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Keystone Cops

September 26, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

Some commentators have described the New Zealand police and security services as being reminiscent of the Keystone Cops. To check the accuracy of this claim I watched some Keystone Cops movies on YouTube and I disagree. Both are incompetent, both are ridiculous, but the Keystone Cops are funny whereas the New Zealand authorities are just sinister!

To be fair I have to say that the New Zealand police do a moderately good job most of the time and no one would say their job is easy. Also most of the stupid and sinister behaviour has been directed from senior management, so the actual cops who do the work aren’t to blame.

Of course the exact issues I’m talking about are the ones centered around the Kim Dotcom case. I have already blogged about how concerned I was about the totally unnecessary and disproportionate raid on the Dotcom mansion. That was bad enough but now it turns out that he was being illegally spied on as well.

People are rightfully worried about the effect of criminal activity on their lives. We rely on the police to keep crime under control and, as I said above, they do an OK job of this. But we should also be concerned when the police themselves become the enemy. Not only that but in these days when so many important services, including the police, are being cut how much did this spying and invasion of a private citizen’s home cost? A fortune, I suspect.

And why was all of this necessary? Was it because Dotcom was (allegedly) running a drug empire? Or organising political assassinations? Or was he involved in some other serious crime potentially resulting in death, injury or massive fraud? No, he was accused of having some music stored on his servers. That was worth spying, wiretaps, helicopters, armed police? Really?

So yes, after this pathetic debacle the police (including the Organised and Financial Crime Agency and Government Communications Security Bureau) do look like an ominous version of the Keystone Cops. They are running around hitting each other with their truncheons, and accidentally shooting the good guys instead of the bad (metaphorically speaking of course – at least so far) just like the orignal Keystone Cops.

It’s like a classic silent movie, but not a fun, amusing one. No, this is very, very dark comedy.

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