INDEPENDENT NEWS

Selective Accountability Over Defence Inquiry

Published: Thu 23 Aug 2001 11:55 AM
Labour And Helen Clark Indulging In More Selective Accountability Over Defence Inquiry
New Zealand First Defence Spokesperson Ron Mark MP today questioned why the so-called new standards of accountability enforced by the current government, and Prime Minister Helen Clark, do not apply to defence issues.
“This Government has portrayed itself to the public as a government that is accountable to the public - not afraid to call inquiries where necessary and to investigate further into issues of serious public concern like the Airways saga. Yet there is an obvious reluctance on the part of both the Minister and the Prime Minister to agree to the Opposition’s call for an inquiry into defence procurement.
“Why? What have they got to hide? Do the public not have a right to all of the facts?,” asked Mr Mark.
“On any other serious issue of political accountability we have seen the Prime Minister go on the offensive, undermining her Ministers in the process, taking charge and settling for nothing less than full and absolute disclosure.
“Yet the Prime Minister’s silence on this issue is deafening. Why is that? – when this issue warrants further investigation as much as any issue that has arisen in this Government’s term. What we have here is yet another case of selective accountability by Helen Clark,” said Mr Mark.
Mr Mark also criticised Keith Locke and the Greens for passing the buck instead of using their position to push for an inquiry.
“Indeed far from passing the buck the Greens should take responsibility for approving these purchases which is what they did when they endorsed Labour’s budget.
“This is typical of the Greens – the political doormats of Labour. Where they could use their position to make a change for the better and make a real difference they, instead, choose to look the other way,” said Mr Mark.
ENDS

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