Whale blogged last week about a pamphlet being put around Epsom by Young Labour. It is authorised by Levi Joule, the Auckland Regional Chair for Young Labour.
The Herald notes:
Mr Banks also refused to comment on the leaflets, one of which presented a derogatory comment he made about Pacific Islanders in 1978 as if it were made last year.
The pamphlet is so deceptive in suggesting the comment was made in 2010, rather than 33 years ago, that Mr Joule should be very careful. If that pamphlet is distributed within two days of the election, then s199A may apply:
Every person is guilty of a corrupt practice who, with the intention of influencing the vote of any elector, at any time on polling day before the close of the poll, or at any time on any of the 2 days immediately preceding polling day, publishes, distributes, broadcasts, or exhibits, or causes to be published, distributed, broadcast, or exhibited, in or in view of any public place a statement of fact that the person knows is false in a material particular.
Now we are talking a corrupt practice, not an illegal practice. That can mean some serious jail time. I think there is a very arguable case that the pamphlet is fake in a material particular, namely that it makes it looks like the quote was made in 2010, not 1978. It is an obvious deliberate stragey to deceive, as they could have supplied the refernce of when the quote was made, not when it was re-reported.
Voters will make up their own mind on the pamphlets. The Herald story states:
Yesterday, Mr Parker said he had nothing to do with the pamphlet, but he believed it was fair for Mr Banks to be held accountable for the comments now as they were “part of his political life”.
Really? The Auckland Chair (or rep on their National executive) of Young Labour would stick up these pamphlets without the local candidate’s knowledge? Is that bridge still for sale?
There is another interesting aspect to this. You see Mr Joule is not a registered promoter for the election and he is promoting an election advertisement. Now that is fine if he is an unregistered promoter and spends less than $12,000. However certain people can not be unregistered promoters, including:
a person involved in the administration of the affairs of a party
Now the question is, does being on the national executive of Young Labour make him someone who is involved in the administration of the affairs of Labour? If so, then he is already in trouble.
Finally I wonder what would be the reaction of Labour if someone dug up quotes from say Phil Goff in 1978, and stuck up pamphlets and posters which made it look like he said them in 2010, rather than 1978? I think they would rightly cry foul, but they are happy for Young Labour to do it on their behalf. A reminder of why they got kicked out in 2008.