Friday, November 18, 2011

Beyond a Joke

It's good that Danyl Mclaughlan is still finding new absurdist takes on New Zealand politics, because recent events seem to have spiralled well beyond the bounds of satire.

When politicans organise a media circus to document their deliberate manipulation of electoral voting, and a recording is (apparently inadvertently) made of their conversation, you'd think there'd be at least a prima facie case that the contents of the recording are in the public interest.

As many have noted, outraged claims of personal privacy are extremely ironic coming from the leader of a government that urgently pushed through legislation to retroactively legalise covert videotaping on private property. Comparisons to News of the World phone hacking victims and parents of suicidal teenager journey further into the bizarre.

Then, when the police are involved (because they have "spare time") and start seeking to search the premises of news organisations, it truly gets surreal. When Hugo Chavez decided not to renew the licence of a TV channel that had repeatedly called for his overthrow, international watchdogs worried about " freedom of the press". Our supposedy transparent demoncracy merits at least some of the same scrutiny.

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