Forced exit destabilises government | The Jackal

11 Jun 2013

Forced exit destabilises government

Today, the NZ Herald reported:

Talk of any byelection in Dunne's Ohariu seat is premature. An early election is in the realm of the fanciful.

I'm not sure what reasoning is behind John Armstrong's claim, but he is clearly making shit up.

Peters has referred the latest matter to the police, but that is not expected to result in any moves to prosecute Dunne.

Really? As far as I'm aware, the Police haven't made any statement about the issue apart from saying they're investigating it.

Armstrong is obviously talking nonsense! He simply cannot know what the police investigation regarding who leaked the sensitive Kitteridge report (PDF) will turn up.

The Police investigation will likely look at the emails Dunne has refused to release and it appears the only reason for Dunne to try and keep those emails secret is because they will confirm him to be the leaker.

The Henry report (PDF) clearly points the finger at Dunne being the leaker, stating:

I [David Henry] identified three people who had access to the Kitteridge report prior to 9 April and who had contact with the reporter. Two were public servants and one was the leader of a political party supporting the National-led government.

In relation to the two public servants I have obtained all the information I required, including the content of emails exchanged with the reporter over the period 22 March to 9 April (inclusive). I have established those contacts were entirelly commensurate with their official duties.


I have not obtained all the information I require from Mr Dunne. I advised him that I considered it necassary for the purpose of this inquiry to have access to the full text of 86 email exchanges between him and the reporter during the period 27 March to 9 April. Mr Dunne declined to allow me to read those emails.

So, only one of three people (two of whom were ruled out) could have leaked the Kitterridge report and Dunne is refusing to release all the emails he had with the reporter who broke the story, Andrea Vance. In my opinion it's pretty clear that Dunne leaked the embargoed report, which is a serious security issue.

But despite this being a tonne of egg on the governments face, Armstrong claims:

If Peters' blowtorch did burn Dunne to the point of his leaving the House, National would more than likely win the subsequent byelection.

Although Dunne won nearly 39 per cent of the electorate vote in Ohariu in 2011, National won close to 50 per cent of the party vote in the seat against Labour's 26 per cent.

What Armstrong is ignoring is that electorates are won with electorate votes, not party votes. In Ōhariu, Labours electorate vote was over 34% while National only had 18%.

Only a truly deluded fool would make a statement of fact that National would win a by-election in Ōhariu, and that there might not need to be one.

It would be a different sort of byelection - one in which voters would be unable to register a protest vote just for the sake of it because a Labour win would be seen as leaving the Government less stable.

This makes no sense... Most people who vote out of protest won't be concerned with their vote destabilising the government.

In the next sentence, Armstrong completely contradicts his assertion by saying the government wouldn't be destabilised anyway even if Labour won Ōhariu.

Either Labour winning Ōhariu would destabilise the government or it won't... Armstrong can't have it both ways.

In my opinion, the sooner old fool Armstrong and the Dunce are given their marching orders the better.