Monday, September 04, 2017

Natonal opposes human rights

Three weeks out from the election, and the wheels have come off National's campaign. Rather than being able to sleepwalk to victory over a Labour Party faceless David, they're actually going to have to work for it. So they've fallen back on their knee-jerk instincts of authoritarianism, tyranny, and violating people's human rights:

National is defending its hardline new anti-drug measures, saying the serious criminals and gang members they target have "fewer human rights than others".


That includes giving police new powers to search the cars and houses of gang members at any time to check for firearms.


Speaking to reporters, Bennett said she had been advised the new search powers would "stretch " human rights laws.

But she said that they would only be applied to serious criminals, adding that this group of people had "fewer human rights than others".

Except they don't. The thing about human rights is that they're universal. If Paula Bennett has them, then so do gang members. And if she doesn't want the police to be able to kick in her door at 3am and dig through her dirty underwear to terrorise her and show her who's boss, she needs to extend that same right to those she hates.

National's proposed search powers don't "stretch" human rights law. They break it. The BORA is very clear: "Everyone has the right to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure, whether of the person, property, or correspondence or otherwise". What's "unreasonable"? Well, not needing any reason at all seems to be the very definition of it. It makes such searches inherently arbitrary. Especially when the police can already search for guns and drugs without a warrant on the merest suspicion - powers which are already widely abused by police simply to display dominance and shit on people.

This isn't a lawful power. Its certainly not a moral one. Instead, National is promoting it to send a signal to their old, tired, racist voters that they're going to kick some people who are Not Like Them. That might be what old, tired, racist National thinks government is for. But what it tells me is that they are not fit and proper guardians of our human rights - and if they're going to run on an electoral platform of this sort of arbitrary abuse, we need to protect ourselves. And the best way of doing that is by taking the final say on human rights away from MPs and giving it to a body which can actually be trusted: the courts.