Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Walking Off A Cliff Again

If only we were still try to catch up with Australia.  Over there they can see the need to resign over a scandal, even the ones from the Mad Monk's Party.  Meanwhile back in NZ even a sticky stinky scandal leaves our politicians pretending it wasn't them.

Dear Mr Key, where are those higher standards and transparent government you said you would deliver?


Mint Chicks - Mint Chicks, 2006

Monday, 14 April 2014

It Doesn't Change

When your only solution to everything is "the market", everything is for sale.  Everything.
The Church - Seance, 1983

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Girl On The Wing

Gosh, a month since I last posted, and still the sore I last posted about festers.
So, Judith Collins had a shocker at QT in Parliament today.  In spite of all that's been said and done, she used "it was a private dinner" as a reason for not answering questions about the scandal she has ensconced herself in.  So, let's test that idea: 
Would the dinner have occurred if Mrs Collins had had to fund the costs herself?  If no, then it was not a private dinner.  
Would the dinner have occurred if Mrs Collins had not been a Minister in the NZ Government?  If no, then it was not a private dinner.

The Shins - Oh, Inverted World, 2001

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Knives

Let's stop the equivocation; Judith Collins has to go.  She's caught in a clear conflict of interest that hasn't been declared properly or in a timely fashion.  That's totally unacceptable.
What's Regular John done to piss me off this time?  Where do I start?  From the beginning, I suppose:
- He's given Mrs Collins a "final warning".  Too soft, dismiss her.
- He's described the behaviour as "...cumulative effects of her interactions...could lead to a perception of a conflict of interest".  Ummm, no, it's much worse than that.  Any of the individual interactions do lead to the perception.  And forget the perception, there's a real conflict of interest
.  
- He's applied a different standard to himself than he has to Mrs Collins, as folllows:
"Judith had a responsibility when she was asked the questions not just to answer the question directly but to tell me and the New Zealand public everything that had gone on," [Mr Key] said.
In the spirit of "telling the NZ public everything", let's see the advice you relied on, Mr PM, so we can confirm that the failure to check the non-English version of the website is the only incorrect piece of the advice
.  
Let's sort that out for starters and see what happens next.

Therapy? - Troublegum, 1994

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

All Over The World

A day after the election date is announced the press have bad news for Mr Key.  This evening I'll highlight just one example - Stuff's headline that says "Key misled media over Collins Chinese link".  Indeed he did, and more than the article dares to admit.

Not to be outdone, Granny has said
"A string of National Party high-flyers have been entertained by the milk exporter at the centre of a conflict of interest row involving Justice Minister Judith Collins and her husband, a director of the company."
In the article Bryce Edwards labels the approach as pragmatic, and on reading this the begrudging respect I held for Dr Edwards' views vanished.  Mrs Collins' behaviour has been corrupt, and this has been compounded by her nonchalance; Dr Edwards should know better.

Pixies - Bossanova, 1990

Monday, 10 March 2014

Bank Holiday

The election is to be held on 20 September, thanks in part to Mr Banks and the most prominent of his public transgressions.  Goes to show that this is a government that is out of ideas; they don't even have enough in their legislative program to fill out the full term.

Blur - Parklife, 1994

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

They'll Soon Discover

The Cabinet Manual said:

Product endorsement

2.87No Minister should endorse in any media any product or service. Ministers may, however, appear in party political advertisements or in non-political advertisements or announcements in the public interest (promoting, for example, water safety), where no fee would be expected or accepted.
2.88Ministers receive many invitations for events and speaking engagements. Ministers should carefully consider which invitations they will accept, and try to honour invitations from a variety of organisations.
2.89When accepting an invitation, a Minister should inform the organisation that it may not:
  1. use any photos taken of the Minister at the event; or
  2. publicise the event,
in a way that could be perceived as an endorsement by the Minister of the organisation, or its products or services.
2.90In speeches, it is appropriate for a Minister to speak positively about the objectives and achievements of an organisation or business. It is not appropriate for a Minister to explicitly promote that organisation, or its products or services.
There's no wiggle room there, especially for an experienced minister, and one who is a lawyer to boot.  Time for resignation, solely on the grounds above.

But wait, there's more.

The product endorsed is from a company* who has, as one of their directors, the minister's spouse.  Forget the idea of a perceived conflict of interest, there is a clear undeclared and unmanaged conflict of interest.  That is simply corrupt, and by itself is also grounds for resignation.

So, let's have not one, but two resignations.  Ministerial warrants first, seat in parliament second.  There's still time for a by-election before the general election, and it won't affect the balance of power because the good people of Papakura will most certainly vote in a blueberry lamington with the correct colour rosette pinned to it..

* Hat-tip - Almost a year ago Frankly Speaking did a thorough job of identifying the links between the aforementioned company and the sale of the Crafar farms.  It's not over, yet.

The Shins - SpongeBob SquarePants Movie Soundtrack, 2004