Friday, September 30, 2011

Labour folds on rule of law repeal

Having pushed hard for a select committee process, and listened to the evidence which has universally panned it, Labour has released its position on the Video Camera Surveillance (Temporary Measures) Bill. The result? Sadly, they support it. Yes, there's good points: they draw a line in the sand against interfering with cases currently before the courts, and they want a six month rather than 12 month sunset clause, to ensure that Parliament really does pass the Search and Surveillance Bill. But on the big things, its a total fold. They're not demanding the police get warrants for future surveillance, on the grounds that its too hard (which effectively makes our current wiretap laws a dead letter - why jump through hoops and prove necessity, when you can get an ordinary warrant, leave a camera, and get video far easier?) And they want to ensure people already convicted can't have those convictions overturned or even investigated over little things like deliberate police misconduct and unlawfully obtained evidence.

And this, dear reader, is why you can never trust the Labour Party, and why you should not vote for them in November. While there are plenty of good people in Labour, when push comes to shove, they've got no backbone. They won't stick up for you, so why stick up for them?

The best we can hope for at this stage is that this surrender is still not enough for the government, that ACT doesn't offer them easier support, and therefore that the bill is not passed before the election. This won't help in the long term (unless the electoral dice come up "20"), but it will allow cases to be filed and justice to take its course before the new Parliament puts its foot down.