|Liu and Williamson, good mates, you decide.|
Maurice Williamson bites the dust.
It is astounding what lengths the right-wing media will go to play down faults by the Government and Key and cabinet Ministers in particular.
The latest effort comes from Peter Wilson as he tells the story of the fall from grace of Maurice Williamson. Let’s look at what he wrote and analyse it.
NZ Newswire political columnist Peter Wilson writes WELLINGTON, May 2 NZN - National helps its rich mates. That's been an opposition catch cry for years and they've just been handed another loaded gun.
It doesn't matter whether or not Maurice Williamson was trying to help a millionaire when he called the police about Donghua Liu. Here Wilson softens the behaviour of Williamson by suggesting that he was only wishing to help a millionaire in need
It doesn't matter how vigorously or how often he denies that, or how detailed his explanations are. Here Wilson suggests that Williamson has given explanations that are fair and just and that opposition parties are being unfair to the poor fellow.
And the fact he's lost his ministerial career doesn't matter either because they'll just say, as they are, that it wasn't enough and he should quit parliament. Here Wilson is suggesting that the punishment of the loss of his Ministerial post is enough.
What matters is perception, and the headline across the Dominion Post's editorial on Friday said it all: "Favours for friends with deep pockets." Wilson couldn’t reduce the guilt in that statement…so he agrees.
It's a gift opposition parties have joyfully accepted, and it was given to them just as they were running out of ammunition in their crusade against Judith Collins. The Judith Collins episode is really just starting to bite badly for the Nats and her empire has crumbled.
In her case she's accused of helping another millionaire, the owner of a company that sells New Zealand products in China. She is not just not just accused…but proven to have helped…
Another ace in the opposition's hand is that one of Liu's companies donated $22,000 to National's campaign fund in 2011. ‘One of Liu’s companies, crap Liu made the donation.
That, according to them, would have been enough for Williamson to intervene in the case. Who’s to suggest that assumption isn’t correct!
Add to that the fact that the company in the Collins case, Oravida, gave National $55,000 and you can see where they're coming from. Oh dear me, Wilson’s got it…
The most damning piece of evidence that's being used to accuse Williamson of trying to influence the police investigation into allegations of assault against Liu - he subsequently pleaded guilty to charges - is that the MP told a police officer Liu was a wealthy property developer who had invested a lot of money in New Zealand. This is so damning that Wilson can do little other than agree.
That's an explanation of the conversation in an internal police email. Here he suggests that its simply the view of a police officer.
On the face of it, that does look pretty damning.
Why would Williamson have said that if he wasn't trying to get the message across that this was the sort of man the country needs? This question prepares the reader for Williamsons excuse and rather meaningless explanations and softens the guilt factor.
But the MP's account differs significantly: "He (the officer) said `who is this guy?' and I said he's a big investor in the property market, he's bought a lot of land in Newmarket and so on," he said in a Radio New Zealand interview on Friday.
Another piece of evidence being used to nail Williamson is an email that says the MP wanted to make sure someone reviewed the matter to ensure the investigation was on solid ground.
Again, Williamson's explanation differs.
"That's not the actual wording of the conversation," he said. How can anyone argue it’s the policeman’s word against the word of a dumped Minister.
"It was (police officer) Gary Davies who said `we've had a look at this matter to ensure we're on solid ground'."
Williamson says if there's a tape of the eight-minute conversation he'll be proved right. Of course he knows there isn’t.
That wouldn't make any difference. Says Wilson in an effort to prove how unfair and cruel the opposition is being to poor honest Williamson…
The man, who makes the calls, Prime Minister John Key, says Williamson crossed the line when he picked up the phone and that's it. Wilson then goes on to make Key appear as a virtuous strong leader when in fact he is the opposite, he is weak kneed and only takes any morally correct actions when he is caught with his pants down around his knees. Is Wilson just another psychopathic media hack such as Paul Henry and Mike Hoskins, I hope not…but we’ll have to wait and see.
"There's no grey in this. In the end there's a line, and the line says that ministers do not involve themselves in police prosecutions," said Key.
Williamson accepts that, and as he's been an MP for 27 years it's amazing he did pick up the phone.
Key knows politics is all about perception, and in parliament next week Labour and the Greens are going to be making sure the public gets the message - National helps its rich mates
And the opposition is correct the Nats always help their donating mates. Just ask Judith Collins, John Key or better still give Hollywood a ring, or Sky City or Media-works, South Canterbury Finance, etc, etc.