Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Arrogant prick

I'm not the sort of person to be rude about our glorious leader, our popular and competent Prime Minister, but if Helen Clark can call TV3 presenter John Campbell a "little creep", then surely Helen Clark can be referred to as an "arrogant prick".

Because she is.

She leaked confidential matters relating to the Doone affair before they were discussed with Cabinet. So much for cabinet collective responsibility. So much for following the Cabinet Manual.

Secondly, only the Governor General can appoint or sack a Police Commissioner. Miss Clark effectively did the job on her own.

She was asked in the House about her leaks.
Rodney Hide: Why does the Prime Minister think it is acceptable for her to leak secret Cabinet documents, and the contents of a Police Complaints Authority report that was still privileged, when she states in her brief of evidence: “I recall that I went through some aspects of the information contained in the Police Complaints Authority report again."; and is it acceptable for Ministers in Cabinet to leak the contents of documents before they have been considered by Cabinet?
Rt Hon HELEN CLARK: It is a matter of judgment for the Prime Minister how I use information from official reports. By definition, I cannot leak

But of course Dover Samuels can.

This statement from Clark is staggering. She is effectively saying that she is above the law, and that she will release what she wants to and do what she wants to just because she is the Prime Minister. Bolger was famous for his "bugger the pollsters" comment, Miss Clark has a " bugger the law" attitude. Clarks "prickness" brings back memories of Robert Muldoon when he tried to reverse the 1974 Superannuation Act by media release after the 1975 election, which of course was an illegal, but arrogant action. It ended up with a judicial review, the result delayed until the law could be changed legally.

ACT's media release on the Doone issue is here. Interesting. Looks like chief front bum is on the back foot.
“Of course, in the very articles which Helen Clark leaked cabinet information for, she was quoted in the first as saying, “she could not comment on the information the Sunday Star-Times had uncovered, as the matter was still with the Government” and “she would not comment on Doone's fate or on what she would recommend to Cabinet”.
“Now that she’s been caught out doing exactly what she said she couldn’t and wouldn’t do, she says the rules don’t apply to her. That’s typical of Clark. First deny what she’s done and when caught say the rules don’t apply because she’s Prime Minister."

I look forward to the release of the tapes of the conversations between Miss Clark and the Sunday Star Times. They do exist. This article notes that Miss Clark was warned by the SST that it faced almost certain litigation from Doone if the story she confirmed turned out to be incorrect.

It was. Legal action commenced. The SST retracted. Now Miss Clark is the focus. Her response is that Doone should have been careful how much alcohol he drank.

Actually, Miss Clark should have been careful how she used her telephone when talking to reporters on the five occasions she did so.


Jordan said...

and.. the PM didn't confirm the comments. When the journo asked for confirmation, she told him to go back to his source.

Get a grip Dave, you're brighter than this.

Dave said...

Jordan, the PM confirmed the story was correct, and you are well aware of that. Surely, if the PM had any ethical integrity she would have told the truth and denied the comments.
But she wanted the SST to run the story as planned, didnt she?

Five times Jordan, five times....

Anonymous said...

I think you are being polite and who is this Jordan a labour supporter?

I'm not a lawyer but the situational ethics here are stupendous.

The Head of State, the Head of government and therefore all civil servants breached all these acts and rules not once but twice and knowingly.
Forget she is a Minister and an MP of the highest court of the land.

Bill of Rights
Employment Law
Breach of confidentiality (privacy)
Breach of cabinet rules

There may be others as well as I'm not "au fait" with the crimes or police acts.
Her actions prejudiced an investigation in some way.

She needs the chop even if only to make sure whomever occupies that seat knows they are not above the law.

Based on the utterances of some of the other members of the House it needs to be done quick quick.

I hope Doone takes her for all his costs to date as well as other damages.
let that be a warning to them all.

We desparately need leadership with integrity and values.