Private information in Public

No Right Turn highlighted this:

Today in Parliament, Labour MP Lianne Dalziel asked some questions about the fairness of the government’s bailout for red zone property-owners. Gerry Brownlee’s response? To dump the details of her earthquake claim into the Parliamentary record.

Again, this is an appalling act of information thuggery, involving deeply personal information. This is purely operational information, which should never have been in the Minister’s hands. And yet, when its needed for a political smear, its available to him. This suggests misconduct on the party of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority, as well as a gross abuse of power by the Minister.

Now, I have heard very good things about Dalziel’s work advocating for her constituents on earthquake related matters, straight from the horses mouth. She is in my book a vastly different Labour MP from the likes of say, Pete Hodgson.

If what Idiot is saying is true, then is is indeed a very nasty abuse of power.

But then I notice a video at WhaleOil. That is video of what Brownlee actually said. And what he actually did is quote information that Dalziel herself had already made public.

And a check of the transcript reveals that the video is more or less accurate. (Emphasis in quote is mine)

Hon GERRY BROWNLEE: So far, more than 3,000 people have accepted a Government offer and been settled. Further, many of those are in a far better position than they would have been in normal circumstances. There will be variations—that is clear. When you are dealing with 7,000 damaged properties and the Government is making an offer that allows people to make some choices, then I think that is fair. In the member’s case, we know the difficulty. She is being offered $87,200 for her land; she wants $200,000. She made that clear at the Local Government and Environment Committee, but it is not easy just to put a hand in the taxpayers’ pocket and pay it out to members of Parliament who are grumpy about the money being offered to them.

Hon Lianne Dalziel: Mr Speaker—[Interruption]

Mr SPEAKER: Order! I am on my feet. Order! These matters are sensitive matters. I have upheld the member’s right to ask questions, and I will watch Ministers’ answers. The member sought to make a personal explanation and brought into the House her personal situation. It has been talked about at a select committee; the Minister referred to that. I will be watching matters very carefully, but I want the House to come back to order.

Now it could be argued (as Whale does) that Brownlee was highlighting a conflict of interest – something that Labour knows all about. That’s BS.

But as much as the MP for Ilam has behaved as a bit of a bully, he did not do what Idiot is acusing him of. He did not take operational information from a government department and blab it all over parliament.

I think I’ve made the point before: Idiot/Savant could be a pretty decent blogger if he chose to stick to the facts. But in cases like this, where he insists on overstepping and by adding false information to true, he takes what should be a good, hard-hitting post and makes it into something that reflects more on him than on his target.

I’d have thought that’s self-defeating. But maybe that’s just the way the left in general like their politics.

1 comment

  1. LD said (after JB outburst) that she was not worried about her personnal details being quoted however JB appeared to be quoting from select committee business which is against parliment’s rules. Later, LD did advise the details of her situation to show how the time frame to take up the reparation offers was not being co-ordinated for the householder benifit.
    In short, the management of the CERA set-up Gerry Brownlee, has been beyond his capability and I feel very sorry for the Christchurch people.

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