Clifton On Mallard

Jane Clifton summarizes Trevor Mallard’s dodgy ticket selling behaviour. This is the best summary of the whole Trademe Trev saga.

And what did the David Shearer led Labour party do about said incident and their inept MP?

They sent him off on a troughing trip to play with the new kids in Commonwealth…let’s hope the office walls are a whole lot thicker than in the Labour offices.

The dearth of political salesmanship here is staggering. But then again, in Trevor Mallard’s Trade Me outings, we have in microcosm an example of how big, and utterly inexplicable, politicians’ blind spots can be. And how ingeniously they can contrive to make their pratfalls even more self-injurious.

Joining the annals of petty but telling scandals that are never forgotten – Tuku’s undies, Rodney’s junkets, Shane’s grubby movies and Chris Carter’s “They’re only picking on me because I’m gay” – ­Trevor’s profiteering on concert ticket sales has every possible ingredient for immortality. He made about 70% profit, against Ticketek rules. But wait, there’s more, he: a) sold them to impecunious students; b) told a lower bidder his offer was “cheeky”; c) happily admitted he does this regularly; d) used parliamentary computers and his electorate office to do it; e) handed the envelope to the students in the street, saying to passers-by, “This is not what it looks like”; f) expressed annoyance at the public fuss, saying he’d now have to change his Trade Me identity (“Pisses me off!”); g) slagged off the students in the social media, saying that’d teach him to deal with kids from Newlands; and h) – my personal favourite – said he didn’t know how to do a Buy Nowand “didn’t read the fine print” on the tickets.

Fine print? Trevor is to the head of a pin what the Occupy movement is to Aotea Square. He uses up hours of parliamentary time each year with point-of-order hair-splitting, making even Winston’s way with semantics seem sloppy. He is also a cyber-ninja, seldom out of the social media – someone to whom Buy Now ought to be as natural as breathing.

In fairness, Trade Me’s allure can make canny barrow boys out of the mildest-mannered amateur salesperson and Trevor, a hyper-competitive alpha male, succumbed in a way that was probably inevitable. And you have to wonder at the students’ epiphany – happy to connive at the immoral profiteering, until they discovered it was a Labour MP clipping the ticket.

But even when it comes to petty sinning that “everybody” does, MPs just can’t. What’s more, when you’re on $170,000 a year on the public purse, you can’t afford to be seen nickel-and-diming it. Nor is there any privacy on a public website. And if you’re a habitual scrapper with a history of lobbing dirty bombs at opponents, you need to be especially careful, making this a most bewildering fall from grace for such an experienced, thorough and tough political operator. Still, it does at least go to show that someone in Parliament knows how to make a sale.


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  • Whafe

    A well written piece really.


    It will be water off of a ducks back to the
    Mallard though. It also seems it will be water off of Mr Invisibles Teflon back…


    Mallard is a bully basically, whom operates
    under Mallard rules, which essentially in his world mean do as I say & fuck
    the world

  • Hakim of phut

    O RLY
    Ms Clifton says “:He is also a cyber-ninja, seldom out of the social media – someone to whom Buy Now ought to be as natural as breathing”

    Trev is a well known computer illiterate.

    Hello. This is 2012. Computers  became ( Mostly) user friendly  about 1995. Before 1980 punched cards were de riguer

    Where did she get the idea  you have to understand every detail of phone/computer/bicycle?
    Lets hope she doesnt drive HER car without understanding the difference between power and torque

    • Whafe

      HOP = Wake up & smell the coffee. If Mallard didn’t realise that there is not a “buy now” on Trade Me, perhaps he shouldn’t be using Trade Me, nor should he be an MP

      How do you define a well known computer illiterate?

    • jonno1

      Haha, punch cards, takes me back to uni days and Fortran IV. Book the card punch, put a bunch of cards into a slot in the lobby at night, collect them in the morning with a printout. Usually gone into a loop, try again the next day…

      • Hakim of phut

        They were used in manufacturing  up to the late 80s. like you would use ‘barcodes’ now as well.
        Trev is like a lot of older users, they use a few things but dont  get to know all the ins and outs  , as unlike say teenagers, there is no one to pass on tips- and they DONT read FAQs

      • Agent BallSack

        Is HOP really Mallard? would explain the constant Labour apologies and how he can spend so much time here during the day. Using your Ipad are you Mallard? 

      • Hakim of phut

        Whats an ipad ?

      • AnonWgtn

        Me too !

    • Gazzaw

      Strange that a Minister for Education & then Broadcasting would not have at least a  basic understanding of computers. Makes you wonder whether he was capable of administering those portfolios.

      • Hakim of phut

        Its obvious he has stuck with what he knows.  

        User features like ‘buy now’ arent anything to do with ‘basic understanding of computers’ they are merely features (or bugs!).

         Trademe has dozens of ‘features’. Do you know what ‘Address verified’ means or the details of ‘pass the parcel’ – Look it up!

      • Pete George

        ‘Buy now’ is one of the most basic, in your face features of Trade Me. It is a part of the ‘basic understanding of Trade Me’.

        Another Trade Me basic – once there is a bid you can’t add a Buy Now, so in fact requesting it on an active auction is pointless. Instead of simply pointing this out Mallard called the inquiry cheeky price-wise.

      • Gazzaw

        C’mon HoP that’s fucken bollocks and you know it. I use Trade Me occasionally so I made a point of knowing what it’s all about. It just doesn’t wash that Mallard didn’t understand the system.

    • Agent BallSack

      It’s a well known political mantra that explaining is losing. However in HOPs case, posting is losing.

      • Hakim of phut

        Thats why in Nationals new cabinet lineup , they had to reach all the way down to Amy Adams , a newbie, to become  Minister of Information Technology.  All the other Mps above her listing (20)  would rather die than do this job.
        The only computer professional , Maurice Williamson, at 21, it  would seem is too big a dead rat to swallow. 

        Much much better to make a rural property lawyer  your ITC Tsar instead of someone  who knows what he is talking about

      • Agent BallSack

        Come on HoP – don’t you even credit Trevor with the brains to run a simple Trade Me auction? Hell, even I do and I’m a right winger in Lower Hutt who despises him. You can’t continually glorify him in one post then apologise for him in the next. 

    • Grandstream

      Nice attempt at distraction from the real issue and story – I sMallards behaviour accpetable as an elected member of parliament ?  Is this just another example of behaviour that should not be tolerated ? Never mind Trev, enjoy the junket…..f**ken parasite !

    • James Gray

      I don’t care if she knows the difference between power and torque, but knowing the difference between “STOP” and “GIVE WAY” would be a more apt metaphor

  • Scanner

    Great stuff, the biggest lying cunt in the house next to Wigston gets rewarded for his dirty deeds by being given a taxpayer (read you and me) funded junket to the UK.
    As for not being savvy with Trade Me, what a crock of shit, this little shit spends most of his taxpayer funded day online.
    Come on Shearer grow some balls, as it stands Helen had bigger clangers than you.

    • Grandstream

      GOLD _ Must be a contender for post of the day/week/month ????

  • jay cee

    since you guys are so good a shooting the messenger isn’t ms clifton mccully’s girlfriend?
    if so why aren’t we all talking about jounalistic bias? just a thought.

  • bhudson

    If Trevor Mallard really is an example of a “a hyper-competitive alpha male” in NZ, then we’d best hope that we are a dead-end fork on the evolutionary road.