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New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 19th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

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Political Friday: abysmal standards of honesty

25 July 2014

I'm really in a state of deep despair when it comes to the standard of honesty and ethics being exhibited by our politicians.

This story in today's NZH seems to demonstrate what I'm talking about.

Government minister Jonathan Coleman appears to have been utterly dishonest when he publicly stated that "Ministers had absolutely no knowledge of any pending FBI-NZ Police investigation" against Kim Dotcom.

Immigration NZ has now stated that Coleman *did* know about the investigation because their chief executive had passed that information on to Dr Coleman before residency was granted.

Yet, once again, John Key -- who promised us that *his* ministers would he held to a higher standard than those of the Labour government that went before -- has stated that he has "full confidence in Minister Coleman", just as he had full confidence in John Banks perhaps?

I'm sorry but this type of dishonest is simply unacceptable from the people who we employ to run the country.

As those who pay the salaries of these MPs and ministers, we deserve honesty and integrity in their dealings -- not the ongoing lies and deceptions we've had for so very long.

Just about the only positive thing to come out of all this bad behaviour of late is the precedent that seems to have been set in respect to the GCSB's illegal spying on NZ residents.

Apparently, no charges will be laid and nobody will be held accountable for that unlawful activity because there was "no criminal intent". Woohoo.... I can see lawyers all over the country gearing up to use this as mitigation in the defense of their clients.

No your honour, my client should not be fined and lose his license for driving at 140Km/H because it was just a lapse in attention -- there was "no criminal intent".

The way I see it, those who hold themselves up for positions of power should also be leading by example. If it's okay for government employees to be given a get out of jail free card simply because there's no proof of "intent" then I see no reason why we "mere citizens and taxpayers" ought not be given the same grace.

Also, if you're asked questions by a police or a government department then you can perhaps feel free to lie -- since government ministers have set the standard to which we can all aspire -- surely?

I am not prepared to accept that there should be one set of rules for those who have power and another for those who have no power. That is not the way a fair and democratic society should work.

If those you pay very good money to protect your interests and run the country in a manner that benefits everyone can not be honest then how on earth can they be trusted to do their jobs without bias, self-interest or corruption?

Well to be honest, I don't think they can be trusted.

Tell your friends about recoverable proxy, it's the only solution :-)

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