Tuesday, 12 December 2006

O'Connor "responsible, but not to blame."

Liam Ashley is dead, no one is to blame, and everyone who is to blame is invoking the Denis Marshall principle.

Denis Marshall may have been a useless waste of space, as so many of politicians are, but he introduced to public life a new political principle: Rather than resign his job as Minister after the Cave Creek tragedy -- as Ministers had been doing in similar circumstances for decades -- Marshall instead took the line that he needed to stay in the job to fix the utter disaster that his department so clearly was. At left is a picture of Marshall fixing his department. (To be perfectly fair, the Minister for Contaminated Blood, Simon Upton (left, below), may have given him the 'courage' to take this line.)

The record will show that Marshall held out for a year before eventually being quietly asked by Jim Bolger to fall on his sword and piss off. (Upton himself avoided the honourable line altogether and continued to haunt Helengrad for many years thereafter -- he now has a cosy sinecure at the OECD in Paris.)

Damien O'Connor has clearly learned from our Denis and our Simon in the tenor of his responses to the report that has just made crystal clear that a) his department is a shambles, and b) it was that shambles that lead to the death of Liam Ashley.

Says O'Connor: "My resignation won't solve the problem." "Walking away would be the easy option." "I have a job to do." "I'm a fuckwit." (Spot the responses that don't fit.)

Echoing O'Connor is his boss, Helen Clark (left), who says he is "responsible, but not to blame." Responsible, but not to blame. (Naturally, Clark already knows something about this line from her own involvement in the Contaminated Blood scandal, over which her papers are sealed for thirty years.)

The protection of politicians goes on. The attack on the English language continues. And Liam Ashley and the other victims of government incompetence are still dead.

Orwell would have understood.

LINKS: Corrections: Ashley's death preventable - TVNZ
PM: No need for minister to resign - TNVZ
Cave Creek - Wikipedia
Ban Stymies Blood Probe Clark Backs Papers Secrecy - HCV Advocate
Contaminated blood: Will Clark deliver this time? - Not PC (April, 2005)
Ministers for Contaminated Blood - Not PC (April, 2005)

New Zealand, Politics-NZ, Politics-Labour, Politics-National, Politics


  1. Of course, nothing is more important than revenue - when members of the public are guilty till they prove themselves innocent.

    Politicians accountable? No, they are participants in the advance auction of stolen goods, and clearly have no honour.

  2. Blame the parents whom called the police to arrest their son. If they didn't call the cops, their son would be having a happy Christmas with them, next week.

    Remember the executive who parted a shot at the government when his job was not to be renewed?

    "The government didn't not do the killing"

    The comment is absolutely correct. It was a deranged mental person who killed this boy.

  3. In no way are the parents responsible for Liam's murder. Government social services encourage families with troubled teens to call CYPS, the Police, which the Ashley's did in good faith. They assumed their son would be in safe care- and they had every right to assume that - not that he would be murdered.

    They should hire a QC and sue the government.

    What an ignorant comment whoever you are.

  4. No anonymous, the person responsible for Liam's murder is one George Baker. He, and only he, should be held to account. To hold others vicariuosly responsible for the actions of another is just far too socialist for me.

  5. FF, I cannot agree with you today re your criticism of Liam's parents. I endorse Anon's comments.

    If, as libertarians, we accept that the purpose of the state is to protect citizens' rights via effective police & defence forces and administration of justice, the state has, once again, failed in that duty. Rightly or wrongly, Liam Ashley was in the care of the Corrections Dept.

    1. Has the govt ever accepted responsibility for the 111 emergency fiasco with the late Irina Asher?
    2. Did the govt ever accept responsibility for its outright persecution of the Holloways because they dared to defy Otago Health in order to pursue their own treatment programme for (their) little Liam?

    Did it, bollocks.

    But what was Helen Clark doing yesterday? Falling over herself to announce with much fanfare ... NZ's world leadership regarding absurd carbon compliance taxes!

    Which again goes to show that this appalling govt is hellbent upon pursuing its own insane ideology and to hell with addressing its core purpose.


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