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Trial by Media - The Dilemma of being the Property of the Public

The recent news regarding the most recent fall from grace of a politician fills me with dread; that we will again have a media and public witch hunt before all the facts are known. We are witnessing this right now as the focus from the media gets diverted from the real issues onto allegations of impropriety.

It has happened most recently with Shane Jones, Hone Harawera, Richard Worth et al.

What gets lost in the media frenzy is common decency, a respect for the principles of justice, an awareness of due process and diversionary tactics from the real issues before the public.

What also gets lost is the man himself and the work he has done in our community as the media gets hooked on the salacious potential of a ‘sex scandal’. The front page of the DomPost this morning was reprehensible as it sought to inflame public hysteria with barely sustainable attacks on the reputations of an MP and a “former police minister”!

Darren Hughes has been good to, and good for, this community and we should not forget that. I may very well be accused of being a leftie for defending his right to due process but if this was Nathan Guy I would be supporting his right as well. Darren has been diligent and hard working in an environment which does not tolerate human frailty. Without him we would not have got 90% funding for the Western Link, or rail to Waikanae. These are only 2 of the big issues for us in recent times. I am not able to comment on the small things he has done for individuals but I know they exist.

So before we all roundly condemn a hard working politician, let us ask a couple of questions. Why has this been leaked to the media now, in the lead up to what promises to be a slash and burn budget of social initiatives? What was the young, (he may be young but is an adult in law,) man thinking when he agreed to go home with Darren?
But most importantly I will be looking for an answer to the Question – ‘Who Benefits’?
I will await the inquiry before I consider making judgment and even then I will take a leaf out of Christian philosophy ‘Let those among you without sin, cast the first stone’.