Trevor Mallard

Greenie MPs claim mileage for riding their bikes

In the UK cycling advocate MPs have now been busted for claiming expenses for riding their bikes.

Perhaps this is why the Green party here wants to force everyone onto cycles.

MPs were at the centre of a new expenses row last night after The Mail on Sunday discovered they are claiming money for riding their bicycles.

Britain’s Cycling Minister, a millionaire backbench Labour MP and the shadow Transport Minister are among those who have claimed the 20p per mile allowance for pedalling to and from official engagements.

The cycling allowance has been used hundreds of times by eight MPs over the past four years. One of the politicians admitted he stopped claiming the allowance because it did not cost him anything to ride his bicycle – but others defended their claims, insisting they were justified.

The expense claims, which have been logged with the Independent Parliament Standards Authority (IPSA), follow HMRC guidance. It states that the ‘approved mileage rate’ for individuals cycling for business journeys – not commuting travel – is 20p per mile.

Shadow Transport Secretary Mary Creagh has made six cycling claims, totalling £11.60. One of her expenses, for which she claimed £1.60, was incurred when she ‘cycled from Westminster to Peckham for BBC filming and back’.  Read more »

Politicians and Babies

Trevor Mallard shows he is back to his miserable wrost mocking John Key for daring to be photographed with a baby when he wasn’t eating it.

Trevor seems to be pining for the days when he was last relevant.

Stuff has an article about politicians and babies:

It’s one of the most delicate, unpredictable relationships in politics – that of politician and baby.

Baby-kissing is an age-old tactic used by the world’s most powerful people to gain trust and boost votes.  Read more »

Cartoon of the Day

Credit: SonovaMin

Credit: SonovaMin

Hide on Cunliffe and his secret trusts

Rodney Hide writes what he thinks Matt McCarten’s memo to David Cunliffe should look like.

Memo to: David Cunliffe, Leader of the Opposition

From: Matt McCarten, Chief of Staff

From now on you do nothing, say nothing, think nothing. Not until you run it past me. Better yet, just do, say and think what I tell you. That saves time and minimises risk.

What part of your political brain thought it a good idea to run donations through a secret trust?

No. Forget I even asked. I don’t want to know.

Secret trusts? Anonymous donations? Big business? US bagman? That’s how we attack Tories. Now they are attacking us. Just be thankful they suck at it. Imagine if Trevor Mallard, the duck, was doing you over.

Did you not notice passing laws stopping this carry-on? We made it so political parties can’t hide donors behind trusts. We changed Standing Orders so MPs must declare gifts and donations. You were in Cabinet. It was a Big Deal.

Oh, I know our law never contemplated a leadership primary but the spirit is clear. That’s what you broke. National can hit you with this from now until the election.

You look sleazy. You look tricky. You look like a hypocrite.  Read more »

Vernon Small on Labour’s “issues”

Yesterday Vernon Small wrote about the biggest issue facing Labour ahead of this year’s election.

Well the biggest problem after the issue with their tits leader….rejuvenation…or rather the lack of it.

 In politics rejuvenation rates alongside succession planning. Both are easy catchcries and generally seen as “a good thing”.

In reality they are a type of parliamentary Nimby-ism – nice to have if it is someone else who is vacating a seat, and fine as long as you are not the leader whose replacement is being groomed.

On the National side of the aisle rejuvenation is in full swing. At last count 14 MPs have either gone or are going out of a caucus of 59. It is generally accepted as a worthwhile and necessary refreshment of the party. Certainly it is being handled well and without any overt bloodletting. No dummies have been spat in the remaking of the National caucus.

Of course if the polls were different it would be a different story. Shave a theoretical five points off the Government and give it to the Opposition and the narrative might be akin to the “rats leaving a sinking ship” theme that Labour leader David Cunliffe has tried to get up.

But that just looks lame when the last three polls had National harvesting enough support to govern alone.  Read more »

Something for Labour to remember as they hammer Judith Collins today in parliament

Helen Clark and Trevir Mallard with Labour's biggest donor, Owen Glenn,  at the opening of a University building Glen paid for.

Helen Clark and Trevor Mallard with Labour’s biggest donor, Owen Glenn, at the opening of a University building Glen paid for.

Labour is going to attack Judith Collins today in parliament…over a drink of milk…apparently this is the worst indication of corruption seen in New Zealand.

We know this because Mrs Mallard (Jane Clifton) has signalled it in her column today (not online).

But Labour should remember a few things of their own.

They are making a huge fuss over a photo and some chinese text written by someone offshore. They need to remember that politicians pose for photos all the time.

But their own behaviour isn’t that flash either. As the photo shows above Helen Clark was happy to open a building paid for by Owen Glenn, named after him when he was their single biggest donor ever. On top of that he was also a large donor to NZ First at the time.  Read more »

Garner on Cunliffe

Duncan Garner has been around politics for a long time, and he knows a charlatan when he sees one.

Labour Leader David Cunliffe’s apology for setting up a trust for his campaign donations baffles me. I can see why he’s done it. He wants the issue to go away. But it leaves just so many unanswered questions.

The big question for me is, who are the other donors? Is Kim Dotcom one? Or is it another fancy, wealthy businessman who is embarrassed to be linked to him? If not, who are the other two and why can’t we know?

What’s Cunliffe hiding and why did he ever think this was acceptable? This is messy. Cunliffe has had an awful start to the year. He continues to be tripped up, while Shane Jones sails through making all the headlines.

Cunliffe has only apologised to lance the boil; he’s only done it because he’s been caught red-handed and embarrassed. So, who is the real David Cunliffe? And why did he set up the trust in the first place?

Trusts are set up to either hide something, protect something or to give people and donors anonymity. In politics, that always draws attention. What on earth was Cunliffe thinking when he agreed for the trust to be set-up? This trust wasn’t set-up without his knowledge. He gave it the nod. Nothing happens in an MP’s life without their say-so.

As I said his apology is more than odd. He said: “I don’t think in hindsight that a trust structure fully represented the values I would like to bring to this leadership”. That is weird and simply doesn’t stack up. It looks like a fake apology to me. I actually don’t believe him.

Values don’t just appear issue by issue. Values and principles are things that guide you in your everyday life. Surely Cunliffe would have known by now if having a ‘trust’ represented his values. And a trust structure completely represents who David Cunliffe is.

It might be against Labour values, but I simply don’t believe it’s against David Cunliffe’s values. He has one for his family. It’s on the Pecuniary Interests Register at Parliament: The “Bozzie’ Family Trust.  Read more »

Mike Bush confirmed as new Police Commissioner

Mike Bush has been confirmed as the new Police Commissioner.

The country’s next top police boss has been named as deputy commissioner Mike Bush.

Bush replaces outgoing police commissioner Peter Marshall.

The announcement was made today by Police Minister Anne Tolley who said Bush had been appointed after managing a change programme in police which contributed to a 17.4 per cent drop in recorded crimes over the past three years.  Read more »

The doubt is setting in, Labour in trouble

Privately Labour MPs don’t think they can win the election. Publicly they are all macho and putting on the face of ebulliance…but it is rather hollow.

After 3 dreadful polls showing that the party’s choice for leader hasn’t worked as they thought it would. Ther eis no great hankering for a top end of town trickster masquerading as an unreconstituted trade unionist from the 1950s.

Tracy Watkins picks up this dissonance.

Scratch beneath the bravado  in Labour these days and you will find a pessimist.

Blame it on the weather or a shortened barbecue season, but Labour MPs seem already to be doubting the prospect of a Labour win. Even the optimists don’t much bother to pretend they believe in Labour overtaking National any more. They argue instead that with the Greens votes they don’t need to.

It may be politics as MMP intended it but it is still a long way removed from the mindset that reigned in Labour under Helen Clark.

Clark’s focus first and foremost was to amass the most votes to give herself a strong hand in post-election negotiations.

Her alliance with the Greens was at best uneasy, and at its worst acrimonious. You didn’t have to be a mind reader to figure out that relations between Miss Clark and Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons were at an all time low on the 2002 campaign trail. Miss Clark’s body language during the televised debates said it all.

Constantly torn by the dilemma of whether to sidle up to the Greens or cannibalise their vote, Labour’s relationship with the Greens remains the source of internal party soul searching.

But it has been a long time since the polls delivered a scenario where Labour could do without them.  Read more »

Labour and Cunliffe having a bad week, and it is only going to get worse

How bad is life in Labour right now?

The started the week fending off revelations that some of their MPs have been cosy with Kim Dotcom with Clare Curran popping out to visit the convicted fraudster twice.

Then they had Trevor Mallard furiously spinning that the GCSB were involved, channeling the more absurd parts of the blogosphere in an attempt to make himself relevant again.

David Cunliffe caught the conspiracy disease yesterday morning by entering into Winston Peters territory and claiming the spy agencies were feeding me, Rachel Glucina and John Key in some sort on Colin Craig-esque dance on the crazy side.

Then in the afternoon he launched an idiotic attack on John Key about his mansion…when he lives in his own $2.5 million mansion in Herne Bay. Of course he stayed mum about his holiday house as well not to mention the other property interests of his missus…no he decided to call a rich prick a rich prick, when he is a rich prick himself.

“We bought the worst house in the best street,” says Mr Cunliffe. “It was a do-up; it probably wouldn’t be the average of the area.

“Mr Key spent time in the money markets and has a personal fortune, which is many times our reasonably middle-range existence.”

Mr Cunliffe’s home is listed in the MP’s register of pecuniary interests as being owned by a trust. But records show that company ChanceryGreen owns it, and Mr Cunliffe’s wife, Karen Price, is one of its two directors.

By attacking Mr Key for living in a multi-million dollar home in an affluent leafy suburb, Mr Cunliffe left himself wide open to retaliation.  Read more »