Monday, September 17, 2012

"A higher standard of conduct"

When John Key became Prime Minister in 2008, he promised to hold his Ministers to a higher standard than Labour had done. He lied:

Prime Minister John Key says he does not need to read a police report into John Banks' mayoral campaign donations, as he continues to stand by his minister.

The police documents, reported on Thursday by the Herald, revealed that internet tycoon Kim Dotcom told police Mr Banks had asked him for two $25,000 donations for Mr Banks' 2010 Auckland mayoral campaign.

Dotcom said Mr Banks asked him to split his donation into two cheques of that amount so he would not have to declare where the money came from.

The police investigation found Mr Banks had filed a false election return but had not done so deliberately, because he did not read it before putting his signature to it. No charges were laid.

So, we have a Minister who has been found to have behaved corruptly in a local body election, but avoided prosecution because of the time limit on the strict liability offence. And all the Prime Minister can do is cover his eyes and say "la la la I'm not looking".

A higher standard of conduct? I think not.