Bring Back the Honest Thieves
The National Government has demonstrated yet again that it is Helen Clark’s Labour Party in drag. It has capitulated to Labour’s machinations to restrict free speech during elections. A recent Herald editorial cuts right to the quick.
Three years after the outcry at financial restrictions on independent electoral advertising, the Labour Party has got its way. National has folded on an issue it fought from Opposition, agreeing to restrictions that differ only by degree with the spending limits legislated by the Labour Government. . . .
National has surrendered to the left’s fear of money, which is just one possible influence among many in an election. Its bipartisan fix will leave our politics poorer and preserve elections largely for the parties who have conspired to produce this disgraceful discouraging law.
Get this. John Key and the National Party promised that it would repeal the draconian Electoral Finance Law promulgated by the Labour Party and the Greens which effectively placed political parties in control of elections, excluding all others. Key promised a new electoral law that would be the product of multi-party talks and reflect a genuine consensus across all political parties. He delivered on the first part of his promise. He repealed the hated law. Then, in seeking consensus, he has effectively re-instated Labour’s law. Is this duplicity or what?
If National believed in Labour’s draconian anti-free speech, anti-democratic law to begin with it should have said so. If consensus represented agreeing with Labour’s traducing basic freedoms it should have said so. But it put a devious face to the electorate, decrying Labour’s electoral law, agreeing with us that it was a very nasty piece of work. Even Labour, after its trouncing at the last election, publicly stated that it had been wrong.
Self-interest now rules the hearts and minds of the National government. We might as well support Labour next election. At least there we got the nastiness and the damage up front. We knew where we stood. With National it greases the knife with rancid butter before it slips through the ribs to eviscerate the vital organs of the body politic. Key was once known as the “Smiling Assassin”; so he has proved to be, but the victim of his oleaginous knife is us–we, the people.
Helen Clark in contrast proved to be refreshingly up-front, candid, and honest as she grimly went about destroying the country to feather her own nest. An honest thief is preferable to an unctuous one. Key has played us as fools, and proven himself, in the process, to be a deceptive and misleading man.