The ODT looks at the accusations against John Key and concludes:
Whether people accept his word remains to be seen but Dr Cullen is making his best efforts to show an intent to mislead and his accusation and Mr Key’s admission will generally work in favour of the Labour Party’s present election stance of asking voters whom they should trust.
But that can work against Labour and others, and in the context of the Winston Peters affair few MPs emerge with any credit whatsoever.
The attitude of the Prime Minister, who sacked ministers Lianne Dalziel and David Benson-Pope for lying to or misleading the public, is not untypical, for she has adopted a different quantifying scale with Mr Peters. . .
. . . Miss Clark’s response to this, when questioned by journalists, was that she did not intend to waste any more time on the matter.
That may be the safest political course in an election campaign, but Miss Clark also criticised the privileges committee hearing and described it as “tainted” before it had made its final report, a shameful attempt to influence one of our legal institutions.
She was not alone. Mr Peters himself, Dr Cullen and several other members of the committee, which represents a cross-section of parties in the House, felt moved to comment on the procedures, the evidence, and the accused, and their own conclusions during the hearings which, had the matter been heard in the High Court, would surely have invited a citation for contempt.
Indeed, contempt is a word many voters might well be employing to describe the poisonous state of affairs where the MPs’ behaviour and standards have sunk so low as to bring the very concept of the “people’s representatives” into serious disrepair.
“Our mission,” declared Helen Clark when opening her successful 1999 election campaign, “is to clean up government, and to clean up Parliament . . . the public’s faith in the democratic process must be restored.”
That is a pledge which voters should now measure, nine years later, and judge it to have been a spectacular failure.
Labour asks us to judge them on their record. But many of the promises they’ve kept were election bribes which shouldn’t have been made in the first place. and the most important one on restoring public faith in democracy has not just been ignored, it’s been torn up and ground into the mud.