Todd Barclay, Member of Parliament for Clutha-Southland resigned today. His resignation comes as his boss Prime Minister Bill English finds himself under sustained attack for having been economic with the truth about Mr Barclay’s wire tapping of a senior National party agent in his office.
For Mr Barclay to have stayed on as a Member of Parliament would have been to bring the entire New Zealand Parliament into a state of disrepute. It would have been state in which innocent Members of Parliament from other parties would have had their jobs besmirched by one of their number.
No Member of Parliament wants that. No innocent Member of Parliament deserves that.
But there is so much more to this than just what Mr Barclay did. It has turned out that Prime Minister Bill English has not been entirely truthful about what he knew and when he knew. It has turned out that the Prime Minister fund of former leader and Prime Minister John Key was used to pay out dirty money to hide what had happened.
So how much more is there to come out about this sordid affair?
The media have caught whiff of more than just a scandal. They have caught whiff of an event that could bring down the New Zealand Government – if Prime Minister Bill English is made to resign, Paula Bennett would become Prime Minister.
So perhaps our focus should be on asking Bill English to come clean about what he knew and when, and give him a chance to clear things up without making the mistakes that felled Mr Barclay. 92% of New Zealanders wanted Mr Barclay to resign according to a poll done on Facebook. Another poll based on a call from New Zealand First leader Winston Peters for Mr English to resign, at the time of I casting a vote had 81% demanding he do so.
This is a nation saying to a Government past its use by date, that it has had enough. Make no mistake, as there have never been polls in the life span of this Government that have so clearly demanded the Prime Ministers head, that this Government is in major trouble.
Todd Barclay might have entered Parliament with the hope of a high flying political career. He will exit it possibly being the Member for Clutha-Southland who might crash the most popular National-led Government in New Zealand history.