I’ve been in meetings up until now, so only catching up with the latest from the Dom Post.
First we have the undisclosed $20,000 deposit in 1999. If the deposit was all from the same donor it has to be declared. Now possibly it was made up from a number of different donors. The Dom Post doesn’t specify – I assume they may have more than they have published to date.
Then we have the wonderful audio file of Phil Kitchin phoning Winston for comment. The whole clip is 12 seconds long of which six seconds is the phone ringing, three seconds of Kitchin saying who he is and then three seconds of Winston saying
“Phil, I told you I’m not talking to a lying wanker like you. See you.”
and hanging up.
They also have a story on the explanation Peters had walking into the House:
“Let me just say, any moron who knew anything about political parties and election expenses would have known exactly what that was about.”
Vernon Small is unimpressed with the bluster:
There are signs in his behaviour in the past week that he is beginning to believe his own legend, that all he has to do is bluster, attack the messenger and flash his smile to rise above any and all allegations, even those of hypocrisy. He cannot and he has not. …
Of course, the trust fund, and Mr Peters’ refusal to engage with any questions about it, is not an issue of ministerial responsibility but is one of his own credibility with his supporters – but still an area of legitimate interest to the media.
Not accusations, but legitimate questions that deserve answers from an elected representative so the jury in the court of public opinion can come to a verdict.
Labour’s delay of the confidence and supply vote from today until next week is not a coincidence. There are growing concerns in Labour about how their final weeks leading up to an election campaign could be tainted by association with Peters’ tactics.
If the SFO do decide to investigate (and in 2002 they investigated National over similar allegations), then Clark will be under real pressure to suspend Peters. He would react very badly to being suspended and this is why the timing of the confidence vote is increasingly important.Tags: anonymous donations, Dominion Post, Phil Kitchin, Vernon Small, Winston First