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October 1, 2012 | by  | in Opinion |
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Political Porn With Hamish

King DotCom: Will he bring down the government?

He’s the gift that keeps on giving. Kim Dotcom is yet again at the centre of attention, this time over the Government Communications and Security Bureau (GCSB) relying on external agencies to determine his residency status. Failing to understand where Dotcom’s visa category fitted within their own legal framework has resulted in fresh material for opposition parties to once more bait the government.

Labour, and in particular, Grant Robertson, have tried to hold the Prime Minister to account over the GCSB’s actions—they fall within his Ministerial responsibilities. Key maintains he only became aware of the illegal spying actions when the agency told him of their mistakes, something apparently not brought up at any of his 15 meetings with them. Labour finds this hard to believe, as they do with Key’s claim he wasn’t aware of the large German until immediately prior to the police raid.

Whether or not Key needed to take a greater role in overseeing the GCSB isn’t of huge consequence. It’s the public opinion which is. For a party whose most commonly received taunt is that it governs by opinion polls, this is bad. John Campbell has done a great job helping Dotcom with his PR—many Kiwis became supporters for the man whose wardrobe consists of black vests and light blue sunglasses.

New Zealanders love an underdog. It’s why we haven’t gotten all tall poppy on Kim yet. The GCSB’s misuse of power is simply another tick against Dotcom’s name when it comes to him being the firm underdog against the might of Hollywood and the United States Government.

Dotcom isn’t going away—when he’s not in the news due to someone else’s actions, he finds his own way in. A bad rash that won’t go away for Key and Banks. But is he harming them in the polls? Is he going to bring down the government?

It’s not necessarily Kim Dotcom that will harm the government though; it’s the Government that will harm the Government. John Banks, whilst acting on the advice of his legal team, was the master of his own misfortune whilst this whole affair leaves an impression on the electorate of a Government getting a little too fond of working with (or directed by) the United States.

The mere fact that these blunders around Dotcom raises questions about the competency of the agencies involved,
from police, to Immigration, the Overseas Investment Office and the GCSB— whether or not they’ve actually been at fault. Ministers in turn are being examined when their agency comes under scrutiny.

As long as Dotcom is in the country, he’s going to remain a media darling and the saga will continue. The Government is yet to find a way to media manage the extroverted foreign national, despite it now being October and his arrest occurring in January. He’s not going to bring the Government down, but he seems determined to create some nuisance as long as he’s fighting off extradition.

Romney Gaffe of the week

For the remaining issues of Salient for 2012, Political Porn will bring you the “Romney Gaffe of the week”.

This week’s is Romney’s comments following a small electrical fire occurring on-board a flight his wife was on.

When you have a fire in an aircraft, there’s no place to go, exactly, there’s no—and you can’t find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don’t open. I don’t know why they don’t do that. It’s a real problem.

Last time I checked, you don’t want to open windows to a pressurised cabin 10 kilometres up in the air.

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