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Labour still not listening – even to its own

John Key MP
National Party Leader

16 December 2007

Labour still not listening – even to its own

Outspoken criticism of the Electoral Finance Bill by former Labour Prime Minister Mike Moore shows Labour needs to dump it, says National Party Leader John Key.

“He is so concerned about it that he says the restrictions it brings are without precedent in the free world.

“For him to say it is ‘fatally flawed’, ‘wrong in principle and substance’, and will do ‘the opposite of what its authors expected’, is a stunning indictment on what Labour is doing.

“To shut down the public’s right to criticise anything a Government does for one whole year in every three is simply draconian.

“The public believes it, the Law Society believes it, the Human Rights Commission believes it, and now one of Labour’s own former Prime Ministers believes it – but Helen Clark doesn’t.

“The arrogance is breathtaking.

“When one of your own puts his neck on the block in this way, well surely the bill’s supporters should be re-thinking their stand.

“That is not something former Prime Ministers do lightly.

“You also know something is very wrong when Tim Shadbolt, who was jailed twice in the 1970s because of protest action, is prepared to cop the same punishment again to protect his right to protest at Government action 30 years later.

“His plan to spend $300,000 on a campaign against Labour’s move to cut $6.2 million from Southern Institute of Technology will be illegal under this bill unless he registers with the Government and jumps all the bureaucratic hurdles – because Labour will let him spend only $120,000.

“But all he’s doing is standing up for his community.

“Isn’t that the very sort of democratic action we should be protecting in this country?

“Good on him and shame on Helen Clark and Labour.

“The small parties supporting this bill have only a few days to come to their senses. If they believe in democracy and free speech in election year, they must vote against this bill.”


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