Delivering for their Donors

No Right Turn

Malcolm Harbrow makes a very good point in highlighting Labour’s legislative amendement for cash in order to favour their big donors. He is right to describe Labour as unprincipled.

As everyone by now knows, Holly Walker’s Lobbying Disclosure Bill was unanimously sent to select committee by the House on Wednesday night. The bill has flaws, and this will be a chance to fix them and bring some regulation to this area. Meanwhile, Labour has already put some stakes in the ground, offering amendments which would limit the bill to commercial organisations and exclude NGOs and trade unions from its scope.

Quite apart from introducing loopholes you could drive a busload of lobbyists through, this also undermines the objectives of the bill. “National, patriotic, religious, philanthropic, charitable, scientific, artistic, social, professional, or sporting” NGOs – and unions – are lobbyists just like everybody else, and therefore their lobbying should be disclosed. Trying to exempt them simply makes it look like Labour thinks the rules shouldn’t apply to their mates. And that is neither principled nor fair.

I will be submitting on the bill specifically to oppose these proposed amendments. I suggest others who want proper transparency (rather than just transparency for people Labour doesn’t like) do likewise.

If National implemented such brazen changes to law to favour their donors, everyone would rightly be claiming corruption. When Labour does it to favour their big money donors then not a squeak is made.

Labour want transparency like I want cancer. They want Helen Kelly to continue to enjoy her access card to parliament but others to have to jump through hoops.

We need more transparency not less. I want to see Parliamentary Services opened up tot eh OIA as well, but that is a separate post. Dollars to a knob of goat poo though that Labour opposes that too…they don;t want the people looking at their little funding rorts with parliamentary offices now do they.

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