Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Helen feels the heat

The last couple of days have been interesting ones for the Doone affair. First Rodney Hide released copies of the witness briefs of Helen Clark, the Reporter and the Editor (the links are here but smaller copies are available at Sir Humphrey's). The events described by these briefs is at variance with Helen's statements to the House, which is an offense far greater than she sacked Lianne Dalziel for.

Secondly the Press this morning published an article which added at the end:
The Press can confirm that the conversations between Clark and the Sunday Star-Times were taped, and that transcripts do exist. It is understood that in the transcript, Clark is warned by the newspaper that it faced almost certain litigation from Doone if it was wrong.
I suspect this was an editorial insertion as the writer, Colin Espiner, was ripping into National and ACT last week for continuing to stick with this supposedly dead story when Winston Peters had landed a kinghit.

So how did Helen handle this? Badly.

She decided to go on the attack by accusing the Doones of playing politics in a legal matter. She appears to have forgotten that she stands accused of having done exactly that back in 1999 when she verified false information during investigations into Peter Doone's conduct.

Helen then continued the attack by claiming in the House that National was bankrolling the Doones and that in return, the Doones' laywers were helping National with their questions in the house. If she hopes to deflect questions about her conduct by floating bizarre conspiracy theories, she is in dire need of a period of "extended stress leave".

But this was not enough. Helen also defended her conduct in leaking the contents of the inquiries into the Doone case by claiming:
By definition, I cannot leak.
Someone needs to tell Helen that she is not the Head of State and cannot claim sovereign immunity for all her actions.