Thursday, 6 July 2006

Some Darnton v Clark reaction

Good to see even grudging acknowledgement of Bernard Darnton's case against Helen Clark and 48 Labour MPs for misappropriation of public moneys in pursuit of her election victory.
  • The Grey Lynn Labour Party office Russell Brown at Public Address brings it up only to make the point (as did I rather noisily before the election) that "Act also used tax dollars on a number of publications (including one a week out from the election) that really did look a bit like election advertising." I'm not sure however why this is relevant to a case being taken by the Libz leader against Labour, or why this is the only comment on Darnton v Clark that Russell cares to make, but strange things happen around Grey Lynn that the rest of us don't always understand.
  • Jordan, of course, the Leaderene's online voice, has yet to publicly notice it's going on. Perhaps he too is feeling "rather snippy" about it all? How dare someone point out the misappropriation of half-a-million dollars of public money in order to win an election!
  • Andrew Falloon has noticed, and while he's right behind it, he thinks Bernard has no "chance in hell" because "the laws surrounding election spending are, at best, quite grey." Well, being an ACT board member perhaps he has to say that, but given that the Electoral Commission clearly told the Labour Party before the election that the pledge cards were definitely election spending -- just as they had been in 2002 -- then there's little room for doubt that this money was clearly mis-used. (Remember, the case isn't about breaching the Electoral Act, it's about using money for one purpose -- electioneering -- that was appropriated by Parliament for another: to fund the PM's office.)
And do keep an eye on the Darnton v Clark site: I understand there should be banners up there soon that you can take away and fly on your own site to show your support.
This isn't going away.

[Thanks to the good folk at Generation XY for the image: go there and see if you can dream up a better caption.]

Darnton v Clark, Politics-NZ, Politics-Labour, Politics-ACT


  1. I've asked a couple of people about this - and in their considered opinion Darnton's goal is too wishy-washy and needs to be altered for this to get MSM traction.

    As far as I and others can tell, his goal is merely to 'embarrass the govt' - since the govt embarrasses itself all the time this does not provide enough bang for your buck, so to speak.Plus everyone knows they overspent and don't really care. The thought was that his goal has to be to force another election.

    Not my suggestion, but I agree with it.

  2. Hmmm, it's true constitutional issues don't spin many people's wheels, but misuse of appropriated public monies is a pretty serious charge.

    Perhaps it's too abstract rather than too wish-washy?

    "They thought that his goal has to be to force another election."

    Problem with this is that if you ask for this remedy, you then invite the response given in the trial over the TV license fee, where the judge (whose name I can't recall) told us that in essence our claim was correct, but that if he foind in our favour there would be chaos so he wouldn't.

    The remedy sought is at least to embarrass the perpetrators, and to ensure such abuse doesn't happen again.

    But I do get your point.


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