Tuesday, August 04, 2020

Parliament doesn't care about our rogue military

On Friday the Hit and Run inquiry delivered a devastating report which found that NZDF had systematically misled Ministers over civilian deaths. The report called into question civilian control of the military (and indeed, military control of the military), a fundamental principle of our democracy. So you'd expect our politicians to be demanding accountability for it in Parliament today. But you'd be wrong. There are no questions about the inquiry or the response to it in Question Time. You'd get the impression the politicians just don't care that our soldiers killed a child and lied to them about it.

Or rather, they don't care to know about it, because it can only make them look bad. The killing and lies happened on National's watch, so they don't want to know. Labour is shit-scared of being accused of being anti-military, so they're not interested either. The Defence Minister is from NZ First, so they don't want questions. And the Greens gave all theirs to National (oops). But the net result of all this self-interested arse-covering is that a major challenge to our democracy from the military is being allowed to go completely unexamined.

This is not good enough. Our "representatives" are simply not doing their jobs. And because they're all not doing their jobs, we don't get to punish them for it at the election. If they wanted to give people the idea that they were just there to defend and cover up for the status quo, they couldn't really do any better.