Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Parker's downfall

David Parker has resigned all cabinet posts and is now a backbench MP. This stage was unexpected as his original resignation as Attorney-General. Although some commentators are suggesting he will rise again after a suitable period of penance (a la Lianne Dalziel), I don't see it happening myself. The Companies Office is going to have to prosecute a plain breach of the companies act in order to deter others from being so stupid committing similar breaches in the future. If that happens and a conviction results (a discharge without conviction is highly unlikely considering the repeated nature of the offence), Parker will be out of Parliament. The last person to earn cabinet rank after being forced out in disgrace was Colin Moyle some twenty odd years ago and he only made it as Minister of Agriculture.

Some of Parker's caucus colleagues are angry considering they defended David Benson-Pope for so long whereas they could have cut him loose and saved Parker's skin instead (the depth of their anger is made apparent by Marian Hobbs making a bizarre Nazi innuendo). While Parker was is a more worthy person to try to save than Benson-Pope, I strongly doubt that Labour could have held off his resignation even for a week. There was clear and documented evidence of wrong-doing that couldn't by fudged even by Steve Maharey.

One thing I don't get is that if the company was worthless as many have indicated, why did David Parker keep it running for so long? Why not simply wind the whole thing up and avoid having to deal with Russell Hyslop? The only thing that springs to my mind is that the Parkers may have wanted the company's debt to be treated as a tax loss to lighten their tax burdens elsewhere. If so, then Parker's reluctance to have anything to do with Hyslop becomes more understandable as he may not have wanted Hyslop to recieve audited information about his tax affairs.