November 2010

Len Brown says do as I say not as I do

Bernard Orsman reports that Len Brown is conducting a witch-hunt after Jonathan Marshall got the drop on the secret appointment processes being run by Len Brown to put his mates into CCO jobs.

Auckland Mayor Len Brown has ordered an investigation into a councillor suspected of leaking the names of council-controlled organisation (CCO) board appointments.

A source close to Mr Brown said the mayor had “lost faith in a member of the committee and is asking the chief executive to conduct a full investigation into the leak of information”.

This followed online reports at the weekend that two people with close links to Mr Brown – former Manukau City Council chief executive Leigh Auton and former Manukau deputy mayor Gary Troup – would be appointed to CCO boards on Thursday.

The mayoral source refused to name the member of the CCO strategy and appointments subcommittee suspected of leaking the information.

What a dick. Conducting a witch-hunt, that just proves that he was manipulating a process that should be public. The thing is Len Brown wants to keep these meetings secret yet he ordered the CCOs to do exactly the opposite.

Yesterday, a spokesman for Mr Brown said the mayor had made his position quite clear.

“It’s all down there in black and white. Wherever possible he wants CCOs to hold meetings in public and agendas of meetings to be published.”

Is this the “straight answers always with a limits” that Len Brown speaks of? Transparency clearly is “not a perfect thing.

What is abundantly clear now is that Len Brown is picking up from where he left off with dodgy behaviour, getting people to cover for him and providing jobs for mates. By conducting a witch-hunt he simply confirms that there is things that need the disinfectant of sunshine.

Len Brown campaigned on honesty and transparency and less than one month into the job he is proving he is neither.

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.

Getting Frank with Rich

Rich Henry is a guy who rates himself. In his short biography and puff piece for his appearance on The Apprentice he was described tongue in cheek as thus;

Self-employed Aucklander Richard Henry should teach a course in management speak. The 26-year-old says he “thrives on the creative industries and robust debate, and aspires to better the world en route to the finer things in life,” and his “entrepreneurial edge, grounded understanding, and core ethics” will get him the top job. Moving forward.

Hmmm…”entrepreneurial edge, grounded understanding and core ethics”. Let’s look at his core ethics.

First up his by-line is “Getting frank is about keeping it direct, honest and evident.” We will be doing just that. I’ll be direct, I’ll be honest and I will produce evidence.

Sometime back in 2007, Rich Henry was setting up Get Frank, an online magazine for blokes. With his partner Mitch Hall, he contacted numerous “content providers”, that is a nice term for people who write stuff. He asked if he could use the occasional article from the content providers. He even had one of his staff discuss financial terms for the use of the material with content providers.  That content provider kept the email as terms of their engagement:

From: Mitchell Hall <[email protected]>
To:

Subject: RE: up now…

Date: Thu, 01 Feb 2007 15:33:59 +1300

That is most definitely the plan ;)

In fact, as our advertising grows we will be offering all contributors the chance to take 50% of all advertising revenue from their page(s) on a CPM basis.

Sweet.

Mitchell Hall

Editor

I was one of those who was offered these terms. So was Cactus Kate and content was also taken from other content providers such as Kiwiblog. I am yet to go through the whole site but from an email today from Rich Henry, he confirms that in fact 100% of the content of Get Frank is sourced from other content providers and that they provide no content of their own.

Through my own monitoring, I have noticed increased usage of my content. So I decided to have a wee chat with Rich about his site and the use of my content.

I sent him a letter outlining how my site is licenced under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License which clearly states;

You are free:

  • to Share — to copy, distribute and transmit the work
  • to Remix — to adapt the work

Under the following conditions:

  • Attribution — You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work).
  • Noncommercial — You may not use this work for commercial purposes.
  • Share Alike — If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar license to this one.

With the understanding that:

  • Waiver — Any of the above conditions can be waived if you get permission from the copyright holder.
  • Public Domain — Where the work or any of its elements is in the public domain under applicable law, that status is in no way affected by the license.
  • Other Rights — In no way are any of the following rights affected by the license:
    • Your fair dealing or fair use rights, or other applicable copyright exceptions and limitations;
    • The author’s moral rights;
    • Rights other persons may have either in the work itself or in how the work is used, such as publicity or privacy rights.

I had given permission for Get Frank to use my content on a limited basis. But there were no links as required, attribution was tenuous and worse still, he was breaching the non-commercial aspect of my licence agreement. What I didn’t give permission for was for them to make truck loads of cash off my content.

Cactus Kate and Kiwiblog don’t publish specific licencing for their content and as such are protected completely by total copyright provisions.  Cactus Kate eventually lost patience with these thieving prats and withdrew her permission for Get Frank to use posts of hers because of the way they were manipulating images on the re-posts.

Get Frank carried extensive advertising, some of it is intercompany related with other enterprises of Rich’s to give the impression he has substantial backing. The advertising on Get Frank is booked by Adhub, who it transpires also an investor, to the tune of over $50,000 in Get Frank.

In my discussions with Rich Henry regarding his breaches of mine and other content providers’ copyright, we discussed just exactly what revenue he was making for Get Frank.

Rich confided in me that revenue for the site exceeds $10,000 per month, or more than $120,000 per annum. All from advertising  – and all booked on content that Get Frank doesn’t provide themselves and has lied to those who asked, about the profitability of the earnings derived from the collective “content providers”. Those of you may snigger now that Rich was accepted on to The Apprentice earning that as a paltry sum while making out he is an internet guru.  I won’t be so unkind, the Sorcerer is struggling to put together $120,000 to pay his creditors at the moment.

I pointed out to Rich that he was in fact stealing from all of us.

We wrote the content, he took it on the basis he was currently unprofitable and would pay for the content when he made the expected profit, sold advertising on that content and then pocketed the loot without actually paying for the content.

His response to my concerns was as follows;

Hi Cam,

Good to catch up last week.

I have placed some decent thought into it and have also run past the team here.

Like a number of offshore models rather than publishing unique to getfrank content our value proposition and core model is that we offer contributors a free marketing tool / platform, in which we republish a taste from their full offering to position our contributors as the expert destinations and for some an added extension to their online voice.

As discussed last week the page impressions that we generate for each post in the editorial section a revenue split will be nickle & dime and just chewed up in administration, and with further thought and discussion around our model we’re just not going to be able to derive enough value to justify paying a lump sum for that content either.

Given the massive profile you’ve built over 2010 I fully appreciate that the whole free marketing proposition may be of limited value for you, and fully appreciate your reasoning if you choose to end the contributing relationship.

Please forward this email onto the other bloggers within the union, if they they could please email me direct I’ll be more than accommodating.

It’s been great having you on the site, and if you see any other way we can combine forces definitely let me know.

Rich

As you can see I was talking with Rich on behalf of the Bloggers Union which, as you know, is compulsory, and acts on behalf of all bloggers or (as Rich calls us) content providers.  I also see it as a duty to other content providers on Get Frank that we collectively ensure compensation for our work.

As you can also see Rich Henry has admitted that not a single piece of his content is provided by him or his team. They take content from others, like me, like David Farrar, like Cactus Kate and numerous other non-blogging contributors, and they put it on their site then sell advertising on our content. They keep all the loot and then when approached about it claim it is all too hard to distribute half the revenue as promised that content providers collectively were offered, thanks for coming, feck off. Well I’ve got news for Rich Henry and it is all bad.

What Get Frank is actually doing is stealing our collective content and selling that which they didn’t produce.  Imagine what would happen if say The Listener pretended to be poor and stopped paying for content?  Columnists would soon pack up shop and rat the publication out for what they are – thieves.

This isn’t without precedence. In fact Rich kindly alludes to the model in other countries. So let’s take a moment to look at how that works out.

Old media often bemoans the copy-and-paste habits of bloggers and self-professed citizen journalists, alleging that the “re-reporting” they do is more akin to plagiarism than journalism.

Smarting under these kinds of accusations, the blogosphere eagerly took up a story writer Monica Gaudio posted to her blog Wednesday evening in which she described how a for-profit print magazine called Cooks Source published a 5-year-old post she had penned for the blog Gode Cookery. The article was published without Gaudio’s permission.

A friend who had seen the article wrote to Gaudio congratulating her and asking her how she had gotten the article published in the magazine, which has a circulation of about 20,000. “This was news to me, as I hadn’t ever heard of this magazine before,” she said.

According to Gaudio, she contacted the editor of Cooks Source to inquire about the article (which is about the history of apple pie) and how it managed to appear in the magazine. At one point in the exchange, Gaudio said, the editor asked her what she wanted, and Gaudio replied that she wanted an apology to appear both in the magazine and on the magazine’s Facebook Page, as well as a $130 donation (a sum that equates to about $0.10 per word of the piece in question) to be made to the Columbia School of Journalism.

The editor, who said that she has three decades of experience editing for The Voice, Connecticut Woman Magazine and other publications, responded that since everything on the web is considered “public domain,” Gaudio “should be happy we didn’t just ‘lift’ your whole article and put someone else’s name on it,” a common occurrence on college campuses and elsewhere, she notes. She goes on to say that the article “was in very bad need of editing, and is much better now than it was originally.” In fact, she says, “We put some time into rewrites, [therefore] you should compensate me!”

As it has with other incidents of private injustice — such as the case of Mary Bale, a.k.a the “Cat Bin Lady”— the web sounded its displeasure loudly, flooding the magazine’s Facebook Page with thousands of derisive comments (apparently, the original Facebook Page was hacked and the magazine has since been forced to relocate) and Twitter with the hashtag #CrooksSource.

And what happened to Cooks Source? Well it went tits up after its advertisers abandoned a known thief.  Get Frank offered its content providers 50% of the advertising they generate.  Whether that is Whaleoil, David Farrar or any of the non-blogger contributors, he owes half the revenue to the content providers.

Now back to Rich Henry. Even if you take his emails and his lackey’s email at face value, he could argue that his site isn’t making money and so he can’t cough up the dosh. There is a slight problem with that, and it is Rich Henry’s propensity to skite.

On the 20th of October 2008, just a few short months since having his staff offer up 50% of advertising revenue he had this to say;

Rich Henry and Get Frank are thievesMy darkest hour was when:

I launched the site, with 40k of personal loans and 60k of my parents money to see no one visiting and only a couple of months liquidity left.

I came through it by:

Dropping out of fulltime work at PricewaterhouseCoopers to work on the venture fulltime to try and save it. I was very lucky to secure Shane Bradley as an Angel Investor, and three years since the light bulb moment the ventures finally cash flow positive.

We wonder quite where the 100k of start-up capital went, it seems to be an enormous sum to spend on promo girls and sponsor events around town to make Rich look like da’ main man of Auckland online media,

More importantly in October 2008, he acknowledges that the site is cashflow positive. Where were the revenues for the content? Nowhere is where…well, actually they were in Rich Henry’s pocket.

Richard is now 25 and the magazine attracts more than 50,000 readers per month. He describes it as a website for intelligent, professional men.

Nice…he gets the same traffic a month that I get a week and he has the audacity to claim that he was helping me and other content providers like Kiwiblog and Cactus Kate out!!

In March 2009 he was blabbing about his stellar success;

The website is aimed at intelligent, professional men – it has the highest concentration of 18-39 year old male readers in New Zealand, and more than 72% of its audience have a household income over $60k a year, according to Nielsen Online. It has managed to attract long-term premium advertisers such as  Continental Car Services and Amstel Premium Beer – not bad for a site  that drove its owner to the brink of bankruptcy.

For the first two years, Rich poured all his spare time, money and energy into the project. Winning $5,000 and a trip to Sydney in Nescafe Bigbreak bolstered  both his  confidence and credibility – and eventually led him to resigning from his day job to devote himself full time to the venture.

Within two months, and with bankruptcy pending, he met Shane Bradley of finda.co.nz, who brought with him resources in the form of both money and contacts. Rich threw himself into completing the content proposition, establishing key commercial relationships, and constructing the re-design of the site.

Now, two years on from that initial meeting, Rich’s passion and confidence are still there and they are beginning to prove well founded.

“We just keep on growing. We started 2008 with 10,000 unique visitors a month. We’re now looking at 70,000 – that’s nearly twice as many people as were at the Big Day Out this year.”

It is hard to believe Rich would ever lack confidence. Completing content proposition…hmmm…I wonder if he actually wrote down on the post-it notes that he is so fond of quoting, that he uses “Steal Content” as the content proposition.

I wonder how his advertisers like Continental Cars, Amstel Premium and Jack Daniels feel about his theft of our content to enable him to fill his pockets.  Probably the same way Veuve Clicquot and the NBR felt when they shafted social media in a small competition recently.  Nervous. Imagine the innovative and creative ways that New Zealand bloggers could destroy those three brands along with Get Frank?

In 2009 Rich’s monthly traffic was still barely what I get in a week….let alone Kiwiblog.

“I’ve got a million things to do, with a completely open canvas on how to deliver on each one of them. Working for yourself means everyday is an opportunity, and yeah, I’m loving it.”

Yeah, I just bet you are loving it…stealing other people work and fobbing it off to advertisers on pathetic traffic statistics and keeping all the money…I just bet you’re loving it …until now.  Sunshine being the best disinfectant on corporate criminals.

Now why was Rich Henry fired from the Apprentice?  The answer is very interesting

In a shock double elimination, the 26-year-old Aucklander and Meena Chaggen were sent packing after the boss, Terry Serepisos, accused them of duplicity.

Duplicity…look it up. If anyone knows duplicity when he sees it that would be Terry Serepisos.

Noun

duplicity (countable and uncountable; plural duplicities)

  1. Intentional deceptiveness; double-dealing.

Rich Henry was fired from The Apprentice for duplicity….which is how he conducts business with Get Frank and Adhub.

And don’t you just love Rich Henry’s last word on the Apprentice.

I’ve got my website and that’s just screaming ahead at the moment. I’ve got 25,000 people on the newsletter and that just continues to build. It’s a men’s magazine and we do about 35 articles a week. So yeah, it’s all really exciting.

“We do about 35 articles a week”…..what a liar…duplicitous even.

So what do we do about Get Frank and Rich Henry?

Well, I for one want all of my content taken down. It’s stolen after all. I’m pretty sure that other Blogger’s Union members will request the same. Then I’ll spread it around just what sort of thief Rich Henry is, endeavour to contact every single one of his content providers and show them this page, along with his advertisers.  New Zealand mainstream media loves knocking down failed Apprentice contestants on their business failures.  Even repeaters get paid for their content, they get pippy when their own content is stolen and re-sold for profit elsewhere.  Very pippy. Ask Barry Colman what he thinks of people who steal content.

I really think that he should be providing penalty payments and residuals in compensation for the work he has stolen.

The last thing I will do is complain to the NZICA, because Rich Henry wants to be a Chartered Accountant. Perhaps he should read their guidelines, particularly paragraphs 16-19.

Members must behave with Integrity in all professional and business relationships. Integrity implies not merely honesty but fair dealing and truthfulness.

16. Integrity is a quality of overriding importance for all members of the Institute. Integrity implies not merely honesty but fair dealing and truthfulness. It is members’ adherence to the fundamental principle of Integrity that allows the public to derive their trust in the accountancy profession. It is also the benchmark against which a member must ultimately test all decisions.

17. Integrity can accommodate the inadvertent error and honest difference of opinion. However, Integrity cannot accommodate deceit or subordination of principles, values and standards.

18. Integrity is measured in terms of what is right or just.

19. In the absence of specific rules, standards or guidance, or in the face of conflicting opinions, a member should test their decisions and actions against the following questions:

  • Am I doing what a person of Integrity would do?
  • Have I retained my Integrity?

Rule 13 is going to hurt too.

Any member who has reasonable grounds for suspecting defalcation, fraud, dishonesty or other unethical behaviour by any other member is under a duty to make a confidential report immediately to the Chief Executive of the Institute.

Bummer, the Whale will not be the issue here, Rich stole one content provider’s work – who just happens to be a member.

Rich Henry is a thief, a plagiarist and a liar. He is also now blacklisted by the Bloggers Union and anyone associated with him. De-linking and Cease and Desist action is taking place.

Never Fuck with a Blogger (NFWAB) especially if that blogger is me.

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.

Last day of Movember

Today is the last day of Movember. Tomorrow I shave.

Thank you to my contributors.

This is a cause I feel strongly about and I’m asking you to support my efforts by making a donation to me.  To help, you can either:

•    Click this link http://nz.movember.com/donate/your-details/member_id/17568/ and donate online using your credit card or PayPal account
•    Write a cheque payable to ‘Movember Foundation,’ referencing my Registration Number 17568 and mailing it to: Movember Foundation, PO Box 12708, Wellington, 6144

All donations are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.

Whaleoil, Cameron Slater - Last day of Movember

Last day of Movember

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.

The silliest name ever

Regular readers will know that I have run a campaign to draw attention to the awful life experiences that happen to people who suffer from Silly First Name Syndrome. Today a prime example of silly first name syndrome has been reported in the NZ Herald.

Wairarapa police are looking for 21 year-old Customline Ford, who has a warrant for his arrest, for breaching court-imposed bail conditions.

Detective Tracey Calder said Ford is facing charges including burglary, theft from a motor vehicle and receiving.

“We believe Ford is in the Wairarapa or Wellington areas and would like to speak to anyone who may know his whereabouts.”

Ford has gang connections and should not be approached.

No surprises here that Customline Ford has found his way to the notice of the constabulary. With a name like that I imagine there is a trail of destruction following him around. Its real Deliverance country down there in the Wairarapa for sure.

I’m still surprised the Greens haven’t yet called for a ban on Silly First names, they have wanted to ban almost everything else.

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.

Compare and Contrast – The caring Left of New Zealand

The anonymous cowards at The Standard are big on ad hominen attacks, especially against me. They are also class A hypocrites.

None more so than the anonymous paid lap-blogger MartyG. Just four days ago he wrote a lengthy post about how evil the report from  the Welfare Working Group was. (Note too, I have the courtesy to link, something they have a policy not to do).

The report harps on about 338,000 working age people getting benefits as if these are all fit, young people who just can’t be arsed getting a job.

Of course, we know the truth is different:

85,000 are invalids, meaning they have severe physical or mental disabilities

58,000 are sick and are required to have medical certificates to prove it (if people are getting certificates they shouldn’t be, that’s not a reason to get rid of the benefit, it’s a problem with GPs)

112,000 are raising young children alone…..

And on and on and on.

Yet when he wants to mount an attack on me all of a sudden the very same people he is sticking up for are now all of a sudden “beneficiary bludgers”. Words that most likely he would be expecting me to use but don’t. This is classic socialism mouthpieces in action. Pretend to be all caring for “other people” but when it suits, the real person comes crawling out from under the rock. Instead of attacking my ideas, they attack my mental health, or my welfare status or even more bizarrely they try to attack me by using silly epithets like “Daddy’s Boy”. Their message is laughable from that point on. It is especially laughable since my father barely speaks with me or to me and only when he has to. They behave as petulantly as he does.

MartyG is a coward. He won’t own his own bullshit and he for sure won’t say anything of the sort to my face. Instead he sits there in the EPMU, the Goffice or the Labour research unit and dreams shit up. Know too now that the left really doesn’t care about anyone other than their greedy troughing selves.

Fuck you MartyG and those other anonymous c*nts that live with you in your ivory tower that you pretend to call a blog. I wouldn’t wish my health issues/troubles on even you lot. What a bunch of c*nts.

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.

Thoughts on Don Brash's speech

National’s Vision For New Zealand

The National Party seeks a safe, prosperous and successful New Zealand that creates opportunities for all New Zealanders to reach their personal goals and dreams.

We believe this will be achieved by building a society based on the following values:

• Loyalty to our country, its democratic principles and our Sovereign as Head of State
• National and personal security
• Equal citizenship and equal opportunity
• Individual freedom and choice
• Personal responsibility
• Competitive enterprise and rewards for achievement
• Limited government
• Strong families and caring communities
• Sustainable development of our environment

The liberal elite have hammered Don Brash for telling the truth about a few things again, like we can’t have a country run on a race based system, and we need to lift our economic performance.

What they havent yet worked out is the extremely popular Don Brash was just explaining a few National Party Values. If the MSM could get off their arse they would be able to compare and contrast Don’s speech to what is on the National web site. New Zealand has to get past knee-jerk commentary int he press masquerading as journalism and we need to have a mature debate around all the issues that Don Brash raises. If National are unwilling to have that discussion then maybe Phil Goff is right and we need a new party willing to grasp the nettle and sort out a few sacred cows without going jelly-kneed at the prospect. You know what though, sacred cows make the best hamburgers.

It’s a pity that other members of the National party and in particular the Prime Minister and the pretender, Simon Power, can’t actually see that they are selling National’s core values down the river when they institute their liberal elite agenda.

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.

Pommy trougher MPs planning piss up down here

A pommy trougher MP is in the news for organising a trip to the World Cup for other trougher MPs. They have scored some sweet-heart deals that aren’t available to ordinary pommy rugby fans.

The rugby-playing Labour politician involved in a drunken Commons brawl is organising a subsidised junket of up to eight weeks for MPs to the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

Paul Farrelly boasts that next year’s trip is ‘cheaper than any rugby travel package, and far better of course because of nine superb days organised by our hosts’.

The New Zealanders are laying on banquets, receptions and other ‘cultural’ entertainment for the MPs including ‘wine tasting’.

So far 24 have signed up for the jaunt.

In an email to MPs, leaked to The Mail on Sunday, Mr Farrelly, treasurer of the Parliamentary Rugby Club, offers colleagues the choice of a ‘basic’ two-week tour for £2,835.

Or they can stay for the whole two-month tournament, with tickets for all England matches right up to the final if the team gets there, for £12,279 plus an extra £2,700 to fly business-class.

Mr Farrelly says he hopes to bring down the cost by getting a sponsor.

Nice to know that the pommy troughers are expecting our own troughers to lavish them with banquets at the Beehive. I hope John Key knocks that little rort on the head straight away. Make them pay for their own food and piss.

Last night Mr Farrelly came under fire from some MPs, who said the jaunt was ‘insensitive’ at a time when ordinary Britons will be feeling the full force of spending cuts and tax increases.

Matthew Sinclair, director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: ‘Ordinary families will be outraged that MPs are getting a special deal to swan off to the World Cup. It is one more luxury most taxpayers don’t enjoy, but their representatives do.

‘It is insensitive, and will bring back memories of the expenses scandal.’

Meanwhile we have our own ongoing expenses scandals here.

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.

Why the change of heart Leigh?

Veteran trougher Leigh Auton said this back in June this year;

“I’ve chosen not to apply for any of the positions. For me that’s a big decision,” he says. “I’ve been 32 years in Manukau City and another three years before that at Waitemata.

“The time’s right for me to go. I spent a lot of time last year working my way through that. I’m still a couple of years shy of 60 and if I want to set up my own business, it’s the right time to do it.”

Why the change of heart? No clients for his new business? Nobody wants a trougher and a liar?

No wonder Len Brown is trying to find a job for his old mate and protector of secrets.

One has to wonder why though, that Len brown is trying to have these appointments conducted in secret?

Is this part of his promise to always front up”… to give us “the straight answers, always with a limit.”

What this blogger wants to know is who else in Len Browns support team, donors and campaign team have been promised jobs? What other interesting names are going to creep out of the woodwork in coming weeks? And how does Len Brown reconcile these appointments with his claim to have stood for office to be the Mayor for ALL of Auckland, and not just his lefty mates and funders.

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.

Two weeks in the job and he already has his hand out

Just typical.

Te Papa’s new chairman has thrown his weight behind building a $100 million art gallery to house the museum’s formidable – but rarely seen – collection.

Sir Wira Gardiner, appointed to the top job a fortnight ago, says a standalone gallery is high on his personal agenda as the museum does not do the collection justice.

Te Papa has been criticised by the art community, politicians and the public since it opened in 1998 for not displaying more of the 15,000 artworks in its collection.

Sir Wira said yesterday that he supported Te Papa board member Chris Parkin, who told The Dominion Post he “would really like to leave Wellington with a new national art gallery”.

Don’t you just love it. Monument building wankers talking about how they’d really like to leave behind giant expensive edifices, ones paid for by the taxpayer as well.

If the art community, politicians and the liberal elite art gallery attending public think there should be a national art gallery worth $100 million in Wellington then I suggest they start a fund and go build it themselves. People should be very wary of wannabe politicians and civil servants who intone that they have a “personal agenda”.

I doubt that Chris Finlayson expected Wira Gardiner to throw out his hand for taxpayer largesse just two weeks into his cushy job at Te papa. But then again he and Hekia wouldn’t dip into their pockets for the by-election so not much has changed.

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.

And so the weasel-words start

Just three days old and Labour’s new privatisation policy is in tatters.

Labour’s finance spokesman David Cunliffe says his party’s plans to allow private investment in state-owned enterprises’ subsidiaries would not extend to NZ Post-owned Kiwibank.

Mr Cunliffe said last week that if Labour returned to Government it would increase the state’s capital investment in growth-enhancing projects through partnerships with business, iwi, local government and the New Zealand Superannuation Fund.

“We can unleash state-owned enterprises to create and grow new subsidiaries with private partners and shareholders,” he said.

But he drew the line at private investment in existing state-owned enterprises or their subsidiaries, including Kiwibank.

“We’ve made clear that that policy would only apply to subsidiaries and we’ve also made clear that we plan to build Kiwibank up as a publicly owned bank.

“So there is no plan, and we would exclude the possibility of diluting equity in Kiwibank.”

What a bunch of no dicks. Clearly the total emasculation of Labour under Helen Clark has continued. I just can’t believe they’ve released a policy, one which clearly includes Kiwibank and now they are weaseling out of the policy.

I guess that means that Silent T can’t even count on his own vote for the leadership of Labour.

That makes the policy worse than useless. It makes Labour worse than useless.

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.