Are you bored, or are you scared?

Rodney Hide won’t let the Sabin issue go.

I concluded last week that Prime Minister John Key would have to do some explaining.

He didn’t. He has refused. He’s not saying whether police briefed him or other ministers about their investigation of MP Mike Sabin.

That’s it. Move along. Nothing to see. To hell with Parliament. To hell with ministerial accountability.

The date of any briefing is explosive. It’s certainly not nitpicking. Sabin chaired the law and order select committee, which oversees the police. He was hopelessly conflicted. So, too, was our Parliament and justice system.

How could the chairman be holding police to account when he himself was under police investigation?

We deserve to know who was responsible for such dreadful judgment and management.

Was it police? The Prime Minister? The police minister? Who? And for how long did they know yet take no action?

Please note, this has nothing to do with Sabin, or what he’s allegedly done, but it has to do with the fact that a government is stonewalling on questions as to who dropped the ball here.

And my question to you is: ?Why is it that every time I’ve written about this, the majority of you decided that it was boring? ?The majority wants me to move on. ?The majority of you doesn’t see the point in “who knew what when?”.

Is it because you’re bored, or is it because you’re scared that the answers will damage the government that stands between you and a Labour/Green coalition being in charge?

Are we to be blind to the government’s faults as to eke out its reign a little longer?

Isn’t this exactly what we hated when Helen Clark did it?

Instead of clearing the dirty laundry and getting down to fixing things, aren’t we risking the very thing that you fear: ?that National won’t get their 4th term?

The Prime Minister refuses to answer the question of whether he was briefed, by whom and on what date. So does former Police Minister Anne Tolley.

Morning Report‘s Susie Ferguson gave her the opportunity to deny receiving a briefing. She wouldn’t: “I am not prepared to make any comment whatsoever,” she testily declared before hanging up.

Our leaders certainly are hot and bothered by an issue they tell us we are not interested in. Well, I am interested. And I am upset.

It’s distressing to see Parliament treated with such disrespect and a disrespect that continues through blanket refusals to answer straightforward questions.

The worst was Police Minister Michael Woodhouse. Labour’s MP Kelvin Davis set down an oral question asking him in Parliament on what date he was briefed.

The reply was breathtaking in its arrogance: “It is not appropriate nor in the public interest for me to discuss details relating to whether I may have received or provided details on a specific police matter.”

His reply to all supplementaries was equally breathtaking: “I refer to my primary answer and I have nothing further to add.”

But it nags, doesn’t it? The questions that Government ministers won’t answer are precisely the ones that should be. And how can it be in the public interest not to be told the date of a briefing? Nothing other than political embarrassment can hang on that.

I fear ministers are confusing public interest with their own interest.

There is a wall of silence. ?And the public is being treated like children: ?”this isn’t something you will be interested in”.

Or more accurately, this isn’t something we want you to know, because it isn’t in our own interest.

Some of you erroneously believe the media spin that this is a National Party blog. ?It receives no funding, it receives no support, and I can assure you that the current head boys at the National Party would rather see me gone.

I will always stand for shining sunlight on things. ? And if that scares you, perhaps you should question your own standards. ? Are you the sort of person that will look the other way if you fear the answers won’t be ones that keep the Government in place?

It’s very uncomfortable. That’s all the more reason why we need answers.

It’s never the original action, it is always the covering up that gets them. ? Had they come out with it straight away, it would all be done and dusted. ?Key and National have the political capital to take a hit and recover.

What they can’t recover from is a perception that they are deliberately covering something up.

That’s Helen Clark behaviour, and that’s what’s got her kicked out.

 

– Rodney Hide, Herald on Sunday

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