Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Outright corruption

Checkpoint this evening alerted me to today's Question Time, in which National's Immigration Spokesperson, Lockwood Smith, alleged that Taito Phillip Field had engaged in outright corruption and demanded cash in exchange for immigration permits. If substantiated, these allegations could see Field go to jail for up to 14 years for corruption as a Minister. Helen Clark knew nothing, and further said that the person involved should have raised it with Noel Ingram or the police, but there's a problem: they'd be liable for up to seven year's jail themselves if they admitted it. And while Clark has promised immunity, I'm not sure that its within her power to do so; decisions on who to prosecute are made by the police, not the Prime Minister, and quite rightly too.

That said, I hope the police make a similar offer of immunity, and that Smith's source comes forward. Corruption has absolutely no place in New Zealand, and if a Minister has been engaging in it, then I want to see them nailed for it - and political consequences be damned. There are some things more important than whose bums are on the government benches, and this is one of them. The sooner Labour remembers that, and stops trying to defend (or look the other way on) the indefensible, the better.


And while Clark has promised immunity, I'm not sure that its within her power to do so; ...

Surely you jest?

Posted by Duncan Bayne : 6/22/2006 10:38:00 AM

No, I don't. At least, not without changing the law to bring prosecution decisions under the control of the PM.

I know the right loves its little conspiracy theories, but to the extent that the problem is real rather than a product of fevered imaginations and base-motivating extremism, it can be sheeted home to the police not taking electoral law seriously, and being natural authoritarians whose natural tendency is to sniff the top dog's arse rather than giving it the biting it deserves.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 6/22/2006 10:59:00 AM

I believe offers of immunity from prosecution must be agreed to by the Solicitor-General.

Posted by Graeme Edgeler : 6/22/2006 02:26:00 PM