Once again Rodney Hide has come out with a fiery piece on National’s handling of Sabin:
Government attitude disrespects us
I concluded last week that Prime Minister John Key would have to do some explaining. He didn’t. He has refused. He’s not saying whether police briefed him or other ministers about their investigation of MP Mike Sabin. That’s it. Move along. Nothing to see. To hell with Parliament. To hell with ministerial accountability.
The date of any briefing is explosive. It’s certainly not nitpicking. Sabin chaired the law and order select committee, which oversees the police. He was hopelessly conflicted. So, too, was our Parliament and justice system. How could the chairman be holding police to account when he himself was under police investigation? We deserve to know who was responsible for such dreadful judgment and management. …
Read on for plenty more. In contrast, The Herald’s anonymous editorialist de jour would rather sweep the whole matter quietly under the carpet:
Sabin a matter for the police, not politicians
Since the resignation of Northland MP Mike Sabin two weeks ago persistent questions have been asked about what the Prime Minister knew of a police investigation and when he knew it. But those questions beg a much more important one: ought ministers be told anything about an investigation such as this? The disturbing element in the story is not so much that Mr Sabin was given the chair of Parliament’s law and order select committee when he was already under investigation but rather that all sides assume the “no surprises” rule in the public service extends to a police inquiry.
“No surprises” may be a common convention for public servants, requiring them to alert their minister to anything likely to attract adverse public attention, but it should stop short of investigations by law enforcement agencies.
The country’s top cop says police did not drop the ball when it came to telling the Government about the Mike Sabin issue under the ‘no surprises’ policy.
The anonymous apologist can’t change the facts. Ministers were briefed, and Key either knew or is running the most incompetent administration ever. Final word to Rodney:
It’s distressing to see Parliament treated with such disrespect and a disrespect that continues through blanket refusals to answer straightforward questions.
I fear ministers are confusing public interest with their own interest. It’s easy to see why. To tell us who was briefed, and on what date, would be to tell us who was responsible for such an appalling and unacceptable undermining of Parliament.