Scoop Election 08: edited by Gordon Campbell

Gordon Campbell on Internet Mana’s swearing video

August 8th, 2014

Hand on heart time, folks. At any time in the past six years, has the thought “ F+++ John Key” ever crossed your mind? I know it has crossed mine, from time to time. I think it was about the time that he sold down everyone’s shares in our power stations, for no good reason. Though, come to think of it, it might have been when he appointed his chum to be the head of the GCSB, while denying that they were, in fact, chums. Then there was the crony deal with Sky and its gambling operations. I might have said a bad word about that, too. Mind you, my ill will and profane thoughts are not restricted to John Key. I seem to recall that the thought “F+++ David Cunliffe” has also crossed my mind in the last few months. And as for Jamie Whyte? Don’t ask.

This is relevant because… as we have learned over the past 24 hours, the fact that some young people chanted “F+++ John Key” out loud at an Internet Mana political meeting in Christchurch is an awful, awful sign of the depths of depravity into which K. Dotcom Esq has led the impressionable youth of this great nation. Read the rest of this entry »

Gordon Campbell on the Gaza truce, and ‘human shields’

August 8th, 2014

While the truce in Gaza allows time for negotiations on a more lasting solution, the current signs emerging from the Israeli side are not encouraging. Gaza has been devastated. It has no functioning water supply or electricity system and many, many homes have been destroyed or seriously damaged. Yet the current Israeli negotiating position seems to be that permission to rebuild will depend on Hamas being disarmed. Once again it seems, civilians are being collectively punished to achieve a military end. Attaching such a condition to the rebuild would in itself be a violation of article 33 of the Geneva Conventions, which forbids collective punishment. Read the rest of this entry »

Gordon Campbell on Winston Peters as an endangered species

August 6th, 2014

It is still anyone’s guess which major party will Winston Peters support after Election Day 2014, though suspicions are rife. But if we’re being reduced to guesswork, it seems more rewarding to speculate on the chances that New Zealand First will not reach the 5% threshold, and won’t be back in Parliament at all. On that point at least, we have the 2011 election results as a rough guide. Read the rest of this entry »

Gordon Campbell on how Gaza affects our UN bid

August 5th, 2014

At an international level, the Key government is waging another election campaign right now, to win a temporary seat on the UN Security Council. So far, the government’s tepid response to the carnage in Gaza has done nothing but erode our only real selling point – that New Zealand would be a strong, independent voice on international affairs. By contrast…Turkey is the clear frontrunner for the UN seat and it has been highly critical of Israel’s violation of international law and the UN Geneva Convention – notably, with respect to the responsibility of an occupying power to use proportionate force and to refrain from carrying out collective punishment of civilian populations. Read the rest of this entry »

Gordon Campbell on the rise of ISIS, and Labour

August 1st, 2014

While global attention got distracted by the fate of MH17 and the atrocities in Gaza, the world’s other mega ‘bad news’ story – the rise of ISIS-led fundamentalism in Iraq – has reached a tipping point. Reportedly, the ISIS fighters have been halted (temporarily at least) north of Baghdad around Tikrit, while a crucial battle is being fought just south of the capital, in a strategically important town on the banks of the Euphrates called Jurf al-Sakhar. A glance at Google Maps will show you just how close Jurf al-Sakhar is to Baghdad. If Baghdad was Wellington, the ISIS forces would be fighting on the streets of Waikanae, only 60 kilometres away. Read the rest of this entry »

Gordon Campbell on National’s electorate deals

July 29th, 2014

Image by Neetflux

For all the talk yesterday from Prime Minister John Key about National being transparent about its electorate deals in Epsom and Ohariu, that transparency is entirely front-loaded. Yes, we know a lot about how Act and United Future are going to get into Parliament, but we know nothing at all about the policy concessions lying in wait in their coalition agreements afterwards. The rorting of MMP is not so much in the manner by which these sham parties get into Parliament – it is in the secretive way their pet policies are foisted on the electorate once they’re there.

Read the rest of this entry »

Gordon Campbell on Gaza and burning the Israeli flag

July 24th, 2014

One of the selling points in New Zealand’s campaign for a temporary seat on the Security Council is that we have a pluckily independent voice to offer on international conflicts. This image is not entirely self-delusional. When we did occupy a temporary UN Security Council seat in the 1990s, New Zealand was forthright about the need for the international community to actively respond to the Rwanda genocide. On April 14, 1994, New Zealand, Nigeria and the Czech Republic were the only nations to call for a forceful UN intervention to halt the killings. It was a proud moment in the diplomatic record of the Bolger government. Read the rest of this entry »

Gordon Campbell on the non-apology to Tania Billingsley

July 22nd, 2014

The refusal by Prime Minister John Key to issue a personal apology to Tania Billingsley has been accompanied by an array of excuses. Yes, there are judicial proceedings to be considered, as well an “independent inquiry” into how the incident was handled by MFAT officials. But really…would a personal apology to Billingsley prejudice either of these investigations? Hardly. With the Pike River inquiry, Key hadn’t hold back from offering effusive expressions of compassion to the victims, for fear of prejudicing the outcome. Read the rest of this entry »

Gordon Campbell on the failure to prosecute the GCSB

July 18th, 2014

So one hand of the state – the Independent Police Conduct Authority – has now washed the hands of its brother agencies, and declared that all hands are clean. Case closed. Does anyone feel re-assured by this exercise in familial self-exoneration? Has anyone’s respect for the rule of law been enhanced? Yesterday, the IPCA reported back that yes, it has determined there was nothing wrong with the Police decision not to prosecute the security agencies that had broken the existing law when they carried out illegal surveillance on Kim Dotcom and as many as 88 other New Zealand citizens. It would not be in the public interest to prosecute those responsible, the IPCA agreed with the Police, in that the security agents involved didn’t know they were breaking the law, and thus lacked the necessary element of criminal intent. Read the rest of this entry »

Gordon Campbell on the Dotcom emails

July 16th, 2014

Back in 2010 at least, the email trail recently released to David Fisher of the NZ Herald shows that the Immigration Service had found an interesting niche in business migrants: people who (a) have $10 million or more spare change to invest in this country who also (b) have their allegedly “criminal” business activities under investigation by the FBI. I don’t know how big this pool of business class quasi-fugitives is, but New Zealand may well have cornered the market. Seriously, it’s hard to see how someone under active FBI/NZ Police investigation could possibly pass the “good character” test required for business migrants to be granted residency here. If you want to hear someone try valiantly to square that circle, have a listen to this Checkpoint interview last night between RNZ’s Mary Wilson and Immigration Service CEO Nigel Bickle. Read the rest of this entry »