- Date published:
8:24 am, June 20th, 2017 - 113 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, bill english, john key, national, Politics, same old national, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: Todd Barclay
Generally National has in recent years been really disciplined. There have only been occasional shows of born to rule behaviour and any indiscretions that have occurred have been dealt with quickly and tidied up.
One problem area for them though that has resurfaced involves young Todd Barclay and problems caused by his clear belief that he was a cut above the rest.
I described some of the background in this post:
Wee Todd has been involved in an employee dispute. This is not a good place for a National MP. Such is their contempt for workers rights that if they ever get involved in a dispute they always stuff it up. The combination of thinking that you are a cut above the rest and that employees should have no rights means that you make legal mistakes every time.
Long serving local Parliamentary Services staffer Glenys Dickson resigned about a month ago. I get the impression she was National’s version of many good people I know who work for MPs, who provide a contact point for ordinary people with problems concerning Government Departments and act as a local contact between people and MPs who are too busy and time constrained to do the face to face stuff. The work is really important. So many of the issues transcend politics and just require a competent and humane approach. People just want help. Competence and understanding rather than ideology are important.
Dickson’s resignation has obviously caused something of a crisis in the local National Party. Electorate chair Stuart Davie has resigned and has described his position as being untenable. And a second staff member has also resigned. National Party members believe that the matter deserves further investigation.
The cause of Dickson’s resignation or at least the last straw may be a secret recording. And there may be major repercussions. There is a police investigation under way into the allegation. From the Herald:
A police spokesman would not confirm whether a complaint had been laid, saying he could not comment on individual cases.
But it is understood that at least two current or previous employees in Mr Barclay’s electorate office have been approached by police.
The police involvement is believed to be related to allegations that the first-term MP made a secret recording of a staff member.
What offence could the police be investigating? Well secret recordings may breach Section 216B of the Crimes Act. The section says:
… every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years who intentionally intercepts any private communication by means of an interception device.”
At the time John Key was relaxed. Again from the post:
And how has John Key responded to this allegation of lawless activity by one of his MPs? He is relaxed. Again from the Herald:
Prime Minister John Key backed Mr Barclay this week, saying that he had seen no evidence that he had done anything wrong.
Mr Key said he had spoken to the MP.
The police did investigate but were stymied in their investigation. After promising to “cooperate fully” Todd lawyered up and said nothing. How the English language can change dramatically … No charge was laid.
Unfortunately for National details have now become public about the efforts made to deal with issues surrounding Todd Barclay’s problem. Melanie Reid at Newsroom has published this article. Read it in full. It is a cracker.
She interviewed Glennys Dickinson who has chosen to now speak out. Clearly she has no doubt that the surreptitious bugging occurred, even though Barclay has denied it. She described a strained relationship where Barclay used to regularly shout at her.
Problems for the Government posed by the contents of the article include:
Some of the details are recorded in an unredacted Police document that Newsroom obtained. You have to question why it was redacted for the original release. This information should be released so that our democracy can function properly.
And you have to wonder why no search warrants were ever executed by the police. Or why a prosecution based on what Bill English knew was not considered.
The Government will no doubt holding emergency meetings concerning these disclosures. Often the cover up is more damaging than the original offence.
Todd Barclay might be a brat, but Bill English is PM, and he colluded in shafting humble electorate staff who served him loyally for decades
— Lew (@LewSOS) June 19, 2017
— My name is Scott and I'm a Tweetaholic (@LostArcNZ) June 19, 2017
As Trump may soon learn, improperly trying to get investigations dropped can be illegal. https://t.co/xha2bZbCNv
— Graeme Edgeler (@GraemeEdgeler) June 19, 2017
Is anyone in National guilty of "Conspiring to defeat justice"? Andrew Geddis: It's not the crime, it's the coverup https://t.co/0bOXCqk0uH
— Bryce Edwards (@bryce_edwards) June 19, 2017
"Don't tell the Taxpayers Union." pic.twitter.com/v2JKeT1NgZ
— David Slack (@DavidSlack) June 19, 2017
— 1 NEWS (@1NewsNZ) June 19, 2017