I've come to a depressing conclusion watching The Standard act as apologists for S59 and the EFB the last week or so: the sad sacks of shit on the govt benches have to be given a severe and memorable electoral kicking next year, if the Left isn't to become a sorry joke.
Twice in the last year (with the repeal of S59 and now the EFB), Labour have criminalised a large swathe of the population and fobbed us off with the claim that we can trust the organs of the state to exercise discretion in choosing which of these newly-minted criminals to prosecute. "The Rule of Common Sense will prevail!" cries Annette King. Er, maybe - this week. Who knows what will prevail next week? In any case, wouldn't it be preferable for the Rule of Common Sense to prevail at the point where these grossly-overpaid f*ckwits are drafting the law, as well as when their lowly-paid minions are enforcing it?
Even assuming we really could trust them not to prosecute us for the crimes they just invented, they add insult to injury by throwing into the mix an amendment to the Suppression of Terrorism Act, which secures our freedom by defining a "terrorist" as anyone the govt declares to be one. Unfortunately, the people going on about authoritarianism, creeping fascism and an encroaching Police state now have a very good case.
Sure, I can see plenty of counter-arguments to the above: the guy just convicted of assault on his kid was charged for treating him roughly enough to bruise him, not for smacking him; the EFB is intended to keep rich wankers from making up their parties' lack of popular support with bottomless and anonymous financial support; and above all, there's the fact that giving Labour a savage and merciless electoral beating would essentially put National into power - ie, we'd replace one authoritarian pack of scumbags with a worse one. Nevertheless, I think the Left has to do it to have any self-respect , for this basic reason:
If we're going to suffer creeping authoritarianism, I'd rather the left was opposing it, not writing apologia for it.
Right now, the govt's new laws all seem to amount to a directive to bend over and spread 'em. We can assume the position, or give their arses a thorough kicking. Which one's it to be, Standard?