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The challenge to Council by Mr Bernard

I note with interest that the webcast of last Tuesday's Council meeting is not up yet. I can only assume that this is because they don't know how to deal with the presentation by Peter Bernard and his use of the word Malfeasance that saw Rob Pollock demand an apology and retraction and the Mayor rising to his immediate demand requesting same even though she had not heard what was said and later indicated a lack of understanding of what the word malfeasance meant relying on Lindsay Brown googling the definition. The whole thing turned into an embarrassing fiasco that was poorly managed and gave evidence to anyone watching that the Council clearly want to get rid of any opportunity to have the unpredictable public saying random stuff live streamed into shire wide lounge rooms and captured in archives for the next seven years. The quandary for Council at this juncture is whether they edit (censor) the presentation or not include it at all because to provide the presentation will expose them to litigation should the general Manager take offence at the accusation being repeated over and over and over again for the next seven years to anyone who wants to watch it. In light of the recent FaceBook Live abomination Council might well be cautious of Live Streaming as they too become the publisher of any content. Is this grounds enough to withdraw webcasting of Public Forum? It is understandable they might be anxious that a member of the public could slander, defame, ridicule, embarrass, goad, insinuate, accuse and even shame councillors in their presentation and Council has no means to control that it was Live Streamed. However that same footage used at a later date works as evidence if Council wish to use it as grounds to expel a member of the public as they threatened poor old Mr Bernard last Tuesday. Without video evidence all you have is hearsay as is the example of Mr Potts being banned from the chamber with out any evidence other than a hearsay account. That same video however can be used, as was the case with Mr Bernard's previous encounter with Councillor Pollock that resulted in a Code of Conduct. No video means No Evidence and that works in favour of Council who can swear that anything claimed to have been said is simply "hearsay". So why not just record it and then put it up 24 hours later? No Live Streaming but nothing democratically lost. That way everyone is happy. As to how council are going to deal with the archiving of Mr Bernard's presentation that used the "M" word will be up to their legal advice. Will they put it up in full? Will they edit it? Will they put up a copy of his presentation notes as is their policy or will they redact them first? 2019 or 1984? Remember George Orwell's novel, 1984? Consider the following: “Now I will tell you the answer to my question. It is this. The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from the oligarchies of the past in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just around the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now you begin to understand me.” ― George Orwell, 1984

#Opinion #LeiParker

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