This week she is not near perfect. The SST talks of her revelation:
After months of confusion over the Glenn donations, it turns out Clark has known much more than she has been letting on. The famously candid prime minister has been caught out being economical with the truth.
She said she knew as early as February that there had in fact been a donation something that Peters only ended up confirming in July after his lawyer Brian Henry told him.
“It’s always seemed to me that somewhere, someplace there must have been some kind of contribution, but it wasn’t clear where,” she said.
Why did Clark suddenly come clean? One theory is that Labour has realised that their sugar daddy has turned feral on them, and that Clark feared what Glenn might reveal next in any further testimony to the privileges committee.
That seems most probable.
While Peters has been centre-stage, Clark has also taken a less visible but potentially hugely damaging political body blow this past week.
After the 2005 election National dealt the first hammer blow to Clark’s reputation, with the revelations that Clark’s pledge card had been paid for out of parliamentary spending when it should have been paid out of party funds.
And that they deliberately over-spent in the 2005 election!
Now Clark’s credentials as a straightforward and competent leader have been shaken again. Not only are there questions about why she wasn’t franker, sooner. There are also questions about why she didn’t get to the bottom of Peters’ donations in February, rather than turn a blind eye to what was clearly a major problem area.
And all it would have taken was a simple phone call back to Owen Glenn. A donation is not like a conversation, where there can be two versions of what happened. It is a simple provable fact. She could have asked Glenn for verification. She did not, because she knew that Glenn would be able to provide that proof, and she wanted to continue the sham of pretending her Foreign Minister was telling the truth.
The ground shifted in a third way last week. National leader John Key’s stand to rule out Peters as a potential coalition partner saw Key come forward out of the shadows as a leader. As a money dealer, Key was known for calmly taking big and risky stands in the market, and then collecting up large. Key learned in that career an exterior blankness that hid his true feelings, much like a high stakes poker player.
But as a politician, that blankness has made it difficult for the public to get to know him. Last week he showed a hint of steel beneath his bland exterior, and gave the public more clues on his dimensions as a potential leader.
A number of people have made the mistake of under-estimating John Key.
Now Key is at work drawing a sharp, lethal line that threatens to cut Labour off from all that has made it strong. He is acknowledging the old, popular, trusted Helen Clark. But he is claiming that Helen Clark is gone. Instead he claims today’s Helen Clark is different, mired in the evasions and compromises of coalition politics. Last week gave Key some more of the weapons he needs to carry out the job.
People just need to keep repeating these two lines:
- A vote for New Zealand First is a vote for a Labour-led Government
- A vote for Labour is a vote for Winston to be in Government
Simple.Tags: Helen Clark, John Key, SST, Winston First