The National Party, Simon Bridges, and their troll army are all thinking that their donations scandal has now been safely swept under the carpet. The troll army is the most hilarious as they react with glee over four people being charged.
Already there is a conspiracy theory running around on Facebook and Twitter that the news of the charges was suspiciously timed to coincide with the announcement of the election date. Some even say it’s almost as if the SFO want Jacinda Ardern to win the election. This all ignores, of course, the fact that the SFO is statutorily independent of the government. But let’s explore why National, Simon Bridges and Todd McClay‘s troll army are dead wrong about everything and why it is that this scandal is going to get worse for the National party.
First up, my response to the conspiracy theory. In a battle of wits and personality between Jacinda Ardern and Simon Bridges, the only winner will be Jacinda Ardern. Not because of any conspiracy theories. Bridges is simply tits at what he does.
The SFO are statutorily independent. Good on them for laying charges. For too long politicians have gotten away with loose activity. Every election there are dozens of electoral law breaches and not a single person or party is ever charged. We should, as good citizens, be pleased that finally, someone is on the hook for dodgy behaviour. I can imagine that some readers are unhappy it is the National Party, and make no mistake about this, it is the National Party, despite their claims otherwise, that is on the hook here. Four people have been charged relating to donations that landed in the National Party’s bank account. The SFO did the right thing.
Imagine if it was Labour and there were charges. You’d all be ecstatic about it. It is folly to be tribal about this. You must remain non-tribal to be objective. The bottom line is this: the National Party are dirty, they’ve been trousering dirty Chinese money and been doing it since John Key’s time. National can’t escape the consequences by saying they are paying it back.
Paying it back raises far more questions. If they can pay it back then they know who it came from, if they knew who it came from then why wasn’t it declared?
Doesn’t that statement that they will pay it back make a lie of Greg Hamilton’s claims that they couldn’t identify the donors?
If Simon Bridges had nothing to do with the donation or how it was handled then why did he mention in the recorded phone call that eventually they’d have to tell Peter Goodfellow about it?
Ross: Oh OK… If you want. But we’ve all accepted that you’ve got stuff on, I’m not calling about that.
Bridges: The money’s fine sitting there in the Botany account. I don’t know what your arrangement is with Goodfellow or not, that’s all. I need to talk to him. I’m actually seeing him tonight, I wonder if I should.
Ross: I don’t think we can.
Bridges: I should wait and get the right words.
Ross: I don’t think we can raise tens of thousands and completely keep him out of the loop.
Bridges: No, no we can’t.
Ross: Maybe if you’re just honest with him about it.
Bridges: I think that’s right. I’ll raise it with him but we should probably just think it through. I mean, it can be in the Party but I do just want to make sure we’ve got that money to do those things. Don’t you think?Stuff
If Simon Bridges had nothing to do with donations, then why did he ask another MP to go and collect it after meeting the donor on 21 May 2018 and not the president of the party?
Ross: Hey you know at Paul Goldsmith’s function you saw those two Chinese guys, Zhang Yikun and Colin? You had dinner at their home?
Ross: They talked to you about a $100,000 donation…
Ross: That is now in.
Ross: What would you like done with it? It’s currently sitting in a Botany electorate account.Stuff
If he knew nothing about donations then why did he ask Todd McClay to meet someone in China, and then get another MP to collect the money, not Peter Goodfellow?
All roads lead back to Simon Bridges. How many other donations from these donors have there been and will National pay those back too?
You may be reasonably assured that those charged are going to squeal loud and long in order to offer up a bigger fish for the SFO to charge. It is the way of big monied Chinese. They will cut a deal with the SFO and provide even more information for the SFO to go and investigate, and when they do indeed start pulling on those threads in the investigation then National’s cosy cardigan of respectability is going to unravel and we are going to find out that they are in the pay of senior Chinese Communist Party operatives. National will be fighting an election facing questions about foreign influence and Chinese control.
Of course, Labour aren’t clean either. This has the potential to take them out too because my understanding is that one of the donors has made large donations to the Labour party as well. The SFO may well pull on those threads as well. The only difference will be that Jacinda Ardern won’t have been anywhere near the donations, whereas Simon Bridges is donkey deep in them.
This is not over for the National Party and Simon Bridges. We should be thankful that the SFO has had the courage to lay charges over political donations and we should be grateful that there is at least one law enforcement agency that takes our democracy seriously. Readers need to quit the partisan politics and start to realise that National are as bent as they suspect Labour are.
Deny the obvious if you want, but when the information starts pouring out about Beijing Bridges and his Chinese handlers then just remember where you heard it first.
As Cameron Slater said on Whaleoil back during the Dirty Politics hit job, “Politics is a dirty, despicable game, played by dirty, despicable people.”
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