Doublethink over GCSB spying

The Editor, The Dominion Post, Wellington

16 March, 2015

Dear Editor,

There’s an undercurrent of familiarity in New Zealand during the tenure of this National government for those of us who remember George Orwell’s 1948 classic book, ‘1984’.  Orwell describes an ability to hold two contradictory thoughts at the same time, coining the word, ‘doublethink’.

In the case of Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) spying the doublethink goes in stages roughly like this:  1. The government denies that the GCSB is spying on New Zealanders or Pacific islands countries.  2. Irrefutable proof is produced that they are, such as from Nicky Hager or Edward Snowden.  3. The government then says, of course the GCSB has been spying, there was never any secret about that, and it is in the interests of (so called) ‘national security’.  4. Most everyone forgets, or pretends to forget, there was ever a denial (stage 1).


Richard Keller


2 Comments on “Doublethink over GCSB spying”

    • rwktrip11 says:

      Here’s another letter (to the Wellingtonian) which I will submit today:
      24 March, 2015
      The Editor, The Wellingtonian
      Dear Editor;
      Failing to mention the long term effects of GCSB spying on South Pacific Island governments (both Todd Blake and C Brian Smith, 19 March) for political and commercial advantage displays a lack of respect for the needs of the future. Island elected officials may not complain openly now but it will fester and emerge in later years.
      It’s not like the GCSB doesn’t understand the negative possibilities; it’s just that they are focused on the perceived current need for advantage, first for the USA National Security Agency (NSA) for which the GCSB was set up to serve, and also for certain New Zealand moneyed interests.
      The attitudes of Mr Blake and Mr Smith are probably uncomfortably shared by many in NZ these days. But are they and others willing to accept the burden on the poorer and middle classes (of which they may be a part) which these moneyed interests insist be imposed along with the burden on island communities? If so, why? This brings up the question of our time, what in the larger historical context is being threatened which they and others insist be saved apparently at their own expense?
      Richard Keller
      13 Endeavour St, Lyall Bay, Wellington 6022; 04-387-2662;

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