In the news this week …

Election year is just around the corner for many of us in the world from the big players in the US to the very, very small players who wish oh so desperately that they were big (NZ) … we probably all should’ve been paying attention the whole time between elections but hey, we all get a bit busy sometimes.

The unending hyperspin is around the corner along with party political broadcasts and the promise of free candy for all! Over the next few months you’ll notice our various administrations will be passing through as many laws as they can to show their muscle/bipartisanship/legacy/appeal so you (or in the case of NZ politics, perferably the other side) will want to vote for them.

This week’s mantra seems to be – Foreigners are Bad,Good Citizens not so bad, but just in case

In the US, the House approved a Bill that allows for the unwarranted wire tapping of Bad Bad foreigners whose communication passes through the US as well as, inadvertantly (of course, in the security interests of the country) their own citizens … There’s plenty on info on the web for you to come to grips with it. What’s interesting to me is that this temporary Bill was passed very quickly and happens to expire in 6 months … during the Presidential Primaries.

Back at home, we are also about security (see we’re just like the big countries, except we’re small, and everyone thinks we’re a part of Australia, but we’re not see, we’re flexing our muscle too) and trying to get into the country is about to get … really, really annoying. Labour are championing major changes to the Immigration Act to bring NZ in line with our International Friends. So this means for Bad Bad Foreigners (which would be all of them, but chances are we may pay more attention to the browner ones, because statistically …) facial/iris scans at the border, fingerprints etc and for the Good Citizens just the photos. Soon, with the approval of the Minister, classified information may be used against potential illegal immigrants without a security risk certificate having to be in process first (and by classified, they mean that the defendent would STILL not have access to, well maybe bits of it, but not the juicy bits obviously, because it’s classified and also, could be from anywhere, not just the SIS). Anyone else just a wee bit concerned? Don’t be too alarmed, there is a three judge panel to determine if the use was appropriate … handy if you need to appeal. Which of course you can do so long as it’s 42 days within the time that you committed the immigration violation (as opposed to when you’ve been ‘caught’) … you had better hope that they’ve decided that you are illegal in that time and that bureaucracy will have improved by early 2008 … although in the past six months I have had to explain to ACC, IRD, and the Courts (having been summoned for jury service) that I wasn’t in the country any more, you think they would have had that information when the scanned my passport out last December … maybe this lot will be better coordinated … maybe.

If you’re a Good Citizen but our International Friends are not so sure about you, then, meh, we might need to double check and er … well, it’s just handy for us to have, just in case … but you’ll be fine honestly, we’re not collecting anything

There are about 400 pages to the Bill – I’ll definitely be coming back to it when I’m next online. But for now a brief hiatus, I’m moving to Mile End and will be offline for a few days between flats. New episodes of dirty creatures next week, I promise!

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