Remember how Helen Clark tried to spin the pledge card expenditure as nothing to do with her and:
essentially a dispute between the Parliamentary Service and the Auditor General.
Well this has been blown out of the water by no-one less than the Acting Solictor-General responding on behalf of the Parliamentary Service in Darnton v Clark. She says:
The Parliamentary Service's job is to administer payments. It has no decision-making power and is not able to vet spending before the money is paid.
The timing of the Darnton v Clark lawsuit is proving to be incredibly useful. It was filed a couple of months ago, long before the Auditor-General reported. The legal advice to the plaintiffs was that there was a very good chance of sucess in having the pledge card expenditure declared illegal.
It was an added bonus that the Solictor-General and Auditor-General, independently, came to the same opinion and their draft report to parliament came out while the lawsuit was live. It makes it much harder for retrospective legislation to be passed by Labour, because it would actually nullify a pending court case.
The Acting Solictor-General (by accident, not design) has totally demolished the major spin argument of the Prime Minister. Last week I was convinced Labour would pass retrospective legislation. Now I think on balance they won't be able to. Any small party which votes for it will risk being out of Parliament, and any large party out of Government.