I'm probably on the flaming fringes now in my belief that New Zealand - and every other nation with any pretensions towards regard for civil and political human rights, regard for the environment, or international labour standards -- should be boycotting the Beijing Olympics.
I'll happily be on the fringes with you on that.
Maybe we should print some T-shirts?
And from Tim Selwyn (who was a dick, but didn't deserve to go to jail for sedition), we have this lovely bit: they're all roleplayers
Having read the leaked allegations I find them to be indicative of nothing more than role-playing. Role-playing by grown men with firearms - rather than by man-children in homemade knight's armour. Role-playing by angry men embittered by a regime that has harassed them - rather than by frustrated geeks who can't get dates. Role-playing by a group of eclectic opinionated, radical, loners who lust for the company of similar minds to fuel their fantasies - rather than... well, yes... role-players.
Ignoring the nasty streak of bigotry there, I can only say that these aren't the sort of role-playing games I or my many gamer friends play.
And the firearms charges are simply charges of failure to comply with bureaucracy
No they're not - that would be possession without a license. The accused are being prosecuted for "possession for an unlawful purpose", which may see them jailed even if the weapons were legally owned, on the basis of what the police believe they might do with them.
Note, might do. Because what they were doing - target practice - would normally be considered entirely legal. This is a crime of context, in which interpretations of purpose are highly relevant - and this is why the police leaking of inadmissible evidence is so damaging to their chances of a fair trial.
(I should add that this is the same law the police tried to get Iti on a couple of years back over the flag-shooting incident).
I would have thought that even the most dim-witted, angry, disgruntled cop is going to think, even just a little, about the fact that if they leak, and if they do, when they get caught, their career is over.
If they get caught. Most leakers aren't, and given that journalists won't reveal their sources, these ones are unlikely to be.
Which makes it a lovely bit of revenge with no consequences, except for on the accused and the general mana of the police force (something they depend on every day to do their jobs, and which is looking pretty tarnished already).
I do understand the difference. But it does seem to me that virtually all the metaphorical lynching has been done by one side.
Again, I don't think it is at all improper to seek to hold the police as an institution accountable for their actions and potential misuse of the law. These people work for us, therefore they are accountable to us. And any police officer who is unhappy with that situation should start looking for another job.
I think the rebuttal to that would that there's been a huge amount of trial by media going on already -- a good deal of it of the police, who have been accused of racism, incompetence, "state terror", etc, etc.
Of course, there's a big difference here: the police aren't facing criminal charges and possible jail time. But if they ever do, I'll happily repeat those sentiments on their behalf. We have a courts, trials, a justice system to avoid the "justice" of the lynchmob. Trial by media undermines that, and takes us in exactly the wrong direction.
I should also note that as an arm of the government, the police are supposedly accountable to the public. And I don't see any problem with the public debating their institutional role and actions, and seeking to hold them to account politically if they have behaved improperly. Conflating this with a trial by media is to declare police actions unquestionable and the police unaccountable - propositions which should be anathema in a democracy.
Now if I was a complete cynic, would it be mad to suggest the potential for the accused to have leaked this information?
After all, if they could potentially achieve a mis-trial, wouldn't it be worth their while to flick this info to the DP?
Only if you ignored the resulting jail time.
Judges tend to take a very dim view of people deliberately trying to derail court proceedings to their advantage. Which is why we don't see defendants doing it.
But wouldn't it be prudent to wait a week or two and actually find out what changes have been made to it
Try "hour or two" (or maybe day, at the most). While the bill has a report-back date of January 25, there's a strong convention that you don't dick around with electoral law in election year, so it has to be done and dusted by the end of the year. According to the sitting programme, there are three sitting weeks left until the House rises. The bill will need to lie on the table for one of those weeks following the select committee reportback, and I expect the committee stage to take another as National and ACT use every trick in the book to disrupt the passage of legislation (note, not oppose; disrupt. They won't be trying to make arguments, because they have none; rather, they'll be trying to make the House unmanageable to protect their fat donoros and fat wallet - just as they tried to do over the ERB back in 1999). A day for 2R and a day for 3R, and if it doesn't come out today, they'll be cutting it very fine.
Unless, of course, they use urgency...
My understanding that the TSA came into it because it was the only law they could apply for the interception warrants under.
Your understanding would be wrong. The police could have applied for an interception warrant if they suspected that someone was about to commit a "serious violent offence" (like, say, killing someone, or blowing something up). But if they'd done that, they would have been unable to bludgeon the judge with the T-word (and the fear of being publicly named as the guy who refused a warrant if anything bad did happen) into granting it.
Basically, the police chose which law to pursue this under. They made their own bed. Now they get to sleep in it.
Not without a sphincter pinching dread. They will be on lists for life now.
And somehow, I don't think the police will be paying any compensation for that. Ruin people's lives, walk away laughing - it's OK if you wear a uniform.