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Not with a bang but a whimper

Written By: - Date published: 6:11 am, September 23rd, 2008 - 38 comments
Categories: election funding, nz first - Tags:

The Privileges Committee has reported back. Peters is censured for not declaring that he had made a pecuniary gain from his lawyer taking donations for Peters’ legal fund. A minority of the Committee, the Labour and NZF MPs, disagreed with this censure pointing out that the evidence given to the Committee was that, had Peters sought official advice on whether to he needed to declare the donation to the fund, he would have been told he did not. The report also recommended that Parliament  force Peters to re-submit his declarations of pecuniary interest for the last three years. The majority report finds Peters committed a contempt of Parliament. The House will consider the report today.

So, the committee found what everyone knew: Peters story doesn’t add up. But it also shows that this story isn’t really about anything significant. Oh, no, a politician didn’t make the efforts he should have to find out what benefit he may have gained from a legal donation, his form was wrong as a result, and he made up a story to try to cover himself. Shoddy behaviour to be sure but nothing that actually impacts on the substance of government.

Can we get on to discussing how to raise wages, whether we should break up ACC, and how to protect our environment now? Hide will miss the attention, but I suspect Kiwis will welcome coverage of issues that affect their lives instead of the latest gossip about who knew what when regarding some legal donations.

38 comments on “Not with a bang but a whimper ”

  1. NeillR 1

    “i don’t care who uncovered the lie, i care about the lie”
    Apt words indeed. Surely a $40k donation to the Minister of Racing goes to the heart of the “substance of government”?

  2. Razorlight 2

    I 100% agree with you SP.

    Time to move on from Winston and yesterday’s news about Key’s shareholding 5 years ago.

    This election is about the future. Lets talk about it.

  3. No Steve, the Privileges Committee found, by majority, that Winston Peters KNOWINGLY provided false or misleading information. That is several steps further down the track than what you are suggesting.

    I seldom commend the Greens, but on this occasion, they have shown a principled approach to the matter before the PC, as have the MP and UF. On the other hand, if anyone prejudged the evidence, it was Labour First.

  4. Stephen 4

    Shoddy behaviour to be sure but nothing that actually impacts on the substance of government.

    Bollocks! You’re happy with a guy like that being part of the Government?!

  5. Monty 5

    Sorry Guys you are wrong. Winston Peters has been found by his peers to have lied and mis-led Parliament. More importantly hehas enjoyed the protection of Helen Clark for his lies, deceit and corruption who has know since February that he received $100,000 (plus more money)

    I totally agree with IV2. Do not forget that the Greenies, Prissy Peter and and the Maori Party have all found Winnie guilty of Lies and corruption.

    Never before has a senior Minister so misled Parliament, and then to make matters worse the Prime Minister has protected him all the way (and she will continue to protect him – WHY????????)

  6. Razorlight 6

    Although one hour ago I said it was time to move on, (I think there are more important issues) I have just noticed the most popular stories on the herald web site. Have a look if you like. Two of the top five are Winston stories

    It appears everyone logging on to read their morning news is in fact quite interested in this story. But Michaels release of the netron bomb is not gaining much attention.

    The John Key attacks are just not working.

    Mr Cullen, start telling us how Labour will lead the economic recovery or hand the job over to someone else. This game of yours of catching out Key is infuriating when their are huge issues that need adressed.

  7. Billy 7

    So, the committee found what everyone knew: Peters story doesn’t add up.

    Everyone apparently, but the Labour members on the committee.

    Can we get on to discussing how to raise wages, whether we should break up ACC, and how to protect our environment now?

    So no posts on John Key’s Tranzrail shares in the future? Hmmm, bet you a pork and fennell sausage roll that topic comes up here again.

  8. burt 8

    John Key must have been correct when he said Labour were Donkey deep in this, there is no other explanation as to why they continue to support the lying minister of racing.

    Will be interesting to see what the the next moves of the SFO and the Police are now.

  9. Felix 9

    should of?

    Should have, Steve, should have.

    100 times, please.

  10. AndrewE 10

    I just don’t understand why Labour would keep on protecting him. He has to have dirt on them. I can’t see any other rational explanation.

  11. Felix. you’re right, blame my Tomorrow’s Schools education. and so are the others who picked up that I got the committee’s decision a bit wrong… I was writing at 2am going off the NZPA report. will correct

  12. vto 12

    Disagree vehemently SP. If parliament was a court (ha ha – lord knows why its called the highest court in the land) and the ‘all-powerful’ PC a higher court like Supreme (more ha ha) then Peters has been found guilty of perjury.

    You really think someone found guilty of perjury (or fraud, or theft, or (insert dishonesty crime here)) is suitable for the office of minister in a NZ govt?

    I don’t.

    Is it illustrative that you do?

  13. vto 13

    moderation again?? whats going on?

  14. vto 14

    now my “moderation again?” comment is in moderation. arghhh!

    [lprent: Last time you restarted your router, you managed to get an IP range that was set to block someone who was refusing to abide by a ban. If they keep coming back then I set IP range checks to fire them into moderation so we can check them. The downside of it is that we sometimes get false positives. I’m afraid it is the price you sometimes have to pay on a moderated site. ]

  15. NeillR 15

    Everyone apparently, but the Labour members on the committee.
    Good point. If Labour is so wrong on a decision like this, how can we possibly “trust” them to run something important – like the country!

  16. Daveski 16

    SP – I will hold some fire seeing it looks like you are in the process of correcting.

    I’m happy to disagree with your views most of the time but I have noted consistently you attempt to provide an analytical rationale, even if I don’t agree with your analysis 🙂

    What would interest me is your analysis of why/whether Labour should have ditched Winston some time ago. It would have seen to be politically prudent to do so, particularly in light of the fact the Committee’s view is cross party EXCEPT Labour and Winston First.

  17. sorted vto.you just need to give us a minute.

    he hasn’t been found guilty of prejury but yes I think it’s clear his dealings are at least dodgy and he appears to have been dishonest about them. I didn’t want him as a minister anyway because he’s an old conservative. But politics is the art of the possible, if letting him keep his warrent bt removing his portfolios lets important legislation like meal breaks/breast feeding, waste minimisation, and the ETS pass then it’s an unfortunate price to pay.

    So what if it costs a wee bit more having him as a minister without portfolio than if he were just an ordinary MP. The Government spends $165,000,000 a day, I’m more concerned with questions of how substantial sums of that should be spent to make NZ a better place.

    Which won’t make me hypocritical when my post on Key’s lies comes up. Incidentally, he wants to be PM. His trustworthiness is a much more significant issue and, as I will say, his actions make him a hypocrite over the rail buyback.

  18. NeilR. perhaps you should judge them on their record of running the country. Just as we should look to what National did last time in government as the best indicator of future behaviour.

    Daveski. unfortunately it’s the art of the possible. To my mind it would have been better never to have had a government with NZF and UF but the numbers weren’t there for a more leftwing arrangement. Ironically, if Labour gets in again, their government will probably be more leftwing than this time because they will need the Greens and Maori Party (just as National will be dragged right by ACT)

  19. vto 19

    SP your other issues (diversion a-la C/T?) have some merit, but on this actual matter the committee made a point of stating that he deliberately misled them. What I said was that if that was a court (and Peters himself has countless times referred, all self-importantly, to Parliament as the highest court in the land) then he has lied to the court.

    That is perjury.

    And that is entirely inappropriate for government.

    It is interesting to note the standards you consider acceptable in order to get laws through. imo very very low standards.

    It is precisely for this reason that politicians are consistently held in such low regard. Clark’s action/non-action reinforces this.

    You and others on here often go on about getting more people to engage in politics – well a great place to start would be in getting politics to set some basic standard and stick to them. The people turn off when criminals are making laws for them.

  20. Pat 20

    “If Labour gets in again, their government will probably be more leftwing than this time because they will need the Greens and Maori Party”

    I wonder if Clark has some extra work to do with her coalition partners as a result of what took place in the Privileges Committee. Russell Norman and Flavell would have witnessed the darker side of Cullen in action, in particular in taking a position in dogged defence of Peters which Norman and Flavell clearly disagreed with. This might not sit well with them, and Labour should be wary to not take their support for granted (especially The Greens), or they run the risk of being blind-sided by the new boy on the block Russell Norman.

  21. Santi 21

    SP, an unabashed Winston Peters apologist? What a surprise!

    Whatever it takes to advance the cause of socialism.

  22. NeillR 22

    Steve, i’d look at the people running it. Like the eleven Cabinet ministers who have been forced to stand aside due to impropriety. That’s before we get onto the record numbers of people leaving to make a life elsewhere. Or even the increase in violent crime. And to be honest, the last National government came in at a time when the country had been run into the ground by Labour (sound familiar). They were able to get us through one of the most difficult periods in recent times. In fact, the economic conditions we are now in are as a direct result of the laws implemented by National in the 90’s. Given the uncertain times ahead, they are the party that i want in government.

  23. vto 23

    SP, if you are unperturbed at having a minister effectively guilty of perjury in a labour govt in order to get laws through then why the f%@#k are you concerned about any other party establishing a govt with similar type crooks in its midst, as you intimate re Key’s share dealings?

    Really, the double standards espoused here come so thick and fast that I think you’ve become completely immune to the basic norms required in people responsible for administering a society.

    Tell me what I’m missing..

    and please don’t divert

  24. Daveski 24

    SP – if I was on the left, I would be genuinely concerned about the impact of NZF altho conversely Winston has an art of turning these types of things to his favour. You CAN fool some of the people ALL of the time 🙂

    In my mind, both the Greens and the Maori party have come out in a stronger position given their process driven decision.

    Both would be in an even stronger position politically if they could work with either National or Labour although I suspect the Greens are less able to do so.

    I’d don’t genuinely see the Greens as potential partners of the Nats but it may help them get more concessions from Labour if it goes that way.

  25. RedLogix 25

    Anyone here actually read the report in full?

    It is far from the one-sided and shallow matter that the media have painted it as.

    Read it before commenting.

  26. I am surprised Steve expresses no concern about the $40,000 gift to Peters from presumably the Velas through the Spencer Trust.

    I would have thought he would think the Prime Minister had a right to be informed if her Minister of Racing had a $40,000 debt paid off by people in the racing industry.

    [David, you’ve expressed more than enough concern for all of us. Would you might express so much concern for the incomes of working Kiwis were National to get to power Anyway, I’ve commented on the Vela stuff earlier. SP]

  27. vto 27

    SP I know you fullas and fullesses don’t like being hounded but what am i missing at 9.50?

    [lprent: There isn’t anything sitting in the moderation or spam queues. It has all been released.
    BTW: If you didn’t see my previous note. I also removed the trap that you were getting caught in]

  28. vto 28

    Actually Mr Farrar that is a very good point. After all that is the standard that Cullen was bawling on yesterday. Does it apply to their govt too? or not?

  29. Humm poor mr Farrar, of all those 1000’s of words he worte, im sure it must be well over 100 posts by now, and all he manages is for winstons support to jump from 3 to 5%, can you say impotent?

  30. This is destroying Labour’s non-core vote, which I’d say is about 30-35%. Peters is pushing away that 10% that Labour cannot form a Government without.

    Labour and their supporters are damned if they concentrate on negative campaigning making “this election… about trust”. Because the trust the public have in the Government is very rapidly being burned.

  31. Hey SP – nice reference to Eliot’s hollow men (and straight over the heads of most here) – you are a clever bastard…

  32. Billy 32

    I do not understand ‘sod. Are you and SP suggesting the world is ending?

  33. Yes Billy – I suggest you go long on tinned food and reader’s digest condensed editions and start sleeping in your basement…

  34. Thomas the Unbeliever 34

    “…. Which won’t make me hypocritical when my post on Key’s lies comes up. Incidentally, he wants to be PM. His trustworthiness is a much more significant issue ….”

    Exactly. If the focus is Key as PM then we must also look at Clark the same way. Either she was blind and stupid to Peters(which noone accepts) or she knew and let it go.

    We all accept Peters lied – often. We all accept Peters failed to follow rules which that help protect against corruption – then lied about breaking those rules.

    The real issue is how the PM chose to appoint someone she knew was untrustworthy (fired by last 2 PM’s) then ignored his repeated lies and helped him cover up.

    Both Peters and Clark have been politicans for 30 years – and 2 of the best politcal operators NZ has seen. They have both been caught out.

    Key has been guilty of some naivity in politics – but he is learning. When caught in a mistake – admit it early and in full.

  35. Bill 35

    Thomas the Unbeliever

    Third time I’ve asked today. Dunno why I can’t get a response, maybe you can help?

    I’m still waiting for the right wing to beat up on HC for deceiving the NZ public and defending JK over his share holdings.

    She ‘knew’ he had shares. He denied it. She took him at his word and made no comment to the media/ NZ public…essentially allowing JK to hide behind her skirt tails.

    She acted in the same fashion towards Key as she did Peters .so, are the right wingers going to be equally consistent in their rationale of condemnation?

    Key is ducking and diving in the same way Peters ducked and dived. ( It was the Trust that owned the shares, not me; the register is wrong; there were no shares anywhere, the government has the dates wrong; um, ah, em)

    So what gives?

  36. Rex Widerstrom 36

    Can we get on to discussing how to raise wages, whether we should break up ACC, and how to protect our environment now?

    It might have paid to have cc’ed your fellow authors Steve. It looks a tad silly when seven out of the following ten posts are not about any of those things but are in fact about John Key’s share holdings.

    In fact cc yourself while you’re at it, since you wrote two of them.

    I happen to think there’s nothing more significant than when a politican lies, whether his name is John or Winston. Because it goes to the absolute necessity that we must have trust in our government, whether or not we agree with it, otherwise it loses its legitimacy.

    If those lies concern enriching oneself with one’s own money while using one’s position as an MP to do so, it’s appalling. But if those lies concern accepting other people’s money to purchase your integrity, and by extension government policy, it’s even worse.

    I wouldn’t trust a government led by a liar or one propped up by a liar and which resolutely buries its head in the sand and pretends it doesnt have clear evidence of those lies. I want our representatives to live up to commonly accepted standards of honesty, integrity and fairness.

    You, on the other hand, seem not to mind the actual lies, rather you just see them as yet another politicised weapon with which to attack your “enemies”.

  37. Swampy 37

    Let me see, one comment on the Privileges Committee Report and no fewer than seven on one story about John Key.

    The report does impact on the substance of government because Helen Clark’s government is in a coalition with NZ First, and because he has been suspended as a Minister from his portfolios. Furthermore Cullen has announced he will not be reinstated to those portfolios.

    The fact of it is that most political commentators, the ones that really are independent, have with considerable justification roasted Peters over this matter. Is there anyone in the mainstream media prepared to defend him?

  38. Swampy 38

    So er SP, if you agreed Winston had his usefulness of helping Labour get back into power after the last election, then isn’t it now the perfect opportunity for Helen now she has announced the election to ditch him?

    I may be a true blue voter but what most people cannot fathom is that now that the election has been announced and that Parliament has only a few days to run and that Winston has lost any ability to bring down the government, why it is that Labour continues to flog a dead horse by siding with him at every turn.

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