John Armstrong’s piece in yesterday’s Herald got it wrong.
He inferred that most politicians raising questions and exploring the reasons for the explosions at Pike River will be tainted with “exploiting the catastrophe for selfish political motives”.
John by writing that you do two things:
1. You perpetuate the view that politics is somehow “dirty” and “bad”. Is that what you really think?
2. You are undermining the questioner and the questions. That means it will be much harder to get to the truth. Is that really your intention?
Instead, asking the hard questions and seeking answers to them is what we would expect and what we require from our politicians. And from our media. Surely!
29 men died. Their families want answers. Their community wants answers. Politicians were elected to ask questions.
Armstrong appears to be framing the Pike River aftermath so that from the Opposition Benches only Jim Anderton has credibility in asking the hard questions about what went wrong.
I’m happy that Jim will be doing it.
But according to Armstrong, Labour can’t because we’ll be cynically exploiting the catastrophe for the wrong reasons, or showing desperation. What rubbish!
The union movement can’t because they (according to Armstrong) want payback “for the humiliation the Combined Trade Unions incurred over The Hobbit”. More rubbish!
Not sure what he thinks about the Greens asking questions.
On day one of the Pike River explosion I raised on Twitter the importance of hard questions being asked of the company responsible for Pike River Mine. I raised the issue of the Beaconsfield Mine collapse in Tasmania and the important role played by the (AWU) union in bringing health and safety issues to the fore.
And I encouraged the media to ask the tough questions. They are the ones who are placed to ask them. And not be put off by cries of insensitivity. Or inappropriateness. Let’s hope they do.
Fran O’Sullivan, also writing yesterday in the Herald, believes that the hard questions need to be asked and the vested interests of everyone taken into account. I agree.
My vested interest is to determine why this disaster happened, make sure it doesn’t happen again and bring some accountability. It’s the truth that matters here. All questions are important, even if they are scoffed at by some.
Politicians, no matter what side of politics they are on must ask the hard questions. Otherwise, they’re not doing their jobs.