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Public Servant or Political Profligate?

The Other Side with Alun Fosta

Public Servant or Political Profligate?

Politicians the world over seem to share, among other things, an amazing ability to live ''high on the hog'' and bury their snouts ''deep in the public trough'' without, apparently, the least concern or consideration for those footing the bill. The size of the trough and the depth of snout burying are directly proportional to the number and apathy of the voting masses who do the bill footing. I offer 2 examples to support my contention.

Helen Clark & Co. New Zealand

The Wednesday before Waitangi Day, I had occasion to visit Bay of Islands Airport in Kerikeri and noticed a rather nice car on the airport taxi stand. The car had no markings on it and so, being the inquisitive soul that I am, I engaged the driver in conversation.

I learned that the car, a fancy Ford Fairmont Ghia, was, in fact, a “crown (Government) car,” which had been driven, without passengers, all the way from Auckland to Kerikeri airport to await the arrival of one Helen Clark and others of her ilk. The car that I saw was, according to the driver, not the only one that would be coming up empty from Auckland to await the arrival of the aforementioned lady and her fellow luminaries.

The “lady and her luminaries,” upon their arrival by plane from Wellington, would then be transported, the 25 kilometers or so, to swanky suites in the Copthorne doubtless, thence to participate in the Waitangi Day brawl and mudslinging. The drivers (chauffeurs?),of course, also had to be provided with accommodation, inferior, but close enough, to the “High Mucky Mucks to be “convenient” but far enough away to avoid close contact, after all, “drivers” (chauffeurs) are but lesser mortals who put their trousers on one leg at a time, unlike the “luminaries” who are, doubtless, able to leap into both trouser legs in a single bound! Sorry Superman!

The Waitangi Day “fistivities” at a close, the probably now somewhat jaded and “dimmed” luminaries are transported back to the airport to leave the “northern frontier” and return to the genteel, rarified atmosphere of Wellington. The “crown (Government) cars” can then also return, empty again of course, to Auckland.

What a pity that there is no transportation service, in the birthplace of the nation, that is considered worthy or of a sufficiently high quality, to be able to carry the nation’s leaders a paltry 25 kilometers, but then, if a local service was used, it might just imply that the “political profligates” were showing restraint to “the bill payers” and acting just a little bit like the public servants they are supposed to be, and that would never do. The locals then might think there was just a remote possibility that even the “luminaries” do put their trousers on one leg at a time after all.


The antics of New Zealand politicians, however, pale into total insignificance, as you will see in the next example, when compared those of their American cousins!

Dick Cheney-Vice President-United States of America

While reading “news from the other side” on the internet today, and contemplating the possible content for this submission, I chanced upon an Associated Press article, written by one Adam Nassiter and published in the Friday, Feb 6th. 2004 edition of “The Kansas City Star.”

Vice president Cheney and his “huntin’ buddy” Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scallywag, oopps, sorry Scalia (more of him further on) flew from (presumably) Washington, DC. to Morgan City, Louisiana, to go “duck huntin’ y’all” in the Louisiana swamps. The article says, “The two men arrived near the coastal town (Morgan City) in a US government jet, then were whisked away in a motorcade with police lights flashing, to the elaborate floating hunting camp of a multimillionaire oil-services (connect the Cheney-Haliburton-oil-services dots) tycoon, a long time friend of Justice Scallywag, sorry, really must get the hang of his name, Scalia. A panoply of Secret Service and local law enforcement guarded the hunting party.”

It is the next item, quoted verbatim from the article, that truly demonstrates both the “snout length” of American politicians and the depth of the US public trough. New Zealand politicians are mere piglets in comparison to their American hog counterparts, but, as Joe Kiwi is subjected to more and more American influence in his way, no doubt the political profligacy will increase here as New Zealand politicians learn, from their American counterparts, to get away with more and more at the expense of the elector.

“After landing on Jan. 5, the party hurried out of a small blue and white jet marked “United States of America” and ducked straight into vehicles that had been flown down separately. With flashing lights that illuminated the rainy afternoon, the caravan made its way south to Carline’s (multimillionaire oil-services tycoon) camp in the marshes.”

How about that for political profligates/profligacy, not satisfied with having the taxpayers pay for the government jet, but also have them pay for “vehicles flown down separately!” Who really gives a hoot for the hungry, the homeless, the destitute, the crippled Iraq war veterans etc., just so long as the rich, the notorious and the powerful can enjoy there all expenses paid (by the great unwashed apathetic masses) junkets. Wake up people.

Oh yes, almost forgot Supreme Court Justice Scallywag, sorry again, Scalia. The article says, “The trip last month raised questions about the propriety of a Supreme Court Justice going on a hunt with Cheney at the same time Scalia (got it right that time, although maybe “Scallywag” is better) was hearing a case involving the vice president.”

Who in “the Establishment” especially in America, give a hoot about propriety, other than if it is residential, commercial or investment. If propriety was a concern, there would have been no invasion of Iraq and the families of over 500 American dead would not be grieving, but who really does give a hoot anyway?


- Alun Fosta is a New Zealand writer, a committed "Government of the Bankers, by the Bankers, for the Bankers" conspiracy theorist and avowed antiestablishmentarian. Comments can be sent to

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