Key painting a risky comparison

John Key has painted a risk target on his forehead by comparing Helen Clark’s painting signing to what Mike Sabin has been investigated for.

Key is defending his ‘judgement call’ not to stand down Mike Sabin when he found out Sabin was under police investigation. Radio NZ reports Key stands by Sabin decision:

But Mr Key is standing by his decision not to stand Mr Sabin down from the role.

“Things can progress and change and ultimately things did progress and things did change, but, on the information I had on 1 December, I was happy with the decision I made.”

He said he was “really comfortable” with his judgment call.

“Helen Clark had an investigation against her and she didn’t stand down as Prime Minister of New Zealand,” he said.

Key seems to be gambling on ‘the information I had on 1 December’ being surprisngly lacking in detail considering that Sabin is reported to have revealed his situation to Key’s office – Sabinhe may not have been open and truthful:

The party expects MPs to come clean about troubles, Key said. “Some are a little better than others in telling us upfront straight away,” he said.

(From Mike Sabin ‘could have been a minister’ – John Key  on 2 February)

And considering what others knew at the time about Sabin. Cameron Slater claims to have known a month or two earlier.

Or Key is banking on the details remaining secret.

If it becomes known publicly what Sabin was being investigated for and possibly charged with (possibly early this month) then comparisons with Clarks trivial painting signing and Sabin’s alleged offences may backfire on Key

Key’s defence seems to be that he didn’t know the severity of Sabin’s situation on 1 December. His office should have known, so Key should have known.

It’s worth asking Key if his judgement wouuld have been the same had he known then what he knows now.

This is al important because of the defence Key is trying to paint. Comparing assisting fundraising for a charity with what Sabin may be found to have done may not paint a good picture for Key.

Key may escape major censure due to claims about timing but the overall picture may be damaging.

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