More tricky

March 9th, 2014 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald on Sunday story summary:

The Labour leader dodged questions about helping his rich friend and donor buy an idyllic holiday home

You see the Herald on Sunday asked about the $4 million purchase. His response:

When the Herald on Sunday asked Cunliffe two weeks ago about the four-bedroom, 200sqm house at Ti Point, overlooking the Omaha holiday home of Prime Minister John Key, he said he had nothing to do with the sale.

Cunliffe said he had no beneficial interest in the property, and his wife Karen had simply played a legal role with the trustee company which bought the property.

If he was not telling the truth, Cunliffe said, “you can have my testicles for garters”.

So the clear impression he gave the Herald on Sunday was it had nothing to do with him, and his wife was simply acting as a lawyer with the sale.

However:

Real estate agent Lorraine Mildon said Cunliffe had been involved in the purchase, and had visited the property.

Cunliffe returned to the property shortly before Waitangi Day last year, she said, on behalf of a friend who was in America.

“He didn’t buy it. His friend did. He came and looked at it on behalf of his friend but he didn’t sign the agreement.”

Neighbour Jan Haslam said she believed Cunliffe had been to visit the property. 

The real estate agent says Cunliffe was involved in the purchase and visited the property pre-sale.

Cunliffe said he first visited with Keenan, who wanted to buy the property, but the gate was locked. “We weren’t able to get on to the property.”

Keenan returned to the US, but Cunliffe went back to Ti Point with his wife and children to inspect the house.

So why did Cunliffe give the Herald on Sunday the impression the sale had nothing to do with him:

Cunliffe did not disclose his visits when the Herald on Sunday inquired about it on February 22. This weekend, he said he had checked his recording of the interview and he had truthfully answered questions about any beneficial ownership of the property. “If you had asked me whether I had visited the property, then my answer would have been yes,” Cunliffe said.

They asked him if he was involved in the sale and he said no. Most people would answer yes if they had been out to visit the property on behalf of the prospective owner. But once again, Cunliffe goes for the tricky response.

Let’s be clear. I don’t have a problem with an MP helping an old friend who is based overseas purchase a property. Nothing wrong with helping your friends. It does get murkier when the friend later becomes a personal donor, which is why disclosure requirements are so important.

The issue is Cunliffe’s response to the Herald on Sunday. His response shouldn’t have been to deny he had anything to do with the sale. It should have been “Yeah I helped Perry purchase it. He’s an old mate and was only in NZ for a few days, so I checked it out for him. It was great to be able to help him out, as that is what mates do for each other”

But he basically denied all knowledge of it, and only when the Herald on Sunday came back to him with testimony from the real estate agent did he admit he was involved, but then claimed he didn’t lie when he originally denied it because he interpreted the Herald on Sunday’s inquiries to be about whether he had a beneficial interest in the property, rather than any involvement.

This is exactly what people mean when they talk about being tricky.

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100 Responses to “More tricky”

  1. mjw (293 comments) says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  2. Simon (706 comments) says:

    “you can have my testicles for garters”.

    He will have ask the unions for them back first.

    Yep Cunnlife does deals. He is open for business.

    And rich prick $4 million holiday house. No wonder Cunnlife thinks his $2.5 million “do up” and $500K pa family income is middle of the road. Up the workers!

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  3. OneTrack (2,731 comments) says:

    DPF – Or he was involved more than he is saying, and nobody has found the proof yet (or has asked exactly the right question) so he is keeping quiet. Very tricksey.

    Can’t trust him as far as you can throw him.

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  4. wat dabney (3,714 comments) says:

    He’s like a Good Samaritan isn’t he. Always helping people and doing them favours, then modestly denying any involvement.

    Provided you’re extremely rich and in a position to secretly bankroll his ambitions of course.

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  5. Pete George (23,131 comments) says:

    There’s word around that this is part of the drip drip from the ABC leak aimed at undermining Cunliffe.

    Apart from it highlighting some questionable actions Cunliffe is now caught in a possibly inextricable situation. He must be suspicious of where any line of questions from journalists might be heading, but if he avoids answering them openly and honestly, as happened here, then he digs a deeper hole.

    But he can’t just respond to any questions with everything that might be related to what’s being asked.

    Can anyone remember anything like this incessant stream of undermining leaks for a party leader?

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  6. jcuk (625 comments) says:

    If PG is correct “Can anyone remember anything like this incessant stream of undermining leaks for a party leader?” how can anybody be happy with that party being government.

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  7. Scott Chris (5,940 comments) says:

    I’m no fan of Cunners but really there is nothing in this ‘story’. Okay Cunliffe was unwise not to distance himself from the financial dealings of a donor and unwise not to clarify the extent of his involvement, but on the surface of it he did nothing ethically wrong imo.

    The danger for the National Party in substance-less stories such as this is that Cunliffe may start to look like the victim of partisan media bullying. (yes the left see the Herald as right-leaning just as the right see the Herald as left-leaning which is quite amusing to those of us with both eyes open)

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  8. All_on_Red (1,464 comments) says:

    Look, I’m happy to see Cunliffe get it, but hasn’t that Real Estate Agent breached the Privacy Act?

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  9. big bruv (13,450 comments) says:

    I did not think it would ever be possible for me to hate (yes hate) an MP or PM more than I hated Klark, she led the most corrupt government in this nations history. I am sorry to say that in my eyes Cuntliffe has already eclipsed Klark.

    Can you imagine how corrupt Cuntliffe will be should he ever become PM?, the man clearly thinks that the rules do not apply to him, it is clear that he will say anything, do anything, sacrifice anybody and tell those who are listening what ever they want to hear just to achieve his goals.

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  10. Nostalgia-NZ (4,985 comments) says:

    ‘Real estate agent Lorraine Mildon said Cunliffe had been involved in the purchase, and had visited the property.

    Cunliffe returned to the property shortly before Waitangi Day last year, she said, on behalf of a friend who was in America.

    “He didn’t buy it. His friend did. He came and looked at it on behalf of his friend but he didn’t sign the agreement.”’

    So if you visit a property, your friend buys, you’re ‘involved in the purchase,’ but you didn’t buy it and didn’t sign the agreement. This is turning into a bit of a frenzy now. As was the advice from a political commentator that Cunliffe shouldn’t attack the National party over the economy, maybe it’s also sage that the Nats don’t engross themselves in pedantics that claim a person is involved in purchasing a property, despite not buying it and not signing for it – because it’s becoming petty and an air of frenetic childishness departs from the look of a solid Government. Is a solid and mature Government in the 2000s one that resorts to name calling and labels of ‘tricky,’ maybe, but also it’s school yard stuff that a lot of middle voters may not appreciate.

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  11. Yoza (1,643 comments) says:

    big bruv (12,176 comments) says:
    March 9th, 2014 at 9:23 am

    I did not think it would ever be possible for me to hate (yes hate) an MP or PM more than I hated Klark, she led the most corrupt government in this nations history. I am sorry to say that in my eyes Cuntliffe has already eclipsed Klark.

    Can you imagine how corrupt Cuntliffe will be should he ever become PM?, the man clearly thinks that the rules do not apply to him, it is clear that he will say anything, do anything, sacrifice anybody and tell those who are listening what ever they want to hear just to achieve his goals.

    Yeah, I hear he has begun eating newborn babies at satanic rituals organised by the Green party.

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  12. holysheet (285 comments) says:

    I am still waiting for the donor list to be revealed. .com will be on this list no doubt.
    We simply cannot trust this pseudo rich prick silent T

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  13. rouppe (932 comments) says:

    Actually, despite not liking Cunliffe, I don’t think this can be construed as ‘being involved with the sale’.

    Just going around to have a look for a mate is just that. Any obvious cracks, smells and stuff. Cause let’s face it, you can’t rely on anything less than a building inspection by a certified builder (that’s not on Cunliffe’s cv is it?). Just like kicking the tyres on a car.

    He didn’t sign anything, didn’t guarantee anything, didn’t influence the vendor due to his ‘status’, isn’t involved in the trust (is he?)…

    This is getting just a tad excited

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  14. WineOh (571 comments) says:

    Weasel words.

    The issue here is not what he actually did relating to the purchase, its the deliberate withholding of information that is relevant to the bigger picture. He is desperate to avoid looking like he mixes it up with rich mates because he is trying to align himself with the downtrodden working man and the great unwashed… when the truth is that he’s also desperate to be part of the ivy-league rich prick club rubbing shoulders with the who’s who.

    The effect is that he looks untrustworthy. He may be technically correct in what he’s saying, but he’s giving lawyers answers. Lying by omission.

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  15. greenjacket (429 comments) says:

    So why couldn’t Cunliffe just say what had happened?
    Padded CV, false ‘bro’ accents, secret trusts, now this.
    He seems to be incapable of being honest.

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  16. davidp (3,550 comments) says:

    I thought Labour were opposed to foreigners owning property in NZ? Cunliffe’s mate might be a NZ citizen, but it sounds like he is based overseas for the long term. So I don’t see why Cunliffe should be helping his friend buy an expensive house and inflate the property market, except his friend probably isn’t Chinese and we all know that Labour foreign investment policies are really designed just to whip up some cheap anti-Chinese sentiment.

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  17. thedavincimode (6,574 comments) says:

    Folks, folks, much as I’d like to join in, aren’t you all stretching things here? He had no interest in the purchase (as he said) and he acted in a private capacity for an old friend – most likely the only friend he has.

    He could have handled it better and quite possibly he wasn’t more up front because he didn’t want it to be known he had a friend who could afford a $4m beach property – but even so, you are now on the cusp of imputing a requirement to divulge every aspect of a politician’s private life irrespective of whether it is relevant to the public life role.

    Edit: except davidp makes a good point regarding Cunners position on land sales to non-residents. So by all means, keep kicking away! :)

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  18. twofish (76 comments) says:

    Some recent organ transplants cases– like a heart recipient, who suddenly developed an uncharacteristic craving for peanut butter, on investigation found the donor died from over consumption of it – reveal memory and traits can reside in body parts other than the brain.

    Wonder no longer why Cunliffe apparently can’t give away his testicles.

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  19. Nostalgia-NZ (4,985 comments) says:

    ‘The danger for the National Party in substance-less stories such as this is that Cunliffe may start to look like the victim of partisan media bullying. (yes the left see the Herald as right-leaning just as the right see the Herald as left-leaning which is quite amusing to those of us with both eyes open)’

    Add to that ‘talk of trusts,’ it’s such a mess now with claim and counter claim there will be those with general perception that they (the political parties) are all the same rather than one being able to emerge as holier than thou. Turning into petty crap and a bit of turn off for those not zealots to the cause. Reminds me of the ex NZF MP Ron Marks being caught pulling the finger and sneering in Parliament said more about he and his maturity than about what ever point he was trying to make.

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  20. stigie (963 comments) says:

    This is not the Nats attacking Cunliffe …surely, this is the media from what i am reading…?

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  21. twofish (76 comments) says:

    He could have handled it better and quite possibly he wasn’t more up front because he didn’t want it to be known he had a friend who could afford a $4m beach property

    Offering his testicles was being up-front. Pity Pants Down Len Brown can’t follow Cunliffe’s example :-)

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  22. kowtow (7,851 comments) says:

    How does such a staunch working class hero have so many really rich mates? Seems a bit of a paradox.And how come these rich pricks are so eager to have a progressive left wing government for Aotearoa? Have they salted away their wealth in trusts and overseas accounts?

    BB says Clark’s was the most corrupt govt in this nations’ history.Now we’re all used to BB’s ill tempered hypebole but some evidence for that extraordinary claim would be nice.

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  23. tvb (4,229 comments) says:

    Taken literally Cunliffe’s answer was correct. He did not have anything to do with SALE. But he did have an involvement with the purchase. But most people would include the genetic term sale to include purchase. When confronted with this Cunliffe owned up. There is not big deal with what he did but he just keeps being tricky with the truth.

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  24. wat dabney (3,714 comments) says:

    Actually, despite not liking Cunliffe, I don’t think this can be construed as ‘being involved with the sale’…

    Such dissemblance and legalistic tightrope-walking is precisely his problem.

    He’s like all those Westminster MPs found plundering the taxpayers who argued, quite legitimately, that they hadn’t broken the rules.

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  25. SW (226 comments) says:

    “I blogged on the donation issue yesterday” – did you?

    This is probably the most pathetic political attack story I have seen printed then repeated in recent memory. How on earth is looking at a property being involved in its sale and purchase? What is the supposed mischief from Cunliffe here?

    Nothing more than smear ‘gotcha’ politics?

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  26. Keeping Stock (10,161 comments) says:

    One thing no-one else seems to have picked up on. Any time now Labour MP’s use the pathetic “holiday highway” taunt, National MP’s can respond with jibes about the Labour leader escaping from his “mid-range do-up” in Herne Bay to visit his rich Chicago-based secret donor at Omaha. In an election year especially, that kind of own goal is inexcusable.

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  27. flipper (3,747 comments) says:

    Interesting scenario…
    I have visited properties with friends and have offered my two cents…. but that does not make me a party.

    Where the dots connect here is …La Cunliffe did the legal work… there is a trust involved to blind Keenan’s ownership …. la Cunliffe is involved with the trust… Keenan donated through a trust to Cunliffe…..

    As my critics know, I am no admirer of la Collins. But what she is alleged to have done is crap compared to the smell emanating from the Omaha purchase. If it were not for la Cunliffe’s involvement he would be clear and free from any grounds for criticism. But, la Cunliffe is involved and Keenan put monies through Cunliffe’s trust.

    Stupid.

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  28. wat dabney (3,714 comments) says:

    SW,

    It’s the emphatic denial which does for him:

    he said he had nothing to do with the sale…If he was not telling the truth, Cunliffe said, “you can have my testicles for garters”.

    Such a full, straight, clear, unambiguous answer. And yet, what do we find?

    It’s about the man’s character, or complete lack of it.

    He’s like a poor man’s Tony Blair. It never occurs to him to simply tell the truth. He only says what he believes will be politically beneficial. If the narrative happens to coincide with the truth then that’s just a bonus.

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  29. Viking2 (11,215 comments) says:

    Talking of Trusts and Testicles. :lol:

    Interesting read. Kinda clarifies some previous acrimony. (and leaves egg on the face of a few I’d suggest.) perhaps you might like to make amends and apologize to the person concerned.
    Interesting how there seems to be a theme here.

    Matters neither way to me except that if this is the truth then the Nats have some shame to explain. :lol:

    Mike Williams has this to say today:

    Peters was vehemently attacked in the lead-up to the 2008 general election for allegedly accepting a $100,000 contribution from the same Sir Owen two years earlier, then denying it.

    Despite a leaked email in which Sir Owen said he’d made a donation to NZ First, when Peters was asked if NZ First had received the money from Sir Owen he held up a sign that read “No”.

    He was widely pilloried. NZ First fell short of the 5 per cent threshold by 20,000 votes in the forthcoming general election, disappeared from Parliament and gave John Key’s National Party the election.

    As I facilitated the donation in question, I can report – for the first time – that Peters was in fact telling the strict truth.

    Shortly after the 2005 general election, I travelled to Sydney on a personal matter and went to visit Sir Owen at his beautiful Double Bay property.

    We discussed the outcome of the general election, where Peters had lost Tauranga by 730 votes to “Bob the Builder” Clarkson.

    I was asked if I thought an electoral petition might change the results and answered that I did. I had already seen reports of what seemed to be heavy overspending by the National candidate.

    It was then resolved that a contribution would be made to defray the costs of the court action and a payment was made to the fees account of the lead lawyer, Brian Henry.

    The transaction did not involve Peters and no money ever went near him or the NZ First Party. However the privileges committee and media chose to believe the leaked email – and the rest is history.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11216530

    Oh and Key shafted Clarkson dumping a never done good lawyer on Tauranga.

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  30. davidp (3,550 comments) says:

    wat debney>Such a full, straight, clear, unambiguous answer. And yet, what do we find?

    It is pretty clear that Cunliffe will respond to any question with a lawyer’s answer based on technicalities, rather than the straightforward and open answer most NZers expect. He is an “I did not have sex with that woman Monica Lewinsky” politician, because Clinton claims that he didn’t consider a BJ and some cigar games to be “sex”. Just like inspecting a property pre-sale isn’t anything to do with the sale process.

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  31. Pete George (23,131 comments) says:

    Two weeks ago the Herald asked Cunliffe questions about donation trusts and about the Omaha property purchase. Cunliffe knew there was a common factor in both issues, his friend the purchaser and his friend the donor.

    On both issues he wasn’t up front and open – despite his claims this morning on Q&A. He fudged the truth. But the details eventually emerged.

    It’s that being tricky with the truth, and the disconnect between his claims of being open and him not being open, that is his biggest problem right now.

    Whenever he answers questions it’s hard to know if he is being open now, or if it will take a few days to pressure the facts out of him. Not a good look, as there are doubts about his word on other things as well, as Fran O’Sullivan explained about his business contact. None of us have any idea what he will actually do if he becomes Prime Minister.

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  32. Viking2 (11,215 comments) says:

    Pete was your man on the Privileges Committee when they vilified Peters?
    If so,

    The transaction did not involve Peters and no money ever went near him or the NZ First Party. However the privileges committee and media chose to believe the leaked email – and the rest is history.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11216530

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10531418

    Expatriate billionaire Glenn told the committee Mr Peters solicited a $100,000 donation in December 2005 to pay his lawyer’s fees, and thanked him for it in January 2006.

    So Glen appears to be at odds with Williams story.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10531418

    Seems to me that Williams could have squashed this whole charade had he fronted and told the Privileges Committee what he has said today.

    Worthwhile Googling what happened in the past.
    Seem the only person that was clean was Winston Peters.

    Funny that.

    Thankyou Google. :lol:

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  33. thedavincimode (6,574 comments) says:

    KS

    An acquaintance who works in the environmental field mentioned that a certain environmental lawyer married to a somewhat tricky high profile politician actually acted for Transit on the “holiday highway”. I guess potential holiday-makers need love too! :)

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  34. davidp (3,550 comments) says:

    I work for the GCSB and therefore have access to the spy tapes we record from Cunliffe’s lounge. We intercepted this exchange at around the time of the sale. Don’t spread it around because we didn’t have a warrant.

    [deleted by DPF: On the wrong side of defamatory]

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  35. prosper (137 comments) says:

    If you have a property in a trust the names of the trustees must appear on the title. The names of the beneficiaries do not appear on the title but the beneficiaries have no control over the trust which would seem unwise. So a search of the title would show the names of the owners. I do not think silent t has done anything wrong except why does he keep on lying?

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  36. Odakyu-sen (490 comments) says:

    “I’m a man of the people and most people don’t know anyone living in a $4million house.”

    Pure comedy gold!

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  37. lolitasbrother (554 comments) says:

    .Slowly and surely the character of Cunliffe is leaking into the public’s mind. MSM are now seeing him as having duality,
    of being tricky, devious, and even believing in two opposing ideas at one time. Earlier he was even seen as treacherous.
    His manifesto so far has proved ludicrous sloganeering.
    Take for instance the Kiwi Insurance scheme. It has fallen over before any questions could be answered..
    I posed some questions at the Standard. Result censored.
    He makes stuff up as he is going along . He is now seen as unable to see reality even. Take for instance the Rangitata electorate..
    This dreamer went around psyching himself silly and saying they would take one of the safest blue ribbon seats.
    Cunliffe is a gift to us, and he keeps on giving.
    My punt is Cunliffe will leave New Zealand after his thrashing at the polls 2014. His wife will gain work ovewrseas.

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  38. lolitasbrother (554 comments) says:

    prosper (7 comments) says: March 9th, 2014 at 11:01 am

    quote ”
    If you have a property in a trust the names of the trustees must appear on the title. The names of the beneficiaries do not appear on the title but the beneficiaries have no control over the trust which would seem unwise. So a search of the title would show the names of the owners. I do not think silent t has done anything wrong except why does he keep on lying?
    unquote ”

    that is the thing prosper. There is something fundamentally wrong with Cunliffe.
    He is unable to see a spade and call it a spade . He lives in a devious world, since a child , and he has developed some serious faults.
    New Zealanders middle will vote against Cunliffe / Norman

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  39. Tinshed (103 comments) says:

    Over at the The Standard they are having apoplexy about this and have written stern letters to the Press Council. They really must be angry and upset to go that far.

    I also agree with all those who say this should have been a non-story. Move along, nothing to see here, should have been the response, if, and it is a mighty big if, Cunliffe had either the political skills or the right character to make it a non-story. Sadly it appears he is lacking in both counts.

    But the real issue is of course, where are these leaks coming from? They are coming from within Labour. That is the real story. There is clearly a group within Labour who will throw their own leader and party under the bus of electoral loss. Gee, how toxic is that? Can’t even begin to imagine. I suspect that is why Cunliffe bought in Mccartern to be his Malcolm Tucker and kneecap the disloyal. You can’t expect to be Prime Minister if you can’t control your own party first. And Cunliffe clearly can’t at this stage. That is the real story here.

    Those at The Standard would be better placed writing stern letters to some of their own first.

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  40. Judith (8,219 comments) says:

    IF we are going to discuss ‘trickery’ by politicians, then surely we should be mentioning the ‘dinner’ debacle, that whilst ‘legal’ also results in substantial amounts of money being raised, and the contributors not being named.

    Personally I think the whole system is a mess. Each side as bad as the other.

    So much for the open and honest governance, and the transparency offered – it appears to me that the game is ‘keep as much hidden as possible’.
    And that criticism is not towards any one person or party – from my point of view they are all as bad as each other, and only a few individuals worthy of sitting in the house, IMHO.

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  41. CrazyIvan (88 comments) says:

    The more I see of Cunliffe the more I wonder about his political nous. He seems unable to think ahead of the repercussions of his statements and positions – he tries to cast himself in the best possible light, and stick strictly to the questions and then backpedal with a lame excuse about not being asked the right question when later challenged as in this case. This includes:

    - talk about one trust and not think that reporters might check to see if there are others
    - challenging the PM about his house and not think that his own living arrangements would come to light
    - say he has nothing to do with a sale, and not think that a reporter would check with a real estate agent
    - accept donations through a trust and not think that people might ask where the money came from

    A good politician should be able to think ahead and wonder about where media queries, parliamentary questions are going to go and have a position ready. John Key is a master at this. You need to think ahead of the media, not just react to the latest inquiry. Whether that is ineptitude, intellectual laziness, arrogance or a combination of all is debatable.

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  42. mara (744 comments) says:

    If for no other reason, DC is too “highly strung” and desperate for the top job, for me to trust his judgement as the PM. Desperation in a politician is deeply uncool and troublesome. See Len Brown.

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  43. Pete George (23,131 comments) says:

    V2 – I don’t have a ‘man’. Until tomorrow I do what I do only for myself.

    Regardless of who is right if $100k was given to a lawyer for Peters’ benefit then Peters may be able to claim he didn’t receive any money technically, but in reality it means the same thing, it was a sham donation designed to avoid what it was actual for – that’s how I see it.

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  44. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    As much as I dislike the dick, visiting an address to make sure all the bits are there for a mate is hardly being involved in the sale

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  45. Pete George (23,131 comments) says:

    Graeme Edgeler has just tweeted:

    Shorter Mike Williams: I had evidence I say showed Winston Peters was innocent of contempt of Parliament & kept quiet.

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  46. edhunter (507 comments) says:

    This is very reminiscent of Julia’s death by a thousand cuts, the important thing for National is to let the left tear him to shreds all by themselves & to be seen as being above it all and more concerned with running the country, especially this type of pity shit.

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  47. Pete George (23,131 comments) says:

    Paul, I agree that as described it seems to be no big deal – so why wasn’t Cunliffe up front about it? He avoid being open, despite claiming today that he has been open. That’s his problem. Again.

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  48. Psycho Milt (2,336 comments) says:

    So why did Cunliffe give the Herald on Sunday the impression the sale had nothing to do with him

    Well, assuming we’re not shadows on the wall of a cave and all that, I’m picking he gave the Herald that impression because the sale had nothing to do with him.

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  49. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    PG
    Semantics probably, technically he has done no paper work, signed nothing, not put up any cash but what the dick is not realising is that some in labour are leaking to the media brilliantly and the question asker knows what has happened prior to Cunliffes answer.

    And all the poor sap can come up with is blaming the National party. If it was a National party leak it would have been unmasked by now.

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  50. dime (9,606 comments) says:

    a couple of my buddies saw my estate before i purchased it. so they were “involved in the purchase of the property”? really?

    wonder if they will kick in for the rates…

    idiot cunliffe should have said “i had a look at it before he bought it”. but still, non issue.

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  51. Pete George (23,131 comments) says:

    I can’t see it being anyone in National. This campaign is designed to undermine Cunliffe’s leadership right now. I think National would be targeting the election more. And there seems to be too much inside information.

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  52. Kimble (4,392 comments) says:

    There is nothing wrong with what he did, but DPF is right that he ought to have been completely honest.

    He WAS involved. He inspected the property for his friend who, not having seen the property himself, only bought it after it was given the OK by Cunliffe. Thats not the MOST involved he could be, but it is involved enough for it to be false to claim you werent involved at all.

    If this was his first fumble, then it wouldnt even rate a mention.

    But its not.

    When you have been proven to be dishonest on multiple occasions very recently, then you are on thin ice and you need to be MORE honest than normal.

    He should have explained exactly what the situation was.

    Following up with clarification after clarification as each half-truth surfaces destroys your credibility.

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  53. wat dabney (3,714 comments) says:

    Psycho,

    I’m picking he gave the Herald that impression because the sale had nothing to do with him.

    I had absolutely nothing to do with the sale of that $4 million property, and if I’m not telling the truth you can have my testicles for garters.

    There. Now Cunliffe and I have both made exactly the same claim.

    However, one of us went on to the property to view it and inspect it on behalf of the wealthy purchaser.

    Would you buy a used car from this man?

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  54. The Stepper (2 comments) says:

    This looks like it’s propagated by the media, but it presents a golden opportunity for Key to look like the bigger man.

    When he’s asked about it, and no doubt he will be, he will have a chance to say that it doesn’t seem like a big deal to him. Show himself to be above the petty stuff and endear himself to anyone who might be tempted to vote for National but feels like Cunners isn’t getting a fair deal.

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  55. Kimble (4,392 comments) says:

    When he’s asked about it, and no doubt he will be, he will have a chance to say that it doesn’t seem like a big deal to him.

    Oh, I think you can be assured this is what would happen.

    And contrast it with what ANY LABOUR LEADER in the last 2 decades would have done, if the roles had been reversed.

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  56. Fisiani (974 comments) says:

    The tricky Cunliffe is rapidly gaining a reputation for being technical with truth. He tells people what he thinks they want hear. He says different things to different audiences. He tells the Greens he wants them in coalition. He tells Winston that he is happy to sacrifice the Greens. He says that he will nationalise state assets yeah nah. He will give them ababy bribe yeah nah. The tricky Cunliffe yeah, nah.

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  57. backster (2,103 comments) says:

    I am surprised by his claim to have more than one testicle, or maybe he is distorting the truth.

    Either way he seems to have far closer ties to an overseas international corporate and its exploitative capitalist honchos than any National entity ever did… I guess he would argue that this shack was just another $4million dollar do-up. The Union mugs will swallow that.

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  58. hmmokrightitis (1,552 comments) says:

    I think most people will realise its a stitch up. And that its coming from inside labour. And for me its a non story except for one piece, and this is why its been leaked, probably by the ABC “team” – because it further links cunners with his rich mate – your average labour voter is probably thinking, yeah, no story here, semantics (I know, Im trying to think like a labour voter, its hard, OK! :) ) but man, for a labour leader, that bro’s sure got a lot of fucking rich mates. And his Mrs is some flash lawyer who earns half a mil? Yeah, man of the people.

    Its trying to paint cunners as politically naive, loose with the truth and rich. The latter is the kiss of death for many on the left.

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  59. Harriet (4,607 comments) says:

    “…..I am surprised by his claim to have more than one testicle, or maybe he is distorting the truth….”

    I’m not surprised.

    He also claims to be able to run the economy, but just like the rest of labour, he hasn’t even run a lemonade stand. So they distort that image.

    But the truth is that they would regulate the crap out of kids doing it.

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  60. kiwi in america (2,461 comments) says:

    I think PG summed it up well. This is an issue now because Cunliffe has form when it comes to obfuscation . After his gradual pulling hens teeth disclosures over his secret trusts, you’d think he just tell the media the full story because the raw story is relatively uncontroversial. This goes to the heart of Cunliffe’s image crafting falseness. Helping out a rich mate from the US to buy a $4m home at Omaha Beach doesn’t fit his ‘man of the people’ image. The donation of the said mate Keenan to Cunliffe secret campaign trust adds to the reasons why this issue becomes the subject of media scrutiny.

    Cunliffe is so uncomfortable in his own skin it’s palpable and it means he’s resorting to all these contortions to hide the fact that he’s been a success. It says a lot about modern Labour that Cunliffe feels he needs to shroud who he really is to succeed.

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  61. bc (1,344 comments) says:

    Cunliffe’s theme song???

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  62. Jaffa (82 comments) says:

    It wasn’t National, they like him right where he is!

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  63. Psycho Milt (2,336 comments) says:

    I do find it hilarious that National is attempting to brand their opponent as “tricky” while led by an ex-currency trader who was apparently nicknamed the “smiling assassin.” I know there’s a sucker born every minute, but… seriously?

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  64. Kimble (4,392 comments) says:

    Milt: got everything he knows about currency trading from Oliver Stone movies.

    Key was called the “smiling assassin” because he laid off a whole bunch of currency traders. You know, those people you despise? Shouldn’t he be your hero?

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  65. Zapper (945 comments) says:

    ex-currency trader who was apparently nicknamed the “smiling assassin.”

    Well you’ve convinced me! Someone with intimate knowledge of the markets and economics, who has a nickname that reflects his ability to charm people while extracting the best deal from them should never be PM!

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  66. edhunter (507 comments) says:

    Milt even if you believe what you’re saying, you’d have to admit that at least JK has the good grace to use lube & give a cuddle afterwards, DC wont even use spit & will involve you yelling his name & telling him how god like he is.

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  67. Kimbo (672 comments) says:

    In the ordinary course of events, this is a non-story.

    HOWEVER, as Labour tied the Exclusive Brethren around Don Brash’s neck when he was less than completely forthcoming with all the information, they set the rules on ‘who knows who’ as a political issue.

    So this is a case of what goes around comes around…

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  68. wat dabney (3,714 comments) says:

    The other question, given the forthright and explicit nature of his worthless assurance of candour and honesty on this occasion when he was actually being thoroughly deceptive, is just what language he can employ in future to indicate that he is actually telling the truth (should that eventuality ever arise.) Anything short of an ‘and I fucking mean it’ is now going to be dismissed out of hand by the electorate I fear.

    The man who cried testicles.

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  69. bhudson (4,736 comments) says:

    If the man had truly believed his earlier comment over the Trust that he would be more transparent in the future, then why did he obfuscate when first questioned about the house his mate bought?

    Oh silly me – because he didn’t actually state exactly when in the future this transparency would take effect.

    So he technically didn’t break his own commitment to transparency.

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  70. DJP6-25 (1,294 comments) says:

    So it’s the death of a thousand cuts for Tricky then. Anyone with any nous at all, would have just said the following: “Yeah, I helped a mate buy a house.” “So what?” All National have to do is watch and enjoy their popcorn. Bad for Labour = good for New-Zealand

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  71. wat dabney (3,714 comments) says:

    Anything which stops the workers of New Zealand being arse-raped by the corrupt special-interest groups which are the Labour Party is a good thing. (I’d have to check with a doctor, but I suspect we can’t be arse-raped by a man with no testicles.)

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  72. itstricky (1,678 comments) says:

    You mean tricky as in when you appoint a guy to an important Government post and you tell everyone that you have no connection to him? Then it turns out that your parents are friends with his and you went to school with his brother? So technically you didn’t lie but you didn’t tell the full truth up front? Is that the sort of ‘tricky’ you’re talking about DPF?

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  73. Kimble (4,392 comments) says:

    And that guy… was Kevin Bacon.

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  74. burt (7,945 comments) says:

    The way I see it Cunliffe is either a complete and utter dip shit or this actually is a non story. His language is as always precise and non committal.

    Cunliffe said he had no beneficial interest in the property, and his wife Karen had simply played a legal role with the trustee company which bought the property.

    No beneficial interest… when the purchase is via a trustee company is very exact language. ‘No interest’ is no interest. So is he a trustee ? Which of course begs the question, who the beneficiaries are. Possibly all simply none of our business right?

    But what makes it interesting is that he’s an MP and he’s recently shot a big hole in each of his feet over trusts. One of which had his wife involved and legally separate from his involvement.

    But really it’s probably just the side of Cunliffe he likes to keep private, hob-nobing it with the rich pricks he likes to denigrate when he’s Mr Labour Man.

    What a complete prat! Cat’s that look like Cunliffe is right. Turning his nose up at the wrong food as inside cat one moment then digging around in the rubbish bins when he’s pretending to be outside cat.

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  75. bhudson (4,736 comments) says:

    Does anyone, least of all the Labour Party or left wing supporters, think this will be that last of David Cunliffe’s ‘own goals’ before the election??

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  76. Keeping Stock (10,161 comments) says:

    @itstricky – and didn’t the Left go on about John Key for months about that? Now one of their own has been busted, and they squeal like stuck pigs.

    @ bhudson – not if Trevor, Clayton and the rest of the ABC’s have their way and keep white-anting their Dear Leader.

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  77. bhudson (4,736 comments) says:

    @KS,

    I like to think of it not as ‘white anting’, but more as ‘defining’

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  78. freemark (497 comments) says:

    Now this is interesting..overheard from a drunk & loud Green supporter on Waiheke who is close to Roach….Cun*liffe is straying too far into Green Territory and they are happy to see him destabilised/dumped to see the Labour Vote collapse. Some Green MPs are apparently worried about their trough places when they go down to 8% at the Election. Leaks coming from Labour to Green Party. Evidence is also being collected indicating Green Party paying beggars on Queen St to be there.. it will be a plank of their campaign this year.
    Waiheke is the Green pipeline..Norman landed there, Party funds have stolen a LB election..along with actual voting paper theft.

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  79. itstricky (1,678 comments) says:

    Keeping stock – what, no defending of the flag just a simple acknowledgement and “two wrongs make a right” speech? I thought “the right” were morally superior to “the left”? Turns out they aren’t and we’re all just human beings after all?

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  80. itstricky (1,678 comments) says:

    PS KS – I’d be interested to know if you blogged on one but not on the other. Sleep tight.

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  81. Fisiani (974 comments) says:

    The Cunliffe has to blame somone as he is infallible in his own eyes. The media want a close contest at tbe election. It makes better TV. Despite The Cunliffe it will still be close come election time because the media will try to make it close.

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  82. bhudson (4,736 comments) says:

    Claire Robinson suggests that Cunliffe has thrown the wrong passenger under the bus.

    Dear, oh dear. What was that you were saying the other day about narcissism Fisiani?

    http://spinprofessor.tumblr.com/post/79020721901/karen-rosemary-price-director-shareholder-and-wife

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  83. itstricky (1,678 comments) says:

    DPF, I don’t tweet, it’s for fellas who have too much time on their hands.

    Your tweet:

    Would be a non story if he had said “yeah I helped an old mate purchase it”. The dential now the story.

    My tweeter:

    Would be a non story if he had said “yeah, I went to school with his brother”.

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  84. Psycho Milt (2,336 comments) says:

    But what makes it interesting is that he’s an MP and he’s recently shot a big hole in each of his feet over trusts.

    Yes, what next? Will he turn out to have a ‘blind’ trust that isn’t actually blind? Something like that would have to be fatal to his career…

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  85. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    Cunliffe is a bigger disaster than Mumblefuck, being a charlatan and disgrace.

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  86. Lance (2,533 comments) says:

    @igm
    Just about choked on my toast this morning.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11216758

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  87. doggone7 (743 comments) says:

    Kimble; “Key was called the “smiling assassin” because he laid off a whole bunch of currency traders. You know, those people you despise? Shouldn’t he be your hero?”

    Fortunately the currency traders were running defence. Otherwise he would have been selling off his own mother.
    (But the smile on his face of course would have made that acceptable.)

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  88. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    testimony from the real estate agent

    Testimony? I didn’t realise the agent had testified in court. :)

    But, seriously, your obsession with Cunliffe is becoming a little creepy.

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  89. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    By the way, when is John Key going to disclose who donated large sums of money to the National Party prior to the last election? For a guy complaining about Labour and donors, he sure is tricky about exactly the same thing.

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  90. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    My property sold recently and not before it was given a bloody good clean, building work was completed, and a gardener tidied. According to DPF, the cleaner, builder and gardener were involved in its sale. :)

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  91. b1gdaddynz (279 comments) says:

    The thing that Cunliffe needs to realize is that it is all about perceptions; you can be technically truthful and legal in your actions but in politics that can come across as being “tricky” especially if you leave out important details. Also things can’t be taken in isolation they all add up to part of how people view you. So when you have lot’s of “not a big deal” moments like these all at once it does become a big deal because now he is perceived as being “tricky” and his team needs to fix this fast if they want to compete in the election. I don’t want these guys getting anywhere near running the country but our system really only works when there is a strong opposition to keep the Government on it’s toes and these guys are a joke.

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  92. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    ross69: Your obsession with promoting Cunliffe and his gaggle is a worry! Are you now in the rainbow room also?

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  93. Bill (90 comments) says:

    Non Story OSCAR goes to Jonathan Milne and Amy Mass of the NZ Herald.
    Indiscreet Estate Agent OSCAR goes to Lorraine Mildon of United Estate Agents in Warkworth.
    Try too hard Alchemist OSCAR goes to the David Farrar for this attempt to turn fresh-air into gold.

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  94. ldypen (29 comments) says:

    Is Cunlife just another name for Smeagol or Gollum? seems the same to me .. very tricksy, never knows where he’s been or where he’s going or what he meanses we donts… crazy thing is that there’s still 30% of the NZ public that thinks he’s OK!!!

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  95. Kimble (4,392 comments) says:

    Fortunately the currency traders were running defence. Otherwise he would have been selling off his own mother.

    Nice try to shoe horn a different slur into the current one, but no currency traders were sold, they were laid off.

    My property sold recently and not before it was given a bloody good clean, building work was completed, and a gardener tidied. According to DPF, the cleaner, builder and gardener were involved in its sale. :)

    Did any of those guys inspect the property on behalf of an overseas purchaser who ended up buying the property based solely on that report with no first hand inspection?

    Would you answer differently if they were Chinese?

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  96. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Indiscreet Estate Agent OSCAR goes to Lorraine Mildon of United Estate Agents in Warkworth.

    Quite. Buyers and sellers might wish to be more circumspect when dealing with her…

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  97. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Did any of those guys inspect the property on behalf of an overseas purchaser who ended up buying the property based solely on that report with no first hand inspection?

    Goodness, your crystal ball is in overdrive. Did it give you the winning lotto numbers too?

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  98. Kimble (4,392 comments) says:

    Quite. Buyers and sellers might wish to be more circumspect when dealing with her…

    Why ross69?

    Surely the expectation of privacy only extends to those INVOLVED in the sale?

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  99. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Surely the expectation of privacy only extends to those INVOLVED in the sale?

    By your logic, the agent’s naming of Cunliffe means he wasn’t involved with the sale…so that’s sorted.

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  100. Kimble (4,392 comments) says:

    I never expressed an opinion on the actions of the agent, ross69. You did.

    By your logic, your outrage at the agent’s naming of Cunliffe means that you think he was involved with the sale…so that’s sorted.

    That was the point of the comment.

    You are a little slow, aren’t you?

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