Add Peter Dunne to the hit list

Peter Dunne has now managed to make it to my hit-list. An un-official list of useless MPs past their use-by date who are usually troughers as well.

He has come out all po-faced, no doubt with his cow-lick at high dudgeon, supporting useless Speaker Lockwood Smith and his re-imposition of un-conscionable secrecy of parliamentary spending.

United Party leader Peter Dunne said the Speaker had made the “right decision” and he would be abiding by the rules to keep his travel spending secret. As a long term member of parliament Dunne qualifies for a 90 per cent rebate.

“The rules are set and I think it’s important that people abide by them,” said Dunne.

Here’s a though, how about letting an independent body set the rules instead of the current system where the fox is in charge of the hen house.

Rodney Hide, to his credit,  has come out against the Speaker’s new rules, ironically after he was pilloried by the same Speaker releasing information in the first place. One would have to wonder if Speaker Smith was trying to hurt Act when he released the information in the first place.

John Key also has opposed Lockwood Smith’s sudden turn around, refreshingly calling for more transparency, as have the Greens. They are to be commended for their commitments to transparency.

However, Hide said yesterday there needed to be more openness about public spending.

“I don’t think they can put the genie back into the bottle. People have an expectation around transparency and accountability these days,” he said.

He was was joined by Greens Party co-leader Metiria Turei, who is calling for an independent review on MPs’ remuneration.

The Greens led the transparency process when they released their expense details last June, following a Herald on Sunday campaign to hold politicians accountable for their spending.

Turei said the existing system was “messy and incoherent”.

“The Speaker continues to refuse to have independent review of the system so we can clean it up,” said Turei. “The Speaker is responsible for that and he should lead on that.”

Personally I think that Lockwood Smith has planned a great big trip for Christmas for him and his long time secretary and didn’t want to be hung out to dry. One thing is for certain though, his bid to become a scum list MP is now almost certain to backfire with a lower than expected list ranking after going against Prime Minister John Key’s wishes.

We need to go even further with transparency, opening the whole of Parliamentary Services up to the Official Information Act, particularly over expenditure. We won;t see any action though unless a public campaign is mounted because there are far too many vested interests who will spike any efforts for more transparency. Labour will oppose it because they largely run their party out of the leaders office, including advertising and polling, likewise National.

So far the Greens, even though they have their own rorts with housing and super-annunation are the only ones calling for more transparency.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.