Will he stay or will he go
The biggest desire of both Michael Cullen and Helen Clark, at the moment, is that the investigation clears John Tamihere. The Waipareira Trust paid $195,000 to Tamihere, and either did or didn't pay tax. At the moment it looks like the trust did not pay tax, not did they communicate that adequately to Tamihere, who also appears not to have paid tax on the money.
Hey, who really cares if he paid tax? Why did he take the money in the first place when golden handshakes were a no-no. Isn't that a bit more relevant? Why doesn’t Helen Clark just sack Tamihere now, for saying one thing and doing another, just like Lianne Dalziel did.
Oh, that's right, when Dalziel got sacked, Labour didn’t lose its majority.
Tamihere is a cabinet minister who is admired on both sides of the house - unlike Clark, Maharey and Cullen. That's because he speaks his mind and tells the truth.
Until now. People don’t have much respect if they don't tell the truth.
Hopefully in this investigation the truth will out, and will see how much this whole saga is truth, opinion and spin.
Trust chairman Eynon Delamere (any relation to Tuariki by chance?) has since apologised for his "for some things that we wanted him to achieve in Parliament" quote, which he has interpreted ( or re-interpreted) to mean that the trust wants Tamihere to speak for urban Maori, as all urban Maori groups do.
And it that is so bad, then what is the role of the unions and their relationship with Labour? The unions pay bucket loads of money to Labour so that Labour can achieve "some things in Parliament". The difference, I suppose, is that individual members are not to receive money, but the collective party can. Would this have come to such a head if the money went to Labour, to achieve things in Parliament, rather than to to Tamihere?
I doubt it.
The tragedy is if that Tamihere goes, someone inferior will replace him at the cabinet table. He will be remembered as a man who was booted out of Parliament and the brother of the killer of the swedish tourists.
Then again, maybe the`ll promote Tim Barnett to a cabinet post. That'll annoy the social conservatives. But it may put the smile back on the face of Colin James who has admiration for both Tamihere and Barnett.
Meanwhile expect the people in the glass houses to not only throw stones at each other, but dig up some dirt as well. Cullen will be chef muck-racker.
But for now, people are asking Rodney Hide about his outside payments, and Scoop has done a bit of an investigation/backgrounder as well.
More to come, I guess.