Herald Editorial on Shearer’s memory hole

The Herald Editorial is scathing of David Shearer, but first they have a flick at Banksie:

Act leader John Banks did himself few favours this week by pouncing on David Shearer’s failure to include details of a New York bank account when he declared his financial interests to Parliament, as required under the MPs’ Register of Pecuniary Interests. In calling for the Labour leader to stand down, Mr Banks refocused attention on his own memory lapse over a political donation from Kim Dotcom. Equally, the difference between the two cases was instantly recognisable. Mr Shearer corrected the record off his own bat when he realised his mistake. There was no such candour from Mr Banks.

What rubbish. In politics you give as good as you get and when the person who was poking the borax at you is caught pants down then you hit back hard. Good on Banksie for ignoring the more squeamish Nats who were telling him to shut up. If they weren;t going to call out Shearer’s hypocrisy because they lacked balls then good on Banksie for doing it. 

Nevertheless, the incident, viewed in isolation, was a blow to Mr Shearer’s credibility. At best, he could be accused of untidiness. At worst, informing Inland Revenue about the American account, which contains payments from his time with the United Nations, yet somehow forgetting his obligations to Parliament, suggested an inattention to detail unworthy of an aspiring Prime Minister.

Mr Shearer was also shown to have failed to adhere to the highest of standards after demanding that very thing from others. Inevitably, the episode invited accusations of hypocrisy such as that levelled by Mr Banks.

David Shearer still needs to explain how he came to be doing his end of year tax returns two seeks before the tax year ended? he needs to explain just how much is in those accounts so we can assess the quantum of his forgetfulness. He also needs to tell us how he remembered his bank account for tax purposes but not for disclosure to parliament. Fortunately for David Shearer the media are in his lap and all he got was a light tickle up. If the same had occurred for John Key I imagine we would never hear the end of it.

If Mr Shearer wants an extreme example of how potentially damaging that can be, he need only refer to the case of one of the Act leader’s predecessors, perk-buster Rodney Hide. The incident also undermined his ability to criticise memory lapses by others, not least John Key. What we forget we do, indeed, we often come to regret.

Sanctimony never gets there and always trips you up. The worst thing David Shearer is he has destroyed Labour’s main attack plank for next year which was to paint John Key as clueless, forgetful and prone to brain fades. That strategy is now in tatters…perhaps they might like to address National’s popularity with some policy ideas.


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  • blokeintakapuna

    “Attack with policy ideas” that really is rubbing salt into their wounds, as everyone knows the left dont have any credible ideas and that’s why they can only attempt to cut down the tall poppies so by comparison the left look almost as ‘credible”

  • Joe Bloggs

    The NZ Herald does its trivial serves on Labour outstandingly well. This piece could well have been written by one of Shearer’s own spin-doctors.

    Notice the repeated references to “transgressions” from National and ACT…

    …and the developing meme that “at worst…[Sheare’s ‘forgetfulness’] suggests an inattention to detail…” as if that was the worst that could be taken from this.

    No, Mr Herald, at worst it shows that Shearer acted with hypocricy and a casual indifference to his “holier than thou” sanctimony in deliberately hiding money in secret offshore accounts.

    At worst it shows that Shearer is corrupt, and a liar.

    At worst it suggests that Shearer has a conflict of interest with Labour’s policy to spend billions of dollars pushing down the exchange rate, as that would allow him to convert his US dollars into NZ dollars at a higher profit.

    • StupidDisqus

      Nope – at best it shows that Shearer is corrupt, and a liar.

  • Rodger T

    How the fuck could anybody vote for this person?
    He can`t even articulate his own name so how could he possibly articulate NZs position on any subject on the worlds stage.

  • Si

    Banks is a liar and so is Shearer. It’s utterly ridiculous that anyone tries to condone either of these two. A pathetic game. Call it for what it is …. lieing. Did one tell a bigger lie than the other? Probably, but who give a shit.

    • StupidDisqus

      Nope – but Shearer lied to parliament

      Banks didn’t

  • johnbronkhorst

    “the difference between the two cases was instantly recognisable”. .You bet it was, banks broke NO laws!! Shear broke the rules of parliament. Banks’ indiscretion was done ONCE, shearers was 4 times. Banks can credibly claim that he had nothing to do with the receipt of money (promising to pay [by dotcom] is NOT the same as actually paying). Shearer knew about the money (declaration to IRD), he knew he had to declare his interests and still didn’t…..no that is the definition of INCREDIBLE!!!!

    • Si

      Banks knew he was deceiving and he was happy to do it for profit. I call that being a a dirty cheat of the worst kind. Interesting you don’t. I’m not defending Shearer, good riddance I say, but Banks is every bit as bad and the sooner I see his arse walking into the political sunset the better.

      • johnbronkhorst

        Really…you know better than anyone else…you have PROOF? That’s more than anyone else has and besides he broke no laws!!!!!

      • StupidDisqus

        No. Because like it or not, under NZ’s constitutional arrangements, a a dirty cheat of the worst kind. is either
        – aiding the enemy in time of war, or
        – lying to parliament.

        It really is that simple. ANd as Whale said: Shearer lied to parliament. It doesn’t matter if we think he’s useless and would rather hey stayed to Bill-Rowling the next election he’s got to go

  • Bob

    ‘David Shearer still needs to explain how he came to be doing his end of year tax returns two seeks before the tax year ended?’

    Is this not because he is completing his return to March 2012 that are due to be filed by end of March 2013? I have just been finishing mine off my 2012 returns as we’ll.

    • Callum

      Only if you are on a tax agency. Individuals on a PAYE deducted salary rarely are, that would indicate significant investment income sources as well. It would also mean his accountant would be doing his tax return NOT him, if he was simply getting the info together for his accountant then he had no excuse to take so long. Really screwing his accountants filing stats.

  • Doug

    A major difference Banks was standing in a Mayoral Campaign, Shearer is the Leader of the main Government Opposition Party.

    • Si

      Ohh I get it. It’s ok to lie your arse off if you are only running for mayor. Silly me, I thought lying politicians were scum no matter what side of the fence they sit on.

      • StupidDisqus

        Of course it’s OK to lie your arse off when you’re campaigning. It’s called politics.

        Lying to parliament is – effectively – treason. Even Winston was very careful not to say his “NO” in the house. Because if he did, he’d have been gone.

        Key should have manned up and wiped Shearer out.

  • Patrick

    Something prompted Shearer’s memory “recall” – it will be interesting when that is revealed.

    • Joe Bloggs

      I’ve been thinking the same thing – he was working through the same routine each year:
      – do the tax and declare the hidden offshore account to the IRD
      – ‘forget’ the declaration to the House
      Four years in a row – that’s a reasonable start for someone to form and engrain a habit.

      Then all of a sudden the pattern is broken …

      …so who found out and threatened to shop him in?

  • StupidDisqus

    Shearer lied to parliament. Banks lied but did not lie to parliament.

    Carter should have referred Shearer to the priviledges committee and demanded his resignation – if he didn’t go himself, Key should have made it a confidence issue and voted him out.

    Result – vicious election in Labour to make a new leader – with any luck, perhaps even a formal split! And an equally nasty Labour-Green by-election in Mt Albert.