MIKE ROKE: Politicians like Todd Barclay are why Donald Trump won


Can’t politicians see it? Are they blind or just not wanting to accept the truth? We are tired. Tired of the lies and the spin that we get day-to-day from the people we have elected to represent our interests.

Trump, Brexit, Theresa May’s disastrous snap election - what more proof do politicians need to see that the people have had enough?

If there was such a thing as a 'politician finishing school', I'm sure on day one the lecturer would stand in front of the class and say “remember these three words, as they may save your political career - I can’t recall”.

Whenever a tough question is asked to a politician that they don’t want to answer it's the go-to response. "Ï can’t recall”.

What a load of BS.

You know what -  I would rather they simply answered "I don’t want to answer that".

That would be the truth. It is still not a satisfactory answer, but at least it's not complete lies.

I will admit that I am not a fan of politicians. I think they are over-paid, over-valued and there is too many of them.

In a small country with a population of 4.5 million, we don't need 120 MP’s. We could cull half of them tomorrow and it would not make a lick of difference. That would be a nice chunk of money saved too. Taxpayer money that could be better spent in health, education, law and order, infrastructure, the list goes on.

It will never happen though. If there is one thing politicians are particularly good at, it's keeping themselves in a job. That and making sure they get a pay rise each year. When was the last time you got a pay rise?

It was not the incident in the Barclay debacle that has sparked the most furor, it is the cover-up. Watergate anyone?

Let’s call this one Recordgate - or Barclaygate - or Dictaphonegate.

Barclay secretly recorded a staff member, he told Bill English he had done it, Bill English told the police, the police went to investigate and Barclay refused to cooperate. This all happened over a year ago and when it all came to light (as it almost certainly always does), Barclay denied he ever recorded and English can’t recall who told him. Both of them stood in front of us all and lied.

Todd Barclay did a stupid thing. His actions were illegal. By far not the worse thing anyone has ever done - but illegal all the same. It is a sackable offence. If any of us commit an illegal act in the workplace, I say that would be fair grounds for dismissal and termination of a contract.

Barclay knew he was in trouble, so he lied. Bill English knew he was lying, but he liked the kid so he tried to help him out with some short-term memory loss.

English’s role in this, in my opinion, does not warrant a resignation - but I am sure he has learnt a lesson. The lesson being it is nice to have friends in politics, but if they do something stupid you hang them out to dry. Otherwise you might go down with them.

Todd Barclay had to go. There was no other way and I am glad he is gone. He is only 27 and was already showing signs of a career liar in the making. Imagine what kind of sociopath he could have become with another couple of decades in the Beehive?

As much as I despise the phrase and despise the man who said it even more - let’s drain the swamp.

Time to get rid of these career politicians. The ones that have been in the game far too long and have forgotten why they are there in the first place. To serve the people of New Zealand. To look out for the best interests of the people in their electorate.

Let’s get some fresh blood in there. Young minds with fresh ideas that aren’t there for the money, cars, travel and benefits. Fresh ideas to fix up the absolute mess the ‘experienced’ politicians have left us in with housing, immigration, water etc.

All except Winnie of course. He will never leave.

Mike Roke is technical producer for RadioLIVE Drive - 3-6pm weekdays.