Something is not quite right…

Remember when the police took the extraordinary step of speaking out about the rumours swirling around Clarke Gayford, stating that, as far as they were concerned, he was facing no criminal charges?

Whether or not that was true, it was an extraordinary thing for the police to do. Can you think of another time when the police have come out in support of someone and said they are not facing charges? Normally, they would never bother with rumours or speculation.

But this time they did, and it led to speculation (possibly unwarranted speculation) that Jacinda herself may have intervened in the matter and asked the police to confirm that Clarke was not under investigation.

We don’t know that, of course… but it does seem like a distinct possibility. Why else would the police make a statement of this nature?

The problem for Jacinda is, whether she actually did ask the police to intervene or not, there is a perception that she did. This is quite worrying in a country where police independence is paramount, and any hint of inappropriate intervention smacks of corruption.

Fast forward a few months, and it seems we have a similar situation. Possibly.

Late last week, Trevor Mallard appointed an inquiry into the leaking of Simon Bridges’ travel expenses and then dismissed it within 24 hours. He declared he was satisfied that the ‘leaker’ had mental health issues, and that it would be inappropriate to continue the witchhunt, as both Mallard and the police now knew who the ‘leaker’ was.

Well, it is nice that both the police and the speaker should be so forgiving but nobody bothered to consult Simon Bridges, whose inquiry it was, after all. By all accounts, he still does not know the identity of the leaker even though everyone else (well, the police and the speaker) seem to.

Doesn’t something strike you as odd about this whole thing?

It didn’t seem particularly odd until today. Yes, I thought it was strange that no one told Simon Bridges the identity of the leaker. But things changed today when Jacinda was quoted ‘categorically denying’ that she had had anything to do with shutting down the inquiry.

Up to that point, it had never occurred to me that she did.

We all know that a politician’s ‘categorical denial’ is often empty words. Maybe not in this case. But why is Jacinda denying involvement in something that she had no apparent involvement in anyway?

It could be said that this is the price that she has to pay for appearing to involve the police in the rumours around Clarke Gayford and that now she has a reputation for being prepared to bring the police into matters when it suits her.

This may only be a public perception, but it is a dreadful one. If that is the reputation she has earned for herself, then it is very worrying indeed. A lot of people have little faith in the police force as it is, and to think that the prime minister is able to manipulate them at will… well, that is not a good look, to say the least.

All I know is that Jacinda was out there defending herself today. Defending herself against involvement in something that she had no apparent involvement in.

Which is mind boggling on its own.

When you add it to the events of a few months ago with Clarke Gayford, it is very puzzling. Maybe there is more to this after all?