Friday, June 11, 2010
Frank Newman: Shane Jones should go
I personally don’t care if Shane Jones watches porn and its none of my business what he does in the privacy of his own motel room, but I do care and it is my business when he expects me, and you, to pay for it.
Some are asking why he did something some blatantly wrong. My answer is because he can. He charged personal things to his parliamentary credit card because he thought he would get away with it. This is not a case of mistake or flushing the expenses through a reimbursement type system. He repaid the expenses well after the event and fessed up only when he was going to be outed by the media.
Even when he did fess up he did so in a self serving way. Yesterday on Morning Report he “could not recall” whether the movies had Disney or adult themes. Later that day he was forced to admit they were the latter when journalists proved that to be the case. Clearly Jones is quick to state he his fessing up, but slow to do so in a full and frank manner.
Jones has got talent… no doubt about that. His talent is he’s a great talker and he sounds good. That’s why he’s risen so quickly within the Maori community and the Labour Party ranks. But I suspect he has also become so confident about this oratory that he thinks he can talk his way out of any problem, no matter how grave that situation may be or how culpable he is.
The trouble for MPs is that Jones has seriously tainted the image of Parliament and the integrity of all members. Integrity is important because Parliament relies on public co-operation to pay taxes and abide by the laws of the land. How many people will now be justifying a little bit of tax dodging by saying there is no way they are going to pay for some MP to watch dirty movies. It is in the interests of all MPs that Jones should be given his marching orders. Clark probably would have done so; Goff probably does not have the testicular fortitude to do so.
The other issue of importance to Parliament is MMP. Sending Jones to the back benches to take a cold shower will simply highlight the fact that MMP has resulted in a privileged class of parliamentarian who are not accountable to the public.
at 3:18 PM