Monday, 11 September 2006

PM: Still spinning

An interview this morning on Breakfast TV showed Prime Minister Helen Clark is still in denial about being caught with her fingers in the till.

Auditor-General Kevin Brady shouldn't be giving interviews, she said. But when the Prime Minister herself is busy spreading lies and misinformation about her party's misappropriation of public money, isn't it good that the public servant with oversight of such things is happy to set the record right, as he did over the weekend?

Because lies, spin and misinformation are in -- or they are with the PM anyway. The issue for her still -- publicly at least -- is not how she stole an election, but how "bad" everyone else is. The two bees in her bonnet this morning were respectively the Exclusive Brethren, for asking the Electoral Commission before the election how to legally spend their own money (an example the Labour Party might have emulated) and "how little right wing outfits like the Libertarianz have got the money to hire QCs" -- something of course that is neither accurate (Libz is not right wing) nor any of her business.

It seems the weekend's round of newspaper revelations, which includes the Sunday Star's belated discovery of Libertarianz leader Bernard Darnton's legal action against the PM, is helping to keep the pressure on, even if she erroneously claims she can't comment on something that's before the courts (not true: because the case won't be decided by a jury she may say anything about it that she pleases).

I wonder too how she feels about Bernard's round of radio interviews this morning. [Julian has the audio for Bernard speaking on Holmes this morning (Bernard starts about seven minutes in). I'll post the audio for the Nat Radio interview as soon as the audio is available.)

UPDATE 1: It's pathetic, it really is. The "more interesting question," Helen Clark tells Paul Holmes in answer to Libertarianz leader Bernard Darnton, is "who funds these attacks? [...] The question is who's paying for it and what's the National Party's role behind the scenes?" Just pathetic. Let me tell Helen Clark for the record that the National Party's role in the litigation either "behind the scenes" or in front of them is exactly the same: nothing. (But it's still not too late to send a cheque.)

Might I suggest both she and her interviewers stick to the real issue: Labour's theft of an election, and what they propose to do about it. That they have to spin and smear instead of addressing the real issue suggests ... well, you know exactly what it suggests, don't you: They can't.

UPDATE 2: Bernard Darnton responds to the Leaderene on his own blog:
Of course, the question is not how we have the money to hire QCs (thanks again to all the donors, by the way). The question is how the Prime Minister got the money to pay for her pledge cards. Our money has been given freely. Hers was stolen from the public purse.
And do feel free, whatever party you're in, to help Bernard with his legal costs. You can donate here. As one contributor said of his donation, he looks forward to telling his grandchildren, "See that smoking hole in the ground? I helped pay for that." I know exactly how he feels.

LINKS: Report on election spending almost complete - NZ Herald
Auditor-General puts 'pay it back' pressure on PM - Herald on Sunday
Top QC takes PM to court - Sunday Star
Left and right and that post-modern nonsense - Not PC (Peter Cresswell)
Bernard Darnton talking to Paul Holmes - Julian Pistorius
Helen Clark talks to Paul Holmes about Bernard Darnton - Newstalk ZB
Prime Minister in a spin - Bernard Darnton, Darnton v Clark blog
Donations - Darnton V Clark

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


  1. Well, did anyone turn around and say, "Prime Minister, do you think Kevin Brady would have ever given media interviews if he hadn't been subject to intense misrepresentation and personal attacks from you, your front bench and your allies?"?

  2. I'd also say these attacks on Kevin Brady are just the latest in a string of smears against very senior civil servants: Apparently the heads of two out of three electoral agencies don't understand electoral law, or their own duties as laid down in legislation. The former Solicitor-General who is now a Judge of the High Court and the Court of Appeal doesn't know what he's talking about either. Parliamentary Services is only worth listening to when it says what Clark wants to hear... And, of course, all of the above are liars and tools in a vast right-wing conspiracy to bring down the Government!

    So much for the ostensible independence of the civil service from politically motivated personal attacks, I guess.

  3. PC said...
    [Libz is not right wing]

    I think that Helen would find the term 'North-wing' unsexy. 'Extreme Right-wing' would be a sexier term to her than 'North-wing'.

  4. When the spin gets to 'hang out to dry', who will find themselves on the line?
    Any sugestions?



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