Monday, July 22, 2013

More arrogance and bullying

John Key's efforts to pass his spy bill are best characterised as arrogant and bullying. He has consistently lied about the scope of the bill, implied that those who refuse to support it are traitors, and threatened to cut the funding of the Human Rights Commission for performing its function and criticising the bill. It looks like his handling of the select committee process is no different:

The intelligence and security committee is scheduled to discuss any proposed changes to the Government Communications Security Bureau Amendment Bill after submissions from the public.

The legislation is due to be reported back to Parliament by the end of the week. The Government holds a majority on the committee, but Mr Key is likely to agree to some concessions, as he tries to win support from other parties.

However, it is understood committee members were given a copy of the new draft legislation only on Friday, giving them little time to scrutinise changes to the 40-page document.

This is not how a government trying to build a majority in the House for a bill usually goes about things. But maybe Key really thinks that he can simply bully the other parties into selling out our human rights for chump change...

The good news is that the other parties aren't bowing to this treatment. From Twitter, Peter Dunne is still refusing to support the bill, and judging by his interview on Q and A yesterday, so is Winston Peters. Even Labour, who I'd consider most likely to betray us, look like they are standing strong. If they stick to their positions, Key may very well find himself heading for defeat...