Labour on the defensive: we can expect more denials and a disinclination to comment

And we can expect the hole to get deeper after the next load of disclosures.

Alf gets a big buzz when he sees the Labour Party feverishly digging itself into a hole as an instinctive response to the prospect of political embarrassment.

Declining to comment helps to fuel the party excavator.

Lo and behold, Labour Party president Moira Coatsworth is quoted by the HoS as saying she could not discuss the issue of some stuff leaked to or otherwise obtained by The Whale until she had spoken to party secretary Chris Flatt

… then later refused to comment.

Australian Labor Party activist Sandy Rippingale, asked if she was working with our Labour Party on election campaigning, said:

“I can’t make comment on the relationship between the two Labour (Labor) parties.”

Denial helps to drive the machine.

Labour MP Darien Fen­ton is reported to have denied the party used Par­lia­men­tary Ser­vices to fund cam­paign or party business.

She said min­utes of meet­ings were taken by vol­un­teers and could con­tain errors.

But Alf reckons Labour has only just started to dig.

A teaser at Gotcha yesterday gives the whiff of the prospect of a much bigger hole being dug.

The HoS followed up on the hint.

Today it is reporting that a major security lapse within the Labour Party

…appears to have exposed top secret political information and personal financial details.

The information has fallen into the hands of Cameron Slater, who publishes the Whale Oil blog.

Slater said he had emails, financial details, party planning information and membership data.

“Nothing illegal was done to access the information. The information is freely available to anybody who knows where to look.”

Slater generously supplied the HoS with a sample of the information he has obtained.

The proof was a copy of the minutes of a “Labour North” meeting held on May 25 this year, serving the party’s candidates for the five electorates north of the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

The minute stated the “Labour North” collective should “use Parliamentary Services for best outcome of LP (Labour Party)”.

Oh dear.

As the HoS points out and as Labour people should know, Parliamentary Services rules strictly forbid the use of services for campaigning purposes.

Slater accordingly is telling us the document has proved the Labour Party was using taxpayer money to run its own business.

The minutes also disclose the presence of the aforementioned Sandy Rippingale at the meeting.

Slater reckons this shows the party was subject to foreign influence.

But guess what?

Despite trying to fog things by suggesting the minutes might be inaccurate, Darien Fenton conceded there had been pressure to use a Parliamentary staff member for party business.

“It has been an area of tension. It is an ongoing discussion with them about how we protect the role of the staff member and the MP.

“I’ve said they can’t use the office for a whole range of things. I’m really confident I’ve done nothing wrong.”

We learn a bit more from The Whale on his blog.

He explains why he gave David Fisher, from the HoS, a small taste of what he will release in the com­ing week of doc­u­ments about the Labour Party.

I decided to release one doc­u­ment early to the HoS because they fol­lowed up my teaser of yesterday.

He is chuffed that he has been leaked doc­u­men­tary evi­dence of Labour party people wanting to use par­lia­men­tary ser­vices to ben­e­fit not the con­stituents of their elec­torates but the party itelf.

Oh, and he responds to Darien Fen­ton by noting that one of the atten­dees at the meet­ing – and one of those in the cir­cu­la­tion list for the minutes – is Gina Gior­dani, a par­lia­men­tary ser­vices worker in her elec­torate office, “who uses, and con­tin­ues to use a parliament.govt.nz email to do Labour party busi­ness on”.

The Whale intends writ­ing to Speaker Lock­wood Smith and to the Gen­eral Man­ager of par­lia­men­tary Ser­vices ask­ing for a full inquiry of the use of par­lia­men­tary ser­vices staff and resources for the ben­e­fit of the Labour Party.

He promises more disclosures including the naming if names.

Alf especially enjoys these things when there is the naming of names.

One Response to Labour on the defensive: we can expect more denials and a disinclination to comment

  1. […] here to see the original: Labour on the defensive: we can expect more denials and a … Tags: cameron, cameron-slater, hands, political-information, publishes-the-whale, top-secret, whale […]

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