July 2009

Hey Barry, Is this a real media person?

Real media?I just took this photo at the National party conference of the Media table…..oh look Barry Colman would be mortified.

I note that there isn’t anyone here from the NBR to add any “premium” content.

Scott Campbell from TV3 is even talking to me…colour me surprised. i don’t think i should mention Corrections to him though.

Good media contingent here…bet they still only show photos of the grey haired ones though. Let’s see if they can step outside their box.

 

 

Time to end the troughing

Dozens of MPs get 90pc travel discountA total of 28 present MPs qualify for a 90 per cent taxpayer-funded discount for overseas travel, including private holidays. Act’s Sir Roger Douglas and Labour’s Chris Carter bore much of the publicity as big-spenders after the… [NZ Herald Politics]

Greedy Little PiggiesI think it is high time that the little piggies who also happen to be ex-MP’s had their wings clipped.

Times are tough and I see no reason why ex-MPs should continue to avail themselves of the largesse of the taxpayer. They need to cuk it up like all the other Kiwis.

It is hard to disagree with the basic premise of the Greens that the troughing must end. of course they might like to also end the significant amount of troughing their party has engaed in with accommodation allowances.

Time to end the troughing

Dozens of MPs get 90pc travel discountA total of 28 present MPs qualify for a 90 per cent taxpayer-funded discount for overseas travel, including private holidays. Act’s Sir Roger Douglas and Labour’s Chris Carter bore much of the publicity as big-spenders after the… [NZ Herald Politics]

Greedy Little PiggiesI think it is high time that the little piggies who also happen to be ex-MP’s had their wings clipped.

Times are tough and I see no reason why ex-MPs should continue to avail themselves of the largesse of the taxpayer. They need to cuk it up like all the other Kiwis.

It is hard to disagree with the basic premise of the Greens that the troughing must end. of course they might like to also end the significant amount of troughing their party has engaed in with accommodation allowances.

In Christchurch

I am in Christchurch for the National Party conference. This conference is the first after crushing Labour at the election and also the opportunity for the party to select new board members.

I am a voting delegate and so thought it might be useful to put down my thoughts about the eight candidates for the five board positions available, then to look at the possibilities for President.

Alistair Bell – Successful Northern Regional Chair. Deserves to be on the board on that basis alone. He has done the hard yards in the trenches and fought battles against the odds. Could be a good solid loyal President who won’t cause the party embarrassment. Has sent me a personal email and phoned as well.

Scott Simpson – Another successful battler, brought up politically in marginal electorates and fighting in Auckland when National struggled there against a strong Labour machine. Has sent me a personal email and discussed my question raised raised previously.

Kate Hazlett -  Another battler, from the South Island, oscillates between positions in a seemingly random random but is likely to get elected because apparently the South island is ranking her first. Perhaps a bit too close to Bill English to be safe as a board member. She did email me her detail but it was a general email to a cast of thousands.

Pat Seymour – Perhaps the toughest, roughest candidate and that is a compliment not meant to be a criticism. Pat knows how to fight elections and in tough Labour areas, plus she wins. She calls a spade and spade and deserves her board position. I have had an extensive and wide ranging discussion with Pat on her candidature for the board.

Grant McCallum – I’ve heard he is good but as I haven’t even had so much as an email from him I know little more than heresay. The hard yards that he has done in the past will probably get him over the line.

Keith Catchpole – From the state of his rambling and ill-formatted email to me as a delegate he doesn’t warrant any further mention.

Wira Gardiner – Wira is yesterdays man who has led a life of general mediocrity or maori indulgence. He is no more qualified for a board position that he is for the plumb board of Te Papa. Perhaps though there is a lesson in this for people wanting board positions handed out by the National party, throw your toys and be a fair weather friend or an enemy and you will be rewarded. He made the fatal error of sending me his guff twice and on the second one including over 200 other email recipients addresses.

Bruce Mills – Starting any speech you are about to give with an apology for not being agood public speaker is probably not a winning strategy. He hasn’t even bothered to send me an email.

So given that summary at the moment, and I am open to lobbying (Gin and tonic with a slice of Lime) my preference for the five would be;

Alistair Bell, Pat Seymour, Kate Hazlett, Scott Simpson, Grant McCallum. Bruce Mills and Keith Catchpole aren’t even in the running and Wira Gardiner should be ranked dead last.

The Presidency

Interesting machinations are afoot here. We have Scott Simpson and Peter Goodfellow trying desperately to spike each others campaigns over a woman. Roger Bridge is making a tilt but may have made some strategic errors in the last 24 hours. Having the backing of the South Island these days simply isn’t enough. That means that there is a real possibility of a third player coming through the middle and grabbing the presidency because all the others cancel each other. My preference for President would be Alistair Bell. i’ve know Alistair for more than 30 years since I was a kid. He is a loyal servant of the party and extremely competent, witness the astounding result of keeping Labour down to only 8 seats in his region and from the harbour bridge north there isn’t a Labour MP to be seen. He has been regional chair for sometime and has brought in star performs like Sam Lotu iiga, Paula Bennett and Jonathan Coleman.

I will be live blogging and tweeting from the conference when allowed to under the rules and hope to have the first interview with the new president once announced.

What is it with Helen Clark and Ministerial Limousines?

Yesterday WOBH revealed that Darren Hughes has been availing himself of Ministerial Limousines, at least in Auckland but also possibly in Wellington as well.

MP snouts in the troughHe used the limousines just prior to his, probably unecesssary, trip to the US so he could sit fawningly beside Helen Clark and Paul Henry. One thing I’m still wondering about is whether we as tax-payers funded his little jaunt to New York to visit “Mum”.

A what a “Mum” she is.

It turns out that little Dazza Hughes must be the apple of Mother’s eye because it was Helen Clark that booked the limousine so the son she never had could travel in style.

Now, Helen Clark is entitled (god I hate that word) to use a Ministerial Limousine because of her previous service as a Prime Minister. That is as it is, other ex-Prime Ministers get this. However it is for their personal use only. Not for bestowing rewards on loyal lickspittles.

Helen Clark seems to have a real problem with limousines from speeding through the country side like an African Dictator and now to passing her “entitlements” onto her loyal lieutenants and lickspittles.

Perhaps little Dazza was up in New York getting personal instructions on the plot to roll Phil Goff. After all Helen did a similar thing to Mike Moore, adter she helped him do it to Geoffrey Palmer.

Helen Clark should be reprimanded for this, because if she does it once she will do it again and is likely have done it before. The “entitlement” mentality must be cut from our society or the cancer will spread, and there is no better place to do that than with a former exiled Prime Minister.

Final Straw for Farrar

That’s it, Farrar has gone to far now. I am conducting a straw poll amongst members of the VRWC for the permanent banishment of the aforementioned Pinko and Labour apologists David P. Farrar from the VRWC. Evidence below, I saw guilty as charged.

Farrar kicked out of VRWC

 

 

TV3 Repeater lies

Today in the Herald the MSM caught up with what the blogs had broken that TV3 Repeater Alison Horwood, who interviewed Weatherston’s parents, Roger and Yuleen, which was broadcast on 60 Minutes on Monday, had breached regulations of Corrections in surreptitiously gaining access to Clayton Weatherston.

During the story, Alison Horwood spoke of visiting Weatherston in prison. This blog along with Busted Blonde and DPF called her out on that as it would have breached access provisions by Corrections.

TV3 denied that they hadn’t followed procedure to Regan Cunliffe at throng.co.nz.

When asked if she was given permission to visit as a Journalist, Ms Horwood told us that “There is only one standard application form for approval to visit a prisoner, and not a separate one for journalists. I filled the standard form out correctly, honestly and in a transparent manner. It does not require you to give your occupation.” And “I can assure you that at no time was I dishonest.”

Whale Oil Beef Hooked has asked for a copy of the application form under the Official Information Act and has just been provided with the documents along with an explanation of the law surrounding access of journalists to Corrections inmates.

TV3 reporter lies to CorrectionsAs you can see from the documents obtain under the OIA the TV3 repeater, Alsion Horwood has lied.

She put herself down as a “(family) Friend” of Clayton Weatherston.

She has clearly gained access to Clayton Weatherston under false pretences and is now likely to find herself in all sorts of bother both with Corrections and with TV3.

Now what remains to be extracted from TV3 is whether or not Alison Horwood was ordered to lie to Corrections by her boss or not. She could then possibly claim the Nuremburg defence for that part. She still did lie to Regan Cunliffe though and quite possibly other media.

Certainly under Section 141(1f) of the Corrections Act 2004;

…every person commits an offence who, except under the authority of this Act or of any regulations made under this Act or the express authority of the prison manager or the chief executive,

(f) makes any visual recording (whether by photograph, film, videotape, or otherwise) or sound recording of a prisoner if the making of such a recording may prejudice the maintenance of the law, the safe custody of the prisoner, the well-being of any victim of an offence committed by that prisoner, the safety of any person, or the security of any prison:

The penalties for such breaches are up to 3 months in prison and/or a $5000 fine. Further the Corrections Regulation 2005 Regulation 108 states clearly;

 Without first obtaining the written approval of both the chief executive and the prisoner concerned, no person may—

(a) interview a prisoner, for the purpose of—

(i) obtaining information and publishing or broadcasting it; or

(ii) publishing or broadcasting a transcript or description of the interview; or

(b) make a sound recording of a prisoner, or an interview with a prisoner, for the purpose of—

(i) >broadcasting it; or

(ii) publishing a transcript of it; or

(c) make or take a film, photograph, videotape, or other visual recording of a prisoner, for the purpose of publishing or broadcasting it.

(2) Without first obtaining the written approval of both the chief executive and the prisoner concerned, no person to whom subclause (3) applies may—
(a) interview a prisoner; or
(b) make a sound recording of a prisoner, or an interview with a prisoner; or
(c) make or take a film, photograph, videotape, or other visual recording of a prisoner.
(3) This subclause applies to a person who is—

(a) a publisher of books, or a magazine, newspaper, newsletter, circular, or other similar publication; or

(b) a broadcaster or producer of radio or television programmes; or

(c) a disseminator of news or opinion by electronic means; or

(d) a writer, a journalist (whether in electronic or print media), a radio or television broadcaster, or a producer of radio or television programmes; or

(e) an employee, contractor, or agent of a person described in any of paragraphs (a) to (d).

And Regulation 109 states;

The chief executive must, in deciding whether to give approval under regulation 108, have regard to the need to—

(a) protect the interests of people other than the prisoner concerned; and

(b) maintain the security and order of the prison concerned.

(2) The chief executive must not give that approval unless satisfied that the prisoner understands—

(a) >the nature and purpose of the filming, interviewing, photographing, recording, or videotaping concerned; and

(b) the possible consequences to the prisoner and other people of the publication or broadcasting of the film, interview, photograph, recording, transcript, or videotape concerned.

(3) The chief executive may give that approval subject to any conditions reasonably necessary to—

(a) protect the interests of any person other than the prisoner; or

(b)maintain the security and order of the prison.

Clearly Alison Horwood and TV3 have breached the law and the Corrections Regulations. Now let’s see what TV3 have to say about all this.

If Paula is a bully then so is Helen

We all know this, but I will leave the destruction of Labour’s faux outrage over bullying to Paul Buchanan and how appropriate that he slaps Labour with it on their own paid for lap-blog.

I hate to say it, but I think bullying crosses the aisle and is endemic not only in NZ politics but the society at large, be it in academia, government, unions or corporations. Helen Clark openly called for my dismissal from Auckland University when I raised questions about the Zaoui case. She also vilified Deborah Manning, who is one of the more courageous Kiwis I have met. After it was all over and Zaoui won his appeal, Deborah moved on to an international job and Helen got her wish with regards to me.

 

MPs' $4.1m travel expenses made public

MPs’ $4.1m travel expenses made publicPoliticians spent over $7.69 million of tax payer’s money on accommodation and travel in six months. The figures were released by the Speaker Lockwood Smith this morning. MPs claimed a total of $4.166091m in expenses between… [NZ Herald Politics]

Lockwood Smith has released MP travel figures and surprise, surpise the pro tem leader of Opposition has been troughing up large.

Mr Goff’s travels around New Zealand made him the biggest claimant outside of Cabinet, running up $124,480 in bills.

This was made up of $79,027 in surface travel, $35,035 in airfares, $10,294 in Wellington accommodation and $124 in out-of-Wellington accommodation.

I bet a fair whack of that was in order to help Mr Shearer buy the seat of Mt Albert. Nice to see Whack it on teh Bill Phil practices what he preaches….whacking everything on the taxpayers bill.

On on another note I see the former MP for Rotorua has finally had her sex change….well according to the dimwitted repeater at the Herald she/he has anyway.

NZ Herald FAIL!

 

 

The own goal continues

Solo mother’s income made public beforeThe single mother who is taking Paula Bennett to the Privacy Commission for releasing her income details has had her income disclosed publicly before – by Labour in 2007 and by herself on a Trade Me message board last week. Natasha… [NZ Herald Politics]

Labour’s spectacular own goal continues today as the MSm catches up with the blogosphere.

Claire Trevett explains about the information already in teh public domain including when David Benson-Pope released her personal details.

Add to that the talking swirling around Wellington is that Annette King has been talking over the last few weeks to Natasha Fuller who with Charles Chauvel’s assistance is now complaining to the Privacy Commissioner.

Quite interesting in view of the fact that Jennifer johnston was on TV last night saying she has had a conversation with Paula Bennett and is happy with their exchange of views.   

Looks as if one of them is willing to join the anti Bennett campaign and the other isn’t.