COMMENT:

Should we really care about the "Budget hack" that has been consuming a lot of politicians and political commentators over the last week? Is this really, as John Key used to say about scandals involving his own Government, one of "the things that matter"?

I made the case yesterday in my column, The Budget 'hack' scandal reveals big accountability problems , that there are some vitally important issues at stake involving the integrity of the political system. These boil down to the idea that we need a properly functioning democracy in which manipulation and deception are kept