Oct 15, 2008

Fran: Clark Arrogant To Keep Key In The Dark

The day just got even worse for the Labour campaign. Read this from Fran O'Sullivan in today's NZ Herald (why Guyon, John, Vernon and Tracy didn't say this on Monday morning is an indictment on the quality of New Zealand journalism - instead they bought the line that Labour had stolen the initiative. After nine years some of our top journalists have become frightened of asking the tough questions that need to be asked of our Prime Minister. Do they hold back on key - no way!)

Helen Clark has shown (yet again) that she is not averse to extracting political capital from a major financial crisis to suit Labour's election chances.

The manner in which Clark excluded National's John Key (once again he's been caught sleeping on the job) from any consideration leading up to the issuing of a $150 billion Government guarantee on New Zealand depositors' savings is pure arrogance.

If the position had been reversed, an angry Clark would have used her own formal campaign launch to accuse the former currency trader of betting the bank by taking on a contingent liability that the New Zealand Government has in fact no real ability to meet in full in the (unlikely) event that the country collapses.

But Key did the decent and only thing and extended National's approval when he was finally briefed some 24 hours after Clark made the guarantee the centrepiece of her opening statements.