Reading about Act ritualistically disemboweling themselves this week has been interesting, and has quite a few implications for the political landscape at the next election. The factor that has been attracting my attention was highlighted by Fran O’Sullivan this morning – where did those defense papers wind up.
Roy went troppo suggesting a security breach after Hide took a draft defence document from her office.
The dossier quotes her as saying: “Much more concerning about this paper is the fact that the Minister of Defence, Wayne Mapp, has told me that he has been informed by a National Party activist that Act board Member, Nick Kearney, has a copy of this paper.
“He said Nick Kearney has shown the activist the paper and encouraged him to write an article for the blog ‘No Minister’. The activist has told me that he will not do anything with it – it is a sensitive document of national security significance and it was raised with Wayne Mapp because of this serious concern.”
Nick Kearney has since revealed he resigned from the Act board when another member who was aligned with Roy made the “jaw-dropping” allegation that he had the paper. He has denied any role in this affair.
For those you don’t know The Veteran’s writing, he is generally centre-right and very concerned with defense matters. Not publishing and not even posting on the contents was well-done.
As much as I would like to see more debate about our defense forces policies, I don’t like defense documents floating around. I was a territorial medic myself in the late 70’s and early 80’s and I can see, depending on the type of document, there could be some pretty severe consequences for our people in current or future times.
There has been a blog site Kotare – The Strategist that used to regularly look at these types of issues for NZ and worldwide. However it finished up in June. Pablo over at Kiwipoliticio (and other publications) also looks at some of the more strategic aspects. But you’d have to say that the numbers of people talking about our defense posture are few and far between. The Veteran, in keeping with the No Minister standards, doesn’t write in any depth on the military – but at least he writes something. I’d write more myself, but I’m having problems keeping up with all of the areas I’m currently involved in….
The Veteran posted about getting our MP’s to spend more time with the military so they have a better understanding of the issues. There are a number of other MP’s that have had some close associations with our armed forces over the years through family members and from their duties – Phil Goff for instance. But I’d agree that we could do with more politicians taking an interest. It means that when the shit hits the fan, which it will inevitably do at some point, they’ll have a better idea about what their military advisers are telling them
Another endearing trait of The Veteran is that (like me) he is no lover of the ACToids. I liked his departing comment before he went to aussie.
The lunitic Right fringe of the ACT Party will breathe a sigh of relief to know the The Veteran will be absent from the end of this week through until 25 August. I am in Australia as a guest of the Liberal Party looking at campaign tactics.
He could probably do with a getting a better spell-checker. But despite being on the other side of main political divide, his discretion earns him some kudos amongst bloggers. It is a welcome change to the idiot fringe that sometimes seems to dominate the blogging world.