I’m not going to spend a lot of time on Peters because its not the kind of issue that affects Kiwis lives (its messy but its not like secretly planning to sell public assets). I’d rather use my post-writing time taking a deeper look at the findings of the Social Report. But…
It seems likely, one way or another, that Peters will lose his portfolios today. That’s been the standard practice when a investigation by Police or other authority is underway. Peters has said this wouldn’t derail the passage of the ETS. Let’s hope not. It would be a crying shame if the implementation of a policy to confront the most serious threat facing our country and species was blocked by a politician who wasn’t upfront.
The SFO’s powers mean its investigation should be able to get to the bottom of the alleged missing donations but a few questions will remain:
Why tell the public what increasingly looks like a tissue of lies? Unless there is some real fraud underlying all this, there was nothing illegal about the truth, except possibly failure to declare some donations on the party return – not a hanging offence. Was it merely hubris and his underdog attitude that made Peters absolutely deny any donation from Glenn when he was at least on notice, via the PM, that Glenn claimed such a donation had occurred?
Why not just hide large donations like National did with secret trusts?
Will all this finally create a political consensus that we need to rid politics of the messy business of large private donations and replace them with partial public funding, which is fair, transparent, and impartial?