Robson-on-Politics - 28 July 2008
Robson-on-Politics - 28 July
Readers have been emailing me to ask why I have been AWOL. I must admit that I had a lovely week in sunny Queensland seeing family and friends and dodging thousands of singing pilgrims on their way to Sydney to see Il Papa. A great escape from the winter chills. But I was soon back down to earth with a dose of influenza on my return. So now to the politics.
Oh What a Tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive...
My mother loved preaching this when we as children were up to mischief. Well Winston Peters is no child and his stories on funding received and not declared get more and more tangled every day.
First he did not know about a donation of $100,000 from Owen Glenn, then he was vague on details of donations from the racing industry family the Velas and declared that this had never influenced his demand to be Minister of Racing, and then the $25000 that Bob Jones thought he donated to the Party ended up in a mysterious trust (which Deputy Leader Peter Brown said he was unaware of) administered by brother Wayne. Sir Bob and Owen are not happy campers and Owen is still not the Honorary Consul of Monaco. They both want to know where their money went to and why declarations, as required by law, were not made. They are not the only ones. The disgruntled leakers from the Peters' camp (what an irony!) are making sure that the trickle of information on money gone west becomes a flood. So it is a matter of watch this space.
When Thieves Fall Out
Neither Sir Robert Jones nor Winston Peters would score above used car salesmen in the integrity stakes. Now Sir Bob is claiming that Peters badgered him at a drinking session for the $25,000 and he wants to know what happened to that sum and indeed the $175,000 in total that he has given to the self-proclaimed scourge of New Zealand's richest. The Electoral Office also wants to know why such sums were never declared as required by law. It will be interesting to see how much more of this Helen Clark can take.
It's My Party and I'll Cry If I Want To
Winston Peters is probably singing this tune both about NZ First and the fact that his photo opportunities with Condoleezza Rice were spoiled. In turn Ms Rice was probably glad that the press were so keen to embarrass the New Zealand Foreign Minister on the financial scandal that she escaped any questions on the illegality of the war for oil in Iraq, torture as an instrument of US policy, the scandal of Guantanamo and the list could go on.
National and Four Weeks Leave- Take the Money and Run
National never voted for the Progressive Bill for four weeks annual leave even after Labour had capitulated. However, they daren't openly state that they will repeal it. Instead National has found a backdoor way to take this gain off families by announcing that workers will be able to sell their fourth week for cash. Such perfidy at the expense of the health and wellbeing of New Zealanders and their families! As Jim Anderton said:
National's back to the past holiday law
will snatch holidays from people who have the least
bargaining power. John Key has just returned from two weeks
holiday of his own. We can assume he knows the value of
holidays to families. But he wants to get rid of them for
And Bill English Also Finds it Hard to Tell the Truth
I was at a Small Business Summit with Bill last week. I was able to outline to attendees that Progressive-Labour initiatives like economic and regional development, Kiwibank, repurchase of public assets such as Air New Zealand and Rail, skills training, massive increases in funding for health and education and the billion dollar injection of funding through the Fast Forward Fund and many more initiatives that have laid a sound basis for economic and social development. Apparently Bill has not actually been living in New Zealand in these years. He told attendees that since 1999 the government has taken advantage of a lucky period of growth and squandered the income by just doling it out to interest groups willy nilly. It seems that Winston Peters is not the only politician who ignores reality. Oh well - they will make good partners.
The Campaign Trail
But it is a partnership that Progressive members do not want to flourish. Financial donations to Progressive are coming in at a steady pace. None as yet have arrived from Bob Jones or Owen Glenn. We will let you and the Electoral Office know if they do. So our members are having to dig deep so that we can increase our Parliamentary representation and be a coalition partner for a record fourth term with Labour. We have a good number of candidates nominated but there are still a number of seats where we wish to fly the Progressive Party flag to promote our Party vote.
Call 0800 4 Progress (0800 4 776 473) or email contact@progressiveparty org.nz to help.