Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Government changes tack in pledge card defence

Yesterday in Parliament Helen Clark refused to answer questions on the pledge card, on election overspending, on the misappropriation of taxpayer money, on who is responsible for the PM's Chief of Staff Heather Simpson's actions, on Pete Hodgson confirmation over the Parliamentary break that the pledge card was indeed election spending ("if it wasn't," he said, "we would have released it a day after the election") ...

Andrew Falloon has an only slightly stylised summary of yesterday in the House here. Excerpt:
Don to Helen- Going to pay it back now Helen??
Helen to Don- I don't have to answer that.
Don to Helen- Pay it back Helen.
Helen to Don- I have no Ministerial responsibility for this. Pay your $250k back.
Don to House- I seek leave to allow National to pay back what we owe.
Speaker- Any objection??
Labour Party lackey- Yes!!

Don to Helen- Did Heather Simpson approve the pledge card??
Helen to Don- I have no Ministerial responsibility for this.
Gerry to Helen- She's a Ministerial staffer!!
Speaker- She has no Ministerial responsibility for this.
Far cry from the previous vigorous defence of every single one of those points, and the refusal even to take responsibility for Chief of Staff Heather Simpson, who "approved for payment" the pledge card spending on the taxpayers' account.

Does that mean the Auditor-General's report leaves the Government with nowhere else to turn? Does it mean the spin cycle (right) has now reached the 'Hung Out To Dry' stage, and H2 will be the one chosen to twist in the wind? Keep watching.

And (parenthetically) just what was Winston up to yesterday with all that ridiculous umbrage-taking when the serious issue of North Korean sabre-rattling was being addressed? Was it just the usual Winston dog-and-pony show, or was he endeavouring to ensure Parliamentary headlines ensued for his pathetic grandstanding rather than his Glorious Leaderene's graphic change of direction. Does his fawning really know no depths.

LINKS: Yesterday in creche - Andrew Falloon
Questions & Answers - Tuesday 10 October - Scoop
Picture from Whale Oil Be Hooked

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

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