Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Barclay and arrogance

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  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    And to form, The Herald is on top of the real estate story in it!
    Barclay has recently accrued fresh outgoings with the $721,000 purchase of a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home in Arrowtown.

    Well it does clearly show how this Government is helping young people into their first homes... and probably their first distressed mortgage sale - another 'steep learning curve'.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7881 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to BenWilson,

    I decided not to call them Tories for a bit of variation.

    ...and like the GOP, National are 'the elephant in the room'!
    Or is that 'in the house'?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7881 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    MP Todd Barclay goes but PM Bill English still trying to find his footing*
    I'd suggest looking for it in his mouth...

    *http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/93943187/mp-goes-but-english-still-trying-to-find-his-footing

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7881 posts Report Reply

  • Ianmac,

    John Campbell interviews Bill English at a visit today. John's repeated point was "If it was OK for Barclay to continue last year, what makes it necessary for him to resign now? What changed?" Clip is 7minutes long.
    Bill's broad grin becomes lost in his growing frown.
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint/audio/201848531/pm-rejects-national-cover-up-allegation-over-todd-barclay

    Bleneim • Since Aug 2008 • 135 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    So English is reported in today's paper as trying to excuse Barclay with "he didn't know it's illegal" of course for us plebs "ignorance of the law is no excuse" ....

    However if you become an MP surely the first thing you do is sit down and wade through the entire corpus of NZ law - I know it's big and it's hard, but as an MP the law of the land is your thing, sort of a sacred thing that's now in your trust.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2605 posts Report Reply

  • Soon Lee, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    The Bradley Ambrose "taping" happened in 2011, Barclay recorded Glenys Dickson in 2015.

    I do not find the "he didn't know it's illegal" excuse believable.

    Auckland • Since Apr 2013 • 141 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    I was so - 'surely they're not going to try that line' - that I went looking for the article;

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11880729

    And it's even more disingenuous than saying Barclay was ignorant of the law - Bill English is saying HE was ignorant too!!!!

    Speaking to media in Auckland, English said during the dispute his advice to Barclay had been that "that wasn't good behaviour".

    When a police investigation started it raised issues about possible offences and "I don't think [it] had occurred to anybody that there may be some potential offence", English said.

    English said once there was an investigation established the possibility of an offence became clearer.

    "But earlier on, for those who weren't involved it was hard to know what exactly happened. There was no implication of behaviour that could be an offence.

    FFS.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    English is claiming *nobody* involved knew Barclay's recording was illegal. Yet the Nats used their PM's fund to topup Dickson's payout to avoid legal action over privacy, as English himself said in his txt to the electorate chair. Liar.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19667 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell, in reply to Sacha,

    Oh for heaven’s sake – since Bill English has been in parliament he’s voted on changes to section 216B of the Crimes Act in 1997, 1999, 2003, 2004, 2009 and 2012 – how can he possibly claim he doesn’t know it exists?

    Unless of course that is he regularly votes for things he doesn’t understand, and doesn't read – but that would make him an incompetent MP

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2605 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    to be fair is conceivable, but highly unlikely, that he was out of the house on each and every one of those days and had someone exercise his proxy, but if you believe that I have this bridge ....

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2605 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Claiming ignorance of the law doesn't work for anyone else.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3196 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Sacha,

    Yeah – the entire defence is a load of waffling bs.
    ‘only the electorate selection committee’ – what a thin, pathetic joke. i bet none of them were present when barclay was told he had to go.
    ‘in the hands of the police’ – indeed, it was. and barclay, probably on legal advice, refused to cooperate. bill, after legal advice, gave a statement when police came to him. and meanwhile, out of sight, dickson was offered big money – and possibly some threats – to take her out of the police equation. in other words, every effort was made by national to ensure the police case was weak.
    the govt forked out big money, accompanied by a confidentiality clause that can only have been to cover this up for the benefit of the party; which clause is endlessly trotted out as if it’s somehow a sacred bond they are duty bound to obey.
    and again and again it's an 'employment dispute' - not an illegal breach of privacy.
    it looks weak AND dishonest. wotever you think of jk, i reckon he’d have wriggled through this with a lot more finesse.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I'm sure the legal advice that English got before making his statement knew whether it was likely to be legal. I'm frankly surprised that English is making such an obvious hash of this, compounding lie upon lie. He'll get in more trouble over that than the original offense and even the cover up deserve.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10629 posts Report Reply

  • william blake,

    As the protege of English, Collins, Bennett et.al. Barclay must have talked about recording or taping his staff with someone with knowledge of the law. So it would be reasonable to assume that someone in the office was committing a crime to warrant such a drastic measure, why else expose yourself to the risks involved? Does anyone know if it is still illegal to set a recording device to catch a crim? Otherwise what, paranoia?

    Since Mar 2010 • 378 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    and possibly some threats

    apparently by an ex-cop and PR guru who is a member of the Nat party board, no doubt in a careful fashion.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19667 posts Report Reply

  • Dennis Frank,

    Western political theory has been based on democracy for three centuries, whereas western political practice has been based on organised lying for much longer. Machiavelli 1.01 ... so relevance of the media kerfuffle lies in the fact that voters only ever publish disorganised lying.

    Both parties scoring own goals have combined with incessant rain to force me into our political blogs first time in half a year & thanks to all contributors for this high-quality commentary thread. I particularly liked this from Rich: "A centre-left government led by Andrew Little and James Shaw is likely to be a repeat of Helen Clark's policies of saying the right thing and being a good manager of capitalism. That doesn't address the fundamental issues of declining living standards and increasingly precarious career prospects. Which in turn is liable to lead (as happened with Obama and Blair) to a disgruntled section of society looking for populist solutions - and enabling a hard-right idiot to spring up".

    Yeah, the leftist pretence is no credible option. The leftists gamble, as usual, on public disgust with the right producing a change of government. I agree with whoever reminded us that it is more likely to be produced by a positive alternative - which the left have spent several decades persuading voters that they cannot produce (via their poor performance).

    An interesting question now is whether poor police performance will again result in non-prosecution of Barclay for his recording of the conversation of the Nat electorate official, or will non-prosecution result from legal advice obtained by the police - or will prosecution occur? Sufficient evidence available, or destroyed? Admission of guilt on the official record suffices as a basis upon which to proceed? Then will the PM be required to testify in court? Can government arm-twisting deter the process of justice in our democracy? Watch this space.

    New Zealand • Since Jun 2016 • 292 posts Report Reply

  • Dennis Frank, in reply to Dennis Frank,

    Typo: punish, not publish!

    New Zealand • Since Jun 2016 • 292 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Dennis Frank,

    A centre-left government led by Andrew Little and James Shaw is likely to be a repeat of Helen Clark’s policies of saying the right thing and being a good manager of capitalism. That doesn’t address the fundamental issues of declining living standards and increasingly precarious career prospects.

    With respect to something else I was reading, I’m still sort of gob-smacked that the Corbyn and Sanders ‘platforms’ are continually described as ‘hard left’ and ‘radical’; by pundits and analysts and career politicians.
    ‘Radical’ and ‘hard-left’ are not so much ways of describing the policies; they are meant, I think, to exclude them from the conversation. Yet on key issues like rates of tax, student fees, and public ownership of assets, the policies would have been considered mainstream – indeed, in many cases, to the right of mainstream, in the UK and US (and NZ) as recently as the 1950s, 60s and 70s. People who describe them as radical seem to be relying on a sort of collective amnesia – or maybe they are just ignorant. Because who looks back and says – oooh! the radical hard left 1950s! More than that – and almost more absurd – often such policies are popular with a majority of voters.
    I guess we have some sense how the conversation came to be so tilted over the last 40 years – right-wing think-tanks, policy capture, the collapse of the soviet union, the economic stagnation of the 70s among other factors all play into it.
    But it’s simply crazy-stupid for avowed parties of the left to accept the way things are and not challenge, at every opportunity, language that insists any hint of socialism is beyond the pale.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    ‘Radical’ and ‘hard-left’ are not so much ways of describing the policies; they are meant, I think, to exclude them from the conversation.

    You can perhaps see this most clearly with The Greens. They're described as "far left" ridiculously often even though their policies vary from (European) centre-right to vaguely left-ish if you ignore the world before 1970 or 1980. I tend to think it's because they don't consider the left-right axis useful, they operate on a green-brown one. Or a human-survival/human-extinction one, if you want to be blunt about it. Think about *that* viewpoint when politicians stand up and say they oppose The Greens. And you thought the Voluntary Human Extinction movement was dead...

    Yet on key issues like rates of tax, student fees, and public ownership of assets, the policies would have been considered mainstream

    The flippant part of me wants to say:

    yeah, you're right, they're hard left. When they get elected, they're going to bring in genuine hard left policies. Starting with Trumpian unilateral withdrawal from treaties and following up with nationalisation, inevitably ending up with death camps. Or is that the facists, I forget. Death camps... death camps... no, that's a British innovation now mostly used by the right

    Or possibly not?

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1193 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Jane Clifton paints some of the local factional colour.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19667 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Another Newsroom follow-up notes this fiasco wasn't part of the Nats' re-election plan.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19667 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    RNZ's Focus on Politics (15 mins) includes the compelling raw audio from the successive media standups as English and Barclay lied their way into trouble and burned some bridges. You can hear Audrey Young losing the faith in real-time. Quite a gob-smacking day for the press gallery.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19667 posts Report Reply

  • Dennis Frank,

    Yeah but our media don't seem to have quite got their heads around the implications of the situation yet. The media reported Parliamentary Services denying that Barclay had informed them of something when he had already told the media he had told PS. Thus, official proof that Barclay is a liar is out there. Jacinda's assertion of the fact is entirely appropriate and I haven't noticed any other leftist leaders backing her with the same assertion. Slow learners.

    Newsroom reported that Barclay told the Gore branch AGM that he hadn't done it, and told Bill English that he had done it. So now all those Nats present at the AGM know he's a proven liar. Blinglish thinks they can get away with keeping a proven liar on as MP until the election. One that had admitted committing a crime. Jane Clifton thinks he can get off the hook by claiming the recording was accidental.

    The law operates via legal precedent. You can imagine this notion catching on in the criminal fraternity: "Didn't mean to shoot him, yer honour, I just happened to be pointing a gun at him with my finger on the trigger when it accidentally fired." If your research establishes that this defense has actually succeeded in court then you can take Jane seriously.

    Can Blinglish keep a self-confessed criminal and twice-proven liar in parliament until the election? Only if folks in Aotearoa tolerate their parliament being brought into disrepute. This farce will only continue until the penny drops. Public pressure ought to be put on the four non-Nat MPs propping this govt up. It takes only the two Maori Party MPs or the other two to agree that an ethical stance in support of the public interest will save their political reputation, and the government will fall. Could happen next week. When his colleagues get a whiff of this likelihood, they'll force him to hit the eject button.

    New Zealand • Since Jun 2016 • 292 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Dennis Frank,

    Only if folks in Aotearoa tolerate their parliament being brought into disrepute

    It has worked for this crowd for nigh on 9 years.

    When his colleagues get a whiff of this likelihood, they'll force him to hit the eject button.

    You think they have not already factored that into their self-interested calculations?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19667 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Sacha,

    Audrey Young is truly the worm that turned at the moment. Remains to be seen if she lasts the distance.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2929 posts Report Reply

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