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Confused? More like cunning

Bill English MP
National Party Deputy Leader

22 April 2008

Confused? More like cunning

National Party Deputy Leader Bill English says Labour can't be trusted to play by the rules in election year, and Helen Clark's backing of Mike Williams is testament to her failing judgment.

"Mike Williams is a recidivist offender. For instance, he told Helen Clark that the words 'deep dark secret' had been put in his mouth by a journalist, when that was untrue."

National has compiled a quick list of 11 gaffes involving Mike Williams since December 2000. There are likely to be more. Such as Williams' confession that Labour fleeced the taxpayer for pledge cards over three elections not just one.

"On more than one occasion he has been told to keep out of politics. He doesn't appear to listen.

"This excuse is becoming a familiar Labour response when the porky-telling president gets into trouble."

Mr English notes that Helen Clark has told Mr Williams to concentrate on his core business.

"But if the election campaign is not the president's core business, what is? I simply don't buy Helen Clark's lame excuse that he was 'loose and confused'.

"Will Labour use this line when it seeks to make a retrospective law change to legitimise its activities in this year's election campaign, just as they did the pledge card in 2005?

"Will Helen Clark utter the words, 'we broke the law again but that was because Mike was loose and confused'?

"The public can no longer trust that Mike Williams will keep Labour's fingers out of the public till in this election campaign. Helen Clark's decision to keep him on shows that she is putting politics before principle.

"If Helen Clark won't do the right thing and sack him - Mr Williams should do the right thing and resign."

Mike Williams Gaffes

April 2008
Misleads over comments at a Labour Party congress

February 2008
Exposed as misleading over an interest free loan to the Labour Party.

February 2008
Said that financial agents who were concerned about having their home addresses on material were “paranoid”. Then Labour broke the law by not using their financial agent’s home address.

January 2008
Reveals Labour is secretly hosting the anti-National website ‘The Standard’

June 2005
Michael Cullen apologises for him after his behaviour at an Auckland Chamber of Commerce meeting

May 2005
Reveals a ‘deep dark secret’ in the Budget which was later revealed as the now cancelled ‘chewing gum’ tax changes. Helen Clark suggested the words "deep, dark secret" had been put into Williams' mouth by a journalist. The Herald responded by publishing a partial transcript revealing the president had coined the term himself.

May 2005
Staunchly defends Labour's 42-ranked list candidate Stephen Ching following allegations that he offered to use his connections to secure someone appointment as a Justice of the Peace. Helen Clark was forced to make it clear Ching was to be dropped.

March 2005
Castigated by Labour's parliamentary wing for publicly supporting a union's campaign for a 5 per cent wage rise. Paul Swain said through a spokesman: "We had a friendly chat and I explained the Government's policy."- March 3, 2005

April/May 2002
Criticised Jim Anderton, and Helen Clark was forced to respond: "I'm the Prime Minister, he's the president of the Labour Party . . . I'll get on with my job and he'll get on with his."

April 2002
Speculates on an early election: "An election is always in the air". The PM is forced to correct - "It's a free world and people can speculate what they like, but they've had nothing from me that gives them any ground to speculate in one way or the other." – 29 April 2002

December 2000
Criticised by Judith Tizard after commenting on unauthorised use of a computer by his brother: ‘Ms Tizard said yesterday that Bruce Williams was not employed by the Labour Party, and she did not know why Mike Williams had commented on the matter.’ – Dominion 21 Dec.


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