Valid reasons to change the government | The Jackal

28 Jul 2014

Valid reasons to change the government

If you were to rely on the six O’clock news for your daily intake of information you would be forgiven in thinking that the National party can do no wrong.

So fleeting is their coverage of the government's numerous cases of misconduct and so extensive are there pro-National reports that they would have you believing that Teflon John is some sort of bloody rockstar.

However the reality of the situation clearly contradicts such prejudiced media coverage with a groundswell of discontent displaying itself with defaced National party billboards and other effective forms of protest throughout the country.

Thankfully not all journalists share the mainstream medias pretense that everything is just fine within the current administration. In fact the majority of the mainstream medias lopsided reporting couldn't have been more skillfully dismantled than in today's Otago Daily Times editorial:

On shaky ground

National's recent mistakes are more serious, and the mounting number of them is baffling, two months out from the general election.

Neither Prime Minister John Key or Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully handled the Malaysian diplomat rape allegations well and, although both managed to escape scrutiny in the subsequent review into the case, it is far from over and there could be further fallout.

While Mr Cunliffe's apology put him offside with males, Mr Key's flip-flop on his promise to apologise to the alleged victim over the handling of her case (albeit yet to be proven), may in comparison do him few favours with many women.

Revelations of National MP Claudette Hauiti's unauthorised spending on a Parliamentary charge card put paid to her political aspirations - sped up with a nudge from the Prime Minister -

and Chester Borrows' latest speeding fine is far from a good look for the Courts Minister, who didn't really do himself any favours by acknowledging it wasn't his first speeding ticket, and assuring the public he always pays his tickets promptly.

Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee's bypassing of Christchurch airport security this week (like Mr Borrows, his explanation was he was running late) is inconceivable, particularly in the aftermath of the Malaysian Airlines' and other recent aviation disasters, when the minds of travellers worldwide are on safety and security.

His apology and offer to resign, which was (unsurprisingly) rejected by the Prime Minister, has been viewed by many as a cynical ploy to take the heat out of the situation, but still leaves questions about any penalty which may in fact be meted out by the Civil Aviation Authority. (It has launched an investigation into the security breach.)

Added to the above list are other recent high-profile incidents involving ministers such as the Judith Collins' Chinese dinner scandal and Maurice Williamson's intervention on behalf of Chinese businessman Donghua Liu regarding his citizenship and a domestic violence incident, which led to Mr Williamson's resignation.

While his apparent ''Teflon John'' invulnerability seems to keep him high in the popularity stakes, Mr Key is increasingly leaving himself open to uncomfortable accusations.

It is hard for many not to wonder whether what is on display is simply arrogance, whether it is a more sinister contempt for the law, abuse of power, privilege and process, or honest mistakes/dumb decisions made in a pressure-cooker pre-election environment.

Firstly there's the mishandling of the Tania Billingsley case and Claudette Hauiti's taxpayer funded spend-up spree in Australia. Then there's also Chester Borrows' recent speeding offenceJonathan Coleman's lies about when he knew of FBI interest in the Dotcom pre-residency decision and Gerry Brownlee illegally barging through airport security, which should eventuate in his permanent resignation.

Don't forget Judith Collins' Chinese dinner scandal and Maurice Williamsons' police interference on behalf of his mate and convicted woman abuser, Chinese businessman Donghua Liu. That makes at least seven good reasons to not vote for National this coming election.

They aren’t the only valid reasons to change the government though, not by a long shot.

Today, Radio NZ also reported:

Minister accused of political interference 
Dr Smith met the Fish and Game Council in Wellington on 18 July, and four people who attended told Radio New Zealand News he gave councillors a dressing down for their stance on trying to protect water quality in lakes and rivers.

Association of Freshwater Anglers president David Haynes, who was at the meeting, said Dr Smith was bullying the Fish and Game councillors in a clear attempt to stop it carrying out its statutory role to advocate for water quality.


But Fish and Game chief executive Bryce Johnson said Dr Smith was hostile towards his organisation at the meeting.

The minister implied he would restructure the organisation if it did not tone down its stance on water quality, and Mr Haynes had given an accurate account of what happened at the meeting, Mr Johnson told Nine to Noon.

"He said that he's worried that Fish and Game is losing its way, that Fish and Game struggles with being a Government statutory body and instead is being a rabid NGO," he said.

On top of Nick Smith previously having to resign over his pressuring ACC on behalf of a female friend of his back in 2012, this anti-democratic bullying by Smith, which in my opinion should ensure his complete departure from parliament, makes an even eight good reasons to vote for anyone but the current government.

A vote for National is clearly a vote for politicians who rip-off taxpayers, a government that ignores rape culture, politicians who believe they're above the law, corrupt minister's who interfere in active police investigations and politicians who use taxpayers money to promote their own private business interests. If you don't like any of these things, then don't vote for National.