Charles in Charge

One of my legion of spies has passed on a very interesting e-mail. It was sent to a lawyer asking them to send a letter to the editor of the Dominion Post. The headers are:

Date: Sun, Sep 25, 2011 at 1:44 AM
Subject: Hoping you would be comfortable with something like this to the Dompost – if not, let’s discuss

And the text of the letter that the sender wanted sent to the Dom Post was:


We are lawyers/I am a lawyer practising in Auckland who are/is not aligned to any political party.  We were/I was extremely concerned about Simon Power’s assault on the right to silence – and other fundamental liberties – and so we involved ourselves/I involved myself in the debate and the lobbying effort to reverse those changes.

We were/ I was, frankly, amazed to read Andrea Vance’s opinion piece in your newspaper on Saturday.  Her account of what really happened here is completely off-beam.

Labour’s Justice Spokesperson, , authored a stout defence of the right to silence in a minority report when the Criminal Procedure (Reform and Modernisation) Bill came back to Parliament.

His work picked up on significant concerns raised during the submission process.  Rodney Hide and John Boscawen took a long, hard look at the Bill in light of these concerns, and were instrumental in ensuring that ACT re-examined its position on the legislation.

Chauvel, along with his caucus, and Hide and Boscawen, are the MPs who merit credit in this process.  We/I have found them willing to examine the arguments for and against reform, and to work patiently, often behind the scenes, to reject the extremes in the argument and bring National around to a position that works going forward.

In contrast, Simon Power, Christopher Finlayson, Hilary Calvert, Peter Dunne and other government-aligned MPs have pretty much toed the party line, failing to do what we/I expect of our parliamentarians – examine legislation dispassionately and in light of the evidence.

Parliament is likely to pass criminal procedure reform in the next fortnight.  It won’t be perfect law by any means.  But thanks to Chauvel, and to Hide and Boscawen, it will be much better than it otherwise would have been.

Maybe your newspaper should get a reporter who understands the law to report on it from now on.

Yours sincerely

So who sent the e-mail requesting this letter be sent in by a friendly lawyer. Well the headers also reveal that:

From: Charles Chauvel <>

Charles must have been stewing all day about the story, as he sent the e-mail at 1.44 am. I’m not sure what is more amusing – the shameless self-promotion, or the attack on the reporter. I wonder if he had the guts to say it to their face, rather than get someone else to write in on his behalf, using his supplied words.

Residents of Ohariu should think carefully about the values they want in their MP.

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