Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, June 22nd, 2017 - 37 comments
Categories: bill english, Dirty Politics, john key, national, same old national, spin, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: Todd Barclay
As a somewhat lapsed catholic I feel sorry for Bill English. He must be reflecting on the content of the eighth commandment. This bans bearing false witness against thy neighbour. The colloquial phrase is lying.
Maybe he did not lie about his knowledge about what happened in the National Party Clutha-Southland office. Who knows. Maybe he made an honest mistake. But I think he should visit his closest church and take the sacrament of penance, otherwise known as confession and mention the eighth commandment. Just in case.
Because over the past couple of days this is how the event involving Todd Barclay played out:
“The employment relationship is between Parliamentary Services and the employee. She had been a longstanding staff member and it was quite a quick exit, so there would have been a package of some sort.
“Employment disputes happen in all workplaces all the time, and I don’t think there’s anything out of the ordinary about an employment settlement taking place.
He said she had “possibly” broken a confidentiality agreement, but he wasn’t sure.
“I certainly don’t intend to break any confidentiality agreement myself, whether she has or not that’s a matter for her.”
His lawyers said he didn’t have to speak to the police so he didn’t.
Mr Barclay said he shouldn’t have been as ‘specific’ in his comments to the media about the allegations.
“For legal reasons I am unable to comment further, the employment dispute has been resolved and is the subject of a confidentiality agreement.
“I’m sorry if any of the answers I gave this morning were misleading in anyway.”
Barclay was facing multiple problems and his departure was almost inevitable although the size of the severance package will rankle. According to Newsroom there is an investigation into the bona fides of his selection. And elements of the Southern National party are calling for the police investigation into Barclay’s actions to be reopened.
Bill English’s basic problem is that he is not John Key. I can recall a comment made to me about Key during the 2014 election shortly after publication of the Dirty Politics book. He would front a press conference and lie about what had happened. The reporters knew he was lying. He knew the reporters knew he was lying. Everyone went along with it and it was because he was so confident and so good at it.
This video shows what happened in painful detail.
English is not able to do this. This week we have seen him struggle. We saw him realise that he had said something that was not true and it had been discovered and he had to acknowledge this.
English should acknowledge formally and openly that he has done something wrong.
Only then will his catholicism be at peace.
He is not out of the wood yet. His latest claim, that he reported the allegation to the police, should be easy to resolve. His statement, given on April 27, 2016 suggests that he was a somewhat reluctant witness, not the cause of the investigation. The text discussion with Stuart Davie happened on February 21, 2016. No doubt further questions will be asked.