The fiasco over the Malaysian Diplomat seems pretty typical of what happens when you get organisations like MFAT – elitist, pointlessly secretive, largely unaccountable. The incentive is for officials in these departments to act in their own short-term interest, which then gets conflated with ‘the national interest’. After all, are they not our intellectual elite? Do they not know best? Thus it was in the national interest for an alleged attempted rapist to just quietly leave the country, because the alternatives would have been really awkward and meant a load of extra work for everyone in the protocol department.
As usual the Minister responsible is claiming ignorance. If there’s anything happening inside the Labour Party these guys are always all over it, happy to relay rumours and disinformation to the media, but if anything important happens in, say, the GCSB or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs – for whom government Ministers are the only oversight function – they never know, not their place to know, not their job, not their problem or responsibility.
Update: Via Toby Manhire: