So it turns out that John Key was informed about the purchase of a new fleet of BMWs, he just didn’t read the briefing papers. And now he is trying to blame his staff for not telling him. That’s pretty weak John.
Before I became an MP I worked for several different Ministers, and I can recall a few cases where staff slipped up and didn’t pass on information. In every case that I was involved with, the Minister concerned took the rap. Blaming the staff is a pretty weak way to operate. I certainly can’t imagine any of those Ministers, including Helen Clark using the excuse that they were too busy heading off on holiday for not attending to their job.
No doubt tomorrow Key will have a new set of excuses, but for now the chronology goes something like this:
- Firstly, Key claims he didn’t know anything about it;
- Then his limo driver told him about ‘a week ago’;
- Then his limo driver told him about it ‘some weeks back’;
- Now it turns out he was briefed in December, but chose not to read it.
John Key has been equally devious about the nature of the contract:
- First he said they couldn’t get out of it without paying a high penalty;
- Then he said the contract could have been cancelled without penalty;
- Then he said the contract is a good deal for taxpayers;
- Now he is saying the Solicitor General has advised that the govt can’t pull out of the deal.
He is hardly consistent either when it comes to how the deal was authorised:
- First off all, he said the decision was made by the Internal affairs Department, which did not think it had to check with Ministers;
- Then he agreed Ministers had known about the contract last year;
- Then he said his Internal Affairs Minister Nathan Guy assumed last year that he would know all about and didn’t bother telling him;
- Now he says he was informed but didn’t read the briefing paper.
This whole saga has been a shambles and suggests that Key just isn’t on top of his job. If he isn’t willing to do anything more than smile and wave for the cameras, perhaps he should hand over the detail work as Minister Responsible for Ministerial Services to somebody who doesn’t find the thought of sitting down with a thick briefing paper quite so daunting.