The only reason a senior MP would go on a hiding to nothing by standing in an electorate he couldn’t possibly win would be if he was desperately seeking publicity.
Labour’s Epsom candidate David Parker must have thought the strategy wasn’t working so he sought more publicity by asking for a guest post on Kiwiblog.
He was given plenty of rope. He didn’t hang himself but he did tangle himself up with it and fall flat on his face when he said the Sensible Sentencing Trust had bought a place on Act’s list for David Garrett through a large donation to the party.
It must be a difficult concept for a leftwing politician, so used to unions, to grasp. But most lobby groups are not politically aligned and don’t donate to political parties.
The SST and Act Party both immediately refuted the statement.
As soon as the lie was exposed, blog host David Farrar posted an update saying the statement was wrong.
Very belatedly Parker asked for this to be added:
Garth McVicar has today (25 October) said that the Sensible Sentencing Trust has not made donations of money to any political party, including Act. It appears from his statement that the only gift the Trust itself made to Act was David Garrett. What donations, if any, came from members of the so-called Sensible Sentencing Trust to Mr Garrett or Act I do not know.
That’s a very sorry example of how to show you’re not sorry.
No voluntary organisation can control what its members do with their own money and what they do as individuals is their own business unless they choose to publicise it.
Had anyone made a large donation the party is required by law to declare it.
It would be difficult to know if an individual donor was a member of the SST or any other organisation unless they said so. Most voluntary organisations respect the privacy of their members and don’t make their membership public.
I don’t know enough about the law to know if what was written was actionable.
But like most not-for-profit groups , largely run on the goodwill of volunteers, the SST will need every cent it raises for its own work and this slur on its integrity will damage its ability to fund raise.
However, the greater damage is that which was self-inflicted. Mud spatters the one who throws it and this episode has left Parker looking both petty and dirty.