Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The spy bill and the future

John Key's over-reaching and intrusive spy bill has its third reading today. Meanwhile, a poll by Fairfax has shown that three-quarters of kiwis are concerned about it. This backs up the results of Campbell Live's national tour, which found that ordinary people around the country were informed about the bill and had an opinion on it (and most seemed concerned) (I regard their online self-selected "poll" as not worth the bits it was written in).

There is a campaign to convince some government MP to cross the floor and vote down the bill, but I don't think it has much hope of suceeding. That would require MPs to have principles. But its been a long time since any National MP has had a backbone. They're all corrupt, hopeless, venal, arrogant pricks.

Which means we must turn to the second tactic: punishment. We must vote the fuckers out, and turn the supporters of this bill into the democratic equivalent of a smoking hole in the ground.

But beyond that: the movement built against this bill can't stop here. Labour has promised a review, but if we want that to mean repeal rather than just the usual fudge covering up continued abuses, we need to make it crystal clear electorally that we will hold them to it. We don't want to live in a surveillance state. We don't want our government reading our emails and tracking us through our metadata. We only want them to be able to do that on reasonable, individualised suspicion that a serious crime has been committed - not a tort like copyright infringement or some bullshit "security" which is really just code for political harassment, but an actual, serious crime - and with the oversight of an independent judiciary.

And looking at the broader picture, it is clear that belonging to the "Five Eyes" intelligence pact is a recipe for living in a US-driven panopticon state. If we want to retain our freedom, we need to get out of it. That won't be easy. As with the anti-nuclear campaign, the MFAT-defence-intelligence deep state will squeal (because bluntly, they won't get invited to parties any more). And the US will threaten and bully us, just as they did over ANZUS. But if we want to remain a free, democratic country, then that's what we've got to do.

Next election, we have a choice: us, or the spies. I'm voting for us.