Thursday, 7 September 2006

"Leadership, credibility and values" in New Zealand politics

"When I called the election," said Helen Clark in the election campaign we all paid for, "I said that it was going to be about leadership and credibility and values." As Bernard Darnton observed yesterday, "It's kind of turned out that way, hasn't it." Oh yes. "Leadership, credibility and values": that's exactly how to describe their just-announced descent into the gutter.

I barely need to write anything about this ongoing row ignited over the Government's misappropriation of taxpayers' money to steal the last election; I don't need to since there's good commentary everywhere. Let me start with David Farrar:
Well I doubt even the most rabid supporter will defend Labour on this one. Having failed to distract attention with dredging up the Brethren's campaign and anoymous donations (which Labour has specifically kept legal, and receive themselves), yesterday they said they would start revealing "secrets about the private lives of National MPs" unless they back off about Labour's illegal election over-spending. It seems there really is no gutter low enough. I think even McCarthy would be repulsed.
Quite possibly, although McCarthy certainly knew all about repulsive. Here's The Press:
Labour's cynical attacks on National over election spending smack of a desperate attempt at self-justification. But amid these claims and the mutual taunts of corruption being thrown across an increasingly chaotic House, the real issue is straightforward: whether Labour in last year's election broke the rules by spending parliamentary funding on soliciting votes. Given that it defies belief that the pledge card was not designed to gain votes, the conclusion has to be that Labour took a calculated gamble to bend the rules and has now been caught. Its allegations against National are designed to divert attention from this basic point and from the issue of what role over-spending played in Labour's return to power.
And Russell Brown:
Labour's return of fire on National - with the promise of, literally, a book of embarrassing emails to and from Don Brash in advance of last year's election - is, of course, spin: a classic effort to change the subject from something Labour doesn't want to talk about to something National doesn't want to talk about...
And Labour hack Jordan Carter? Well, he's giving the perfect display of what happens when you lift a rock and see all the insects scuttling for cover. Like his favourite Leaderene he's realised there's no longer any point in defending the indefensible when flinging mud might take attention from their own corruption, and so the craven cokroachdeclares he and his colleagues are:
Very pleased to see the government coming out and actually pointing out that National's holier-than-thou approach to politics these days is the political equivalent of a castle built on sand. Can't wait til the whole pile of emails comes out, as referred to in this morning's 'Herald.'
So much for Helen Clark's claim before the election she wanted to bring back "leadership, credibility and values" to New Zealand politics. Labour's corruption and this pre-announced descent into the gutter outdoes anything seen in recent politics for sheer, shivering disgust. Muldoon's attacks on Colin Moyle look positively honest and upstanding by comparison. "Leadership, credibility and values" my arse.

And Bernard Darnton, whose litigation against the Government on this issue hangs over them like a sword waiting to fall, has found good Herald commentary:
Anyone with half a brain must know by now that there is something rotten in the state of New Zealand politics and the odour of dishonesty emanating from Parliament must have citizens of the capital walking the streets with pegs on their noses.
On the news that all of Helengrad's dirt files are about to be emptied, Darnton concludes in a post called 'Stench of Dishonesty':
In other news, Trevor Mallard has promised to go nuclear and start spreading tabloid gossip on opposition MPs who insist on calling the government corrupt just because they stole public money to buy an election. Presumably National will follow suit and one can only dream that Mutually Assured Destruction ensues.
One can dream. Meanwhile, ''Whale Oil' has put together one of their better short videos: 'Labour's Corruption,' set to the music of Iggy Pop; and they also have a wee visual peek at the controls of the 'Clark & Cullen spin cycle.'

So with all that to read, you hardly need my own commentary on the mud slinging. Let me just remind Labour's mudslingers of the real meaning of the fallacy of ad hominem: that if you attack the man instead of the ball, the ball is still in play. Whatever 'scalps' they themselves might win by throwing around their buckets of filth, it doesn't alter for a minute that they did steal the election with misappropriated money, they did knowingly lie to the Electoral Commissioner, and that eighty-one percent of New Zealanders already know that to be true.

It's hard to forget what you already know to be true, particularly when the accused have stopped defending the charges aginst them. I look forward to seeing Helen Clark in the dock to actually answer the substantive charges in a forum in which facts rather than spin are still valued: Roll on Darnton V Clark.

LINKS: Too many links to name, and still many more good comments around the place to mention. The Clark Government is on the ropes, and they know it.

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

1 comment:

  1. Disgusting as Labour is, I'm certain that Kiwis will vote with just one thing in mind come the elections--their hip pocket.
    Cash trumps ethics, every damn time.


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