Trevor Mallard has questioned the ethics of other MPs a number of times. For example:
TREVOR Well, I think we’ve got a possum in the headlights in John Banks, and we’ve got a contagion on the side of John Key. The longer John Key keeps Banks there, the worse Key looks. And I think in politics, that’s successful. As a parliamentarian, I hate it. Guys who are acting like Banks, who can’t remember, who’s before the police on a serious electoral-fraud charge, someone whose ethics are questionable, someone who lied to the media, just shouldn’t be in Parliament.
(PAUL HOLMES INTERVIEWS TREVOR MALLARD Sunday, 6 May, 2012 )
Mallard has been accusing MPs of various misdeameamours recently, including Judith Collins, John Banks and John Key. Yesterday he publicised and released National party documents. He claims:
Every now and again infighting gets so bad in the Nats that some gems are delivered to me. In this case it is a set of their Board and Board committee minutes.
The contents of these documents appear to mainly trivial (to the public) and are quite dated – March 2011 (EDIT the hading shows 2012, the footers 2011) – although they are presented now as a major revelation, as illustrated by what could be a proxy post by Mallard at The Standard:
Written By: Eddie – Date published: 6:35 am, May 9th, 2012
Well, that didn’t take long. A couple of weeks of quiet (probably thanks to some good polls more than anything) and, now, the National Party Civil War has re-erupted as the Collins and Joyce factions fight over the post-Key future. The leaking of National Party board minutes shows how serious the fighting is and reveals strong opposition to Slater/Lusk’s tactics.
This post claims:
It seems someone has leaked National Party board minutes. There can hardly be a greater breach of the party’s security than having that information in the public eye, except for the leaking of the emails of the leader himself.
The leaking itself highlights the level of factional infighting in National, as do the contents.
Apart from them being historical documents being used to suggest current problems (in typical overdone Standard fashion) there are now reports they could be stolen stolen and not leaked:
It’s possible the documents were handed to Mallard giving him no indication of how they were obtained. But it will have been obvious to him that they were confidential, they were very clealry marked with:
CONFIDENTIAL. TO BOARD MEMBERS ONLY. NOT TO BE DISTRIBUTED.
Back to ethics. How ethical is it to keep those documents? And to use them in a carefully planned and orchestrated publicity attempt – I knew this release was imminent over a month ago.
That in itself is highly questionable ethics for anyone, let alone a senior MP.
But it is not just one MP acting alone. Mallard has obviously been involving other’s from Labour in this – including Greg Presland, Chair of the Labour Party’s Auckland-Northland Regional Council, who joins in with:
And I also question how ethical it is for the Labour MP run blog Red Alert to have stored on it and made available for public viewing confidential documents obviously belonging to another party.
Hypocrisy is another word that comes to mind – an MP questioning others about their ethics is involved in highly questionable ethics, and also involving the Labour Party directly while doing this.
Important questions for David Shearer:
- Is it appropriate for a senior Labour MP to be involved in dealing with leaked and possibly stolen documents?
- Isn it appropriate for a Labour MP run website to store and make available to the public documents clealry confidential, clearly belonging to another party, and possible stolen?