How the spin has changed

The NZ Herald editorial reviews the Field scandal.

They remind us that before Dr Ingram reported, the “prebuttal” from the ranks was that Mr Field was cleared of serious wrongdoing, Field claimed himself “exonerated”. Then he was deemed to have had a lapse of judgment and over time this was upgraded to a serious lapse.

The Herald correctly states:

Had Labour had the ethics to have instituted a commission of inquiry, with power to call witnesses and documentation, it would have had a different official conclusion on which to base its pressure on Mr Field. That option is still preferable to him being allowed to go quietly from Parliament, but the cost and time expended on the Ingram report mean a second inquiry is unlikely. Labour seemingly hoped the news media and the public would succumb to apathy and “move on” from Mr Field’s behaviour. It misjudged the depth of disquiet.

Finally the Herald has a warning for MPs:

So, if Mr Field is persuaded to leave Parliament, even belatedly, some decorum might be restored to public affairs. The governing parties ought not to stop there. As they consider overriding the views of the Auditor-General, the Solicitor-General and the Chief Electoral Officer by validating retrospectively their unsupportable election spending, they should pause and breathe through their noses. Surely, then, careful thought will tell even the most self-serving of them that on this issue the public is not for turning. They should pay the money back.

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