Political interest trumps natural justice

The first editor for whom I worked warned me that while family feuds might be of interest to the prurient they were rarely of sufficient merit to warrant publication.

He would have been at best bemused and more likely appalled that accusations over Brendan Horan and his late mother’s money were splashed over the front page of a national paper, even if he is an MP.

His party leader, Winston Peters, has sent him home to sort it out.

Why only when when Peters has know about the accusation for months?

Yes, Horan has been caught up in a family feud over his mother’s will.

That could be viewed as a personal issue – whereby Horan should be left to sort it out on his personal time and keep doing his job.

But by standing Horan down, Peters has elevated the issue to a public one.

Remember Peters was told about this two months ago – and has done absolutely nothing about it.

He says he’s got no evidence from Horan’s siblings proving the allegations about missing money from the mother – but neither has he got any evidence from Horan disproving it.

But Peters only acted to stand Horan down when the story broke on Sunday.

That’s because he doesn’t like the publicity – given Winston Peters’ elderly constituency, he certainly does not want to be seen to be propping up an MP who has been dipping into his elderly mother’s money.

Political interest trumps natural justice now the story is public.The idea that people are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty doesn’t seem to matter.

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