Wednesday, August 05, 2015

The sheepgate files

The government dumped the documents on Murray McCully's sordid Saudi sheep bribe last night, and its revealed the deal was dodgy from start to finish. Firstly, that "legal advice" the government had which showed that they were exposed to a claim of up to $30 million in damages for refusing to allow live sheep exports? It turns out that it came from the Saudis, not from the government's lawyers. In other words, it was "legal advice", but a try-on. Secondly, the Auditor-General had significant doubts about the legality of the scheme (which is going to be interesting if they now investigate it). As for Treasury, they opposed it from the beginning because it was "not within scope of existing appropriations", violated Cabinet spending guidelines and because it was "not clear from the paper what the $10 million committed is being used to purchase". And when things went wrong and the sheep died, John Key was instructed to lie about it.

So, just to make that clear, Murray McCully spent $10 million outside of his appropriation and possibly unlawfully purchasing fuck knows what from a dodgy Saudi billionaire. It looks like a bribe, it smells like a bribe. When are we sacking him?