Written By: - Date published: 9:23 am, May 2nd, 2014 - 86 comments
Categories: accountability, business, capitalism, david cunliffe, election 2014, greens, john key, Judith Collins, news, patriarchy, russel norman, same old national, slippery, spin - Tags:
Too many MPs in the NAct government, and some journalists, fail to understand that the negative impacts of the infiltration into politics of the worst ethos of big business: the primary pursuit of profit, power and personal success through deceptive manipulations and cronyist networks, has a corrosive and anti-democratic impact on politics and government.
Both the Judith Collins’ Oravida saga, and the Maurice Williamson-Liu connection show how these values are in play. Many in the media praise John key in his quick action in enabling a quick ministerial resignation from Williamson (how is that not an indirect sacking if they are praising Key’s actions?). Vernon Small puts a positive gloss on it for John Key:
His pre-sacking resignation was handled cleanly and swiftly by Prime Minister John Key and it was hard not to hark back for comparison to the dog’s breakfast Labour made of Shane Jones’ recent departure.
Really? There is actually no comparison between the Jones’ resignation from choice, and Williamson’s forced resignation under pressure of perceived interference in police operations. A closer comparison would be Key’s inaction over allegations against Judith Collins of corruption.
Guyon Espiner (and Patrick Gower on 3 News last night) tried to weaken the criticisms by opposition leaders, by turning the spotlight on the way Cunliffe repeated his claims that the Williamson-Liu connection is part of a wider abuse of power by National government ministers. This on Morning Report this morning:
Russel Norman put it well in his morning Report interview.
Norman argued that Key’s response is part of a bigger pattern: one of constant incursions of (big) money into the political world from the business world. As Norman explained, John Key doesn’t understand or doesn’t care?) how that impacts negatively on democratic processes. Norman stated:
Maurice Williamson, in my opinion he seems to be genuinely of the view that if you are a potential big investor in New Zealand then you should get different treatment by the police. That is what the phone call was all about”.
released a proposal to introduce a ministerial disclosure regime in New Zealand to improve the transparency and accountability of government.
Russel Norman’s press release yesterday explains further his view on the negative impacts of big money:
“We also need to know when the Prime Minister was first made aware of Williamson’s actions. Was he simply hoping that information wouldn’t come out and has he been involved in covering it up?
“In New Zealand, it’s not ok for people to make big donations to political parties and then receive political influence as a result of that.
“It is particularly distressing that the ministerial intervention related to a case of domestic violence. All MPs should be supporting the elimination of domestic violence and have a zero tolerance policy towards it.
It is also of great concern that “big gay rainbow” Williamson, seems to be most concerned that Liu was treated fairly by the police. In contrast, he seems to have had little concern for the alleged victims of domestic violence.
Meanwhile, as Cunliffe and Norman have rightly pointed out, this connection needs to be seen within the wider context: one that includes the corrosive impact of big money on politics and (on occasions) the judicial system, as seen in the continuing case of John Banks (still before the courts) and the on-going Judith Collins-Oravida saga.