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PM’s politics of fear a distasteful development - Norman

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Russel Norman.
Russel Norman.

John Key’s foray into the politics of fear by referencing the Boston bombings is distasteful and not the style of politics New Zealanders want, Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said this morning.

John Key yesterday cited the Boston bombings, where three people were killed and more than 200 injured, as a justification for his Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) bill which gives the foreign intelligence gathering agency extensive powers to spy on New Zealanders.

"The Prime Minister is using fear as a justification for significant encroachments on New Zealanders civil liberties and rights," Dr Norman said.

"It is distasteful for John Key to use politics of fear, citing the deaths and harm caused in the Boston bombings, to advance his political agenda.

"It is unacceptable for John Key to push through legislation that undermines our rights by raising the spectre of international terrorism and then hide behind secrecy provisions so he doesn’t have to produce evidence.

"John Key could say literally anything to justify this bill and then claim national security when asked to back up his claims.

"Any encroachment of our civil liberties and rights should be treated very seriously and thoughtfully by Parliament and be based on accurate information.

"Our rights should not be stripped away because John Key says ‘boo’.

"Political leaders around the world have used politics of fear to make unjustified changes. George Bush and Sir Robert Muldoon have used the politics of fear to drive their oppressive political agendas. We had a war in Iraq because of non-existent weapons of mass destruction.

"The reality is that a Commission of Inquiry is needed into our security and intelligence agencies to give New Zealanders confidence that they are doing their job," Dr Norman said.

"New Zealanders are not confident that our agencies are up to the job they are tasked to do."

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