Friday, June 04, 2010

Another day, another corrupt National MP

So, first we have John Key hiding his interests from the public in a "blind" trust that isn't really blind, now we have New Plymouth MP Jonathan Young failing to declare them at all. Young holds a 50% share in a company called Seaview Super Trustees Limited, which he is also a director of. Parliament's Standing Orders require MPs to declare their interest in any company they direct or own more than 5% of. But despite this clear rule, Young failed to declare it. His excuses? First, he claimed that he had declared it, then he claimed that the registrar of pecuniary interests had messed up his declaration, and then he finally came clean and admitted his failure. In other words, first he tried lying, then he tried to blame others, and only when it was clear that that was untenable did he admit the truth (while claiming that it was an "innocent mistake" - if so, why didn't he say so in the first place?). He has since declared his interest, but its clear he would not have done so if he had not been caught.

This is a clear breach of Standing Orders around pecuniary interests, and should result in punishment for breach of privilege. But I'm sure Lockwood Smith will find a way to ignore it as well. And meanwhile, the public's faith in our politicians erodes further.

Again, full transparency is our only defence against corruption. We should have zero tolerance for politicians and officials who attempt to thwart that transparency. Any politician who is not completely willing to prove to us that they are clean has no business in Parliament, and no business in politics.