In a weird way I feel slightly bonded to Patrick Gower. I’ve always enjoyed Paddy more as a shit stirrer than as a journalist. His ability to manipulate the mundane into breathless headlines is a skill and it was watching him despicably manufacture a leadership coup and claim David Cunliffe was leading it, that was seized upon by the ABCs to humiliate and defame Cunliffe in the 2012 Labour Party Conference, that motivated me to set up The Daily Blog as a counter narrative to the jaw dropping myth spinning of the NZ corporate mainstream media.
So in a way Paddy completes me. His latest claims against David Cunliffe’s ICSL Trust however are so outrageous they must be challenged.
First – the transcript of Patrick’s report from TV3 News last night…
Mike R: 3 News can reveal David Cunliffe failed to declare a financial trust as MPs are required to do with investments. The Labour leader initial tried to keep the trust off the record but was forced to make a late change. Political report Patrick Gower with this exclusive report.
Paddy Gower: David Cunliffe under immense pressure all about trust. First there was the trust there was the trust to hide donations that funded his leadership bid, now 3 news have learned of another trust he initially failed to declare. MPs are required to declare all financial interests over $500, yesterday Cunliffe admitted to two trusts.
DC: I’m beneficiary of the Bosy family trust and a Bear trust called ICSL which does savings investment.
Paady Gower: But a check of the latest MPs pecuniary interest’s shows only one of these two was actually declared at the time that’s the Bosy trust which owns his house, Cunliffe left out the ICSL trust he was forced to correct the register by making a late declaration posted on the website.
JK: He needs to be you know up front and again clear about when he found this trust why he forgot about it when he up dated his records what’s in it ah you know these are just basic facts that the leader should probably tell the public.
PG: ICSL is an investment company trust David Cunliffe is one of 20,000 investors that manages $8 billion in investments evenly divided that $400,000 each. Cunliffe refused to front.
JK: Id like to say (?) but it sounds a bit tricky.
PG: Cunliffe’s office said it was initially left out because “legal advice” was it didn’t need to be disclosed, Cunliffe got further advice from the registrar that if in doubt – declare it. The register covers 1st of Feb 2012 to 31 Jan last year, Cunliffe joined the trust in March 2012 the deadline to declare was almost a year later on Feb 28 2013 but he declared four months later on July 16. Cunliffe’s predecessor David Shearer had the same issue failing to declare what could be up to 100,000 in the United Nations bank account, so another day another promise with a trust.
MR: Patrick Gower joins me live from Parliament, Patrick how significant is this for Cunliffe.
PG: Significant because it gives the Prime Minister another chance to label David Cunliffe tricky which is the last thing that Cunliffe needs right now. Now a couple of important points here David Cunliffe’s office says the amount of money in that investment is much less than 100,000 but is probably still a significant amount in there for most people and Cunliffe did not forget about this amount of money as the Prime Minister was alleging there rather he knew about it and he got legal advice to try and keep it off the books off the public record now I went back to David Cunliffes office I said where did the legal advice come from they said Greg Presland now Greg Presland is a lawyer but he is more well know as one of David Cunliffes loyalists one of his organisers in fact Greg Presland is the guy running the other trust that was trying to keep the donations to Cunliffe leadership campaign secret.
Now Mike just quickly on another related matter last night we told you that it was the Labour MP Clare Curran who sent the policy ideas straight to the enemy to the office of the IT Minister Amy Adams it wasn’t clare curran at all actually it was one of David Cunliffe’s close advisors it was one of David Cunliffes staff and he actually spent some of Cunliffes speech notes to Amy Adams as well. So that blunder goes straight to David Cunliffes door as well.
…all sounds pretty damning eh? Well, let’s dig a little deeper shall we and play a game called ‘Paddy Says’.
- Paddy says: “yesterday Cunliffe admitted to two trusts”, yet the ICSL trust is not new. It was declared in the pecuniary interests register since July 2013 and Cunliffe declared it again in his 2014 pecuniary interests. There is no admission to make. His mention of it on Tuesday was in response to a question by 3 News about which trusts he had an interest in. The way Paddy has framed this is as if Cunliffe had rushed to confess a great sin, it’s been there on the record for 8 bloody months!
- Paddy says Cunliffe was “forced to correct the register” like he was under duress. Cunliffe declared it last year after seeking advice from the registrar on whether he should! That’s hardly forced! He sought clarification and got it, the way Gower is framing it however is as some type of wrong doing that David is being punished for.
- Paddy says: “ICSL is an investment company trust. David Cunliffe is one of 20,000 investors that manages $8 billion in investments. Evenly divided, that’s $400,000 each. Cunliffe refused to front.” This is then reinforced by a graphic with Cunliffe’s face next to a figure for $400 000, this despite 3 News being told by Cunliffe’s office that he had “much less than $100,000” invested. Something Gower admits at the end of the story, but the graphic has already done the damage.
What Paddy doesn’t say however is the number of National Party MPs who did the exact same thing as Cunliffe did and make supplementary declarations to the pecuniary interests register in 2013.
So when will Paddy be doing the exact same story on Jackie Blue, Simon Bridges, Shane Ardern and Nathan Guy? When are investigations using the same ominous insinuations of corruption going to be meted out to those 4 National Party MPs by Patrick Gower?
Paddy won’t be investigating those 4 National MPs though will he?
I can’t work out what is happening with Patrick Gower. He seems to either be conducting a live job interview to be John Key’s next Press Secretary or the National Party have a few of Paddy’s family held hostage somewhere under threat of grammar lessons with Chris Finlayson because this story about Cunliffe’s ICSL Trust is bullshit.
I don’t think it should be ‘Tricky Cunliffe’, I think it should be ‘Tricky Paddy’.