Monday, March 18, 2013

David Shearer's "mistake"

Oh dear. It seems Labour Leader David Shearer has fucked up big time. Here's the news from Patrick Gower:

David Shearer has corrected MPs Register of Pecuniary Interests after not disclosing United Nations bank account. Says it was mistake.

A "mistake"? Looking at the Standing Orders, bank accounts only need to be declared if they contain more than $50,000. Obviously, that's the sort of trifling sum people forget about all the time. Its a mistake anyone could have made...

OK, I'll can the sarcasm now. Shearer clearly knows the rules around bank accounts, because he already declares one (a term deposit with Westpac). So he can't claim ignorance as a defence. If he deliberately tried to deceive the New Zealand public about his assets, then he's morally unfit to be leader of the Labour Party, or an MP for that matter. But even if we accept his excuse, and ascribe it to sheer forgetfulness (something which I think the New Zealand public would find extremely difficult to believe), then he's too incompetent for the job.

Meanwhile, its worth pointing out: knowingly making a false return is Contempt of Parliament, and the argument that this was not knowing requires superhuman credulity. Will Parliament hold its own to account? Or will they once again collude in their cozy conspiracy of silence around these matters?