Politicians of the Week – Judith Collins and David Cameron

Multiple awards here. First up from New Zealand.

Judith Collinsfor kicking an uppity Judge to touch.

Former Supreme Court judge Bill Wilson made an ”extremely excessive” demand for a golden handshake before he resigned, Acting Attorney-General Judith Collins said.

Parliament today held an urgent debate on the affair – which saw Mr Wilson quit last month after allegations of misconduct. His resignation took effect on Friday.

He was handed a year’s salary of $410,000 plus $475,000 in court costs.

But Ms Collins told Parliament Mr Wilson’s original demands, made weeks before, were ”absolutely excessive” and she would not ”take them further.”

The judge’s counsel approached the Solicitor General on October 4 to discuss whether, and on what terms, the judge would tender his resignation, she said.

”The terms offered by the former judge were extremely excessive and I would not countenance them. I’m not prepared to reveal them, at this stage, given that they were made in confidence.”

There were ”many” subsequent discussions about the resignation – but not with Ms Collins, who said she has never met the judge

Mr Wilson tendered his resignation on 21st October.

The case could have dragged on for ”some two years or more” with six different opportunities for appeal, Ms Collins said. The costs could have been more far more severe and ”looked very much as if they would continue into stratospheric levels.”

It was not her intention to bring about the resignation of a judge, Ms Collins said.  ”It was an extraordinarily difficult thing to oversee, however, the judge made the offer himself. It was not asked of him.”

She was ”happy to take full responsibility for those decisions and I believe those were the right decisions.”

Ms Collins also thought the court costs were very high. However she was advised they were ”reasonable.” Legislation required the costs were paid.

Legislation required the paying of the costs, legislation that Labour implemented. The best line though is this; ‘happy to take full responsibility for those decisions and I believe those were the right decisions.”

It is a precious small number of politicians who are prepared to say that.

Second Politician of the Week is from the UK.

David Cameron for kicking uppity teacher unions in the balls, and for coming up with something that Anne Tolley would do well to look at given the same uppitiness of the teaching unions here.

Parents will be able to rate primary and secondary schools according to detailed new information that will show not only the quality and experience of staff but also whether they offer value for money.

The proposals were made yesterday as part of David Cameron’s pledge to shift power away from Whitehall.

The Coalition believes that, by forcing public institutions such as schools, the police and prisons to publish more information, it will allow the public to judge how they are performing.

The Prime Minister insisted that public sector reforms should be “driven not by the short-term political calculations of the Government, but by the consistent, long-term pressure of what people want and choose in their public services”.

Announcing business plans for each Whitehall department, Mr Cameron said “bureaucratic accountability” under Labour had created inefficiency, damaged morale in the public sector and promoted a culture of “short-term wins”.

The announcement in central London threatened a dispute with teaching unions after it emerged that the policy would lead to the publication of potentially sensitive details about school staff. There appeared to be no plans to disclose the salaries of other public sector workers, such as policemen or nurses.

The Department for Education business plan says schools will be forced to disclose details of qualifications held by teachers and pay levels. Individual teachers are unlikely to be named, although reports will spell out the number of staff qualified to certain levels.

Schools will also be expected to publish figures on the number of teachers who are full and part-time and teacher absence.

If the teachers think National Standards are appalling I can just imagine the squealing if this was proposed for here. In fact I would stand for parliament just on that platform so I could hear their screams of anguish.

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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.  And 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 that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

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