Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Compulsory Owen Glenn Donation Post

I am pretty new at this blogging thing, and still trying to come to good decisions about what to write and what not to write about. It's clear that I've made one really serious mistake over recent days in that it seems that it is compulsory to have some comment on the current Winston Peters imbroglio.

So here goes.

1/ Like most members of my generation I have been hoping for the end of Winston Peters' political career since I first became aware of politics (so for at least 20 years now.) These hopes have always been dashed. In retrospect it was a sign of everything that has proven to be wrong with the current term of the Labour-led government when he took such a prominent role in cabinet. I applaud the efforts of Kiwiblog, The Hive, No Right Turn and many others to give him the old heave ho and put us all out of our misery by having an early election. (I have to say I have particularly enjoyed The Hive's attempts to enlist the American's in this effort, although frankly I do think the CIA should stay out of it. The State department maybe I can live with :)

2/ I lost nearly all hope that this admirable effort would succeed after listening to Peters and his lawyer on Morning Report (broadcast yesterday, podcast by me this morning.) Peters' first calling was judicial recounts and it seems he has had the same lawyer for a long time, they were very confident and we can very sure they know the relevant law backwards. I imagine they have followed the letter of the law, and the letter of the Cabinet manual. I suspect that Clark will require proof of outright illegality to take action and it will not be forthcoming. End of story. The Vela donations are ugly as well, rorting the system as well, likely to be technically legal as well. The most interesting part of the story was the question of how Glenn was contacted originally and who let it be known that he would be amenable to making a donation to the legal fund. This seems more likely to be bad news for Labour than for NZ First but if I were an investigative journalist I would be following this one up.

3/ Now this should be bad for Peters at the polls, hope does spring eternal, but if I were the National candidate in Tauranga I'd be very concerned that maybe any news is good news when it comes to Peters' vote.

4/ Of course I deplore all these shady financial deals. It seems that all the major parties in New Zealand have engaged in various sharp practices to fund their efforts on our behalf. It should stop. We need electoral finance legislation that works and preferably public funding of campaigns.

No comments: