Our readers pointed out some interesting quotes in yesterday’s thread on Bill English’s attempt to bully journalists into silence over his housing allowance rort.
“The test of whether someone enjoys my confidence is not a legal test and I have never argued that Dr Worth broke any legal test.’
It’s a legal test and I am absolutely satisfied he has met the legal test
Guyon Espiner: :a legal test but morally, in the eyes of any reasonable thinking person, if it’s a fiamly trust then surely he has a massive interest in it
Key: Well the requirement is around the legal test and I am satisfied he has no pecuniary interest.
The question is not whether he has broken the law, but whether he has behaved according to the standards of a minister.
So why is English getting softer treatment than the test both he and Key have set? Why is it OK for English to behave immorally by changing his personal financial arrangements to maximise his allowances within the letter but not the spirit of the rules as long as it’s not illegal? (Key’s statements amount to an admission of that)
We know why. National can’t govern without English. He does everything; all the heavy lifting. Reports we’ve heard from various people dealing with ministers is that ministers cannot take decisions themselves without getting English’s approval first. Can you imagine if Wilkinson, Tolley, Nick Smith, Bennett, Brownlee, and the other bumblers and incompetents had to try to do their jobs without English holding their hands?
The simple fact is Key has to turn a blind eye to English’s rorting because he is too weak and couldn’t govern without him.
Now, what happens if the Auditor-General decides English has broken the rules or if further evidence comes to light proving that the rules were changed to enable his rort?