Thursday, December 09, 2010

So much for the whitewash

Last week, the Speaker issued a whitewash of Pansy Wong's abuse of her Parliamentary travel allowances, which found she had rorted just $474 from us. The method used to produce this figure? They asked the Wongs whether they had broken the rules in any cases beyond the one demonstrated, and (of course) they denied it. So obviously everything must be fine.

Of course, this assumes they were telling the truth. And it turns out that Sammy Wong at least wasn't. He told the investigation he'd travelled to China (on the taxpayer's purse, as the partner of an MP) for "genealogical research"; in fact, he was helping his business partner Jenny Shipley launch a $40 million biotech investment.

When this was raised in the House today, Key abandoned Wong, and invited Labour to complain to the Auditor-General. That now looks certain. And hopefully, they'll do a better job of getting to the bottom of this than Lockwood Smith did. As for Wong, her position is now absolutely untenable. Stealing from the taxpayer is bad enough (and the amount taken would have seen her immediately sacked in the real world). Lying about it when you're caught is worse. If she had a shred of honour, she'd resign. But then, her actions to date suggest that she does not.