Saturday, 12 August 2006

Darnton V Clark: Breaking the seal

When you're out on a beer-drinking session your first visit to the smallest room is sometimes called 'breaking the seal,' and for obvious reasons: once the 'seal' is broken the floodgates almost literally have been opened.

Audrey Young in the Herald has now 'broken the seal' on the Darnton V Clark case with her report today on the state of play regarding Labour's taxpayer-funded election spending. For the first time now in the MSM, Bernard Darnton's case is given serious treatment, and its place within the present furore laid out, including the disquieting news that "any retrospective legislation proposed by Dr Cullen is likely to cover any negative outcome from that case as well" -- a clear signal surely that what Labour did was illegal, and they know it.
[Darnton's] statement claims there was no statutory authority for the service to pay the $446,000 for the pledge card.
The appropriation to fund the card stated that party and member support was to be used to support the leader's office, research operations, whips' office and members' parliamentary operations. The card did not fit that definition, the claim argues.

Auckland lawyer Alan Dormer, acting for Mr Darnton, said that while the Solicitor-General's opinion was slightly different from his own case it was "very comforting" ...
Mr Dormer said it would be possible to draft legislation to deny his client his day in court.
"Have we really sunk so low that we are going to have political parties ripping off the system and then passing legislation about it just to stop the High Court looking at it."
National is the only party known to oppose the legislation at this stage. Leader Don Brash has been on the case all week but he stepped up his language yesterday.
"Labour has been pinged for something like half a million dollars and the bastards don't want to pay it back," Dr Brash said on Gore's Hokonui Gold radio station yesterday.
"Helen Clark says 'Oh, the rules weren't clear. Let's pass a law making what is illegal legal.' Robert Mugabe [Zimbabwe's president] would have been proud of her."
So the seal has been broken. And unlike the deathless Rodney Hide who insisted this morning that parliamentary parties should be able to campaign for office using taxpayers' money (as his party did in extremis last election), The Don is on the side of the angels with his recent comments.

UPDATE: Bernard Darnton comments on Cullen's intention to derail the court action against Helen Clark with retrospective, ie., backward-looking legislation:
That which we call a steaming pile of horseshit
By any other word would smell as foul...

Separation of powers is another constitutional nicety that Labour can do without. Don’t like a Court decision? A swift bit of legislation and it never happened. Can anyone say “Foreshore and Seabed”? Of course, separation of powers is designed to prevent corruption. Since Labour ministers can do no wrong it is clearly unnecessary.
LINKS: Labour shifts the goalposts - NZ Herald
Darnton V Clark website
What's in a name? - Darnton V Clark

RELATED: Darnton V Clark, Politics-NZ, Politics-Labour

1 comment:

  1. The evil bastards. They have now shown that they do not consider themselves subject to the laws of this land. Ladies and Gentlemen, this is terribly omenous.


1. Commenters are welcome and invited.
2. All comments are moderated. Off-topic grandstanding, spam, and gibberish will be ignored. Tu quoque will be moderated.
3. Read the post before you comment. Challenge facts, but don't simply ignore them.
4. Use a name. If it's important enough to say, it's important enough to put a name to.
5. Above all: Act with honour. Say what you mean, and mean what you say.