Yesterday’s confirmation that the Exclusive Brethren did hire Wayne Idour as a private detective to investigate Labour MPs is deeply troubling. It is not quite as bad as having a PI “follow” MPs but it is still an activity which has no place in NZ politics. It also confirms Mr Idour and the some in the Exclusive Brethren are both liars, having both denied this activity previously.
I actually agree with the Prime Minister that National must now renounce any dealings with the Brethren. Their tactics condemn them. It was pleasing to see Don Brash condemn their behaviour (based on the reports) and that he would be very wary of ever agreeing to a meeting with them again. Personally I would like to see very wary become “not”.
In saying this I do not criticise previous meetings. Any party is going to be happy to meet with a group which says “Hey we don’t like the Government and want to help get rid of them”. Likewise dozens of electorates around the country were I am sure delighted that a few extra people came forward to volunteer to help deliver letters etc. You’d be mad not to.
However the situation has changed since then. What was fine back then, is different today. We now know the following:
1) The EB were not upfront with their authorship of the pamphlets. They made a huge tactical error in not announcing what they were doing and why, Their actions in the end caused damage to National. And the covert nature of their activities is not a once offer, but repeated around the world.
2) Their involvement does not appear to be a local decision, but part of a global trend, presumably upon orders. No Right Turn has done a good job highlighting these.
3) Most importantly they are now confirmed as having hired a private detective to investigate Labour MPs.
The combination of those three factors makes them a group one should stay well away with. They are free to campaign against whom they want, but National needs to be explicit that it will not be holding any exclusive meetings with them. One gets tainted by association, so the association must end.
I am sure there are many lovely members of the Exclusive Brethren. In fact I’ve met myself probably more than a dozen of them, and they all seem genuinely nice decent people. But they are being let down by the leadership of their “church” who presumably signed up to the decision to hire a private detective.