Jones caught on Liu
Jones swaggered his way onto the Labour list as the great brown hope - a recipient of the usual adulation the Pakeha press heaps upon right wing, corporate Maori. Jones thus started his political career in 2005 with the press touting him as a future Prime Minister and he was fast-tracked into Helen Clark's Cabinet mid-term. So far so astronomic, but he double-dipped as an MP when he refused to quit his other role as a Waitangi Fisheries Commissioner and ever since the talk has been he is in politics for his ego, the money and the expense account and little else.
Allegations of granting a dodgy citizenship to a Chinese national who was a Labour donor are just par for the course. It is also par for the Labour Party. However the over-riding of official advice when that advice was so alarming demands an explanation. David Shearer's attempts to cover for him are weak and the question is how much longer will Shearer risk tainting himself protecting one of yesterday's crap politicians.
The other issue is the protection of the Labour Party from these uneasy facts of just how cheaply citizenship and favours can be bought in this country. The difficulty for Shearer is that there is no way to rid Labour of these sorts of corrupt practices without a public acknowledgement of wrong-doing - and that won't happen while so many people involved are still in the party.
Labour leader David Shearer says he has accepted MP Shane Jones' assurances that he followed proper processes when he approved the citizenship application of Chinese businessman Yong Ming Yan.
Mr Jones approved the application as associate immigration minister in 2008, despite officials' advice that Yan, also known as Bill Liu, did not meet good character requirements.
Yan is currently facing trial on fraud charges and last week immigration officials told the court that when Yan was told he was unlikely to be given citizenship, he had said he had friends in Parliament.
He also rejected claims in Court he had approved citizenship the day after the file was passed on to him. He had received it on 14 July 2008 and it was approved on 6 August 2008. The ceremony was on August 11, 2008.
Yan had links with several MPs, including Mr Samuels who had written in support of his citizenship application.
Others also alleged to have written in support of Yan included former National MP Pansy Wong and former Labour MP Chris Carter.
Note here that Pansy Wong - who is Chinese - had to quit after her husband accompanied her on a trip to China and, according to official reports, was "in the grm rgpg grkir bh liirwhrnbm kg hsmbhsd... sorry, what time is it?" - so no one really knows what went down, just Nek Minnit, not a Minister. Then there's Chris Carter - who having imploded under the weight of his own insignificance then, secretly, flounced off to China at the behest and expense of the Chinese government when he was supposed to be sitting in parliament. China is the common denominator here and some Chinese are undermining and exploiting our systems - treating NZ as if it had the same ethical standards as China - and our politicians are facilitating it... for their own benefit.
From my post of July 4, 2009 when Yan/Liu was arrested at the airport trying to make his escape:
This is looking very smelly for Shane Jones - and things are going to go further South for the great waha of the North as the media unpick why a dodgy Chinese businessman was given the royal treatment against official warnings. If Jones was the one left to sign off after the ministerial pass-the-parcel on this character then the dog shit he's about to have unwrapped by the police is going to be dropped straight in his lap. Jones has acted as though he knew better than departmental advice - his account of what his motivations were for doing that will be pivotal to his career. Jones risks being a scapegoat for the chain of command regardless of the details of his involvement.
Remember the Steven Ching affair?
Labour candidate Steven Ching is alleged to have offered to use his Government connections to have a friend appointed as a justice of the peace.
Chinese broadcaster Paul Liu says he refused a request from Ching for a $50,000 loan in exchange.
Ching resigned as a JP after Herald on Sunday revelations led to the discovery of two undisclosed convictions, but the Labour Party says his winnable place on the party list is secure.
... and then remember:
In the latest in a string of embarrassments for the Labour Party, list candidate Steven Ching was asked to stand down over claims that he offered to get a man appointed as a justice of the peace in exchange for a $50,000 loan.
It took a very long time for the party, ie. Williams, to stand Ching down. The party, ie. Williams, was well prepared to staunch it out even after Ching was forced to resign as a JP. Why? Because he was the Labour Party's Chinese ATM. They, ie. Williams, didn't care how Ching got the money or where or from who. Ching was given a list placing so high he would almost certainly be an MP, because that was the pay-off for his cash (gathering abilities for the party). Oh, he was (allegedly) offering public/quasi-judicial offices for money - but hey, it's "don't ask - don't tell" as far as they, ie. Williams, is concerned. But that was all in 2005 and they learnt their lesson from that didn't they, ie. Williams, - well no, of course not. There was no punishment, no real scrutiny of the dodgy modus operandi of the Labour Party's bag men, ie. Williams, and so it is all business as usual in 2008.
- That was last year and the blow-back in 2009 - both with the former Labour Minister Taito Philip Field's case (on-going) and this one against Yan/Liu - paints an unflattering picture of executive and party malfeasance; one quite at odds with the popular self-belief New Zealanders have of corruption-free politics and government. And that's just Labour's effect. The former National minister, Richard Worth's supposed offer of appointments to various females at the sincere request of his