The scandals that aren’t

The DomPost raises questions this morning about “a $20,000 deposit to the party’s bank account that does not appear on its register of declared donations.”

You know, I’m no friend of Peters, but I’m inclined to sympathise with him on this one. Here are the details relayed breathlessly by the rag:

“The Dominion Post has obtained a deposit slip showing $19,998 was deposited in one or more cheques into the party’s coffers in December 1999.”

Readers of this blog will immediately spot that the amount is actually just under $20,000 as opposed to being $20,000, and understand the significance of this. I’d be prepared to bet good money that this is in fact two cheques for $9,999. You would be too, I’m sure.

When asked to comment on this Peters is reported to have responded:

“Contacted for comment yesterday, the party leader, Winston Peters, said: “Phil, I told you I’m not talking to a lying wanker like you. See you.” He then hung up.”

Not very diplomatic, but understandable. If anything, this sort of nonsense just provides Peters with evidence that he is being unfairly targeted.

Likewise the SST story about racing industry support for NZ First. Even that walking bag of bile Michael Bassett has to resort to phrases like “a lot of” and “It’s not too much to say that” to try and construct his fantasy that this “appears” to be “a major political scandal.” Gosh, appointments to the New Zealand Racing Board had the support of “big racing industry players”! So full of bitterness and hate that he has no shame.

[Update: The Standard says much the same thing about the DomPost’s story.]

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6 Responses to “The scandals that aren’t”

  1. homepaddock Says:

    It’s not that NZ First received donations, it’s that the party and its leader have railed against the influence of big business and anonymous donations to political parties. Whether or not it’s legal is debatable but there is no doubt it’s hypocritical.

  2. Stephen Says:

    But if we don’t know who these cheques were from, how the hell can we know whether the cheques were from ‘big business’ or just some guy with a fair bit of spare cash? If the latter, then there is no issue at all.

  3. Stephen Says:

    Odd that the cheques were just under the threshold actually – that’s a bit sus.

  4. jafapete Says:

    Stephen,
    Probably all the parties represented in Parliament except the Greens got donations of just under the $10,000 limit, or operated laundering operations like National’s Waitemata Trust, so that they remained undeclared and secret.

    I guess some wanted the secrecy partly because people donating big time to one party don’t want the other parties to know. Or there may be more nefarious reasons, as appears to be the case with racing industry donations.

    The EFA was partly an atempt to bring more transparency into NZ politics, because of suspicions such as those you express. So I agree that Peters is being shown — on the face of it — to be egregiously hypocritical. But so are those who campaigned against the EFA, especially the Herald and DomPost, and now expect us to be shocked by practices that conformed (as far as we can tell) to the laws that they supported.

  5. Inventory2 Says:

    JP – the Dom-Post article also refers to a quote from Peters on 28 February this year that NZ First had “never accepted money from big business” – and he may be right. But how much has the Spencer Trust received from big business? And how much has the Spencer Trust drip-fed to NZ First in amounts just shy of declarable threshholds?

    Meanwhile, Rodney Hide has a question to the Minister of Foreign Affairs this afternoon – will Peters front, or will Michael Cullen answer on his behalf?

  6. jafapete Says:

    I2, We’re all agreed that Peters is in a class of his own when it comes to being brazenly hypocritical.

    If they’d said, “More evidence today that Winston Peters has received large donations from wealthy interests, despite railing against such practices for years and years…” I would have said, “right on DomPost, go for it.” But they didn’t. They opened with the line that I quote in the first paragraph above.

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