Jul 12, 2008

Where Did The E-Mails Come From Pat (we mean Nicky)?

While the comparison with Australia's Hollow Men was interesting, Fran's comments on the stolen e-mails is fascinating. Was there a proper investigation? We are four months from a general election. The Government and its allies (except Peter Dunne) are due to suffer the most humiliating defeat in political history. If there has not been a proper investigation we don't think that retirement is going to be any salvation. In a completely different context and in another incarnation we have caught a well respected Government Department in complete breach of accepted procedure on a major issue. What did they do? Did they try and cover up? No they confessed and it was very interesting to learn - in written form from one of their Departmental lawyers no less - who was responsible. Maybe the Police should be taking note. It is not too late to be absolved....We won't be releasing the e-mail until 4 days before the election so be patient on this one, but it is a hum dinger!!

Read this. Now remember this is one of New Zealand's very best political journalists writing in the biggest newspaper:

Unfortunately, Hager is relatively thin-skinned when challenged over his own activities. He became rather exercised over some excitable comments made by right-wing columnist Matthew Hooten on Kathryn Ryan's radio show last week.

We feel slightly guilty here for stirring this pot, just a bit

This week Radio NZ ran the following: "We accept Nicky Hager's continued assurances that he did not steal the emails which were published in his book The Hollow Men ... Radio New Zealand apologises to Nicky Hager for comments which asserted the position was otherwise."
But Brash - who came to Hooten's defence - is now asserting the police failed to properly investigate his complaint over the emails theft.
He contends Hager's statement that they came from half a dozen National Party people who had legitimate access to them was in "his strongly held view" absolute rubbish.
Brash's letter, which was copied to Radio NZ chief executive Peter Cavanagh, was worded in strong terms.
He noted that when he was briefed by police about the progress of their investigation into the stolen emails in July 2007 (some nine to 10 months after he lodged a formal complaint about the theft) he was told that they had not at that stage interviewed Hager, or Winston Peters or any of the people that were known to either have or have seen the emails.

Brash remains "extremely irritated" by the police's desultory performance. At issue is their excuse, particularly as they tried to fob him off, that they would not be able to do the interviews in the immediate future "because of Apec".
"With considerable incredulity, I asked what Apec had to do with the inquiry, noting that the Apec meeting was scheduled for Sydney in September. I was advised that the Apec meeting would place considerable demands on New Zealand police resources," his letter said.
"Had Helen Clark's private email correspondence, or that of Helen (sic) Simpson, been stolen and used against the Labour Party, I have little doubt that the police investigation would have been orders of magnitude more energetic than was the case in the situation we are discussing."
The detective inspector leading the investigation was the very same Harry Quinn - now retired - whose credibility was blown when he decided not to throw the book at the PM's chief of staff Heather Simpson - after a previous investigation into claims that Labour had breached spending caps at the 2005 election found a prima facie breach of the Electoral Act on Simpson's part.
Maybe it's time that Planet Nicky came down to earth and investigated the real constitutional issues.