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So What Can We Believe Now?

14 April 2002

For the Prime Minister to pass off a painting as her own work is a serious issue especially for someone who has campaigned on the honesty platform, says National Party Leader Bill English.

"I can understand why the owner of the painting is aggrieved and why he says it's a fraud. Her excuse that politicians do this all the time is complete rubbish. Helen Clark should take responsibility for her own behaviour, rather than blame others.

"One of the most important values you are taught as a child is not to cheat. What are parents expected to tell their children now when we have
no lesser person than the Prime Minister saying it is alright.

"New Zealanders have a right to take a Prime Minister at her word and I can understand that many people will feel let down by Helen Clark's action.

"New Zealanders will have little sympathy when she says she was dishonest because she was too busy. There are many people holding down several jobs and running a family who are also busy but they don't cheat.

"The position of Prime Minister is that of a role model. People do look

at how the holder of the office behaves. In this case Helen Clark has been publicly dishonest. If she wants to re-establish the credibility of the office she will need to do better than her bad tempered apology," says Mr English.

Ends

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