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Topic # 231977 23-Mar-2018 14:50
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I see that Jonathon Coleman hung up on Susie Ferguson when she tried to question him about Middlemore Hospital. I am not suggesting he did anything wrong or knew about the mould problem but this raises a larger issue with me. Politicians and upper level bureaucrats who resign their positions when problems under their watch emerge, then use the fact that they have resigned to avoid all further accountability for or investigation into whatever went wrong (unless it is a criminal matter). 'I no longer work there, it is not my responsibility.'

 

Should this be accepted? If someone has been responsible for something that then goes wrong on their watch, I do not think they should be able to walk away from questions about it just because they have resigned. This is like someone declaring corporate bankruptcy to evade debts. If someone, especially a Minister, has been in charge of a Ministry for a significant period of time, and then problems emerge after that Minister has left politics, why should there not continue to be at least some personal accountability for the time the Minister was in that role? Coleman was in his job for a considerable length of time. He was well-paid by the taxpayer during that time. How dare he hang up on a journalist who is just doing her job? I think that is the height of arrogance. Whether he knew about the mould or not (the consensus seems to be that it is hard to understand how he could not have), he owes it to those of us who paid his salary to at least have the basic manners to hear out the interviewer (who was not being hostile) and to give fulsome answers to her questions. We have a right to as much and politicians need to learn that being in office does not exempt them from the rules of civilised conduct. 

 

The government has just changed the year and a day law that limited criminal liability for causing a death. I don't see why there shouldn't be something similar for former politicians and civil servants.

 

  





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  Reply # 1982187 23-Mar-2018 15:35
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The issues with Middlemore are a Board issue and have only been raised with the political masters this year. What has it got to do with a resigned opposition MP?

 

I would hand up as well especially when the questions would be slanted and then severely edited before being published. I am surprised why more MP's dont do this....other than live.


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  Reply # 1982224 23-Mar-2018 16:08
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I don't see an issue with it. She asked the same question over and over and was given an answer. Very poor journalism. 





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  Reply # 1982256 23-Mar-2018 16:30
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I see it differently. She was doing her job, he was rude and dismissive. If she kept asking the same question, it was because he kept avoiding the answer. He said he didn't know because no-one told him. She asked how that could be, considering his position. Apparently everyone other than him knew, so the implication is that he wasn't doing his job very well. This is a legitimate line of inquiry.

 

But I'm just using this as an example. My question is really about broader political responsibility. There ought to be some kind of mechanism that requires former officials to justify their actions even after they have left the job. Why not? 

 

 





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  Reply # 1982258 23-Mar-2018 16:35
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She asked he answered, it may not have been the answer she wanted but she persisted down the same dead end. He has said he was not aware of the issue when he was Minister, he is no longer the Minister, he is no longer in Government and he has resigned from Parliament. End of story. The issue at hand should now be directed to the current Minister if the journalist feels action needs to be taken.





Mike
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The views stated in my posts are my personal views and not that of any other organisation.

 

 It's our only home, lets clean it up then...

 

Take My Advice, Pull Down Your Pants And Slide On The Ice!

 

 




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  Reply # 1982287 23-Mar-2018 16:50
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Persisting down the same line of questioning is part of what a good journalist does. As previously stated, my question is not about Coleman, but about the larger issue of accountability after the fact.

 

 





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  Reply # 1982294 23-Mar-2018 17:02
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You will need to expand...

 

accountability for what and how?

 

How long after?

 

What sanctions ?





Mike
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 It's our only home, lets clean it up then...

 

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  Reply # 1982298 23-Mar-2018 17:08
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Rikkitic:

 

Persisting down the same line of questioning is part of what a good journalist does. As previously stated, my question is not about Coleman, but about the larger issue of accountability after the fact.

 

 

 

 

I don't understand what you are on about. There is NO issue here. He is not accountable and he answered the questions. He doesnt lie unlike the current lot. Please start a more relevant thread.




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  Reply # 1982300 23-Mar-2018 17:11
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Pumpedd:

 

I don't understand what you are on about. There is NO issue here. He is not accountable and he answered the questions. He doesnt lie unlike the current lot. Please start a more relevant thread.

 

 

You have made your point. I will continue with MikeB4.

 

 





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  Reply # 1982306 23-Mar-2018 17:23
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How can he be accountable after the fact? Ministers are not responsible for the daily running and maintenance of hospitals any more than Theo Spierings is responsible for who milks the cows.








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  Reply # 1982308 23-Mar-2018 17:26
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MikeB4:

 

You will need to expand...

 

accountability for what and how?

 

How long after?

 

What sanctions ?

 

 

Any official who has held any office for any period of time should remain accountable for whatever happened during that period of time just as the official would have been accountable while holding the office. Obviously, Ministerial accountability is of a special nature, but I still think a former Minister could be required by law to answer any questions relating to the time in office. If something emerges that the Minister would have been accountable for after the Minster has left office, then it is no good to say it is now the current Minister's problem and the former Minister no longer bears any culpability. At the least, there should be a requirement to respond to legitimate questions. Why should someone just be able to walk away and say it's not my problem any longer? I don't think there should be any time limit on this.

 

If the requirement to respond to legitimate questions was a legal one, then failure to do so would be a crime. There are already adequate sanctions for that purpose.

 

   





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  Reply # 1982312 23-Mar-2018 17:34
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Geektastic:

 

How can he be accountable after the fact? Ministers are not responsible for the daily running and maintenance of hospitals any more than Theo Spierings is responsible for who milks the cows.

 

 

Isn't the Minister responsible for policy? If a hospital is rotting from poor maintenance due to inadequate funding and wilful refusal to allow necessary finance for repair, surely that is something a Minister should be held accountable for? As Truman said, the buck stops at the top. Otherwise why have a Minister at all?

 

 





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  Reply # 1982334 23-Mar-2018 19:08
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Rikkitic:

 

At the least, there should be a requirement to respond to legitimate questions. Why should someone just be able to walk away and say it's not my problem any longer? I don't think there should be any time limit on this.

 

If the requirement to respond to legitimate questions was a legal one, then failure to do so would be a crime. There are already adequate sanctions for that purpose.

 

   

 

 

 

 

But

 

 

 

MikeB4:

 

He has said he was not aware of the issue when he was Minister, 

 

 

 

 

So end of story... What's he meant to say?????

 

He can't go and look it up because NOT DOING THE JOB ANYMORE.


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  Reply # 1982364 23-Mar-2018 21:18
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Rikkitic:

Geektastic:


How can he be accountable after the fact? Ministers are not responsible for the daily running and maintenance of hospitals any more than Theo Spierings is responsible for who milks the cows.



Isn't the Minister responsible for policy? If a hospital is rotting from poor maintenance due to inadequate funding and wilful refusal to allow necessary finance for repair, surely that is something a Minister should be held accountable for? As Truman said, the buck stops at the top. Otherwise why have a Minister at all?


 



You'd have to clear a lot of hurdles before you could lay it at the Minister's door.

Many people spent the money they received, in ways that they chose. Those decisions are far more responsible than the minister unless he received a specific request relating to the specific instance which he turned down contrary to advice. Which he probably didn't.





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  Reply # 1982767 25-Mar-2018 10:24
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Rikkitic:

 

I see that Jonathon Coleman hung up on Susie Ferguson when she tried to question him about Middlemore Hospital. I am not suggesting he did anything wrong or knew about the mould problem but this raises a larger issue with me. Politicians and upper level bureaucrats who resign their positions when problems under their watch emerge, then use the fact that they have resigned to avoid all further accountability for or investigation into whatever went wrong (unless it is a criminal matter). 'I no longer work there, it is not my responsibility.'

 

Should this be accepted? If someone has been responsible for something that then goes wrong on their watch, I do not think they should be able to walk away from questions about it just because they have resigned. This is like someone declaring corporate bankruptcy to evade debts. If someone, especially a Minister, has been in charge of a Ministry for a significant period of time, and then problems emerge after that Minister has left politics, why should there not continue to be at least some personal accountability for the time the Minister was in that role? Coleman was in his job for a considerable length of time. He was well-paid by the taxpayer during that time. How dare he hang up on a journalist who is just doing her job? I think that is the height of arrogance. Whether he knew about the mould or not (the consensus seems to be that it is hard to understand how he could not have), he owes it to those of us who paid his salary to at least have the basic manners to hear out the interviewer (who was not being hostile) and to give fulsome answers to her questions. We have a right to as much and politicians need to learn that being in office does not exempt them from the rules of civilised conduct. 

 

The government has just changed the year and a day law that limited criminal liability for causing a death. I don't see why there shouldn't be something similar for former politicians and civil servants.

 

 

 

 

In simple terms - in YOUR job do you think you should be held accountable for errors that you've made after the fact or after you've left - say after 3 months, 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, 25 years?




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  Reply # 1982798 25-Mar-2018 11:21
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I think I did not do a good job of explaining my point, or people did not understand it. I do not think anyone in any position should be held liable after the fact for things that happened under their watch, as long as no criminality is involved. I do think they should remain accountable, in the sense of having to submit to questions about their performance and the things that happened while they were responsible. I think this should apply to Ministers in particular, but also other officials.The reason I think this is because the things people in charge decide continue to have an effect long after they are gone, and I think it is legitimate to be able to question them about those. The excuse that 'I don't work there any more' should not be sufficient to avoid having to provide any explanations when consequences emerge later. 

 

Your question doesn't apply to me since I am a pensioner, but in principle, yes, I should be required to explain why I made the decisions I did at the time. I shouldn't be accountable  in any liability sense as long as no criminal behaviour was involved, but people are entitled to ask why I did that and didn't do this and they are entitled to the courtesy of a proper reply.

 

 





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