Here we go ... a few days till the election closes at 7 pm on 20 September (yes, voting is already open).
Today is the day when Kim Dotcon wheels the real Glenn Greenwald out to an audience, with a hologramic Julian Assange in attendance to reveal (likely) evidence that our 'five eyes' GCSB communications' agency has conducted 'mass surveillance' of NZ citizens.
Alongside thinking about how many crooks will be in attendance at this meeting tomorrow night, you might like to read our John Key's diplomatic and nuanced description of Greenwald's role at Dotcon's side here.
Frankly, I see Dotcon, Assange, Greenwald triumverate as an unholy and dangerous alliance. Their view of 'freedom' seems to involve reckless disregard for the real danger to freedom of permitting terrorism to reign unchecked without appropriate surveillance of electronic communications. Their view of properly elected officials such as prime ministers, to be treated as targets to be taken down in the name of their distorted version of the future of the world, shows callous disregard for the importance of their role at the helm of state security.
As guardians of state security they need to balance keeping secrets with leading democratic nations. Obviously they are going from time to time to be forced - by the free press and free politicians - to make statements which either run the risk of blurring the truth or may even involve outright lies. As best I can understand, prime ministers from either side of the centre are pressed into this unenviable position.
Rather than hound them from office when some kind of proof (or 'proof', tonight?) is found of lying, should we not ask what curtailment of freedom we are willing to endure in the cause of continuing freedom.
We might also ask whether we like living in NZ with the GCSB or we would prefer to live in Russia with the KGB (cf the triumverate's mutual friend Edward Snowden's new abode) or in Saudi Arabia with their religious police or, pace Mr Assange, in Ecuador with its interesting approach to politics.
The good news is that it seems that most Kiwis are blessed with profound discernment and recognise that the GCSB is on the side of the NZ people rather than against them.
Otherwise, as we head into the final straight, the 'politics of Jesus' is in play for those with eyes to see and ears to hear. The central issues of the election remain the issues enumerated last Monday which lie at the core of each of the four parties I consider worth paying attention to.
(In no particular order of preference)
"National: personal responsibility
Greens: clean, sustainable environment
Maori: self-determination for Maori in accordance with Treaty of Waitangi."
Reasons for not voting for the parties associated with these issues abound (see discussion here last week about the Green's abortion policy). But if we vote then we will be making an assessment that the calculation of positives versus negatives has a positive sum.
May God help us as we choose ...
All politicians on the left who have climbed into John Key and National because of Nicky Hager's Dirty Politics are going to regret their hasty zeal. First, because the election noise about this book has all but drowned out the left's attempt to focus on the issues of unfairness in our society. (In this last week Dotcon's games will do the same). Secondly, because, despite protestations that the publication was solely driven by 'public interest', the one sidedness of the book's revelations means it is a piece of leftwing propaganda, biased towards non-revelation of the left's issues re public trust and accountability. Propaganda always had a grain of truth and describing the book thus is not to deny what is true in it. But its bias makes it fair game to those rightwingers keen to play Hager at his own game. He has left open the possibility of the sanctimoniousness, if not hypocrisy of politicians on the left being exposed at an opportune time. That exposure has already begun (as I read around the 'net). Thirdly, because if a National-led government wins this election it will win a fourth term (which I believe is John Key's ambition since by doing so he will equal Keith Holyoake's great achievement of the 1960s). That win will be predicated on National's ability to survive an onslaught of mud-slinging being a demonstration of the mind and mood of the populace. Besides which, they will learn some lessons from this election. Slater will not be on Key's speed dial list!
To finish, one of the best Tweets I have ever come across, tweeted after Saturday night's amazing AB win over the Springboks: if you need to know who 'Richie' is, then you may be an overseas reader!
I want Richie to MC at my wedding. Or be the groom. Either or... 🎩👰
— Laura-Jane Jones (@MissLJJ) September 13, 2014
What has that got to do with politics? Well, if Richie was running for Prime Minister we wouldn't be having half the shenanigans we are having. Dirty Politics would have a whole new meaning ... more mud on your shorts than mud on your blogs :)