Audrey Young has picked up the real problem

Look a flying pig!

Now that Barclay has caved to Bill’s bullying it is perhaps relevant that the focus now comes onto Bill English for his actions in this whole debacle.

Audrey Young has picked up the real problem, albeit written before Todd Barclay quit:

The Todd Barclay story matters, not because it is about a new MP who is accused of taping his former electorate agent’s office conversations before she agreed to resign in an employment dispute.

This is not about an employment dispute.

It is now about the Prime Minister, trust and credibility.

And there will be more to come as journalists start to find out that Newsroom simply shopped a put up story from Bill English’s office.

With the emergence on Newsroom today of a text that English sent to former electorate chairman Stuart Davie about the matter, what the PM knew and when becomes very important.

The text that English sent on February 21 last year makes a statement of fact in response to a text from Davie who said Barclay had denied the taping allegations and asking English if it was true.

English: “He left a dictaphone running that picked up all conversations in the office. Just the office end of phone conversations. The settlement was larger than normal because of the privacy breach.”

Asked by Davie is that was the end of the matter, English texted: “Yes. He and Glenys bound by confidentially. Glenys settlement large to avoid potential legal action. Had to be part paid by prime minister’s budget. Everyone unhappy.”

Bill English is usually a careful and honest man.

Except he isn’t and wasn’t. Glenys Dickson has now breached that confidentiality and she should be investigated for making an agreement under false pretences…or at the very least paying the taxpayer back for that money.

Note the collegial way English refers to “Glenys”.

He is not the sort of person who would represent a mere allegation in the midst of an ugly employment dispute as fact to his former electorate chairman.

English had reason to state it as fact last year, when he was merely the former MP for Clutha-Southland and was known to all parties.

Today as Prime Minister he has conveniently forgotten how he came to make the statement as fact. His previous certainty has morphed into amnesia.

He says he cannot recall who told him about the recording.

But he ran off to Police to throw his junior MP under the bus. Some leader he is.

What we now also know about the OIA papers released by the police was that they were missing two vital pieces of information: a statement made to them by Bill English about the recording and the text messages between English and Davie.

Quite why those pieces of information were missing is yet to be explained by the police.

If the police want to avoid assumptions that they have withheld information that would be damaging to their political masters, they should release English’s statement forthwith.

His reputation and theirs may depend on it.

Or perhaps the Police were told by a senior member of English’s office to be economical with details?

The truth will out and it will be English under the cosh not Barclay. Barclay is now off the table, he’s gone, meaning the focus now comes on Bill English and his behaviour.

Bill English’s own dirty sting, run by spastics has bit him on the proverbial.


-NZ Herald

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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.