Tracy Watkins writes:
The butt-covering hit a new low last week with the revelation that GCSB bosses phoned their minister, Andrew Little, in a panic when they realised Makhlouf was blaming the Treasury budget breach on hackers.
It seems the phone call came too late to stop Makhlouf and Robertson’s office issuing press releases about the “hack” that wasn’t.
But there can only have been one purpose in leaking details of that phone call – to hang Makhlouf out to dry.
The higher the stakes, the dirtier and more desperate the tactics look.
It didn’t need to be like this. If there had been an admission from day one that the Treasury budget breach was a colossal stuff-up, it would have been a one day wonder.
There was no hack. Treasury’s secret budget documents were able to be accessed by the National Party with a simple search.
But we’ve ended up with an inquiry that seems designed to shut down questions, and a Government that looks embroiled in its own dirty politics scandal.
Labour’s danger is it starts to wash up against “brand Jacinda’, which is supposed to be above all this.
Why do politicians never seem to learn that the cover up is almost always worse than the crime?
The moment the GCSB contacted Ministers to tell them that Treasury was not hacked, Ministers should have insisted on correcting the public record.