Jul 21, 2008

John Armstrong: Vanity Causing peters To Make Errors Of Judgement

We agree fully with John Armstrong this morning

Once he discovered he had benefited from Glenn's generosity - and his previous assurances had been contradicted - the smart move would have been to fess up to the mistake and show at least some contrition.
That would not have put an end to the matter. There are still questions surrounding the donation in terms of whether it should have been disclosed to electoral authorities and whether it should have been declared in the ministers' register of assets as a gift.
Still, an apology of sorts to the public might have cooled things and removed what is fast becoming a major obstacle to NZ First striking a firm and lasting rapport with the tens of thousands of voters it needs to win over to ensure its parliamentary survival.
But no. As usual, it is all guns blazing as Peters firstly and typically blames the media, and then endeavours to create a distraction by yesterday zeroing in on "immigrant crime" in yet another attempt to find a moral panic on which NZ First can ride back into Parliament.


NZ First was already on shaky ground with its refusal to pay back $158,000 to the public purse following the Auditor-General's ruling on the misspending of parliamentary funds for electioneering in 2005.
The handling of the Owen Glenn donation will be widely seen as more evidence that when it comes to party funding, NZ First is just as bad as other parties.
A vital element of the party's unique brand has been destroyed - largely by the actions of its leader.