Thursday, November 17, 2011

Going nuclear

When it was revealed that John Key's "cup of tea" conversation with John Banks had been inadvertently recorded, it looked like a bad tea pun, a distraction from the real campaign. There was a tape, it was apparently interesting, but the Herald on Sunday couldn't publish it, and weren't going to without permission. Since then, speculation over the tape's contents, Key's refusal to answer questions, his increasingly transparent lies about what he said and his complaint to the police have made it a real political issue. And now, its become even more of one, with the police threatening to kick in the doors of some of our key media institutions in an effort to gain their interview notes on the subject.

This is the nuclear option, and it exposes both the Prime Minister and the Police to serious allegations of political policing. This is not a narrow investigation designed to recover the recording and prosecute the person responsible for it. It is a campaign of intimidation, designed to stifle criticism, not by fear but by legal advice. Its the sort of thing you'd expect from Muldoon, not in modern New Zealand.