Absolute Power

I have not yet read the whole book, but on Friday I got hold of an electronic version of by and have read a couple of hundred pages.

He tells the story of Helen Clark’s use and abuse of power, starting with her first weeks in office when she undermined then Commissioner Doone by not just leaking confidential information to the Sunday Star-Times, but by leaking false fabricated information and claiming it was in official reports, when it wasn’t. Some of this info has been covered previously but Wishart has done a service by putting it all together.

He contrasts the hounding from office of , with the treatment of allegations against for a similar but allegedly far more serious offence. The Dom Post reports:

The police watchdog has been asked to intervene after the State Services Commission cleared Police Commissioner Howard Broad of any wrongdoing in a 1992 drink-driving incident.

Journalist Ian Wishart claims Mr Broad “pulled rank” to get out of a breath test in Christchurch, saying something like “Don’t you know who I am” to a junior officer.

Mr Broad admitted he had been drinking, and a SSC investigation found he was told to park his car and refrain from driving for several hours.

Wishart has complained to the Independent Police Conduct Authority.

“The SSC claims the junior cop had a discretion not to breath-test despite seeing Mr Broad swerve across a lane, and despite an admission of drinking.

Now on the face of it, there is a gross double standard here. Doone was investigated by both the PCA and the Deputy Commissioner for merely getting out of his car when his partner was pulled over for no headlights on.

Broad allegedly had himself been drinking and driving, was swerving across the road, pulled rank on the officer (using swear words allegedly) and was told to stop driving and park his car. And somehow this is merely an issue for the State Services Commission!!!

Now Broad was not Commissioner when this incident happened, but anyone can see the double standard involved.

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