“When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.”Frédéric Bastiat, Economic sophisms, 2nd series (1848), ch. 1 Physiology of plunder.
Prime Minister John Key has decided against stripping former Lombard Finance & Investment chairman Sir Doug Graham of his knighthood after the Supreme Court upheld his conviction last week.
The Prime Minister based his decision on the fact that Graham was knighted for his leading role in the Treaty of Waitangi settlement process, the fact that the conviction was one of strict liability, meaning dishonest or criminal intent didn’t have to be proved, and that it was very rare for honours to be cancelled, he said in a statement. Bill Jeffries and Lawrence Bryant will also retain their honours for similar reasons, he said.
“New Zealand is a better country today because of the work Sir Douglas did as Treaty Negotiations Minister and my judgement is that he deserves to retain his knighthood,” Key said. “Sir Douglas retired from Parliament in 1999 leaving a significant political legacy in the area of treaty settlements that subsequent Labour and National-led governments have worked to build on.”
Key said he had given the matter a lot of thought since it first went to court in 2011, and took into account “the ongoing financial hardship that many Lombard investors suffered as a result of the company’s collapse.”