There’s a hard-hitting piece in the Herald today – from Jarrod Gilbert on how National has lied to the country’s face and got away with it.
Tolley claimed before the election that 34% of drug offences and 25% of homicides were by a small group of gang members – and here was National’s policy response to them.
But Gilbert knew that was wrong, and last year got the real stats – 4% for drugs, 0% for homicides. National dodged the response, and where forced blamed the police for lack of clarity. But the police advice was crystal clear. National quietly changed their cabinet papers to reflect reality, but there still has never been any public admission of muck-up from National, and as those stats were put out to fanfare, common belief will be that they are true.
And so, as Gilbert puts it:
Although I can prove the gang figures were an utter nonsense, two questions remain: was the Government unaware the data was faulty or did it use the data to fool the public? In other words, did we elect idiots or did we elect smart people who have treated us like idiots? The only thing we know for certain is that we elected people who will not reveal which is which. Either way we should judge them accordingly.
Given that this is one area I know well and can prove political manipulation, I wring my hands pondering how much other information is being used to create false impressions about important issues. This is hardly a situation that will comfort those who appreciate honest and open democracy.
lprent: Colin James apparently has a similar theme in “Will Key ‘man up’ on what counts for kids” that will be in his Otago Daily Times column today.
It details the discrepancy between what John Key says he wants his legacy to be for disadvantaged kids, and the pitiful efforts that he and his ministers actually do.
I read it in email. Can’t see it online yet. If anyone has a link…