troughers

Trougher of the Year Tries to Protect Patch

2013 TROUGHER OF THE YEAR Boyd Swinburn aka Boyd Swingeburn has emerged from the trough and is now complaining to all and sundry that scientists (i.e. him) are under attack.

He’s saying that ‘scientists that represent the voice of the public in policy making are being shouted down by large commercial interests and their views suppressed by attack campaigns”.

Nice to see that Boyd Swingeburn thinks he’s the “voice of the public”.

Maybe it’s the rarified air he’s sucked into his lungs at Lake Como, Italy that instilled in him the view that he’s the voice of the people.

He then bangs on about “a blanket of suppression is insidiously descending on the voices for public health”.

Maybe those voices are actually calling for accountability of the millions and millions of taxpayer dollars being hoovered up sending Boyd Swingeburn and his troughing mates on flash overseas holidays junkets conferences.

Now as the “voice of the people” Boyd Swingeburn is attacking the Government, saying Tony Ryall dismissed a letter from so-called public health experts upset that there’s an industry representative – former MP and head of the Food & Grocery Council Katherine Rich, on the Health Promotion Agency (HPA).    Read more »

Cry me a River

unnamed-1

While most people were out enjoying the sun, there’s a few troughers all upset over a new board game.

And guess where these troughers are from… oh that’s right, the bastion of trougherland Otago University’s Wellington health promotion and policy research unit.

Moira Smith, who is very interested in research in the area of policy development, popped up on WOBH’s Trougher Radar in 2013 when she, alongside ex Ministry of Health trougher Louise Signal wanted to ban McDonald’s vouchers for kids and give them a stick of celery instead as a prize for player of the day.

Moira Smith is also very keen on advertising and marketing restrictions and for zoning by-laws around schools for products she doesn’t like.

unnamed-1 Read more »

Doug Sellman still whinging

Doug Sellman just doesn’t get it.

He has had a good long whinge in the Sunday Star-Times today.

He seems to think that freedom of speech only applies to him and that he should be free from criticism.share

He also gives Rod Oram a good old reach around, echoing Oram’s claims that I am somehow responsible for suppression freedom of expression when it is him who is seeking to have me, and Carrick Graham and now Katherine Rich silenced.

The fools should really look in the mirror.

But since he keeps on claiming that I am trying to suppress his idea we really should look at those ideas that he is pushing. Then you can see why it is that I push back against idiots like Doug Sellman and the stupid taxpayer funded ideas that they peddle.

And continue to run them we will, especially when idiots like Doug Sellman run off at the mouth claiming:

Watch out for the white van in #DirtyPolitics

unnamed-1

One thing Dirty Politics has done is feed the troughers with deep fears of a corporate conspiracy.

They don’t like it when people challenge them or run one up their expensive junkets to flash overseas destinations.

Troughers like 2013 Trougher of the Year Boyd Swinburn particularly doesn’t like people knowing where his latest overseas conference is located. He thinks it’s all right to take millions from the public purse and we should all be grateful.

No wonder the PM’s chief scientist is looking at code of conduct for scientists.

But just like in the movies, big corporations are now the enemy. And this suits the framing of the public health debate just fine.

In New Zealand a lot of this framing of the public health debate is out of well-known trougher hang-out the University of Otago in Wellington.    Read more »

Waaaah, waaah, waaaaah

imageStreamOver the weekend another union had a crack at WOBH.

This time it was the union uniting doctors and dentists in New Zealand (the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists), over posts exposing troughers like Otago University’s “F**k the Police” academic Lisa Te Morenga.

Lisa Te Morenga is well known to WOBH readers as the troughing academic who thinks Twitter is a platform to really let herself go and express herself.

Fair enough, and fair enough that Otago University allows its academics to mouth off and abuse people on twitter. Otago University is well known for protecting its troughing academics and allowing them to have ‘free-speech’.

But woe-be-tide anyone dare challenge them.  If you do, you get called a ‘hate merchant’.

Well, here at WOBH we’re prepared to take a bit of flack – valid or otherwise.

Yesterday Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS) issued a media release. He seems to have taken great offence with the word ‘trougher’.  Read more »

It’s not just our politicians on the bludge

Politicians the world over just cannot help themselves helping themselves to our taxpayer cash, especially when it benefits them directly.

We have seen Paul Foster-Bell, Claudette Hauiti and now David Cunliffe trough it up on travel.

We see the two main parties working out better ways to avail themselves for more entitlements.

Politicians, wherever they are from, become afflicted with entitleitis…they even use the same justifications.

The ”age of entitlement” is over, according to Treasurer Joe Hockey, but politicians continue to spend tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars on flights to sporting events, study tours, recipe collections and children’s books – such as Aliens in Underpants Save the World.

Department of Finance records show rising Liberal Party MP Jamie Briggs claimed almost $11,000 in entitlements over two years for travel to and from sporting events. For most of this period, November 2011 to November 2013, Mr Briggs was chairman of the Coalition’s government waste committee, established to highlight the mismanagement of taxpayer money.

His entitlement claims included:

■ $2800 last November for him and a family member to travel between Adelaide and Melbourne, where they attended Derby Day in the Emirates marquee.

■ $1600 last June to travel between Adelaide and Melbourne, where he attended an AFL game as a guest of BHP.

■ $2300 in December 2012 to travel between Adelaide and Sydney, where he attended the Australian Open as a guest of Golf Australia.

Mr Briggs said: ”Each trip was undertaken within the entitlement rules and publicly declared as required. They included meetings with a range of people related to my work as a federal member of Parliament.”

Read more »

David Cunliffe and his travel troughing

David-Cunliffe-piggy

Yesterday Andrea Vance rightfully gave Paul Foster-Bell a swift kick in the goolies for his troughing.

There was another MP though that significantly increased his travel expenses during a selection battle…David Cunliffe.

The Cunliffe had a large spike in his air travel expenses during the Labour’s got talent contest and shortly after then his air travel spending appears to have returned to normal.

Jan 1 – Mar 31 2013 – $7,208

April 1 – June 30 2013 – $8,538

July 1 – 30 Sept 2013 – $14,071

Oct 1 to Dec 31 2013 – $20,909

Jan 1 – Mar 31 2014 – $8,493

All this makes Grant Robertson’s attack on National yesterday somewhat an own goal.   Read more »

The trough pig tries explaining

Someone in National needs to tell trough pig Paul Foster-Bell to shut up. Explaining is losing, and will only lead to more questions.

Right now Claudette Hauiti has shown she is far smarter than Paul Foster-Bell.

Paul Foster-Bell has rebutted Andrea Vance’s article where she calls him out for being a bludging ratbag for using his parliamentary travel perk to travel to whangarei in his failed attempt to win the national party nomination up there.

pfb-trough pig

This issue is pretty easy to sort out.  Read more »

Here piggy, piggy, piggy

You would think Louise Upston would know better, but this is often the way with MPs after a few terms, they simply get out of touch and the entitlement mentality sinks in.

Often it is the smuggest of MPs that make the stupidest of mistakes. This week it was Gerry Brownlee who must not be liking MPs throwing his own words about how easy it is for top MPs to damage themselves back at him.

And now it is Louise Upston, National’s chief whip, who is thoroughly disliked in the caucus, creating the wrong sort of headlines.

Would you struggle to find a hotel room in Auckland or Christchurch for under $210 a night? Spare a thought for MPs who believe a $30 boost to their taxpayer-funded accommodation just won’t cover it.

The hard-done-by politicians are also asking for 30 free flights a year for their spouses, partners or children – on top of their at-least $150,000-a-year salaries.

A review of expenses by the Remuneration Authority, which sets MPs’ pay, is proposing the amount they are allowed to claim for hotel rooms while in Auckland and Christchurch on business be increased from $180 to $210. Outside of those cities it would rise from $160 to $190 a night.   Read more »

Will troughers be honest before health committee, Ctd?

Here’s the rub. Organisations that trough off the backs of the taxpayer usually spend their lives demanding the Government “do something” by way of policy interventions.

And that “do something” for the most part, relates to the introduction of more laws that eventually ends up restricting one section of society – obviously that part of society that they don’t like.

The likes of Sue Taylor of Te Reo Marama, or 2013 Trougher of the Year Professor Boyd Swinburn, are two obvious examples in the health sector.

A vast amount of their time is spent racing around trying to make sure they’re “doing something” to “justify” the dosh they tuck out of the Government machine.

“Justify” is really a wishy-washy word because on the most part, all troughers in the health sector have to do to tuck into the millions of dollars they receive, is write a 6 monthly report that some faceless ministry minion quickly scans and whacks in a filing cabinet.   Read more »