Thursday, May 13, 2021

Labour: Dirty and corrupt

The Serious Fraud Office has laid charges over illicit donations to the Labour party in 2017:

The Serious Fraud Office has charged six people in relation to a donation made to the Labour Party.

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) said on Thursday the defendants are entitled to seek name suppression therefore haven't been named until any name suppression issues have been resolved.

"We note, however, that none of the defendants are sitting MPs or are current or former officials of the Labour Party," the SFO said in a press release.

Labour will be making much of that disclaimer, just as NZ First did over their charges. But note that the SFO doesn't rule out former MPs, or members, which you think they would if either were true. And in any case, they're still tainted as a party which took dirty money. In that, they're in very bad company, with National and NZ First currently before the courts on similar charges, and the Māori Party currently under investigation. Its almost as if our political establishment is institutionally corrupt, addicted to dirty money.

A clean government would make it a priority to fix this rotten system, and reform our electoral finance laws to give us full, real-time disclosure of any non-trivial donation, and annual audits by the SFO to ensure compliance. But Labour is about as interested in that as they are in fixing the OIA. Instead, their priority seems to be extending the parliamentary term to make themselves less accountable to voters, so they can better serve their corrupt donors. And that is simply not something we should accept.