He does it because he knows my blue bias and in light of that I thought I’d start with a mulit-choice question:
The editorial is:
a) far too soft on John Key because he’s a rich prick.
b) far too soft on John Key because he’s a rich prick and the media is biased.
c) uncalled for and unfair, the paper’s biased and it’s all a media beat up.
d) John who? What team does he play for?
e) a valid point of view, with much of which I disagree.
I’m opting for e:
The Tranz Rail story would have been a non-story – the number of shares John held was not relevant to the question he was asked in parliament; they were owned by a family trust not by him personally; and once he realised the trust shouldn’t own them he gave orders for them to be sold, and they were – at a loss. When he later discovered the number he’d owned was greter than he’d originally said he let it lie, which obviously was a mistake in hindsight but understandable at the time.
It would have stayed a non-story had John handled it better from the start. That he didn’t disappoints me but he’s human, everyone makes mistakes and as soon as he realised that’s what he’d done he admitted it, accepted responsbilitiy and apologised.
Why didn’t he handle it better? I don’t know, but I am confident he’ll have learnt the lesson and won’t do it again; and it is light years away from what WInston Peters is guilty of.
John was guilty of two sins of omission: first by not selling the shares earlier when as a new MP he didn’t know all the rules, and then by not publicly giving the correct number of shares he owned when he found out it differed from the number he’d given earlier. His initial response when questioned by TV1 wasn’t flash but he made up for that when he accepted that and apologised.
Peters by contrast is a long-serving and experienced MP whose sins are those of commission – deliberately flouting rules, lying about it and refusing to admit he’s done anything wrong.
Adam Smith gives his view on the editorial at Inquiring Mind.