Labour screws up by attacking Shewan

Labour skewered their own attack with dodgy information and defamed John Shewan in the process.

Radio NZ reports:

With the release of the latest pecuniary register, a surprise addition with Mr Key declaring a short-term deposit with a firm specialising in foreign trusts; a company that talks up the benefits of New Zealand’s “tax-neutral” environment and disclosure regime as being conducive to “carefully managing the inter-generational transfer of wealth” – exactly the type of arrangements the government has agreed to review.

Mr Key mounted a “nothing to see here” response.

His long-time lawyer moved firms and took the deposit, that now sits in a bank account, to his new company Antipodes Trust Group Limited, Mr Key said.

Nothing illegal, nothing unethical, but a gift to the opposition nonetheless, which could have used the mid-week question time to link Mr Key with foreign trusts, even in a superficial way.

Just muck racking, but nothing illegal or even unethical. All Labour does is chuck muck.

Instead, Labour went off on a tangent with the following lengthy narrative; the man appointed to carry out the tax review, John Shewan, had been sent to the Bahamas (along with former politician Don Brash) in 2014 to advise that government on introducing GST.

In the end, Labour argued, their advice was aimed at helping the Bahamas preserve its status as a tax haven, raising questions about the suitability of Mr Shewan to carry out the review of foreign trusts and therefore Mr Key’s judgement in appointing him.

Its evidence? One line containing the opinion of a reporter who wrote a story at the time for the Bahamas newspaper, The Tribune.

As well as pursuing a dubious and confusing line of attack against both Mr Shewan and Mr Key, Labour diverted attention away from the Antipodes Trust story, which it should have tried to exploit to the fullest.

It also raises questions about impugning the reputation of political “civilians”, and whether they should be collateral damage in such debates.

At the start of the week, Labour leader Andrew Little talked about focusing on the important issues New Zealanders care about – after a poll showed his party at 28 percent – and the need for his caucus to lift its game.

The Bahamas story was an own goal, and one which has left Labour effectively sidelined this week when the government could have expected to come under real pressure.

Labour has a bad habit of attacking civil servants and technical experts in their attempts to hit National and John Key.

They botched this but haven’t had the temerity nor grace to apologise to Mr Shewan.

Labour are a bunch of political retards, doing retarded things. No wonder they can’t lift in the polls.


– Radio NZ

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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.