I am going to criticise the Prime Minister for something else, however. Her decision yesterday to launch into the Serious Fraud Office and claim the agency tipped off the National Party about its pending inquiry into donations to the New Zealand First Party was extraordinary. I don’t think a prime minister in this country has made such an accusation against a law enforcement agency before. …
It’s difficult to see Clark’s outburst as anything other than a deliberate attempt to undermine the credibility of the agency investigating one of her ministers, whom she clearly wishes to be cleared of wrongdoing as soon as possible. She has gone out on a limb on this one. The attack looks desperate, unwarranted, and unfair.
As Colin says, one can’t even recall Muldoon at his worst attacking law enforcement like Clark has.
Asked whether any of his MPs had met Lord Ashcroft, Key said: “I think so, yes.”
Here’s what Key should have said to Duncan Garner’s first question: “Sure I met Lord Ashcroft. Why wouldn’t I? He’s close to a friend of mine, David Cameron, and I always take the opportunity to meet my counterparts from like-minded parties overseas, as does the Prime Minister.”
It’s this automatic first instinct to avoid an issue that has got National into trouble before. Why wasn’t Key’s meeting with Lord Ashcroft in his diary released to the media? Why not offer journalists the opportunity to talk to the pair? I’m sure he’s an interesting fellow. If the meeting had been released, I could almost guarantee the media would have ignored it.
I agree strongly here. I guess it is easier with hindsight, but the meeting should have been in the diary. It would have prevented any suspicion, by front footing it. Clin provided the perfect response to any questions.
Finally a word on the billboards. So far: Lame. National is missing John Ansell, the man behind the party’s wickedly clever 2005 billboards terribly. Apparently National isn’t Right-wing enough for Ansell these days, and he’s gone off to support ACT – so look out for some clever billboards from them.
Colin must have missed the news that John parted ways with ACT.
There does seem to be a consensus that the first National billboard isn’t particularly good. The most common complaints is it has too many design elements, and is not clearly a National billboard.