The big lie

“Since the formation of NZ First, we have assiduously at all times complied with the electoral law of this country.” (Source.)

Some of us have been prepared, even in the face of growing incredulity, to let the processes of the law take their course before pronouncing judgement on Winston Peters. You know, innocent until proven guilty, a cornerstone of our legal system.

As a result we cannot be accused of incorrectly accusing him of lying when he said “NO”, the large donation to NZ First revealed by party president Dail Jones did not come from Owen Glenn. Nor of incorrectly accusing him of lying when he said that donations from Sir Robert Jones reached NZ First. Others can be.

However, NZ First’s repeated failure to declare donations from the Spencer Trust is difficult to fathom and impossible to excuse. A complaint having been made, the Police must expeditiously decide whether to lay charges; and this time, ignoring a blantant breach of the Electoral Act would be unforgiveable.

Further, Peters must have known that NZ First had not been complying with its legal requirements on disclosure when he howled time and again that it was “assiduously at all times” doing so. After all, it was the Party’s failure to comply that gave rise to these controversies. Peters must have known about the failure to comply. He must have been lying.

Despite the touching faith in provincial lawyers’ and accountants’ competence displayed by a kiwiblog commenter and retailed by right-wing blogs, it is possible that amateurism is at the root of Peters’ problems.  (Or, looked at another way, provided the ammunition to mount a campaign to eliminate him.)

Peters and NZ First stand condemned not of excepting large anonymous donations — theirs pale into insignificance compared to National’s — or of keeping these secret through shady trust funds — ditto — or even of making mistakes in declaring incomes or expenses in the recent past — eveybody is guilty of that. But of lying about it.

There is now more than enough proven to justify cutting Peters loose.

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5 Responses to “The big lie”

  1. AndrewE Says:

    You’ve restored my faith in humanity!

  2. Thomas the Unbeliever Says:

    JP – If ACT/National, the KiwiBloggers and fellow travellers had all followed the softly softly approach you favour – do you really believe that we would have seen these admissions. I suspect that come Tuesday we will see more (and far greater) NZF/WP lies revealed.

    Bottom line – the opposition have done their job. It has been dirty, distasteful and times more than a little hypocritical – but they did a job that Labour would have done (and did do) when sitting on the opposition benches.

    Thomas, Umm, National did go softly until very late in the piece, leaving ACT to do the dirty hard work. I don’t think that Farrar’s 1,298 posts on Peters had that much influence on outcomes, either. All it took was for someone to initiate the correct procedures — something I well recall Clark very early on pointing out was open to anyone to do.

  3. Thomas the Unbeliever Says:

    I agree that they should have drawn a clear line far earlier. But I suspect that National were going softly like a duck – not much visible activity above the water-line but plenty going on below. The signs were all there.

    On the other hand – the government (and its cheer teams) are still acting as apologists for Winston. Although I note that, like you, the cheering has muted over the last few days. Come Tuesday the silence may well be deafening.

    Doing the right thing eventually is not the same as doing the right thing.

    Thomas, Ignoring the long-established rules about innocent until proven guilty is the “right thing”? And does that last sentiment not apply to National because you “suspect” they were doing other stuff below the surface? The Greens were also one amongst the first to start asking hard questions, please note, well before the Nats.

  4. Thomas the Unbeliever Says:

    Agreed. The Greens have not resorted to Hide’s play book, but they have always held their nose around Winston. In recent times the smell has got too great for even the lovely Jeanette to continue to politely ignore it.

    The real point is that Helen is closest to Winston, has the real power to act, and is one of the smartest politicians NZ has seen – surely she must have smelt it too?

    In politics “innocent until proven guilty” only applies whenthe trial/jury is not rigged. The reality is the public largely decides on the credibility and truthfullness of politicians – not the PC/SFO/Police/Courts. I suspect the Court of Public Opinion has made its decision already.

  5. barnsleybill Says:

    Nicely put JP, it is nice to see that your moral compass has almost caught up with the rest of the country.

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