From hero to zero, time for the axe on Lockwood Smith

The other day when I went to Wellington I spent a bit of time talking to Lockwood Smith in the Koru Club.

I asked him if he wanted to be known as a great Speaker. The discussion then centred around how the low the bar had been set before him taking the position. But the point I was trying to make was that he should be looking at making Parliamentary Services more open and the way to do that would be to extend the OIA in the interests of transparency.

He utterly refused and at the same time pointed out that he released travel details. His reasoning was that what MPs do in their private time was of no interest for anyone and nor should it. I pointed out that it was never private time at the office, that all the resources that they use is paid for by the taxpayer and as such is not private. He disagreed strongly and we parted with me commenting that I guess he was never going to be a great Speaker.

It is with some interest now that I see the very thing he was patting himself on the back over, MPs travel expenses, he has now deemed to be “private” even though we the taxpayer foot the bills.

Parliament’s Speaker has introduced new rules preventing public disclosure of individual MPs’ spending on tax-payer funded overseas jaunts.

The change mean trips like those taken by Rodney Hide and his partner to Hawaii and through Europe last year are now secret.

Mr Hide admitted at the time that he made a mistake, but Speaker Lockwood Smith today said the matter was private and should never have been made known to the public.

“It is taken out of members’ salaries and it is private,” Dr Smith said.

“It is not a public expense, it is a private matter.”

Well, Mr Speaker, you were doing so well and now you have gone and crapped all over your reputation. Not surprising though given that you have decided to become a scum List MP at the next election.

You are also a hypocrite, given our conversation on Thursday evening and for that you now make the Whale Oil Beef Hooked target list of MPs that need close attention. You are, as they say in Texas, “Big Hat, no Cattle”. Yes, yes I know you like your bulls but in this case you are full of bull by suggesting that things the taxpayer pays for are “private”.

Actually I hink you should be added to the Dead Wood page, MPs that should be chopped as being of no use to man or beast.

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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.