Jeanette Fitzsimons


by Jeanette Fitzsimons

Isn’t it bizarre how the sole issue in politics some ten weeks before an election is the behaviour of one MP, whose  party is running at 2-4% in the polls? Whether we can take his word; who would or would not sack him; what his lawyers think; and who said what to whom. Frankly, who cares?

He may or may not have done something illegal or against the rules of Parliament. The SFO enquiry and the Privileges Committee will attempt to find answers to those questions, and we shouldn’t prejudge the result. Regardless of the outcome of those enquiries, the public would be justified in feeling it had been held in contempt by Peters, when answers to the allegations are supposedly available and would clear up the issue in five minutes. The SFO has the power to compel these answers, but doesn’t the public have a right to them anyway, without weeks of evasion and prevarication?

What is proven is an element of hypocrisy, in claiming to be the nemesis of big business, while taking very large donations from them. But should this be the key issue of the election?

We’ve had several whole pages in most major dailies rehashing this story, when anything new could have been said in a couple of hundred words. Isn’t it time the media got over this person? (there you are: it took me 233 words)

The tragedy is that this is what passes for news, when we ought to be debating what is happening to our economy with rising prices for food, petrol, power and mortgages at the same time as economic contraction and loss of jobs? Shouldn’t we be debating the causes of this, and linking them with peak oil, resource limits and climate change?  Most of all, shouldn’t we be debating what to do about it?

I was invited on to TV’s Agenda yesterday morning – a three hour return drive for me – to discuss the effects of the Emissions Trading Scheme on households, industry and climate change. Instead the debate was solely about Peters. Politicians are fair game, but isn’t the voting public the loser here?

Published in Campaign | Media | Society & Culture by Jeanette Fitzsimons on Mon, September 1st, 2008   

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