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Ructions in New Zealand

Brian Scurfield brings some interesting developments in New Zealand to our attention

You might like to keep an eye on New Zealand politics, where a classic shit fight is taking place. And it was all started by Libertarianz leader Bernard Darnton, who is suing the NZ government for misappropriation of taxpayer money during election campaigning of 2005. For some background information check out Darnton vs. Clark, Not PC & David Farrar

Having misappropriated taxpayer money and facing a lawsuit, the New Zealand government now wants to ram through legislation validating their thievery. To divert attention, they threatened to dish the dirt on opposition MPs, resulting in the exposure of an affair by the opposition leader. The dirt has come right back at them, however, with allegations that the PM’s husband is gay and that her marriage is one of convenience. Entering into the equation, also, are Exclusive Brethren who may have been snooping on the Prime Minister and tales of the government hiring private investigators to snoop on the opposition.

While I do not give a damn about either the Prime Minister’s or the Leader of the Opposition’s personal lives, the amount of dirt being dished is an indication that the New Zealand government is in serious trouble.
In Hungary, when governments lie, people riot. In Thailand, the tanks roll in. What will happen in New Zealand? For the government has not only lied, it has also stolen taxpayer money to win an election.

“Allegations of corruption are intolerable in a Western liberal democracy.”
- Helen Clark, NZ Prime Minister

No, [Mrs.] Clark. Corruption is intolerable. When allegations of corruption are intolerable, it is no longer a Western liberal democracy
- VigesimalPundit

20 comments to Ructions in New Zealand

  • Giles

    I think it s worth keeping an eye on this one because Helen Clark is very much an unber blarite politician – just more left wing.

    Like Blair she’s defied political gravity – winning elections on air not action. So it’ll be interesting to see if we can learn some lessons from this about how the new labour endgame is likely to unravel.

  • Midwesterner

    I nominate this for quote of the month. Or longer.

    “Allegations of corruption are intolerable in a Western liberal democracy.” – Helen Clark.

    No, Miss Clark. Corruption is intolerable. When allegations of corruption are intolerable, it’s no longer a Western liberal democracy.

  • I think it s worth keeping an eye on this one because Helen Clark is very much an unber blarite politician – just more left wing.

    I think it’s worth keeping an eye on becuase New Zealand functions as something of a contained laboratory for new national management ideas. If the current delicate power-sharing agreement comes crashing down and Libertarianz manages to pick up some of the pieces, we’d be one step closer to a kind of International Free State Project.

    Of course, that’s a very long shot. I’m not aware that Libertarianz has ever had an MP, and if there are pieces to be picked up they’ll probably be picked up by ACT and the Greens faster than by Libertarianz.

    But one can hope.

  • Keith

    “In Hungary, when governments lie, people riot. In Thailand, the tanks roll in. What will happen in New Zealand?”
    What will happen in N.Z. is…almost nothing.
    The media are bloody useless, recycling government press handouts as “news” and they’re in any case overwhelmingly leftist and gutless.
    The population is either apathetic or hopelessly uninformed since the television news consists of trivia and there’s damn-all analysis of political dvelopments.
    The solution for Clark is simple–just offer the voters another bribe of taxpayer’s money. They’ll always put cash before principles. It’s the enzed way.

  • Freeman

    The heck with our friends in New Zealand. Let’s have some of their investigators over here to do the dirt on our own politicians.

  • Brian Scurfield

    Oi, Keith, I’m from New Zealand!

    The New Zealand media seem to have woken up to this corruption scandal. “Muzzle the dogs and pay it back” says the Dominion Post. The usually leftist Herald pretty much says the same. And The Press has some not very nice things to say about the Prime Minister. The New Zealand blogosphere has been much more scathing and they have done a lot to draw attention to the corruption and lies (see links in the original post).

    Yeah, I know, the Dom. Post should say “Muzzle the dogs, pay it back, and resign”. But nevertheless I live in hope that the outcome won’t be…nothing happens. Of course, much rests on the outcome of the Darnton versus Clark case.

  • “Allegations of corruption are intolerable in a Western liberal democracy.”
    - Helen Clark, NZ Prime Minister

    Surely that was taken out of context. Surely.

  • Jacob

    “For the government has not only lied, it has also stolen taxpayer money to win an election.”

    What else is new ?

  • Keith

    “Surely that was taken out of context. Surely.”

    No.

    Brian, I live in NZ too. Came here to live for a couple of years from Oz.
    The first thing that struck me was the level of ignorance about politics. The second was the sycophantic, lying media. Thirdly, the level of corruption and dishonesty and the indifference of most people to it.
    I love the place–it must be one of the most beautiful spots in the world. But NZ society has some serious problems that people just don’t seem to care about.

  • RAB

    What worries me is that I have seen nothing in the British media about this at all!

    A far away place of which we know little perhaps.

  • Keith

    “Labour is also under attack from the New Zealand Law Journal. In its September issue the editorial says the pledge card debacle neatly encapsulates the two main parties: “Labour is invincibly arrogant and considers itself above the law and National is plain incompetent,” the editorial says. The government, it said, was “composed of people who simply do not recognise the concept of government under law”.

    Stuff news.

  • Brian Scurfield

    Keith – Sadly, I don’t really disagree with your assessment. But my impression – although I’m living in the UK right now – is that the tide is turning against Helen Clark on this. Even the sheeple start to wake up when the Labour (aka Liarbore) party steals money to win a closely fought election, proposes legislation to retrospectively validate what they did, discusses a ban on third-party criticism of the government during an election, and – to keep everybody busy – sets a fan up in front of a bucket of the brown stuff.

    James – Here’s another great Helen Clark quote: By definition I cannot leak.

    RAB – Yes, coverage of this has been lacking in the UK. Good to see there has been a piss-take of the NZ prime minister on the Letterman show, where they have obviously picked up on some of the gossip.

  • The only piece of news I heard in Oz was that someone had accused Helen Clark’s husband of being gay. This was presented as a stand-alone news item on Australian state television and not related to the broader and, IMO, vastly more important story mentioned here.

  • New Zealand was amusingly described on Tim Blair’s site recently as “Cuba with rugby”.

  • Fiona

    Brian,

    re: “discusses a ban on third-party criticism of the government during an election”

    To be fair, that’s not what the Greens and Labour are gunning for. They want to introduce legislation that requires that groups outside of political parties that campaign against other parties during an election (not just the govt), as the Exclusive Brethren did, publicly declare their involvement.

    Lobby groups shouldn’t be able to campaign behind a veil of secrecy – they should be upfront about it or stay out of politics.

  • Ed Snack

    That’s not quite correct Fiona, they want to prevent third parties from any comments within 3 months of an election unless included within the quite limited spending allowed to political parties.

    If enacted, one can be quite sure that there would be an almost blanket ban, with an exception for unions and other groups that supported labour.

  • John K

    Who knew Helen Clark had a husband? I always just assumed she drank from the furry cup. She always reminds me of Harriet Harman without the warmth and humanity.

    Anyway, chances of a military coup must be low, as she has virtually abolsihed the military. The RNZAF is down to a few transport planes and helicopters. The US were offering them a squadron of F16′s for bobbins, but Clark would rather NZ had no air defence capability at all. I mean, what’s the worst that could happen? It’s not as if terrorists use airliners as weapons of mass destruction is it?

    I guessed she was a scumbag, but it’s nice to have confirmation that she’s a corrupt scumbag.

  • Brian Scurfield

    Fiona – The Exclusive Brethren have the right to do whatever they like with their own money, provided that they don’t infringe the life, liberty, and property of others. This right extends to supporting political parties anonymously. And I can think of a number of good reasons why a third-party group might want to remain anonymous. It is foolish to try to place political campaigns on a level playing field.

    Ed – You might like (or not) to take a gander at H2.

  • Brian Scurfield

    Sorry, that should be addressed to John K, not Ed.

  • John K

    You might like (or not) to take a gander at H2

    Thanks. It seems that Labour corruption of the political system covers the globe.