Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Educating the Prime Minister

Back in June, Pete Hodgson attempted unsuccessfully to excavate the reasons for John Key's sacking of Richard Worth, leading to exchanges in the House like this:

Hon Pete Hodgson: When the Prime Minister came to the view that he had lost confidence in Dr Richard Worth, was he in possession or not in possession of substantive information that is not yet available to the public?

Hon JOHN KEY: When I did that, that was the point at which I lost confidence in Dr Worth. I did not believe that his conduct befitted that of a Minister. I will not go into the specifics of the information, but I think members can rest assured that in losing confidence in Dr Worth I was satisfied that I could make that case.

I noted at the time that Key's continued refusal to give any sort of straight answer looked downright shifty. I also pointed out that while Key could do this in Parliament, he could not do it when confronted with an OIA request. Unfortunately, Key's chief of staff thought he could, and tried to give me the same bullshit Key gave in the House. Now, thanks to the Ombudsmen, I have the real answer:
Not all the information the Prime Minister was in possession of when he lost confidence in Dr Worth is in the public domain.
Which is something we all knew anyway. But it does beg the question: why didn't Key just say so when he was first asked?

(Meanwhile, hopefully the Prime Minister has learned that he cannot respond with political bullshit to an OIA request. If not, then I will keep using the Ombudsmen to educate him)