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PM's bid for moral high-ground lacks credibility

Wyatt Creech National MP

19 March 2001

PM's bid for moral high-ground lacks credibility

"Politics should address the real issues, not indulge in family or personal attacks," National MP Wyatt Creech said today.

"There is a stark irony in Helen Clark calling for a 'truce', when it has been her party which has firmly bought into the tactic of attacking the families of other MPs.

"MPs should be entitled to ask questions about accountability, and in Opposition Labour would have raised the same sort of questions I have raised over how the Health Research Council ensures impartiality in its reviews of Government policy. But the Prime Minister, in typical fashion, is trying to distract from the real issue by branding my concerns an attack on her family.

"My question is not a personal attack on Professor Davis. He is leading a research team which is studying health reforms, some of which were done when his wife, Miss Clark, was directing the reforms. That raises a conflict of interest. "The Health Research Council should be able to ensure the independence of the people they choose to review policy. It would be difficult for Prof Davis to be against the reforms his wife implemented in the late 1980s, or to support the reforms of the National Government during the 1990s.

"Helen Clark should be addressing the issue I have raised - instead of calling me 'screech', 'scumbag' and a 'sleazeball' which is only deflecting attention from the real question. An MP should be allowed to raise a question of accountability without it resulting in them being sledged and slurred by the Prime Minister.

"And now the Prime Minister is calling for a truce. Her attempt to brand herself as the peacemaker over this issue is laughable when you consider her party has been the main aggressor. Labour's mud-slinging last week in its unfounded attacks on the families of three National MPs showed the Labour party's true character," Wyatt Creech said.

Ends

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