HDPA on the Bill’s balls up

Heather du Plessis-Allan hits the nail on the head…the rot starts at the top.

Barclay’s exit will probably cauterise the crisis. At least that’s what the National Party is hoping.

It’s what they would call an “elegant solution”. The guy who looks most guilty takes the fall, the bloodlust for a scalp is satisfied, New Zealand goes to sleep, wakes up and goes to work. Crisis over.

Except, the most junior National Party member involved should not be the only one held accountable. This rot goes right to the top.  

Yes it does. Does anyone, especially a political journalist really think that Todd Barclay was even allowed to take a dump let alone handle his own employment matters without someone senior in national having at least oversight, but more likely donkey deep in micro-managing the issue.

We got an insight into how the National Party runs and, folks, it’s ugly.

There are claims of hush money, claims of interference with a police investigation and claims of a cover up. It’s like a plot from House of Cards, minus a murder on the train tracks.

Where’s the accountability from the Prime Minister? Bill English said Barclay had privately confessed to making the recordings, yet he allowed the junior MP to deny the same fact publicly for a year.

Where’s the accountability from board member Glenda Hughes who allegedly advised the staffer to withdraw the police complaint? If proven, that seems like obstruction of justice. That comes with a jail term of up to seven years.

Where’s the accountability of Wayne Eagleson, he was and is chief of staff to two Prime Ministers…and provided oversight on this issue for both of them?

English came into the job of Prime Minister seven months ago looking squeaky clean. Even hardcore lefties warmed to him a little. He seemed progressive. He believed in policies to help the most disadvantaged. He alone spoke out against the Dirty Politics behaviour when everyone else ducked and ran during that crisis.

If only the media and others knew about Bill’s own dirty politics.

But now Ethical Bill looks a whole lot less ethical.

I did warn you all.

Also, we’ve seen again how divided the National Party really is. John Key managed to make it look supremely united, but really, the backbenchers are angry at the senior ministers for imposing decisions on everyone else like generals issuing orders.

We saw signs of division when Jonathan Coleman and Judith Collins had the audacity to run against the anointed Bill English for the leadership in December. We saw it this week when the senior ministers cut Barclay, while backbenchers continued supporting him. We saw it in the shock of junior MPs at how ruthless the affair became.

The more divided a party is, the more it leaks and undermines itself. The less it’s able to hide cover ups and scandals from the public. The more likely we are to find out when things like this happen, and hold those responsible to account.

This time though, it looks like the most junior guy’s taken the fall. Alone.

It’s not over yet. There is disquiet amongst the backbench, serious disquiet. Ministers are also speaking in hushed tones, and these are ministers you’d never have thought would speak against the leadership so wedded they were to John Key and then to Bill English.

Bill English has lost control of his caucus, with many thinking that if he is prepared to get involved in local electorate petty grievances and let his personal animosity cloud his thinking then perhaps he shouldn’t really be leader much less Prime Minister.

The rumblings are there, they will spill over if this ends up before the Privileges Committee.

The fact that Bill English can’t shut up, and every time he opens his gob he adds more intrigue suggests his time might be up one of the other.

The media smell blood, and they know Bill is lying. It is not going to end well.

 

-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.

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