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A knighthood I would back

Written By: - Date published: 9:28 am, December 5th, 2013 - 46 comments
Categories: corruption, law - Tags:

I don’t support knighthoods. I especially don’t support knighthoods being handed out to people who have just done their jobs at the end of their careers. You know, the gongs for ministers and CEOs. But if you are going to have honours, they should go to ordinary people who have truly gone above and beyond and acted where others failed. Arise, Sir Graham McCready.


46 comments on “A knighthood I would back”

  1. Fair Observer 1


    [lprent: Already banned. Another IP for autospam. ]

    • lprent 1.1

      Yep. That is real storm in a teacup over-enthusiastic issue that the electoral commission deals with in every election. In this case the question would be “why would Cunliffe be dealt with differently to every other volunteer on election day that is subject to a complaint to the electoral commission?” rather than “why would a politician be able to avoid being charged because they are a politician”.

      I doubt that McCready will take it up.

    • Pete 1.2

      It’s embarassing, but on the scale of offending a minor thing. The maximum penalty is a $20,000 fine. David Cunliffe has 6,479 followers on Twitter. Very few would be electors in Christchurch East. He may very well get a diversion.

    • amirite 1.3

      Nothing if not consistent. Even if it means going against one’s political leanings. The man has principles.

    • Lightly 1.4

      he can try but they’ll decide its so trivial that the case won’t go anywhere

  2. lprent 2

    Now that is something I fully agree with. A crotchety conservative old white guy who is doing a actual service to the community. He makes me proud to be part of the stereotype.

    But seriously, by challenging the rather arbitrary approach that police take towards charging for flagrantly illegal behaviour by politicians , he is doing a hell of a service to the community.


    • Tiger Mountain 2.1

      Like button please lprent so obsequious comments are not required when in agreement with a poster. This shit is getting to the point where Penny Denny is becoming credible.

  3. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 3

    Now that being a convicted fraudster is no impediment maybe it will happen.

  4. Not a PS Staffer 4

    Bob Jones has a knighthood: on that benchmark a knighthood for McCready would be a gross insult.

  5. Not a PS Staffer 5

    knighthoods are lures to drag/lock/confirm people into supporting the establishment.

    One of the biggest problems in NZ society is the unwillingness of many to defy the will of the powerful few.

    Cunliffe should commit to restoring the recognition system established by Clark.

    • Rodel 5.1

      Knighthoods were rewards given to mercenaries who supported the unelected royal dictator of the day. Doesn’t that still apply ? Who’d want one but one who wants to be known as a mercenary?

      I suggest an honorary PhD would be more appropriate.Arise Dr. Mcready.

  6. Seti 6

    From the Stuff story

    Police were yet to decide whether there were grounds for prosecution.

    But McCready said if police took too long, then he would launch a private prosecution.

    “I’ve diaried it for the end of May, because you have six months to make a prosecution,” McCready said.

    “I don’t want to be in a situation like I was with [ACT leader John] Banks, where the police took a whole lot of time over deciding [whether to prosecute].”

    …Cunliffe has said he would cooperate fully with the police investigation, but would not be commenting further, because it was “now part of a formal process”.

    He had earlier said the tweet was posted in error and quickly deleted.

    “I take responsibility for that, the tweet was sent in error and deleted within seconds and it was reported as soon as possible to the returning officer,” he said.

    But McCready said there was no excuse.
    “Stupidity comes to mind, and sadness that they [MPs] still can’t seem to get it right.”

    Where is the evidence the tweet was deleted “within seconds”, and how many? 2 or 20,000?

    And if the Police fail to prosecute then when John Key, or any poli, is interviewed on election day he can proffer a blatant “vote for National” shoutout, tender a subsequent apology and the Police’s hands are tied due to the precedent.

    • gobsmacked 6.1

      If the police or McCready prosecute, Cunliffe does the obvious, and gets a PR win. Pleads guilty, gets fined, and gets lots of telly time looking good-humoured and saying “Be careful with your Tweets, people”, and the voters’ sympathy. Cheapest advertising he could buy.

      You righties are desperately screaming “Cunliffe is Banks! Same same!” – though I’m sure even you don’t really believe it. But if you could take off the partisan glasses, you’d see the voters saying “Obviously not the same – not just because of the offence, but how they handle it afterwards“.

      What you don’t (want to) understand is that millions of Kiwis can relate to “I pressed send, and immediately wished I hadn’t”. Whereas no Kiwis can relate to “I was given heaps of money by a rich dude, but didn’t know about it”.

      If Cunliffe starts lying about his memory, and going on about a cabbage boat, and digs in deeper and deeper as time goes by, then we can worry.

      But until then, point and scream away.

      • karol 6.1.1

        My thoughts exactly about the PR value for Cunliffe.

      • Seti 6.1.2

        “I pressed send and immidiately wished I hadn’t”.

        Really? Even though the Electoral Commission wrote to all parties the day before about electioneering and specifically mentioning Twitter? A guy whose been through five general elections and should know better? The leader of the party? In that context there should be no excuse and a prosecution is justified.

        • gobsmacked

          And you haven’t read or understood a word I just said.

          Court versus court of public opinion.

          • Seti

            Wrong. It will just remind voters of Labour’s contempt for electoral law.

          • Rob

            Exactly, so he is either completely ignorant of the law or just choose to ignore it, even after having the rules spelled out to him the day before.

            How does public opinion work for you on this one, gobsmacked, or is just because he is Cunliffe and he should be allowed to do what he wants.

            • gobsmacked

              I’ve explained at length already.

              Let me make it simple for you: Public Opinion is not “wot a tiny minority rant about on political blogs”. But if you want to make it your Big Issue, please feel free.

              It could be as successful as that painting you lot went on – and on – about while Helen won elections (thanks to silly public opinion).

            • McFlock


              No matter how much you tories blinker, filter and bend over backwards to believe it, a couple of offending words in a single tweet (immediately canceled) will never be on the same level of contempt for the electoral system as being in coalition with a guy who’s defense is that he purposefully didn’t read an electoral return before signing it?

            • Draco T Bastard

              Exactly, so he is either completely ignorant of the law or just choose to ignore it, even after having the rules spelled out to him the day before.

              Actually, it’s just somebody making a stupid mistake and then correcting as well as possible. People do it all the time and most people will relate to that. The only people who won’t will be the RWNJs who are trying to make it sound as if it was a majorly corrupt move when it wasn’t.

        • Rodel

          Sounds like the American eagle in the muppet show…righteously anal and inconsequential.

      • QoT 6.1.3

        The best bit, gobsmacked, is that every time the right scream “Cunliffe is exactly the same as Banks!!!!” they just draw attention to the fact their government of choice is propped up by someone who’s one or all of a liar, a fraudster, a total numpty or a scumbag.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead

          QoT, the other three are a subset of “numpty”. Corrupt racists Tories aren’t exactly known for their little grey cells.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 6.2

      For a by election, you would have to have someone in Christchurch East who received the tweet before it was deleted.
      Maybe that wont be easy to find ?

      A prosecution requires ‘legal proof’ which is often quite different from ‘did he do it’

  7. Blue 7

    Give a pat on the back to crazy vigilante types who think they’re the last word in justice? No. I’d rather have a police and court system that works, thanks.

    McCready showed them up as useless bastards with the Banks case, then showed himself up as a lunatic with the Cunliffe tweet storm in a teacup.

    We’re meant to be a civilised society, not a bunch of barbarians relying on the whims of one man to dispense justice.

    • lprent 7.1

      As you say, the problem is that the police have issues about both overcharging and undercharging. It seems to depend on if they think that should kowtow or not…

  8. Will@Welly 8

    McCready is doing the right thing – holding politicians accountable. As he says, it was probably stupidity on David Cunliffe’s part. But to overlook it opens the door to National. Everytime Labour has National on the backfoot, someone makes a slip-up.
    Cunliffe could do the right thing by heading off things and going to the Police and informing them of what he has done, and basically forcing them to prosecute him. Then the legal system gives him credit for co-operation. That would really piss Key & co off.
    I don’t think McCready wants to prosecute Cunliffe, as such, but he wants to see justice done, and this way, it is.

    • lprent 8.1

      Cunliffe could do the right thing by heading off things and going to the Police and informing them of what he has done, and basically forcing them to prosecute him. Then the legal system gives him credit for co-operation. That would really piss Key & co off.

      He cannot. The electoral commission has to check a complaint about a breach of election day law and/or advertising prior to the period and pass it to the police if it is deemed to be a breach. Essentially things that are deemed to be violations of the electoral acts.

      In the case of Banks, the electoral commission asked the police to investigate. It doesn’t seem to me to be likely that a stupid accident on election day will cause them to do so.

      • McFlock 8.1.1

        Well, the stuff story says that the EC referred the Cunliffe tweet to the police.

        Personally, I’d prefer a court case over diversion – turn up, say sorry, take any consequence the judge feels like imposing for such a pissant cockup, and then talk about accountability and leadership by example.

        As opposed to the Banks Gambit, which is to refuse diversion and argue “innocence from incompetence”.

  9. Naturesong 9

    Well done McCready. I do think a few folks are missing the point of what he’s doing though.

    While he has warned Cunliffe about his lapse in judgement on the day of the byelection, his real message is to every single politition in the upcoming election; if you break the law, no matter how trivial, I will hold you to account.

    He is also highlighting the failure of the police to do their job. Maybe their behavior will start to change as well?

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      McCready’s is a very interesting kind of civic activism. I dare say it is one form of popular civic pressure on politicians, and along with more powerful referendums we should be looking at other ways as well.

      • Naturesong 9.1.1

        Set up a non profit called the McCready Foundation run on donations and by volunteers?

        Assign each member an MP, budding MP, or local equivelent to moniter.

        Engage all the university student bodies to advertise for post grad law students that wish to donate their time to this worth cause; sticking it to polititions that treat the public with contempt.

        I like it 😈

        The McCready Foundation
        Holding the electoral commission to account, one politician at a time

  10. Viv K 10

    Is Twitter actually public? You have to actively choose to follow someone, so isn’t sending a tweet more like sending an email to a group of associates (rather than saying something on the radio) and so, is that illegal on polling day?

    • karol 10.1

      Twitter is public unless the person operating the account locks it as private and only accessible to followers. However, in the first instance, a tweet from a publicly visible account only goes to followers and/or those accounts that are explicitly addressed.

      Nevertheless, anyone can access David Cunliffe’s Twitter stream if they know/find his URL.


    • Colonial Viper 10.2

      Ahhhh good point. However you’re not allowed to tell anyone how to vote on the day, even if they are your neighbour or friend. Tweets are visibile to your followers immediately. In turn, they can “retweet” your message in order to make it visible to all of their followers.

  11. Puckish Rogue 11

    I don’t think that what Cunliffe did is that bad but maybe an example needs to be made so that all the other ministers and parties start taking the electoral laws seriously

    Maybe a whopping big fine against the party rather then the minister?

    • Francis 11.1

      That wouldn’t really make sense, as the Tweet was made by David Cunliffe and not the Labour Party. The decision to send the Tweet (so far as we know) had nothing to do with the Labour party, hence the responsibility lies on the person who sent it.

    • karol 11.2

      When did Key make Cunliffe a minister?

  12. swordfish 12

    But, you know, getting back to the core point of ZETETIC’s post, I entirely agree that far too many are getting gongs for services to their own bank accounts.

    As for giving honours to “ordinary people who have truly gone above and beyond and acted where others failed” – I would have to say (as a parochial Wellingtonian), Arise, Dame Pauline Swann (of Wellington Waterfront Watch).

    Among many other thoroughly worthy recipients who work their arses off to make life better for their community, mind you.

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