Rodney Hide on National’s gutlessness

Rodney Hide write in the Herald on Sunday about National’s cowardice in pursuing David Shearer and his previously secret offshore bank account:

The frightening part for Labour leader David Shearer forgetting to declare his $50,000-plus offshore bank account is National’s response: next to nothing. The Prime Minister said simply that Shearer’s memory lapse was “unfortunate”.

Unfortunate? That’s scary.

Not only scary…it could be gutlessness.

The usual political playbook is straightforward: 1. Make the account suspicious; 2. Keep the story alive; 3. Ensure a public inquiry; 4. Bust Shearer.

The political play is best run by an up-and-coming backbencher. Ministers must be seen as too busy running the country to be bothered.

The backbencher doesn’t allege any wrongdoing. That requires evidence. The only concern is perception. 

The backbencher kicks off by asking why an MP and party leader would ever need an offshore bank account. “The political leaders who have secret offshore accounts aren’t the sort we usually have in New Zealand.”

The story is kept alive by pressing hard through the media with new questions every day. Day Two: “Mr Shearer must come clean with just how much he has in his secret account.” Of course, Shearer will refuse. Good.

Day Three: Allege it’s over a million dollars.

Journalists do the rest. They put the million-dollar figure to Shearer. If he doesn’t deny it, then a million dollars it is. If he denies it’s a million, the journalists won’t let go until he declares how much it’s below a million. The account’s dollar value is secured easily enough.

A new day, a new question. When did he last use the account? Who put the money in? When and why? Why hasn’t he closed the account? On and on it goes.

The public inquiry is achieved by making a Breach of Privilege complaint. It’s impossible for Parliament’s Speaker to refuse. If failing to declare $50,000-plus in a foreign bank account is not a breach then MPs are free to declare Mickey Mouse or whatever on their register of interests.

The resulting Privileges Committee is media gold. Shearer must front to a committee of senior MPs, most of whom are on the Government’s side. The questioning is in public, on camera. Week after week he must explain to incredulous MPs how he forgot about having tens of thousands of dollars in an offshore bank account but somehow remembered every year when he completed his tax return.

Sounds like Rodney has done this before.

What I find amazing is that no-one has come forward to defend Shearer. There is abject silence from the left wing blogs. Sure there have been a couple of distraction posts from bloggers still controlled by the Labour party, but they were limp.

Rodney has come to a conclusion though as to why the Nats aren’t into this boots and all…go read the ending.


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  • Next week Rodney Hide will prove that water is wet.

    • Rodney hasn’t figured that out yet.

  • Pete George

    Scott Yorke tweeted:

    I hate Rodney Hide for being so wrong. But I hate him more when he is right.

    I think he was referring to Rodney’s ending.

    It’s an odd situation when the right support Shearer staying and the left want him gone – it would be funny if it wasn’t so damned serious for the future of our country. Mumblefuck, Whine&Wacky, YesmeansNo, and WhiteMofo could still become our next Government.

    And the quality of the associated caucuses is even more worrying.

  • Michael

    Do you think that John Key vs David Shearer in the leaders debates next election are going to favour Shearer in any way? John Key will mop the floor with him. Peters will roll over him. Norman will crucify him. Even Dunne will outshine him.

    • Steve R

      Roger that

    • Patrick

      Yes & in that scenario even though the Greens are whacky the lefties will all vote for them because they cannot bring themselves to vote for a “right” party. That is very dangerous for NZ.

      • GregM

        Absolutely right Patrick. I would like to know what percentage of the green vote is actually from dis affected labour voters rather than genuine green voters.

        • StupidDisqus

          You mean there’s any difference?

          There are 15% nett taxpayers. They vote National, ACT & Conservative.

          There are another 30-% of who hope, one day, to be nett taxpayers. They often vote national.

          There are 70% of people who – one way or another – are all bludgers.
          Luckly enough of them don’t bother to vote that from time to time we get a National government.

          • Bunswalla

            Based on your maths I can see which group you belong to!

  • Steve R

    Its in John Keys interests to go up against Shearer as Opposed to someone with some guts . He’s a weak fool who is being out shined by all of the smaller parties . I bet most of the labour ministers regret not voting him out in February now hahah

  • Macca

    Rather than chastising National for their supposed lack of response, how about getting stuck in to the media for theirs?! This allegation against Sheep is a serious one, yet the amount of reporting it got from the MSM was minimal and it was treated as being trivial – yet we still get Novapay rammed down out throats as a top news item every other day FFS!!!!!!!!!
    When is this left leaning, biased media going to be held to account?
    Make no mistake, if Shearer and his gang of fuckwits think this issue is dead, he’s going to have another think coming come the next election! The media may think this is dead and dusted but Key will make him look like the raving hypocrite he really is come the leaders debate – along with his $300,000 houses and buying back of the partial sell down!

  • mick le prick

    Yeah Rodney is right We want Umm arrr umm Shearer as Opp Leader lol
    But i think John Key Gets most us saner Kiwi’s f#2k playing Politics Lets Focus on the Job
    Move Nz Forward
    Because come Election we need results

  • BJ

    Everyone knows that when you are observing the behaviour of two ‘parties’ in a disbute/fight the one that you have most respect for and will back come the end game is the side that showed maturity and integrity, fort clean and didn’t gloat – that will be National at the next election and hopefully translates to votes from previous Labour supporters that have had their eyes opened over the childish, dishonest and downright sick behaviour of Camp Labour

    • StupidDisqus

      Shearer misled parliament. Every day he stays as an MP – let alone a Leader – is a huge blot on NZ’s constitution.

  • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

    “But National has done none of this. That means only one thing. National
    want Shearer right where he is: leading the Labour Party into the next

    OR – May be Naked Emperor is in the same position as Sheep now and doesn’t know what to do?!?!?!??! Thinking aloud. Cindy is into researching this folks.

  • StupidDisqus

    Shearer has no defence. He mislead parliament.

    Has he sued you for libel, Whale? Nope. Gee I wonder why.

    Shearer should be out of parliament, Labour would rip itself apart into factions in trying to replace him, and then we’d have a nasty little Labour-vs-Green fight for Mt Albert.

    What’s not to like?

    • JonathanP

      How many times has your Fuhrer Key mislead parliament? Oh you forgot about that huh. The guys supposed to be running the country and cant even keep his lies straight.

      • StupidDisqus

        Key has never mislead parliament.

  • rockape

    I wish Rodney hadnt taken his own advise. If he hadnt set himself up as a perk busting crusader.he would still be leading ACT, ACT would have more MPs and Natioal would have a viable right wing partner.Dont ask Key to make the same mistake Rodney did.

  • StupidDisqus

    Rodney’s just a wee bit upset that that’s what Labour did to him.

    Rodney threw his stone through the glasshouse wall years ago.

    Fact of the matter is both the communist state press, and the socialist “private” press will be pro-labour at the next election. Key has given Shearer a pass in misleading parliament. For every US dollar Shearer has in bank accounts, Joyce will have five, and Key himself fifty. Now those of us posting here, NZ’s 5% nett taxpayer, think that’s a good thing. Of course MPs should be privately wealthy – people who aren’t should be in parliament, let along government, let alone a PM! That’s just – commonsense. You don’t want unions losers troughers running the country.

    But the other 95% of Kiwis – bludgers all – will think it’s a very bad thing indeed
    And they all have a vote in spite of the constitution principle of no representation without taxation!

    Every time Key goes after Shearer for his (rorted, bludged, UN) money
    Shearer will come right back at the whole of cabinet for their (actualy deserved) money.

    This is a PR battle smile’n’wave cannot win – so long as bludgers vote, because bludgers vote only for bludgers. You may not realise this here, but that’s how NZ goes.

    The real reason Key is gutless? We still have welfare, we still have SOEs, we still have state schools and hospitals and all the rest! If Key had given Ruth, say, one more real budget, it wouldn’t have mattered if National were wiped out at the next election: once the schools & hospitals & roads are private & benefits are gone there’s no way a government can bring them back again!

  • AnonWgtn

    Key’s points made are actually very clever.
    Look at the Labour Party (not political wing – except Robertson and his ???? friends) and see what they think of Shearer.
    It continues to reinforce their dislike of his leadership.
    With effectively no comment from Nats etc the ball remains with Shearer and Labour.
    If Key went to town then Labour would bitch it’s Key’s fault.
    Good strategy.

    • StupidDisqus

      If Key did what is constitutionally necessary Shearer would have been gone last week, and we’d be looking a at by-election and brutal Labour 3-way split.

      If Key “went to town” then state sector unions, and the parties that exist on their largess, Greens, Mana & Labour would no longer exist

  • peterwn

    David Shearer and Len Brown are two of National’s significant assets going into the 2014 election..

  • fozzie2

    Absolutely sure we do not have the full facts of Key’s investments and accounts – all hidden behind layers of trusts – hell Shearer US account probably would have enough money to pay for Key’s wardrobe ! Seem to remember Johnny using the ‘I don’t remember’ on too many occasions to count – pot meet kettle….

    • Mediaan

      I would be surprised if the Shearer foreign account held less than half a million US dollars. He worked overseas for almost twenty years and the UN pays vast amounts, loony amounts, plus living allowances, all evidently tax free. That makes a big sum of savings.

      My view is that he concealed it because,
      ONE, he expected to go back to the USA, where he is preserving his pension rights, and
      TWO, because he had to play the socialist working man and so he didn’t want to look like a rich brick.

      He revealed it only when it became clear he would take Labour into an election. (As Dr Cullen’s Bosom Pal keeps telling us, with a very meaningful air.)

  • phronesis

    Just another card that National has up its sleeve come election time. Memories are too short to bother with it now (and they want Sharer to stay just where he is). Come the election debates the greens will have a go at Key and he will deflect on to Sharer.