Not models for stellar career

December 9, 2012

Understatement of the week:

. . . This will probably only encourage Tamihere, who has been coming over like a cross between former Act MP David Garrett and former National MP Bob Clarkson. These are not really models for a stellar political career.

It came from Trans Tasman which was pointing out the peculiar silence from Labour Party MPs who twisted themselves in knots trying not to criticise Tamihere’s boorish comments on women and gays.

No need to worry if nothing to hide

September 26, 2010

Rodney Hide reckons MPs are nervous about their pasts.

There’d be nothing to worry about if they had nothing to hide.

That doesn’t mean they have to have blameless pasts, it does mean they should be upfront about anything which might have a bearing on their work as MPs.

David Garrett’s experience should be instructive. It wasn’t the identity of a dead infant to get a false passport, despicable as that was, which was his undoing.

It was the hypocrisy of having done that and kept it hidden when he had such a hard line stance on crime.

Dedication to the cause

September 24, 2010

The ODT reckons Act is rearranging deck chairs on a political Titanic.

The woman coming in to help bail out the party after David Garrett walked the plank is Hilary Calvert of Dunedin.

Ms Calvert was a sole practice lawyer, specialising in property law, until recently. . .

. . . “I guess lawyers always find their way into Parliament partly because they care a lot about the structure of society and how it’s run and partly because they understand the laws and things a bit differently,” she told NZPA last month.

She left law to get into something more community focused and had been thinking about what to do, Ms Calvert said.

Parliament would be a good option — “that certainly counts as a serious community commitment”.

It also counts as dedication to the cause because it’s probable that she’ll be disrupting her life for what could be a very short term position.

Act’s chances of still being in parliament at all after the next election aren’t great and if the party survives it’s likely to have fewer than its current quote of five MPs.

Last on doesn’t necessarily mean first off, but Ms Calvert has only a few months to earn a higher place on the list and that would mean leap frogging other MPs. Unless someone steps aside voluntarily that would mean even rougher seas for the party.

Zero tolerance of hypocrisy

September 18, 2010

It’s difficult to understand how senior members of a party could be told by a prospective candidate that he had been through court for identity fraud without ascertaining all the facts.

But when Rodney Hide was interviewed by Mary Wilson on Checkpoint last night he said he hadn’t known the details of David Garrett’s case.

This reflects very poorly on the party and its selection processes.

It’s even more difficult to understand how a man who had been on the wrong side of the law himself couldn’t understand the need to be open about it before entering parliament when he wanted to take such a hard line on crime.

Garrett may have been discharged without conviction in a court of law. But his failure to disclose the full details of his past before he was elected make him guilty of hypocrisy in the court of public opinion which has zero tolerance for the h word .

P.S. goNZo Freakpower has dug up a photo of an Act campaign billboard.

Garrett going

September 17, 2010

RadioNZ reports that David Garrett has quit the Act Party.

Radio New Zealand understands that if Mr Garrett is ejected from the ACT caucus he won’t go without a fight and is likely to stay on as an independent MP.

However, Midday Report says he’s taking two weeks off to consider his future.

Qutting the party is the best thing he can do for Act but I can’t see how he can continue in parliament as an independent.

The next person on Act’s list in Hilary Calvert of Dunedin.

iPredict has a contract on this possibility.

Better to fess up early

September 16, 2010

If  there’s something in your past which doesn’t reflect well on you it’s far better to admit it publicly before you get in to parliament, especially if it makes you look like a hypocrite.

Using the birth certificate of a dead child to obtain a false passport is a despicable act. Even if it happened years ago and the person who did it was discharged without conviction, it’s the sort of thing people ought to know before he becomes an MP.

According to the court file, the judge told him: “There is no public interest in what you did 20 years ago.”

The judge also said Mr Garrett had led a “blameless life”, and reporting his crime would have consequences disproportionate to the crime that he committed.

For someone who wasn’t in the public eye that may be true. But according to the report the trial was in 2005, the year in which Garrett entered parliament, three years later Garrett entered parliament.

Politicians don’t have to have had blameless past. But any who don’t confess any misdeeds to the public early are inviting trouble when, as is almost inevitable in a country where most people know someone who knows someone who knows you, it eventually comes out.


If your name’s been suppressed can you make it public?

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