed to go many decades in NZ without a charge of sedition being made - which is the "crime" of urging people to overthrow the govt. Now, in a couple of years, we have two such charges by the police. This is the same police force that CHOSE not to charge Helen Clark with forgery etc etc etc etc ... and yet they are now charging people with sedition, the crime of wanting to overthrow her govt. Coincidence? Probably. But who is the victim of this "crime"? Who gains from the prosecution being made? Why are these charges being laid all of a sudden now?

Posted by Anonymous : 10/18/2006 12:59:00 PM

Anon: I think it has far more to do with Rotorua's district commander (who is quite keen on "innovative" solutions - like trespass orders and ASBOs) than the government.

And if you want something done about it, the best move would be to convince National to vote for repeal. Currently, Richard Worth is on record as opposing any change.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 10/18/2006 01:05:00 PM

IS - well it certainly should be removed, and, if you are right, district commanders should be told by police national headquarters that their approval is needed before they can go ahead with such a controversial charge. Perhaps - to be charitable - the Selwyn case put the idea is the local guy's mind. But he clearly a goon anyway, just for laying the charge.

Posted by Anonymous : 10/18/2006 01:25:00 PM

Perhaps if we are getting rid of silly laws like this one, we could get rid of blasphemous libel at the same time?

Posted by Anonymous : 10/18/2006 01:30:00 PM

I don't really believe the government is encouraging Sedition prosecutions. The NZ system seems to be that a fairly low level cop/solicitor makes prosecution decisions without upward reference. In the UK an unusual charge would get referred up the tree and a public policy decision would be made at a high level.

However, it does seem possible in Tim Selwyn's case that The Powers That Be were:
- concerned about escalating direct action by Maori
- saw Tim as an easy target - loose cannon, not involved with any iwi groups, guilty of unrelated dishonesty, not to mention a bit pale for a Maori..
- wanted to make a point but didn't fancy jailing Tame Iti

Posted by Rich : 10/18/2006 04:09:00 PM