I have a tendency to overcommit, which is why I spent this morning finishing a slightly-past-deadline Wide Area News column for the Listener (on the clever Cunliffes and IdolBlog), and why the sun is passing over the yard-arm as I begin today's post.
It's also why I'm scratching to put together a fully reasoned assessment of the Foreshore and Seabed legislation seen though Parliament last night. The end of the process, and the short notice on the last-minute amendments that prompted Nanaia Mahuta to change her mind and vote for the bill, may not have been the best of looks in a constitutional sense, but I can understand why the government chose to get a hurry on. Summer is almost upon us, and to enter a second summer with the foreshore question yet unanswered would have been political folly.
For now, the political damage has been very ably limited: just one MP lost, and she was heading for her new movement sooner or later. There will be protest campaigns (but hopefully not much of what Damian sweetly summed up as interpretive vandalism), but the of the law's merits will come when it is actually used by claimants.
I note that Jim Evans, who wrote a useful analysis for us earlier in the year, is saying that the bar for successful actions has been set so high that only a few will succeed. The provision for the government to negotiate issues of title separately as part of Treaty claims - which is presumably what allowed for Mahuta's change of mind - may be particularly important.
So Act gets goes to a court it opposed and gets a result under a law it ridiculed. Oh, the irony … It must be said that the party's pitch for the Asian vote appeared to bear no fruit at the last election, but with the reasonable and articulate Kenneth Wang in the House, perhaps it will be different this time.
Anthony Trenwith commented on Trevor and the Supremes:
There can be no suggestion that even if the appointment process was merit-based the outcome would very likely remain the same. The appointees collectively comprise a bench of exceptional talent and skill in the law.
Since its establishment the Supreme Court has sought to carve out its own unique identity - more than just a carbon copy of the Court of Appeal. This is what lies at the heart of the so-called friction on the judiciary's side. All courts jealously guard their independence, unfortunately the Supreme Court's efforts to emphasise its independence (including shortcomings) have simply led to unwarranted acrimony.
On the Politicians' side, the acrimony is the result of nothing more than political posturing by largely uninformed MPs seeking the spotlight when it suits. Mallard's comments are a perfect example, as is Stephen Franks' supposed outrage at the comments.
Mallard was (presumably) not saying that the current members of the Court did not deserving of their appointments. However, it can obviously be read that way. This is simply the latest addition to a continuing series of degradations that must not be allowed to continue if the judiciary is to remain a politics-free zone.
Everyone else seems to think so too.
Do be sure to watch Frontseat on TV One on Sunday, because there's an item by Jeremy Hansen on blogging. They've talked to BizGirl, Deborah Hill Cone and Leo Koziol of Naked in Nuhaka, as well as Public Address, with interviews and thrilling lawn bowls action from our recent Great Blend event.
Hey, according to AC Nielsen, the number three web publisher for "seniors" in New Zealand is … us. Nice!
Press freedom corner: the wingnuts at the Free Republic and the frankly creepy Little Green Footballs blog have been declaring what punishment the NBC cameraman who filmed the US marine shooting a wounded prisoner in the head in Fallujah this week should suffer, most of it revolving around killing him. Anti-war.com has a handy roundup of vicious loonies so you don't have to dirty your mind by actually visiting their websites.
Peter McLennan (who I quoted but rudely forgot to link to yesterday) has some good music stuff at Weapons of Mass Distraction today, including a link to the D4's new single, 'Sake Bomb', over at the lovely Cheese on Toast site (be warned, it jumps right in when the page loads). It's been recorded in both English and Japanese versions. Very clever move, that.
Right, that's it. I'm going to get some sun. Or perhaps see about replacing the family basketball backboard, which, amazingly, was broken by a gust of wind earlier this week. Shooting hoops is a meditative and centring thing and I need it back. Have a good weekend. I might be catching up with our man in Australia, Che Tibby, later on, but I don't think I'm going to make it along to the P Money show at Studio tonight, or to Mr Scruff tomorrow night. It'd be nice - but sitting down and having a glass of wine and a yarn under our el-cheapo new patio heater tonight sounds pretty nice too …