I have to disagree with my comrade Zetetic’s post arguing that it’s best if Bill English stays in office.
Yes, this scandal has permanently destroyed English’s credibility and I can see how having a lame duck Deputy PM and Finance Minister plays into the Left’s hands. But I do think our touchstone should always be principle, not opportunism.
English saw nothing wrong and sees nothing wrong in using his power, his privilege, and the trust we the people have placed in him to manipulate the rules to take taxpayer money that was not intended for him. His dodgy trust dealings may skate just within the letter of the law but he clearly breached the intention of law and, in doing so, breached the trust we placed in him.
This country is extremely fortunate to be one of the least corrupt in the world. That has not happened by accident. It has happened because whenever corruption has appeared the blow-torch of public opinion, backed by strong institutions and principled politicians, has been turned on it and it has been burned out.
Corruption is anathema to our way of life. We cannot have our leaders exploiting their power for personal gain as English has clearly done. Wherever and whenever we find corruption it must be ruthlessly and completely purged, lest the contagion spread. English’s corrupt behaviour is a cancer that must be rooted out, even though it may suit us in the immediate term for him to remain.
English is corrupt and we must not tolerate corruption. Ever. He must go.