Connecting the dots on Shearer’s secret overseas bank account

via Stuff

via Stuff

So here’s this man, David Shearer.  He’s got no track record with Labour, but they want him.

Why?

He’s done an awesome job for the UN, got an MBE from the UK (not New Zealand), and is obviously capable at some level.  But why does the New Zealand Labour Party want this particular man?

Before promoting anyone internally?

Before any hard grafting unionists?

Before any social barrier busting gays?

Before any career politicians that have stuffed envelopes and walked up more garden paths to ask for a vote than Shearer has had hot dinners?

What is so special about him?

Before his election as a Member of Parliament Shearer has twice previously stood for the Labour party.

In 1999 he stood as a list-only candidate and in 2002 he unsuccessfully contested Whangarei.

He didn’t even stick around.  He left New Zealand, instead of working his way up the Labour Party.

In May 2009 he returned to New Zealand and won the Labour Party nomination for Mt. Albert against seven other candidates – an inevitable conclusion as Dear Leader Clark had decreed it to be so.

Shearer comes from the UN.

Helen goes to the UN.

Hmm.

As New Zealand finally gets to meet the man, he’s a nice enough bloke, but an obviously inexperienced politician.  He still isn’t even close to being match fit for media appearances where he blows his own Party’s attack lines on a daily basis.

Now, one thing is clear:

A deal was made to get Shearer into the Labour Party.

He didn’t arrive because his father was the union guy at the railway workshops, if you know what I’m saying.

A deal that involves the then current Prime Minister of New Zealand talking to one of the UN’s high flyers, at the end of which, the then current Prime Minister of New Zealand vacates her seat, gives it to the UN high flyer, and ends up in a nice job at the UN herself.

A man with ambitions to become Prime Minister.  A man, paid lots, tax free, by the UN.  A man, who stores these monies in an overseas account, and keeps it here for many, many years.

He doesn’t declare it on the New Zealand register of pecuniary interests for 4 years.

Suddenly, he “remembers” that he must do so.

So here’s what I think is going on.

Shearer buys his way into NZ Labour.  He pays two ways.  One, he makes sure Helen Clark gets a job at the UN.  Two, he brings with him a tax-free, invisible, off-shore war chest.

Let’s use common sense here.  Nobody leaves cash lying around in an account for four years, by accident or otherwise.  If it’s there being eroded by inflation, and if it needs to be cash in an off-shore account, we get to another question:

Why?

It just makes no sense for a man like Shearer, who has obvious experience at that level, to leave an undeclared pile of cash lying around because he just ‘forgot’.

It has to have a purpose.

We know the New Zealand Labour Party is flat broke.  Not even the unions dues being filtered through Union donations to the Labour Party can make up the sort of war chest needed to fight an election.

Except they have a Prime Minister in waiting with a pile of invisible tax-free, UN cash stashed in a bank account overseas.  It isn’t unreasonable to think it has an amount in the $0.5M – $1.5M range in it.

We’ve seen some quite capable projections on what Shearer would have earned over the years at the UN, and the money suggested to be in his overseas “forget” account would only be a smaller part of it.

Let’s face it, if it has $50-$100k in the account, Shearer would have said so, the story would have ended there.  But he’s chosen not to reveal the total.  This means that the total is sufficiently large to be a negative to him and the Labour Party if it was to be revealed.

Not all election services are invoiced by New Zealand companies.

Not all election services are performed by people in New Zealand.

There was absolutely nothing to be gained from revealing the existence of the bank account.  Shearer took a huge credibility and trust hit.

So why reveal it?

The fear that the existence of the account would be exposed by National.

Word got to Shearer that “National knew”.

National knew, and it would sit on this knowledge until the election.

Shearer has no choice now.  He has to take the initiative.  He has to take the hit now, when it is still long enough from the election.  And hope that by the time it is brought up again later, most of the bite will have gone out of it.

But the problem remains:  here is a man, in charge of a party that is flat broke, wanting to be Prime Minister, with an overseas bank account that he kind of unwisely keeps full of cash, “by accident”.

It’s there to be used.

Waiting.

For four years now.

So Labour should be very, very careful if they think they want to pursue a privileges complaint, because to do so would invite a retaliatory complaint about David Shearer’s ‘forgetfulness’.


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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.

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