Yesterday Winston Peters went to the house and attempted to skewer Murray McCully.
McCully lacked the courage to turn up to the house to answer the questions, sending Gerry Brownlee instead to run interference.
Gerry Brownlee made such a hash of his answers and obfuscated so much that David Carter gave Winston an extra question. He even admitted that he wasn’t an expert on the Cabinet Manual.
There may well be a case for the Privileges Committee regarding Brownlee. His answers could be argued to have misled the house.
What Winston has uncovered however is that it appears that Murray McCully acted unilaterally without referring the issue to either the Cabinet Secretary, Prime Minister or the External Relations and Defence Committee as required by the rules of the Cabinet Manual.
What is also obvious is that Gerry Brownlee wasn’t fully briefed on the issue and instead thought he could brazen his way through it.
Murray McCully and Bill English are going to have to answer questions, so far they have shown abject cowardice.
If I was Bill English I’d be sitting down with Wayne Eagleson and start wondering why this issue didn’t die during the summer break like he was told it would.
Adequate answers have not been forthcoming as to why New Zealand stood with terrorists, despots and dictators instead of with the only democratic nation in the Middle East.