Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search


New Censorship: It Ain’t Your House You Creeps

New Censorship: It Ain’t Your House You Creeps

By Malvina Minor the treble of Ngaio

So, our politicians have now decided to introduce new censorship laws governing how Parliamentarians are depicted and what photo-journalists can photograph.

As I have written before, at their pith all politicians’ instincts are anti-democratic. And following closely on the minor parties’ ridiculous code of conduct, this is more proof.

To want to be a politician requires a special person. One who believes through their great governance they can make a difference. After assuming the mantle of power, enjoying the fawning and obligatory honeymoon period they soon realize that governing in the open is irksome.

Pretty soon, they stop answer parliamentary questions in a helpful way. They start hiding information – withholding it. They play games with the Ombudsman and the Auditor General ignoring requirements set down in the Official Information Act. Sometimes, even, they lie.

And now they want more power to hide the truth from us.

They want the media to only show them delivering speeches as statespeople. They want to imprison those that lampoon them or satirise them using imagery gained in their House.

Well, excuse me, but it ain’t your House you creeps. It’s the people of New Zealand’s and we deserve to know every single thing that happens in the chamber.

TV3 made a meal out of Ron Mark giving the bird across the chamber and that seems to be what they want to stop being reported.

Okay, hypothetical time. What if John Key gave Helen Clark the bird while Michael Cullen was on his feet and the cameras were forced to focus only on Cullen and his neighbouring vicinity? Could that bird be shown? Is that newsworthy or not? He stands a chance of being the next Prime Minister. Is it a worthy topic for New Zealanders to consider in evaluating him as a Prime Ministerial contender?

Damn right it would be.

Ridiculing politicians has a long tradition and it is only genuinely funny when it has a backbone of truth. If it is unfunny or disrespectful then the TV ratings or subscriptions will drop. If it is funny, then go for it. Some have said that the only thing that stopped the English dallying with European fascism was their sense of humour.

Humour and satire are core democratic institutions and values.

We must stand up to politicians and their tyrannical impulses. This is bad for our democracy.


Malvina Minor is a treble from Ngaio.

© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Ian Powell: Are we happy living in Handy's Age of Unreason?

On 19 June the Sunday Star Times published my column on the relationship between the Labour government’s stewardship of Aotearoa New Zealand’s health system and the outcome of the next general election expected to be around September-October 2023: Is the health system an electoral sword of Damocles for Labour... More>>

The First Attack On The Independents: Albanese Hobbles The Crossbench
It did not take long for the new Australian Labor government to flex its muscle foolishly in response to the large crossbench of independents and small party members of Parliament. Despite promising a new age of transparency and accountability after the election of May 21, one of the first notable acts of the Albanese government was to attack the very people who gave voice to that movement. Dangerously, old party rule, however slim, is again found boneheaded and wanting... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Predictable Monstrosities: Priti Patel Approves Assange’s Extradition
The only shock about the UK Home Secretary’s decision regarding Julian Assange was that it did not come sooner. In April, Chief Magistrate Senior District Judge Paul Goldspring expressed the view that he was “duty-bound” to send the case to Priti Patel to decide on whether to extradite the WikiLeaks founder to the United States to face 18 charges, 17 grafted from the US Espionage Act of 1917... More>>

Dunne Speaks: Roe V. Wade Blindsides National

Momentum is everything in politics, but it is very fragile. There are times when unexpected actions can produce big shifts and changes in the political landscape. In 2017, for example, the Labour Party appeared headed for another hefty defeat in that year’s election until the abrupt decision of its then leader to step aside just weeks before the election. That decision changed the political landscape and set in train the events which led to Labour being anointed by New Zealand First to form a coalition government just a few weeks later... More>>

Digitl: Infrastructure Commission wants digital strategy
Earlier this month Te Waihanga, New Zealand’s infrastructure commission, tabled its first Infrastructure Strategy: Rautaki Hanganga o Aotearoa. Te Waihanga describes its document as a road map for a thriving New Zealand... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Leaking For Roe V Wade
The US Supreme Court Chief Justice was furious. For the first time in history, the raw judicial process of one of the most powerful, and opaque arms of government, had been exposed via media – at least in preliminary form. It resembled, in no negligible way, the publication by WikiLeaks of various drafts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership... More>>