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Collective Responsibility Doesn't Apply to Me - PM

Collective Responsibility Doesn't Apply to Me 'Clark'

Rodney Hide Tuesday, 10 May 2005 Press Releases - Other

Prime Minister Helen Clark is beginning to crack under the pressure, as ACT continues to question her integrity and honesty over Doonegate, ACT leader Rodney Hide said today.

She told Parliament today that because she’s Prime Minister, the rules and laws of New Zealand don’t apply to her,” Mr Hide said.

She said specifically, ‘It is a matter of judgement for the Prime Minister about how I use information from official reports. By definition I cannot leak.’

That means that she declares herself not bound by the Cabinet Manual that prohibits Ministers disclosing proposals likely to be considered at forthcoming meetings.

That’s exactly what Helen Clark admits doing in her statement of evidence for the High Court.

“She accepts that she discussed with the Sunday Star-Times reporter aspects of his understanding of the Robinson Report and the Police Complaints Authority Report and that

“I recall that I went through some aspects of the information contained in the Police Complaints Authority report”.

“Officials and her colleagues now know that Helen Clark sees it as her decision and her decision alone about whether she covertly leaks to the media details of cabinet papers and cabinet decision making.

“I have consulted constitutional experts who tell me that the Prime Minister is saying that the cabinet rules don’t apply to her because it is her job as Prime Minister to enforce them,” Mr Hide said. “That means that collective responsibility doesn’t apply to her. She is saying she can do as she pleases.”

“There is a pattern here. The rules and laws don’t apply to Helen Clark when she signs her name to a painting that she didn’t do, when she speeds through the South Island, or when she leaks confidential documents in an underhand and dishonest way in order to dispatch a Police Commissioner who wouldn’t do her bidding.

Of course, in the very articles which Helen Clark leaked cabinet information for, she was quoted in the first as saying, she could not comment on the information the Sunday Star-Times had uncovered, as the matter was still with the Government and she would not comment on Doone's fate or on what she would recommend to Cabinet.

Now that she’s been caught out doing exactly what she said she couldn’t and wouldn’t do, she says the rules don’t apply to her. That’s typical of Clark. First deny what she’s done and when caught say the rules don’t apply because she’s Prime Minister.


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