Benjamin Disraeli

It’s not just our politicians on the bludge

Politicians the world over just cannot help themselves helping themselves to our taxpayer cash, especially when it benefits them directly.

We have seen Paul Foster-Bell, Claudette Hauiti and now David Cunliffe trough it up on travel.

We see the two main parties working out better ways to avail themselves for?more entitlements.

Politicians, wherever they are from, become afflicted with entitleitis…they even use the same justifications.

The ”age of entitlement” is over, according to Treasurer Joe Hockey, but politicians continue to spend tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars on flights to sporting events, study tours, recipe collections and children’s books – such as?Aliens in Underpants Save the World.

Department of Finance records show rising Liberal Party MP Jamie Briggs claimed almost $11,000 in entitlements over two years for travel to and from sporting events. For most of this period, November 2011 to November 2013, Mr Briggs was chairman of the Coalition’s government waste committee, established to highlight the mismanagement of taxpayer money.

His entitlement claims included:

? $2800 last November for him and a family member to travel between Adelaide and Melbourne, where they attended Derby Day in the Emirates marquee.

? $1600 last June to travel between Adelaide and Melbourne, where he attended an AFL game as a guest of BHP.

? $2300 in December 2012 to travel between Adelaide and Sydney, where he attended the Australian Open as a guest of Golf Australia.

Mr Briggs said: ”Each trip was undertaken within the entitlement rules and publicly declared as required. They included meetings with a range of people related to my work as a federal member of Parliament.”

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Key is “a twenty-first century Holyoake” – Chris Trotter

Chris Trotter has written a very good post about why he thinks John Key may well go on to become NZ longest serving Prime Minister…but for the foibles of MMP.

IN HIS MEMORABLE holiday-home encounter with the host of?Campbell Live, the Prime Minister, John Key, did not rule out running for a fourth term. Were he to be successful, the long-standing record of Sir Keith Holyoake (11 years and 2 months) would be surpassed and the title of longest-serving National Party Prime Minister would pass to the incumbent. How tempting it would then be for John Key to set his sights on ?King Dick?s? (Prime Minister Richard John Seddon?s) crown of 13 years and 2 months. Just imagine that ? a fifth term! By then the youthful Jacinda Ardern would be 41 years old!

Some will dismiss Key?s musings as yet another example of his celebrated political bravado. But there is another message to be drawn from his speculations concerning a fourth (or even a fifth) term. The Prime Minister?s suggestion that he and the National Party are good for another two or three election wins may also be read as his pledge to the electorate that any government he leads will be moderate and restrained in its policies.

Sir Keith Holyoake could not have governed New Zealand from November 1960 until February 1972 as anything other than a consensus-seeking prime minister. By indicating that he is not adverse to such a lengthy term of office, John Key is signalling to us that he, too, is a consensus politician.? Read more »

Lee Atwater’s 5 rules of politics

Everyone who reads this blog knows I have my own Rules of Politics.

Lee Atwater, the GOP supremo also has 5 rules of politics.

He had five rules of politics that he would?playfully (or not) repeat to those around him. ?Even though they are a little coarse and not particularly idealistic, in the real world ? or at least in the real Washington ? there might still be some applicability to the rules.

Rule #1. ?Be for what is going to happen.? Simply put, always try to pick the winner. If you?re a selfishly motivated, hyper-ambitious career-manager, it helps a lot to work on the campaign of the winning candidate. Enough said.? Read more »

A rooting politician

Even in Victorian times politicians were rooters.

A New Zealand author claims in a new book that her grandmother was former British prime minister Benjamin Disraeli’s love child, whose existence was hidden to prevent a scandal in Victorian high society.

Writer Catherine Styles says a note attached to Disraeli’s will supports her contention that the two-time Conservative prime minister, a favourite of Queen Victoria, fathered an illegitimate child in London in 1866, when he was 61.

Styles, 76, says in her book?Disraeli’s Daughter?that the baby was her grandmother Catherine Donovan, who eventually settled in New Zealand.? Read more »