Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Owen Glenn story: Singing the same tune but hitting a bum note

The revelations over Owen Glenn and his murky donations to the Labour Party before and after the 2005 election have taken another turn today.

All sides are now saying what was reported in an interview with Glenn last week was a misunderstanding, taken out of context and statements made by Glenn, such as the assertion he made and was very clear about, that he was offered the post of Minister of Transport in a Labour Government by Helen Clark were light hearted comments misunderstood by the journalist.

Clark initially denied any such offer had been made when the proverbial hit the fan last Friday commenting that "...it didn't happen" but yesterday was reported as saying:

"... could not remember discussing the issue with Glenn, but if it had come up, it would not have been a serious conversation".

Typical Helen Clark backtrack stuff.

Followed by Glenn's statement to the Media:

"I was not offered a Cabinet position. My comments on this matter were light-hearted and have been taken out of context," he said.

"It is unfortunate that some comments I made to a journalist last week have been taken out of context and are now being used as a political football".

The blanket agreement now over what really happened seems a little too convenient for this reader.

As to the murkiness over the secret "loan" of $100,000.00 made after the 2005 election the fact that Labour kept it secret seems more than a little disingenuous when the money was gifted during the heady days of the electoral finance bill debate, where the contention by Labour was that political funding "should be transparent" and political parties must be upfront about just who is funding them.

Clearly this didn't apply to themselves.

So far this major controversy hasn't hit the mainstream media, The Herald, their competition and the blogs have picked it up but the TV networks have done their best to avoid it like the plague.

The media saturation over the secrecy of the Brethren donations in 2005 stands in stark contrast.

Parliament sits today Listen to Parliament (only during sitting, Tues-Thurs, 2.00pm , NZ time) and National must seize on this with both hands and take it to Labour.

We have a Government steeped in a very murky funding issue and their assertions over the Electoral Finance Act, that" funding must be transparent" must be given closer scrutiny.

Related Political Animal reading

Labour Party Election funding murky at best

C Political Animal 2008

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