Peters’ time running short

Serious Fraud Office director Grant Liddell has confirmed the SFO will investigate the Peters donations. (Press release here: pdf.)

“Liddell said he suspected an investigation may reveal serious and complex fraud -– the bar he has to reach before being allowed to launch such an inquiry.

“I want to emphasise that it is entirely possible that there are innocent and honest explanations. The use of statutory power to require documents to be provided will enable the SFO to ascertain how funds were applied.”

Peters responded that he “will meet this investigation head on”, labelling the investigation “ridiculous”.

So, fasten your seatbelts folks, it looks like we are flying into a large pocket of political turbulence. Clark has decided to sleep on the matter, but it is difficult to see how she can avoid suspending her Foreign Minister. Who knows, she may already be readying Phil Goff to step in as acting minister and sounding out Peters’ reaction.

Would Peters try to bring down the government and precipitate an early election? He’d probably be on a hiding to nothing after the latest revelations. He knows the consequences. In any case, as noted below, the Maori Party could give the government their support for the ETS, the single remaining big ticket item. With Brian Connell’s abrupt resignation, things just got slightly easier for the government in terms of making up the numbers. I say, go for it Helen!

Update: Not sparing the opportunity to use a provocative metaphor, Chris Trotter sums up the role of the press in this whole affair:

“…this particular dog-fight is being stage-managed… A carefully orchestrated campaign of character assassination — the political equivalent of a gang-rape — in which members of the news media have become as deeply implicated in the planning, timing and execution of each assault as the politicians themselves…”

Yeah, this week’s events couldn’t have come at a better time for the Nats.They were fast losing control of their narrative, and the gap was closing

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2 Responses to “Peters’ time running short”

  1. AndrewE Says:

    You mean Trotter’s bit of hearsay? 🙂

    Andrew, I think it’s what the old media call “a well-informed source” if it’s said to a journalist.

  2. Denis Says:

    There is a possibility something else is at work here. It’s a need for stories, myths if you like. Peters is the arch scallywag, complete with one of the western world’s most infuriating smirks. He also comes with a long history of getting away with it – being the/any dustup du jour. It’s a Clintonesque mix that since man developed enough to learn to envy has had scallywags torn down – see Inquisition, Nazi Germany, Salem witch trials etc. Given Peters’ roaring history of re-invention something akin to that might be lurking here; go after him, bring him down so he’s just like us, and then admire the way he bounces back, his return easing the sour aftertaste from trying to destroy him in the first place. This assumes a capacity for a sour aftertaste, by no means a given.

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