Gordon Campbell on the Shane Jones departure

Shane Jones has left Parliament in the manner to which we have become accustomed, with self interest coming in first and second, and with the interests of the Labour Party (under whose banner he served) way, way back down the track. The timing of his departure – five months before an election, with Labour’s new team still struggling to get traction – could hardly be more damaging. But then, the MFAT job that has been hastily created for Jones by Foreign Minister Murray McCully was probably dependent on this timing, and this impact.

Presumably, Jones’ new salary is going to come out of either (a) the MFAT foreign aid budget or (b) the MFAT diplomacy budget. Reportedly, the role being designed for Jones will be at ambassadorial level. If so, this means that not only scant MFAT resources but the processes around the granting of diplomatic status and credentialling are to be contorted so that National can score political points in an election year. No one will be surprised that Jones has risen to the bait, but the cynicism of the exercise is breath-taking. In effect, MFAT now operates as the Minister’s personal fiefdom, and as a political slush fund.
READ MORE: http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/2014/04/23/gordon-campbell-on-the-shan...