I’ll put it in really small words so that Armstrong can understand: the government is proposing to intervene in cases before the courts, changing the rules halfway through for the benefit of the prosecution. Both are an affront to the rule of law, the idea that no-one is above the law, no-one can be punished except by law, and that no-one can be convicted except by due process of law (consistency of process – not changing the rules halfway through to stack the deck for one party or another – is part of this). And that’s not some “constitutional nicety”, but what distinguishes us from arbitrary despotism.
A competent political journalist would be aware of these concepts. Sadly, for Armstrong it seems that they’re above his pay-grade. If its not horse-race stuff, then he’s just not interested.
Yea… but here’s the thing.
- This isn’t as cut and dried as Idiot makes it out to be. The Supreme Court decision was split. Given 2 of the finest legal minds in the country thought what the police did was legal, can anyone blame mere policemen for thinking it was?
- Idiot is castigating John Armstrong for not taking his personal view of the law change, claiming that this is “an affront to the rule of law, the idea that no-one is above the law”. But there’s been another time in recent history when the law was changed to affect a cases before the courts. And in that case, the government was not the distant prosecutor seeking to bring justice, the MPs involved were the actual accused parties.
This means Labour have explictly voted to kill off a lawsuit against themselves. This is even more repugnant that what Muldoon did as he did not stand to personally benefit from his actions in Fitzgerald v Muldoon. This also cements in place the big lie that Labour pushes that the Auditor-General changed the rules. The AG is adamant he did not, and this lawsuit would have allowed a Judge to decide whether or not the pledge card was legal under the current rules.
And what was Idiot up to while this atrocity was being passed? Well, sneering at Don Brash for having the temerity of protesting against Labour stealing public money to fund it’s campaign.
In fact, he didn’t have much to say at all about the lawsuit at all.
Changing the law to allow criminal behaviour by those changing it: OK, and not particularly interesting.
Changing the law to allow criminals to be bought to justice: Not OK, an affront to the rule of law, arbitary despotism, sky is falling etc etc.
(The sad thing is, I have sympathy with Idiot’s view. We must guard our rule of law very carefully, and not rush through retrospective changes under urgency. Just because the government makes it legal does not make it right.)