So apparently forgetting about signing a form letter for a constituent 11 years ago is a resignable offence now.
It seemed odd when the donation story came out – even if Liu (probably) donated to Labour, cash for access (as we’ve been seeing with the Cabinet Club and Maurice Williamson) involves not just cash, but access.
It seemed even weirder when Labour didn’t seem to have any record of a donation. And then, yes – we have a photo of Rick Barker with his partner and a bottle of wine! That’s right, his partner definitely bought a bottle of wine at one of the dozens of Labour wine auction fundraisers each year.
Last I heard our political parties relied on donations, rather than it being a crime to accept one.
And even if it seems likely he did give a bigger donation in 2007, Labour could hardly know that National would let him buy access 6 years down the track.
But now we have what National had planned all along (as they surely knew all about the letter all along, having Liu’s immigration files in their grasp).
It’s a long bow, and far more political trap than anything actually at fault.
A form letter for a constituent – one that doesn’t even advocate for the constituent, and repeatedly misspells his name.
It shows that Liu met an electoral assistant, explained his problem with the speed of the bureaucracy, and agrees to help him press for a date for a decision. It’s given to the MP in a pile to sign (he evidently doesn’t read it to point out the inconsistent name spelling), and the constituent is helped.
Democracy in action.
Resignable? Well as Danyl points out, he did fall into the trap.
But really? Is this what it’s come to? Who can orchestrate the biggest ‘gotcha’? It’s always going to be the government, with their hugely superior resources.
And even then Key’s failure to remember everything from TranzRail shares to calling Ian Fletcher weren’t ‘resignable’.
What about policies and who will help New Zealanders?
Incidentally John Key memory lapses:
Unsure if and when he was briefed by GCSB on Kim Dotcom.
Forgot how he voted on drinking age.
Could not recall whether he was for or against the 1981 Springbok Tour.
Could not remember who was aboard mystery CIA jet parked at Wellington airport.
Forgot he phoned future director of GCSB urging him to apply for the job.
And the Herald’s respone to those? To suggestion resignation? No: get a psychologist to explain them:
“Just because you forget something doesn’t mean it’s malevolent.”
She said memory was like a plough that you had to use deeper and deeper to unearth all memories.
“Sometimes you have to have several passes through,” she said. “All he is doing is not remembering at the time he’s trying to remember, then he does fairly quickly – so I wouldn’t call that any kind of lying or conniving.”
“Now you will see people phrase things as, ‘that is how I remember it’, or ‘to the best of my recollection’, which places an out on the table. People can be wrong about the most amazing things – people can be wrong in spectacular ways,” she said.