Dear panicking civil libertarians – isn’t a pandemic the reason you have urgency?

A lot of angry and frightened civil libertarians  (many of whom I admire ) were rattled last week by the use of urgency to pass the traffic light vaccination passport scheme.

On any other day of the week, I would be alongside them demanding to know what the bloody hell was going on too, but this ain’t one of them.

Firstly the entire breathless denunciation of what Labour did had a whiff of the hysterical about it from people who were making arguments of due process which seemed to miss the urgency of the reality.

There is a pandemic going on! Urgency to ram through urgent law in a truncated democratic process is what is required!

We have urgency powers for issues of immense urgency! We are looking at limiting people’s liberty and that demands oversight and obligations WHICH HAVE BEEN BUILT INTO THE LEGISLATION!

This is not the same as when Key misused urgency to ram through the mass surveillance powers! This legislation must be voted back in using the basic majority of Parliament every few months while there is a sunset clause built into the law that removes all these powers altogether once the pandemic is over!

This is hardly the civil liberties crushing Nazi Germany framework it’s being sold as.

Of course Government should be challenged every day over its use of power over us but this traffic light system is a hurried response to an ongoing public health emergency – of course there will be stupid anomalies and counter productive outcomes because of the haste and those will be cleaned up in whatever omnibus package is passed to do that, but all in all this is a Government moving as fast as it can to treat a novel virus in the middle of a pandemic.

There are legitimate reasons to use urgency – a fucking plague is one of them!

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