It’s okay to cover up or be complicit in a criminal act

Over half the respondents in the recent Whaleoil poll said that they thought taping a conversation was worse than either covering up a crime or being complicit in it.

This is a staggering result which begs the question, have over half of us lost our moral compass?

Or are we so swayed by political bias that we simply compromise our morality to accommodate our political bias when we pass judgement?

Moral compass

 

Surely being aware of an illegal act and doing nothing about it, or even worse being complicit in criminal behaviour, is infinitely worse than legally taping a conversation in order to expose a crime?

Jami-Lee Ross taped his conversation with Simon Bridges discussing receipt of the $100,000 donation to the National Party hoping that Bridges would incriminate himself as the person who instructed the money be split into smaller amounts to avoid public disclosure. Ross claims that in an earlier unrecorded conversation, Bridges asked him to do exactly that.

Ross says the donor is one Zhang Yikun, and Bridges acknowledged this in the recorded conversation saying he would like to arrange a dinner with Yikun to thank him.  One person, not a group of people but the National Party did not disclose the $100,000 donation.

Bridges and Bennett when responding to Ross’s allegation feigned ignorance of the $100,000 donation but when Ross released his audio tape their memories were miraculously jogged.

This is serious stuff and the police investigation will determine if Bridges could be guilty of criminal behaviour.

It is illegal not to declare a Party donation from a single donor in excess of $15,000.

It is sordid, but not illegal to record personal conversations with your boss.

It is sordid, but not illegal to use someone’s mental condition as the reason for their unacceptable behaviour.

It is sordid, but not illegal to betray your political party and allies, as Ross did.

It is sordid, but not illegal for Bridges to threaten Ross with the disclosure of extramarital affairs and misogynist behaviour.

It is sordid, but not illegal to describe your fellow politician as f***ing useless.

Whatever we think of the personalities involved and their mud-slinging, we have to pass judgement based on the evidence, or lack thereof, about the likelihood that a crime took place.

Whatever the outcome, this experience should serve as a reminder for politicians to behave themselves even when they think no one else is watching.  Sometimes the ends do justify the means, as long as the means are legal.


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The subject evoked in the collage is the debating of political issues with friends in a public place

Pablo Picasso
Glass and bottle of Suze (after 18 November 1912)
pasted paper, gouache and charcoal

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