John Key’s alleging that hundreds of thousands flowed to Labour from Donghua Liu, but as the Nat’s smear campaign unravels, even the $15,000 can’t be found.
Who do we trust – an unnamed ‘party source’ in the Herald (of unknown reliability or motive), or Party records? $15,000 is a sizeable donation for Labour, that is likely to be noted or remembered.
And Labour can’t find any trace. Maybe he managed to disguise it enough that nobody knew he gave it (just a fabulous gift to democracy) – could the Herald or National prove Liu never gave $15,000 to them (or their employees / members) in 2007? It’s a fabulous game, because it’s virtually impossible to prove it never happened.
And it’s an even better game, because there’s nothing wrong with a donation even if he did make it. That’s how our political party democracy works. So National managed to get the media going “a-ha! he gave money to you 7 years ago!” and “a-ha! you wrote a letter asking when his application was going to be processed 11 years ago!”… when there’s nothing wrong with either of those things. (And your partner spending $100 or $200 on a bottle of wine at a local Labour wine auction is hardly the way to buy influence…)
There’s no equivalence with the money Liu gave to National resulting in the special treatment Williamson and Woodhouse then gave him.
And then Woodhouse pops up again yesterday… having got the letter on May 9 and briefed Key on it – leading to Key’s stupid gloating that blew this whole smear open. Woodhouse was then had a brainfade of Key-like proportions1 when he denied all knowledge of something from last month, only to have to back-track, when he realised he’d be caught out.
But there’s a missing link here: where’s Donghua himself in all this? Surely he could clear this up very quickly. If the donation exists, he could say how he hid it beyond Labour’s record-keeping so it can be found. And the rest of the hundreds of thousands that Key is claiming.
But instead we have no evidence but an anonymous claim, and the National smear unravelling.
1 see: Key on Ian Fletcher etc