The Herald could barely contain its self-satisfaction when National’s David Farrar complained to the Electoral Commission that the country’s largest private sector union, the EPMU, which comprises 50,000 working New Zealanders, should not be allowed to register as a third party under the Electoral Finance ACT. â€˜ Law gags friend as well as foe‘ proclaimed an editorial (would the Herald have been OK with the law if only foes were gagged?), which saw ‘delicious irony in the fact that one of the first victims of the Electoral Finance Act is a labour union’ and repeated Farrar’s lines nearly verbatim while not once mentioning that Farrar is a National activist.
In total, the Herald devoted four articles with 3452 words to Farrar’s attempt to muzzle the EPMU’s 50,000 members, as the Herald continued its campaign against a law that ensures New Zealanders know who is directing political propaganda at them.
Of course, Farrar’s inept complaint was rejected by the Electoral Commission on the most basic of grounds.
Did the Herald then retract its stance? Did it reveal the petty political nature of Farrar’s complaint? Of course not. It ran a 48 word article â€˜EPMU a ‘third party’‘ that made no reference to Farrar’s compliant or the Herald‘s editorial position.
How far our largest newspaper has fallen.