DPS and the PM

John Key attacked at Waitangi

Just yesterday I mentioned that Labour had stolen National’s election year play book…from 2002. Today we have seen yet more proof that they can’t see the wood for the trees. Perhaps Pete Hodgson and trevor Mallard can sit down with Murray McCully and have a chat about how the wood/trees issue is going to pan out for them.

Meanwhile fresh from displaying naked opportunism and hypocrisy over Government use of the airforce, Labour’s chief dirt digger Pete Hodgson is on TV tonight criticising John Key for his Diplomatic Protection Squad (DPS) security detail.

Labour really needs to get a grip and stop flinging random mud hoping some will stick. it’s the trees/wood thing I have previously mentioned. We get that labour hates John Key, and that they think he is a rich prick, we get that, the problem is we want to hear what Labour is going to do about things like the $300 million we are borrowing per week to pay for their promises.

But back to the issue of the DPS. Firstly, I’d be very concerned if John Key was telling the police how to do their jobs or how they should arrange their rosters.  I’d expect the Prime Minister to be wise enough to leave security to those who are experts at it.

The Prime Minister was actually attacked in 2009 at Waitangi. And guess who got the blame for the ‘embarrassing breach of security’ ? Why yes – it was the DPS.

John Key attacked at Waitangi

The security breach even alarmed Phil Goff and he;

‘sent the Prime Minister a message that he hopes he wasn’t harmed’

Others on the left also commented:

‘In any other country than New Zealand such an attack would have been treated extremely seriously. It is difficult to imagine that a person found guilty of assaulting the President of the United States would be at liberty to harangue him again, from a dangerously short distance, just two years later.’

The DPS just can’t win with Labour or TVNZ. They’re either too slack or too careful.

Back in 2007,  TVNZ was among those claiming incompetence when Helen Clark’s home was ‘tagged’ and a robber hid in her yard:

Questions are being raised about the competence of the Prime Minister’s security team after two embarrassing incidents for her minders.

The Sunday News claims security at Helen Clark’s Auckland home is being reviewed, after a man who had robbed a dairy was able to hide out in the backyard.

As well as the incident involving the robber, the Diplomatic Protection Squad also failed to stop youths from tagging the PM’s house, and several others in her Mt Eden street.

And what was Clark’s response at the timehttp://www.stuff.co.nz/national/196757

‘Clark, who is on holiday, was not available for comment but a source said she was fuming over the breaches.’

So rightly, the DPS reviewed their procedures yet again.  The same story tells us they’d already boosted Helen Clark’s security after an encounter with a member of the Exclusive Brethren.

‘She is now routinely shadowed by two or more DPS staff.’

Yet tonight, Hodgson’s complaining there’s too much Prime Ministerial protection and telling police how to do their jobs because he knows best.  Goff needs to haul him into line.  If, God forbid, something happened to the PM or his family Labour would be stranded on the wrong side of public opinion (yet again). And it’s not as if there haven’t been any threats.

‘Get someone to assassinate the prime minister, the new one, next year’s one. Just been in office five days, bang … Yeah, John Key … just drop a bomb … Just wait till he visits somewhere and just blow them … They won’t even find you.’

One more thing:

Dodgy Pete is suggesting the increase in the DPS bill is all about John Key. Clearly trying to smear Key as precious and soft. But even his fellow traveller Trevor Mallard has the sense to recognise that the DPS look after more than just the PM:

‘Their job is to protect the Governor General, the PM, international political visitors and diplomats when there is a security issue.’

Have we had VIPs recently? Like a Prince, or the US Secretary of State, or other Foreign Leaders?  Did this contribute to the cost?  Of course it will have.

I even recall Don Brash had security allocated to him for a time when he was Opposition Leader, but unfortunately for invisible Phil Goff he’s clearly not deemed to be at risk.  Envy perhaps?

It’ll be interesting to see whether Goff gets protection for this year’s campaign.  Although now his wife’s acting as his chauffeur – maybe she’ll just multi-task.

UPDATE: Perhaps embarrassingly for Goff… I’ve just found a video where he talks about getting the DPS to ride Triumphs with him to Christchurch in the unlikely event that he becomes PM. (04:11)

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.