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Bill English gives up on being in government

Bill English gives up on being in government

“Gutless Bill English is again resorting to criticising and hectoring the public service through a series of baseless and inaccurate statements that once more smack of his desperation,” State Services Minister Trevor Mallard said today.

“He knows he is losing the battle with Helen Clark - by a whopping 53 to 7 in a recent poll - so he has now picked up his ball and gone off to play in a different league. “Unfortunately, he has picked on a league in which the opponents have no ability to respond or fight back.

“In a letter to State Services Commissioner Michael Wintringham, he has in effect called the head of Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet a liar and accused the public service of treating the Official Information Act with disdain.

“He attacked the public service last week, spent this week dumping on the police, and now he has re-launched his unjustified attacks on public servants. “This week he attacked the New Zealand Police who pride themselves on the independent decisions they take when determining whether to take prosecutions. This is an embarrassment for a leader of the opposition and is unprecedented.

“In the past fortnight he has launched individual personal attacks on public service chief executives Mark Prebble and James Buwalda.

“With the warped logic of someone who does not know where to turn, he is now trying to excuse this totally inappropriate behaviour by suggesting it’s the government that is attacking public servants.

“There is a big difference between naming and attacking individual public servants as he has done, and ministers pointing out that in a couple of agencies, and on a couple of occasions, systems have broken down.

“We have a constitutional convention that the public service should not respond to political attacks from opposition MPs because they should be able to establish the same professional relationships with future ministers should the government change. “English clearly doesn’t think this scenario will eventuate in his case,” Trevor Mallard said.

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