One has to ask, what exactly does it take for Helen Clark to take action against an MP. I thought Taito Phillip Field’s announcement he would no longer co-operate with the Police was a golden opportunity for Clark to dismiss him from Caucus.
But no she keeps accepting his proxy vote, and he keeps getting paid.
Yesterday’s Dominion Post called for Clark to act, saying “Set the albatross free”. They say:
New Zealand has a reputation as one of the few countries in the world in which politicians and officials cannot routinely be bought. Mr Field should be doing his utmost to preserve that reputation. Instead, he is hindering police attempts to establish the truth of what occurred. That should not be tolerated by the prime minister or his Labour colleagues, who have already suspended him – on full pay – from the Labour caucus.
Neither Miss Clark nor the Labour Party has the power to sack the Mangere MP, but Mr Field’s colleagues do have the power to kick him permanently out of their caucus to demonstrate that they find his conduct unacceptable. That is what they should do, not just because it is the right thing but because it is in their own interests.
Oh and when Clark was told of Field being sued by the Thai tiler for unpaid wages and asked to comment, she laughed on radio. Very sympathetic to the exploited she is.