Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Barclay and arrogance

227 Responses

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  • nzlemming, in reply to Sacha,

    I'd finger Eagleson for that. Can't imagine Key would want to be involved - plausible deniability as well as below his sense of pay grade.

    Probably. I don't know who was authorised to access the Leader's Fund.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Dennis Frank,

    My concern is the extent to which the public interest is being served by our governmental structure, and if it isn’t (which appears proven in this case), then what law change or constitutional reform do we need to fix the problem.

    Quite often a simple change of government will do the job.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Dennis Frank, in reply to BenWilson,

    A change of government makes the problem seem irrelevant, doesn't solve it. When the structure of our government allows a member of parliament to retain their seat after breaking the law and lying to their local party colleagues to deny having done so, and lying to the media about what they told the Parliamentary Service, there's something fundamentally rotten in our democracy. That problem requires a permanent fix.

    New Zealand • Since Jun 2016 • 292 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Dennis Frank,

    The problem there is about where to draw the line. Constitutionally, a seat member is representing his constituents. S/he may or may not be a member of a party - independents have, I believe, been elected on occasion, though neither often nor recently. Members have jumped their waka to become independent (e.g. Brendan Horan) or to form a new party (Peter Dunne on at least two occasions). List MPs are slightly more vulnerable, but constitutionally they can't be forced out as they were a part of the list that the country as a whole voted on.

    The whole business of being an MP relies on the member being honourable. This obviously did not happen with Barclay (or Field). In previous times, a word from the PM would see the member resign and crawl away into oblivion, but National need his vote. Also, "innocent until proven guilty" has to play a part here. We have allegations and obvious lies in response, but you can't expect him to go on an allegation. Parliament's rules are clear that, if convicted, he would have to go, so it's a shame the Police did not push harder last year (and there will be more to hear about that, I think), but they didn't and aren't likely to move far forward before the election.

    If you had a process for dismissing members on allegation of wrongdoing, it would be chaos with allegations being made every 5 minutes. And frankly, if you dismissed MPs for lieing, the house would be empty.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to nzlemming,

    If you had a process for dismissing members on allegation of wrongdoing, it would be chaos with allegations being made every 5 minutes.

    Richard Worth's exit seems an interesting example of how the Nats have handled such things. Word at the time was that his real crime was to presume that his Party grandee status entitled him to tell Key where to stick it. While the allegations that ended his political career were never proven, they achieved their purpose without having to proceed that far.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    While the allegations that ended his political career were never proven, they achieved their purpose without having to proceed that far.

    That was a tough one. While I lost no time in waving the prick goodbye, I did have a problem with how it played. But still, that's the theoretical "honourable" part of the equation, not Worth or Key, but the party as a whole.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody,

    And then there's the Mike Sabin resignation... and interestingly, the plumb job he landed shortly thereafter - well, he ain't there no more:

    Former Northland MP Mike Sabin was appointed chief executive of Carrington Estate in April last year. He is no longer at the resort.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/northland-age/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503402&objectid=11792585

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    Police have reopened their investigation into Barclay. Hopefully they'll put somebody competent in charge this time.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1388 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Alfie,

    Evidential breadth test?

    Police have reopened their investigation into Barclay.

    So the Newsroom newsroom can expect a raid some time soon then?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7892 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    And the beat goes on...
    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2017/06/27/36207/officials-heard-barclay-tapes

    which kind of dents my theory that PS were totally hands off the tapes. I'll be very interested to see whether anyone from PS made a statement to Police. They should have, IMHO.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    The whole business of being an MP relies on the member being honourable

    Absent that, they need to get re-elected every three years. Of course, the electorate may have their reasons to elect a highly dishonourable candidate (wanting to pollute rivers and cover mountainsides with subdivisions, for instance).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Of course, the electorate may have their reasons to elect a highly dishonourable candidate

    Is there any other way to explain the election of Trump?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to nzlemming,

    And the beat goes on…

    Reading that piece makes ya wonder why they kept Barclay on, what were the 'good' reasons and what were the 'real' reasons - I can't see any 'good' reasons myself - the guy was clearly not MP material, so whose interests were served by keeping him in the fold?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7892 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    whose interests were served by keeping him in the fold?

    Perhaps, by the time they realised this, the Nats needed his vote in the house more than they needed to be decent human beings who abide by the law?

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    I feel bereft that there is no Barclay revelation on Newsroom today :-(

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Dennis Frank,

    When the structure of our government allows a member of parliament to retain their seat after breaking the law and lying to their local party colleagues to deny having done so, and lying to the media about what they told the Parliamentary Service, there's something fundamentally rotten in our democracy. That problem requires a permanent fix.

    A Royal Commission would be just the starting point.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5420 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    What would *you* change?

    Allow party leaders to replace MPs at will - so that all the MPs were in office at the leaders favour?
    Allow the Speaker to remove MPs at will - similarly, especially as the Speaker is nominated by the ruling party?
    An MP can get tried and prosecuted and lose their seat when convicted of a serious offence - that's what we have now.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    One party rule change I would propose is asking all candidates to confirm that they have not paid or otherwise obtained consultancy services in order to assist or otherwise obtain selection as a candidate. I don't ever want to vote for a candidate who has felt it necessary to pay people to game party selection rules.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1019 posts Report Reply

  • Dennis Frank, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Good question, with no apparent easy answers (no to your second & third questions).

    Since the harm done is bringing parliament into disrepute, a rule that triggers an immediate parliamentary debate on whether an MP has done so could be an effective sanction - with a sufficiently high activation threshold to deter frivolous use by other MPs! I doubt the existing rule is suitable.

    Since the Speaker appears to be part of the problem in our current instance, we can't rely on an impartial decision from that office - nor can we rely on the Parliamentary Service to function as a suitable trigger by means of a non-partisan decision. Would the Ombudsman have sufficient independent mana? Perhaps another public official with a track record in criminal law would be more authoritative -Solicitor General?

    The rule could be best written to specify activation only on the basis of a complaint by a party leader to the decision-maker (Ombudsman or SG), followed by the published agreement of the official. I think that design would generate sufficient consensus that any published evidence merits activation (ie the resulting parliamentary debate won't be seen as a waste of time)...

    New Zealand • Since Jun 2016 • 292 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    An unnamed person has filed a complaint with the Independent Police Conduct Authority regarding police handling of the original Barclay investigation.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1388 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    In case you were wondering what Todd Barclay is up to these days, the answer is not much. Fairfax reports that he's not attending functions or returning phone calls. However on Monday afternoon they found him at the Pig and Whistle pub in Queenstown.

    Taxpayers are handing over around eighty grand so Barclay can see out the end of his term on full pay. I guess that would pay for quite a few rounds.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1388 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Investigation unfolds:

    Police are now investigating National Party board member Glenda Hughes over her role in the Todd Barclay saga, Newshub has learned.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Sacha,

    Am I right in remembering that she ran interference for Veitch?

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to nzlemming,

    ah, that's right. class act.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    By keeping his job until the election, Barclay stands to make another forty grand of taxpayer money. Meanwhile there's no sign of him in parliament or at any official functions in his electorate. Value for taxpayer money? Nah.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1388 posts Report Reply

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