Tuesday, May 1, 2012

We can't help but wonder...

Charles Chauvel is Labour's Justice spokesman, and the shadow Attorney General.

So we can't help but wonder; has anyone called for him to stand aside from his shadow portfolio, given that he was referred to the Police in August 2011 over an alleged breach of the Electoral Act? You see, he too denies any wrongdoing: 

Labour MP Charles Chauvel is being investigated by police for allegedly breaking new election advertising laws with a survey.
The Electoral Commission has ruled the Ohariu Census pamphlet breaks the Electoral Act because they do not explicitly state who authorised their publication.
The independent body, which supervises election campaigns, referred the matter to police two days ago.
New laws introduced last year tightened up rules. Breaking the law carries a maximum $40,000 fine.
Last month Labour was referred to police after the Commission decided their Stop Asset Sales postcard broke the same rules.
About 800,000 of the flyers were sent out to campaign against National's plans to partially sell off state-owned energy companies.
It followed the pledge card scandal of 2005 when police were called in after Labour broke election spending rules.
Chauvel was unaware of the police investigation until telephoned by a Fairfax journalist this afternoon.
"I do not agree that the publication breaches the Act,'' he said.

The Police investigation has not yet been concluded (to the best of our knowledge), so Charles Chauvel is entitled to the presumption of innocence, just as John Banks is. 

Sure; Chauvel is not a Minister, but is it a good look for Labour to be calling for John Banks to stand aside when their own most senior MP in the legal side of things is also being investigated by the Police for legal irregularities?


Whafe said...

Exactly.... But the old 2 sets of rules that apply to all things labour...

Most wouldn't even make the suggestions re John Banks standing down as is Mr Invisible, especially when you are a party that is in a deep deep well with teflon walls...

bsprout said...

I'm not a Labour or National supporter but I do think that there is a huge difference between knowingly avoiding the identification of the source of a sizable donation and then lobbying on their behalf compared to not having the correct authorization on a pamphlet.

John Banks deliberately tried to hide the source of at least two donations because they would not look good if publicly known. In the case of Kim Dotcom he also was involved in lobbying on his behalf and with Sky City he would be revealed as a hypocrite.

For Charles Chauvel there was no attempt at subterfuge as the source of the pamphlet would have been patently obvious.

If John banks had nothing to hide then he would front up in the many interviews he has given instead of blatantly avoiding the question or talking about memory loss. John Banks' situation raises huge concerns around ethics and honesty while with Charles Chauvel it is just a case of an honest mistake as there would be nothing to be gained by avoiding the authorization.

Ciaron said...

After the pledge card, Labour cannot use the "Honest Mistake" excuse WRT any printed matter.

Keeping Stock said...

@ bsprout; you're speaking in absolutes there, for one who claims to be neither a National or Labour supporter. Until such time as charges are proven against Banks, Chauvel or any of the other MP's (Brendan Horan, Megan Woods and Michael Woodhouse to name just three) referred to the police, the allegations against them are just that; allegations.

bsprout said...

I don't disagree with you, they are both allegations, but the the examples you provided are not of equal status, it is like comparing a parking ticket with drunk driving. The worst you could say about Charles Chauvel's situation is that he has appalling proofreading skills, but in Bank's situation there are very real concerns about his honesty and ethics. Even though the charges against Banks are not formally proven the doubt that he has created with his lack of transparency during interviews raises concerns.Has Chauvel denied the lack of authorisation on his little pamphlets?

Keeping Stock said...

And that's where the whole perception thing kicks in bsprout, and as I blogged at the weekend when this story first broke, the perception is that Banks has done something dodgy.

But perception and reality are often two entirely different things, so it's a bit rich for Labour to be calling for Banks' head at this early stage when their own most senior "legal" MP is also being investigated by the Police. That's my perception anyway :)

bsprout said...

I agree that due process needs to occur, but it is reasonable when there are serious concerns about someone's character and fitness for a governance position that they be stood down while the investigation is carried out. If I was in John Bank's position, and was innocent, I would step aside to stop the distractions from the important job of governing, the fact that he hasn't and not has not been asked to, raises even more concerns. I don't care if other party's haven't done this in similar circumstances, to me it is the honorable thing to do. This whole thing has been a media fest that should have been managed better.

Tinman said...

bsprout, I think you are wrong to suggest Banks should step aside.

I doubt that Banks will survive given his very strange (at the best) comments about this but his continued presence does the government a huge favour taking the spotlight away from the partial asset sales thing they were starting to be hurt on.

Mr Banks may yet prove to be a very astute politcian - something I suspect that will surprise even Mr Banks.

bsprout said...

Tinman, a tongue in cheek comment but probably close to the truth. Banks is a very useful, but expendable pawn. I bet he was surprised to find himself fronting Charter Schools when it was National's plan along (after the appointment of Lesley Longstone as ministry CEO) and Act hadn't even campaigned on them. Key is very skilled at letting other people attract the fire to take attention from himself.

Keeping Stock said...

And who knows; the status quo may have altered by the time that the House sits this afternoon.

Anyway, appreciate your comments bsprout which contrast strongly with some of those who comment here anonymously.

Anonymous said...

What ever do you mean about anonymous commenters InventStock?

Banks and Key are cut from the same cloth:
The smelly cloth of the breeches of Boogers McPoobum, the famous nasty hypocrite from the right wing unthinking-tank of 'One rule for me, one for the plebs'.

You know the one?

Anonymous said...

Nice line over at another blog....

'Quite so BJ; after his "charm offensibve" of a few weeks ago, Mr Dotcom has shown his true colours; if he doesn't get his own way, someone will pay for it.'

Now, INVOck the same can be said of Mister Banks. He is a good Christian though isn't he?

Keeping Stock said...

@ Anon (11.47am) I'm glad you follow my musings elsewhere. And what I've written there is entirely compatible with the view that I expressed here earlier this morning:

It seems that Mr Dotcom is proving to be something of a fair-weather friend. Clearly, he expected that his donation to Banks would have strings attached.

Elsewhere it has been suggested that Dotcom is extracting revenge on Banks for not coming to his assistance after Dotcom's arrest and remand in custody earlier in the year. That is certainly not an implausible situation.


Anonymous said...

This post is b******t.
Bank's behaviour is clearly not befitting of a Member of Parliament no matter which party of Government he is in.
He doesn't need to be charged by the police or found guilty in court for that to be true.
The honest commentators see it.
The dishonest ones fudge, distract and deny the obvious.
Banks must be stood down.
Key is defendinng an MP who's behaviour is patently unacceptable.
The public can see it for exactly what it is.
Bsprout's points are measured and correct.
Your convoluted replies expose you.

Anonymous said...

I do support the right (as opposed to the left) but have to agree with bsprout above "...I do think that there is a huge difference between knowingly avoiding the identification of the source of a sizable donation and then lobbying on their behalf compared to not having the correct authorization on a pamphlet".

Also Banks behaviour in the Radio Live interview was extremely odd for a Cabinet Minister - the guy is either nuts or not well

dad4justice said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Keeping Stock said...

No Dad4J; that's over the top and unacceptable.

dad4justice said...

Oh sorry, the truth can be in your face at times. No offence, but all I said about people in politics I can prove.

Jesus said the truth will hurt everybody. But humans are not ready for the truth, as its better for them to live to lie.