Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Plain English - 20 October 2006

Plain English

20 October 2006

They Got Away With It

In the heat of controversy in parliament this week the media missed the issue at the heart of it all. Labour spent about $2.8 million on the 2005 election campaign when the legal limit was $2.3 million, and they got away with it. And they could do it again. The police investigated but didn't prosecute because they did not understand the law, and they appeared to be concerned a prosecution might upset the election results. MP's who overspend their campaign limit get chucked out of Parliament, and prosecuting the government might have had the same results. Helen Clark has shown the election campaign spending cap can't be enforced. Political parties have never before considered breaching the cap, and certainly not in such a calculated manner. Helen Clark has called the bluff and won.

Smart Government

Labour's ingenuity for avoiding accountability knows no bounds. The money Labour has been forced to pay back came from Helen Clark's Leader's budget to pay for Labour's parliamentary activities. The overspend was approved by Heather Simpson, the Chief of Staff in Helen Clark's office. The Speaker has ruled National can't ask questions about Simpson's activities despite the fact she sits in the Prime Minister's office, on a large public salary and all her costs are met by the taxpayer. Apparently when Ms Simpson does anything dodgy Helen Clark says Simpson is not the Chief of Staff of the Prime Minister's office, but an official in the Office of the Leader of the Parliamentary Labour Party and Helen Clark has no ministerial responsibility for the Labour Party. So the second most powerful person in the land is beyond any public accountability.

It's Worth The Fight

National has fought hard on this issue because it betrays the character of the government. This week revealed Labour's fierce and ugly sense of entitlement to power, control and public money. They broke the rules and then used all the power and privilege of public office to deny wrongdoing, bully law enforcement agencies and then legislate to cover it up. Labour believes it is entitled to this money and then to use it in any way to further Labour's interest, not the public interest. Labour's sense of entitlement effects a thousand decisions that aren't illegal or spectacular, they believe they are entitled to billions of dollars of excess tax and they can use it. The fact that they still believe they did nothing wrong shows how deeply entrenched the sense of entitlement is.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On What We Could Do For Hong Kong, If Only We Dared

There has been something repulsive about PM Jacinda Ardern’s assurances that our joint 5 Eyes criticism of China’s actions over Hong Kong – and China’s harsh reaction – are all well understood on both sides. According to Ardern, it has been a case of us saying the sort of things we’ve said before, them acknowledging our need to do so, and then them responding much as we would expect them to do. All neat and tidy. Frankly, if all of this is merely virtue signalling on our part, and huffy declarations of independence on their part, then what’s the point of this diplomatic dance..? More>>


Grant Robertson: Government To Review Housing Settings

New Zealand’s stronger-than-expected economic performance has flowed through to housing demand, so the Government will review housing settings to improve access to the market, the Finance Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “Our focus More>>


Law Commission: Recommends New DNA Laws For Criminal Investigations

Te Aka Matua o te Ture | Law Commission today released a report that recommends a new, comprehensive regime to control how DNA is obtained, used and retained for criminal investigations. The report has revealed significant gaps in the operation ... More>>


National: Leader’s Speech At Annual General Meeting

Good morning delegates. It’s an absolute privilege to be speaking as your leader. I’d like to acknowledge the party president, regional chairs, board members, National Party staff, our MPs, our candidates, and most importantly, you – the delegates, ... More>>


Economy: Crown Accounts Reflect Govt’s Careful Economic Management

The better-than-expected Crown accounts released today show the Government’s careful management of the COVID-19 health crisis was the right approach to support the economy. As expected, the Crown accounts for the year to June 2020 show the operating balance ... More>>


Green Party: Announce Portfolio Reshuffle With Talented And Energised Caucus Team

“The Green Party caucus offers a breadth of talent and energy to the Parliament this term. In ten MPs you have a small business owner, a human rights lawyer, an academic, a climate negotiator, a transport planner, and so much more”, Green Party ... More>>


APEC: New Zealand Ready To Host Virtually

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern took over the leadership of APEC earlier today, when she joined leaders from the 21 APEC economies virtually for the forum’s final 2020 meeting. “We look forward to hosting a fully virtual APEC 2021 next year. While ... More>>





InfoPages News Channels