By Winston Peters
One of the most important attributes of any professional or sports person is to have, as they say, “a safe pair of hands”. It is an essential quality in political leadership, yet we have seen no signs of it during the Kim Dotcom saga.
When we look back at the Helen Clark/Michael Cullen era and compare their stewardship with that of John Key and Bill English, the National pair come a poor second. Politics aside, it is hard to imagine Clark or Cullen, with their relentless eye for detail, overseeing such a series of blunders and bloopers. It is unthinkable that neither would tell the other about the activities of secretive government agencies. Yet Mr Key has not only denied knowledge of the surveillance of Kim Dotcom, he has also blamed everyone else for what happened when the issue is clearly his responsibility.
It is hard to accept that the Prime Minister was always in the dark over Kim Dotcom. Mr Key has fallen over himself to meet US movie moguls and to do their bidding over labour laws and tax incentives. It is even harder to believe that these moguls did not mention the copyright issues they had with Dotcom and the mega money they were losing through his Megaupload enterprise.
Dotcom is a conspicuous and flamboyant individual. He gained residency and settled in Mr Key’s electorate with the help of National Government ministers despite a criminal past. The prime minister apparently had not heard of the individual until just before the January 20 raid. So, it appears a number of officials and ministers knew about Dotcom but they did not raise it with Mr Key at any stage – not even over a cuppa.
All this is very hard to believe. The sound of pigs wings flapping over the Beehive is getting louder. The two people who are most responsible for leading this nation are a former currency trader and a former Treasury official. They have both failed to show us a safe pair of hands.
Winston Peters is the leader of New Zealand First