So much to report today, so where do we start. Say the Herald:
The Prime Minister gave cautious support to Winston Peters last night as fallout from his about-face on his $100,000 donation continued.
Helen Clark also risked a backlash from the volatile New Zealand First leader and Foreign Minister by publicly saying that the Owen Glenn email the Herald published had been “right” in that Mr Glenn believed he had given money to Mr Peters.
The fact Peters is still vilifying the Herald, despite the reality their work led to the disclosure of the secret donation, is very ugly and must be unsettling many of his own MPs, let alone Labour ones.
Asked if Mr Peters’ story was credible, Helen Clark said yesterday: “I’m in a position that Mr Peters is an honourable member [of Parliament] and I must accept his word unless I have evidence to the contrary.”
Well there is considerable evidence to the contrary. Not slam dunk proof, but enough to pose real credibility issues. Does Helen Clark really really think Owen Glenn never ever mentioned his donation (or at least the intention) to donate during one of their many meetings? Does that fit in with the Owen Glenn she knows?
She noted that Mr Henry backed what Mr Peters had said, and he had professional obligations to the Law Society.
Mr Henry is not a party to any private conversations between Glenn and Peters.
National leader John Key has urged Mr Peters to apologise to the Herald and to the public.
“Clearly he has received a donation and he has either misled the public wittingly or unwittingly.
It is good to see National directly criticising the behaviour, and I think the terminology is very wisely picked. Rather than get into semantics about whether Peters told the literal truth, they have focused on the fact the statements were misleading (a true statement can be very misleading).
The Herald has five unanswered question:
- What did Owen Glenn think he was giving $100,000 to?
- Did Owen Glenn ever talk to Winston Peters about making a donation?
- Who told Winston Peters’ lawyer to approach Owen Glenn for a donation?
- Why did Winston Peters not ask his lawyer if the rumoured Glenn donation had paid legal fees before Mr Peters held up the NO sign?
- Why did Winston Peters’ lawyer not tell his client about the donation when Glenn was publicly lobbying for the Monaco job in February?
I have many more such as:
- Who was the cheque actually made out to?
- What actual bank account was it paid into?
- When was it paid?
- Was the close to $100,000 amount in Dec 2007 mentioned by Dail Jones connected to this donation?
- Was tax paid on the donation?
- What caused the Government to review the 2004 decision not to have a Consul in Monaco?
- How often has Owen Glenn and Winston Peters met, and when?