A blogger's own campaign to have name suppression laws tightened has resulted in that blogger being refused name suppression after pleading guilty to his own illegal activities. Isn't it ironic, don't you think?
By now we all know (or, rather, those of us at all interested in the often schoolyard antics of the NZ blogosphere know) that some blogger who used to be semi-famous has admitted the crime of paying an alleged fraudster to hack into the blog of some lefty enemies in order to try and find out who they are, because politics.
So far, so par for the course in Crazytown.
But what really, really, really provides the bright red cherry of irony on top of this delicious confection of egomaniacal delusions of being able to engage in House-of-Cards-style chicanery is the fact that the blogger who used to be semi-famous (Mr Salter, I believe) sought to have his involvement in this escapade suppressed by the Courts. Yes, the same Mr Satler who pursued a wonky jihad in opposition to the very concept of name suppression went in front of the District Court and had the gall, the sheer bare-faced effrontery, to ask that he be given the protection of the very laws he had campaigned so hard to have abolished.
Of course, Mr Sartel never really seemed to understand how NZ's name suppression law really works. As recently as the start of May (no link, as I won't give him the clicks) he was still railing against the application of name suppression imposed in a case for the purpose of protecting the identity of rape survivors. But nonetheless, he believed that his campaign on the evils of the practice had been successful.
For when Parliament raised the threshold at which discretionary name suppression orders could be made (while leaving in place the requirement that they automatically issue in respect of certain offences), Mr Slaret was cock-a-hoop with the claim that it all happened because of him. That the changes pretty much mirrored recommendations by the Law Commission appeared to have passed him by, because egomaniac.
This was no passing delusion, either. In November last year (again, no link), he still was boasting:
I copped 9 convictions in 2010 for breaking name suppression.
The left-wing likes to hold that against me, and others, but I forced a law change and that law change has led to less people getting name suppression.
Well, OK, then! Let's humour the man and accept that Mr Starel changed the law on when name suppression orders would be granted. How, then, did that law change work out for Mr Satrel when he himself went before the District Court and asked it to suppress the publication of his own details? Not so well.
The good Judge R McIlreath noted that before Mr Sarlet's details could be suppressed, he would have to show both that publication of those details would impose an "extreme hardship" to him and that "the competing interests of the applicant and the public" favour granting the order. But while Mr Sratel put forward a bunch of reasons why everyone knowing that he had committed the crime of paying an alleged fraudster to hack into the blog of some lefty enemies in order to try and find out who they are would be an "extreme hardship" to him (more on this in a moment), the Judge didn't buy it. His case failed to even meet the necessary threshold for deciding whether a suppression order ought to be given.
So, if Mr Srelat really was responsible for the tightening of when name suppression can even be considered (which he wasn't, but anyway), the effect was to make it impossible for him to get it in his own case. Not exactly Oedipus murdering Laius at the crossroads, I guess ... but still somewhat ironic, no?
There is, but, one part of this story that is a bit less funny and instead is ... quite sad. Amongst the reasons Mr Strael put before the court in support of his application was the impact that reaction to his past actions had had on members of his family. I can't say what these are, because Judge McIlreath (quite understandably) put a non-publication order on that part of his judgment - and even if he hadn't, I wouldn't say anyway because I'm a human being with a heart.
However, if you know where to look on the interwebz, you can read all about how Mr Sraelt's family have been impacted by his life choices. That's because a pretty messed-up overseas website somehow got hold of Judge McIlreath's judgment before it became publicly available and chose to publish it in its entirety (including the suppressed paragraphs discussing Mr Saerlt's family).
Now, the fact that this website just so happens to publish lots of positive commentary on Mr Saltre's activities and is run by people that have close connections to Mr Searlt shouldn't lead us to any conclusions as to how they obtained it. But it really is a shame that they were given a copy of the decision, and that they then decided to publish it without the sort of redactions necessary to protect the interests of people who are innocent bystanders in the carnage that Mr Slater has made of his life.
But then, I guess the suppression of information in judicial decisions always is a bad thing, right?