Greens drag police further into the Dotcom political circus
The Kim Dotcom Bubble floats ever higher.
Historians of the future will wonder at the way a migrant multi-millionaire became a hero of New Zealand's political left.
But Mr Dotcom got hoisted a little further up onto the shoulders of the country’s left wingers this morning, with the Green Party championing his case against the New Zealand authorities.
The Greens are doing so by going to some other authorities.
Specifically, co-leader Russel Norman today announced he has lodged a complaint with the police against the Government Communications Security Bureau over the surveillance of Mr Dotcom.
Dr Norman’s point, from a legal point of view, is that the report by Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Justice Paul Neazor finds the GCSB snooped on Mr Dotcom illegally, and that Prime Minister John Key has publicly acknowledged this.
Therefore, some sort of action – Dr Norman does not specify what – should be taken by the police against their colleagues in Pipitea House.
It comes as a bit of a revelation that the Green Party is so hot on law and order issues, but the real target, of course, is Mr Key.
Dr Norman has invoked the same section of the Crimes Act which Mr Key used against freelance photographer Bradley Ambrose after Mr Ambrose created the "tea party tape" of Mr Key and Act MP John Banks’ meeting during last year’s election campaign.
“I am asking the Police to investigate the GCSB’s illegal spying on Mr Dotcom and I call on the prime minister to support that investigation,” Dr Norman says.
“If Prime Minister Key really feels so strongly about a person’s right to privacy, then he should back my call for the police to investigate the illegal surveilling of New Zealand residents by a government spy agency.”
It is unlikely the police will take this complaint far.
From a legal point of view, it is not clear whether a government agency can break the Crimes Act. Much more significantly, the New Zealand police is, as a unit, extremely allergic to being used for political stunts.
If there is one thing they hate more than the gangs it is being dragged into political rows. It is an aversion which runs deep and goes way back to at least the 1981 Springbok tour.
There will probably be calls for the police to reject Dr Norman’s complaint as the political stunt it so clearly is, and to perhaps even raise the issue of wasting police time.
The rozzers are unlikely to go that far: to do so would also bring them further into the political crossfire.
Rather what is most likely to happen is that, after a decent interval, a police lawyer will find a reason for rejecting the complaint.
The rest of us may wonder whether this is the best use of taxpayers’ dollars.