If the issue is as the Prime Minister has made it, about transparency and in his own glorious words, “he’s going to be guilty of being labelled as having a secret agenda which none of us can verify one way or another’, then Key has to live up to his own standards . Those wise words were spoken in regards to David Cunliffe having two donors who didn’t want to be made public. David has paid their money back, so to avoid Key looking like he’s guilty of having a secret agenda no one can verify one way or another, Key should either make the names of all those CEOs and business leaders public, or if they don’t want that, John Key should refund every single one of their donations back.
Remember, this isn’t some David Farrar-esk technicality ‘splaining issue here. No manner of ‘but the $5000 donations fell far short of the $15 000 declaration rate’ splitting of hairs (a threshold that National conveniently set by the way). This is about anonymous donors and their need to be anonymous to the person receiving it so that there isn’t a chance of being , in John Key’s own words, “guilty of being labelled as having a secret agenda which none of us can verify one way or another’’.
Those are the standards that the PM has set, not the rules. Key could have pointed to the rules, but he didn’t, he chose to make it about perception, so to hold the same standards he is criticising Cunliffe with, Key must ask the 21 donors to make themselves and their donation public, or he has to refund their money, lest he be considered as “having a secret agenda which none of us can verify one way or another’’.
It’s not like our multi-millionaire PM ain’t short of a bob or two, I’m sure it’s pocket money to a man with a Hawaiian Mansion.
If Key isn’t prepared to make those donors public and if he isn’t prepared to pay the donors back, he is setting double standards.
Sadly it’s a double standard that also seems to be permeating the media. Cunliffe mauled for a couple of thousand from two anonymous donors he has paid back compared to the Prime Minister knowing who is donating to him and then refusing to make those $165 000 worth of donations public. Surely the latter deserves at least the same level of feeding frenzy that Cunliffe has attracted?