The two sides to Peters’ story

Update: Chris Trotter recounts being told recently, “There’s a big pot of money out there to get Peters this time – big money.” More food for the conspiracy theorist!

Yesterday’s antics in Parliament can be viewed in at least two ways:

Rodney Hide’s attempts to expose corruption at the core of NZ’s democracy were ruthlessly crushed by the outrageous actions of the Speaker of the House.

Or

Rodney Hide’s attempts to gain milage out of airing accusations that he has probably already given to the appropriate authorities — and certainly should have — fell foul of the longstanding (and necessary) parliamentary convention that matters that are sub judice should not be raised in Parliament.

Needless to say, the former view is the accepted account on the right-wing side of the blogosphere. I’m betting that many left-wing bloggers — the party hacks at least — see things largely in terms of the latter view.

Rodney Hide was using question time to air his allegations. But the misuse of question time in that way is fairly common practice. I’m not a party to his motives. He may be concerned that the allegations should be dealt with before the election. However, since he has built his entire political career around cheap scandal-mongering (just don’t mention Fiji, anyone), I could be forgiven to taking a more cynical view.

In the end Hide’s motivations don’t matter. These matters need to be aorted before the election, so that the “court of public opinion” is an informed “court of public opinion.”

But this still doesn’t excuse Hide’s throwing a dummy and challenging this Speaker’s authority in an unprecedented way. I’m no great fan of Margaret Wilson, but I felt for her when I read the transcript. The right-wing bloggers might think that we should jettison established parliamentary conventions — hey, why not undermine the courts? — whenever their parties’ can get some advantage, but good on Wilson for sticking by the rules.

Hide got off lightly.

There’s another side to this whole Peters saga that of course the media aren’t about to report, as they have played a key part in it. Astute observers will have noticed Cullen’s interjection and withdrawal.

As well as learning the truth about the elaborate funding mechanisms that peters has operated, and whether Peters has lied about any aspects of these operations, the voters deserve to know who is behind the campaign to eliminate Peters and their motivations.

[Note: I was going to copy the entire (uncorrected) Hansard transcription, but Chris Trotter has beaten me to it.]

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5 Responses to “The two sides to Peters’ story”

  1. Paul Williams Says:

    Cullen’s interjection was telling as was National’s approach to the situation. I’m not unwilling to accept that Winston’s big business targets might be prepared to assist ACT if the likes of Hide attack Winston’s credibility. In this way, Winston and Rodney are just two sides of the same coin; possibly both corrupt.

    That said, I agree that this situation needs to be clarified before we go to the polls – including any consideration of the financing of ACT.

    National’s actually played this well, or at least not sought to play at all. My concern is what ACT hope to get out of it should National form a government? Worse case scenario (leaving aside Douglas in Cabinet), any correction to the EFA will simply reopen the previous secret channels.

    Agreed Paul. How ironic it would be should the checks on such practices in the EFA get watered down as a result of Peter’s political demise!

  2. Grant McKenna Says:

    I’m not a supporter of the EFA, but certainly I see the possibility that the result of all this mess will be the abandonment of any oversight on electioneering. Nonetheless, I think that one promise John Key will keep will be to have a consultative process undertaken to draw up a new law, as it will mean that Labour will be continually questioned about what they have done in the past — and will tie them to the screw-ups of the current law.

  3. macdoctor01 Says:

    matters that are sub judice should not be raised in Parliament.

    Did I miss something? Have the SFO laid charges against Winston for accepting bribes from Simunovich? Is there some case involving Winston and the scampi industry going on? No? Then how can Hide’s comments be sub judice? You are doing the same thing as Ms. Wilson – trustingly accepting the words of a man who consistently misleads the entire nation. Bill English’s point was well made.

    It could end up with the ridiculous situation where no questions could be asked, because a member has said that he or she was involved in a court case, if we are to go just on the member’s say-so, and some members may well be in the position where they are always involved in some kind of legal matters related to their own activities. So I think we need to be pretty careful in order to make sure that a member cannot be prevented from asking a question. It is one of the basic freedoms of this House.

  4. Paul Williams Says:

    macdoctor01, the Standing Orders state that a members’ word must be taken as true until proven otherwise. There are mechanisms for testing what a member says, however, the Privileges Committee being one of them. In this situation, the Speaker has given a ruling to Hide on this question – over at Farrar’s site I’ve asked Hide if he’ll make it public.

  5. Peters: The other story « Jafapete’s Weblog Says:

    […] path to power — has been pretty clear from about week 2. I’ve posted on it here and here. More recently Trotter revealed being told that, “There’s a big pot of money out there to […]

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