Coddington's Liberty Belle: "Whooh Hooh" Express
Deborah Coddington's Liberty Belle
Look out your window next time you hear whooh-hooh and you might just catch sight of the Labour Government's gravy train chuffing around the country. It's a steam engine, with Helen Clark's face painted on the front, just like Little Toot in the children's storybooks.
Taxpayers' hard-earned cash is fuelling the firebox and Helen's helpers - Trevor Mallard, Michael Cullen, Paul Swain, Jim Anderton, et al - are shovelling in the money.
And they're sweating.
Tossing loot out the windows are all the Labour members. Iwi consultants who oppose a development? Use the Resource Management Act and throw them millions of dollars.
Want to feel good about closing the gaps? Toss millions of dollars to bounty hunters who cruise around the neighbourhood picking up Maori and Pacific Island children and enrolling them in Early Childhood Education centres.
Want to boast about high participation rates by Maori and Pacific Islanders at universities and polytechs? Toss an extra $145 per Maori of Pacific student enrolled in tertiary education, then another $145 per Maori or Pacific graduate to universities competing for research money from the Performance Based Research Fund.
But hey, this train's not biased. Defenestration of the dollars is gleefully undertaken for corporates too. One of your mates the chairman of a couple of State Owned Enterprises, and he needs to visit Europe with his 'travelling companion'? Throw him $700,000 in expenses.
Another former high-flyer who's fallen on hard times? Let him make himself both chairman and chief executive of a crown-owned enterprise then pay himself $200,000 in six months before he goes bankrupt. Then what do these guards do to recover the money? Call in the cops? No, too hard. Just send an invoice.
The next station this gravy train stops at is the Budget Station in May. Waiting to be collected at this station is a massive surplus, the result of the average full-time worker paying more than $50 a week too much in tax.
But the Gravy Train won't be giving these taxes back to those who paid them. The lollies in the budget will be thrown to those whom the Government needs to keep dependent on its largesse - able-bodied beneficiaries, the film industry, artists, corporates.
And of course, the tangata whenua.
Not for this Gravy Train the road to independence. These politicians would rather chuck money at people and keep them reliant on state handouts, rather than guide, push or drag them kicking and screaming if necessary, into the real world of personal responsibility and self-determination.
This way, Labour figures it might just manage to cling to votes.
This train ain't bound for freedom. Or glory. Thanks to Don Brash, the Government's Gravy Train's heading for derailment.
Yours in liberty,