Prime Minister John Key is one of the few but the most important supporter that Act Leader Rodney Hide has left in the wake of the disgraceful revelations around the David Garrett Affair.
No doubt, Mr Hide has a handful of other supporters too, despite his remarkable and hypocritical lapses of judgment, but Mr Key is the person standing between the Act Party and its demise.
He says he supports Mr Hide’s good judgment and ethical standards.
This is despite the fact that the Act leader has been party to the cover-up of the theft of the identity of a dead baby. Few other New Zealanders would share that view.
Kiwis think Mr Hide’s behaviour is disgraceful and want him to go as a Minister.
And it is disgraceful on Mr Key’s part to continue to embrace Mr Hide simply because he needs him to prop up his Government.
He could cut Act’s political lifeline at a stroke by announcing National intends to put up a serious candidate in Epsom in next year’s election, and engage in a serious fight.
The public is right in asking how the Prime Minister can back the man and a Party that covered up a crime, namely the theft of the identity of a dead baby.
When Mr Hide approached Mr Garrett to stand as an Act candidate, the latter had reportedly revealed his past, but the Act leader was quite happy to brush it under the carpet as long as the public did not know about it.
He wanted Mr Garrett to front Act’s hard-line law and order policies, despite his own hidden conviction for criminal assault and his criminal offending, stealing a dead baby’s identity as part of a passport fraud.
Act claims it is the Party of transparency.
It claims it is the Party that stands up for victims, the Party that is opposed to name suppression, the Party that promotes zero tolerance, the Party of perk-busters (or at least it was until Mr Hide visited Disneyland with his girlfriend at taxpayer expense).
Act’s claims amount to a travesty of the truth.
Act is now the Party of Hypocrisy.
This is the reality Mr Key is prepared to embrace.
He should immediately remove Act MPs from his ministry, and announce that in 2011, National will not back a weak National candidate against Mr Hide to offer Act an electoral lifeline in Epsom.
Do not hold your breath.
His promise to deliver higher standards in his administration has failed to materialise.
Phil Goff is Opposition Leader in Parliament and Leader of the Labour Party. The above article is exclusive to Indian Newslink ©