Andrew Geddis leads the NZ First backdown and the real solution to kicking out corporate interests in politics is public funding

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Remember when the media breathlessly screamed the PM not only knew about a sexual assault but covered it up and then went really quiet on that insinuation? Yeah, well funny how everyone screamed NZ First had broken the law & now watch all the walking back on that claim.

New Zealand’s most undeservingly smug academic, Andrew Geddis, is leading the back down over on The Spinoff, where he acknowledges it all might be legal and Claire Trevett echos this in her column.  

Look, I have no doubt that NZ First have shat all over the spirit of the law and the numerous examples of them stopping regulation for a number of primary industries speaks to the arraignment, but I would be very, very, very surprised if they have been stupid enough to break the law.

National who are currently in front of the SFO for dodgy donations and who used blind trusts like this for ages is in no position to lecture.

The real solution to kicking out corporate interests in politics is public funding of Parties. I think the arrangement should be that any Party not represented can raise funds to get into Parliament, but once there they get resources and funding to run election campaigning and fund all the things they need to do.

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That way there can be no influence whatsoever over any policy for existing parties and if there is enough of a groundswell to get a new party in, that would create a dynamic tension.

As for NZ First, I think there are so many journalists who have an axe to grind with Winston that they can’t be objective when they think they smell blood. This will get investigated and most likely pass and the media will go in search of their next gotcha.

 

12 COMMENTS

  1. Oh the irony of that vile sleaze Soimon Bwidges jumping up and down about the questionable way donations are handled by a political party. His engine is so obviously “throw enough shit on the wall, some is bound to stick”.

    Today’s headline in the newspaper, = tomorrows fish and chip wrapping.

    • Its called Politics.
      Just another cut to add the prior ones, hopefully adding to a 1000 soon enough, and this circus that pretends to be a left wing government will be in the rubbish bin ( along with the fish and chip wrapping)

      • The circus is the National party! How many have jumped ship, been caught out, are gutless, corrupt, dodgy donations, fucking useless(Pugh, Barclay did a runner overseas after 400 texts from English at 2.00am in the morning)Put beneficiaries into motels, run down infrastructure etc etc etc.

        Go away, educate yourself and return with wisdom instead of that right wing shit!

  2. This has to be a cornerstone of Democracy in every nation. Heck, even National might become a useful hedge to the extremes of left wing politics (and no I’m not talking about socialism).

    That said, money always find a way. It would have to be combined with a limit on media ownership (along with free legal support for suing the media for lying with heavy penalties) and post political and civil servant jobs. The latter is the most unpalatable because you end up have to pay MPs and civil servants to not work for 5-10 years. Certainly wouldn’t allow an ex prime minister to run a bank…

  3. You’d also have to stop the rich funding brand new (i.e. the same with a different name) political parties at every election.

  4. Our democracy is for sale, and those who have the money seem to control the media and their exploits are seldom bought up and every other party with fake or distracting news is screamed out daily.

    The transcripts of what is really going on!!

    Jami-Lee Ross: Good thanks, buddy, how are you?

    Simon Bridges: Good, buddy, good. What’ve you been up to? Anything exciting?

    JLR: Just been meeting with a few people this afternoon. Malcolm Alexander, your good friend, and Stephen Selwood.

    SB: Yeah, they’re both my mates. They’ve never really done me any favours but that’s the way it goes. [inaudible]

    JLR: [laughs] Hey um you know at Paul Goldsmith’s function you saw those two Chinese guys, Zhang Yikun and Colin? You had dinner at their home?

    SB: Yes.

    JLR: They talked to you about a hundred thousand dollar donation –

    SB: Yep

    JLR: That is now in.

    SB: Fantastic

    JLR: What would you like done with it? It’s currently sitting in a Botany electorate account.

    SB: Mmmmmm yeah that’s good, I’d need to-I’d say – By the way, on that, just before we get to that. I promised them that we would have dinner at my place, that you should come. I mean, we might as well make a bit of fun of it. The only thing that would be good is if they brought the wine because they’ve got better wine –

    JLR: [laughs]

    SB: – when I move into my new house so that’s probably…we’ve got to sell ours. It could be earlier but it’s probably around September so we should make good on that cos otherwise I’ve lied to them, cos I’ve said it a couple of times now. We should definitely do that.

    Um look, I just think we want it for, uh, the advertisements and the like, you know? We want it for the things that we’re gonna need to do over the next year or so, sort of outside of the – not outside of the party but um, uh, you know, like I say we want to do some more attack ads – say we want to do another regional fuel one, say we want to do an industrial relations one. We just want to keep doing those things, right?

    JLR: Yeah

    SB: So look, I’ll tell you what. I had cancelled it because I’m at a Chinese function and I’m gonna be bloody tired. We could meet this evening briefly. We could talk about this.

    JLR: Oh okay, um, if you want. But we’ve all accepted that you’ve got stuff on. I’m not calling about that.

    SB: Nah, I’m just trying to think.

    JLR: I’m just aware there’s – the money’s fine sitting there in the Botany account. I don’t know what your arrangement is with Goodfellow or not, that’s all.

    SB: I need to talk to him. I’m actually seeing him tonight, I wonder if I should..

    JLR: I don’t think we can-

    SB: I should wait and get the right words.

    JLR: I don’t think we can raise tens of thousands and completely keep him out of the loop.

    SB: No no we can’t.

    JLR: Maybe if you’re just honest with him about it.

    SB: I think that’s right. Look, I’ll raise it with him but we should probably just think it through. I mean, it can be in the party but I do just wanna make sure we’ve got that money to do those sort of things, right? Don’t you think?

    JLR: Donations can only be raised two ways – party donation or candidate donation. Party donation has a different disclosure which is fine, and the way they’ve done it meets the disclosure requirements – sorry, it meets the requirements where it’s under the particular disclosure level because they’re a big association and there’s multiple people and multiple people make donations, so that’s all fine, but if it was a candidate donation it’s different. So making them party donations is the way to do it. Legally, though, if they’re party donations they’re kind of under Greg’s name as the party secretary, so –

    SB: So we need to tell them, I get that. I get that. I’m going to tell him – I think he’ll accept it, I just need to explain to him what it is I want it for. Uh, unless I get him to come along to, unless I get him to – leave it with me, I might talk to McClay as well, see what he’s got up his sleeve. Cause Peter is going to be at this meeting with me in Wellington, that’s all. If I then brought him after that – good work though man, that’s a lot of money.

    JLR: Yeah they’re good people. Now there’s no catch or anything to it. You may recall at the dinner they did discuss candidacy, and another Chinese candidate.

    SB: Two MPs, yeah.

    JLR: Colin Zheng, the younger one, he’s put his name in for candidates college and so I assume he’ll get through candidates college and we’ll just make some decisions as a party further down the track as to what we want to do with candidates.

    SB: I mean, it’s like all these things, it’s bloody hard, you’ve only got so much space. Depends where we’re polling, you know? All that sort of thing. Two Chinese would be nice, but would it be one Chinese or one Filipino, or one – what do we do?

    JLR: Two Chinese would be more valuable than two Indians, I have to say.

    SB: Which is what we’ve got at the moment, right? Your problem there is you end up in a shit fight because you’ve got a list MP – you’ve got two list MPs – it’s a pretty mercenary cull – sitting MPs, all that shit. And then we’ve got the issue of – we could end up getting rid of some list MPs if we want and bringing in some of those new ones, and if you do that you’re just filling up your list even further with ones that you’ve gotta sort of look after – I mean I reckon there’s two or three of our MPs, not picking up obvious ones like Finlayson or Carter, but actually we just want them to go. You know? Like Maureen Pugh is fucking useless.

    JLR: Yeah, I know. Carter, Finlayson, Nicky Wagner – they don’t really need to hang around.

    Simon: Yeah, but then, we get, yeah, yeah, we don’t want them to go this year though.

    JLR: Oh, no.

    SB: We don’t want them all to go, we want to do it well and we just want to think it all through. Look that’s really good, well look thanks for that, I’ll consider when I have a [INAUDIBLE] and send you a text, I’ll do that in the next half an hour if we’re going to.

    JLR: OK, all good.

    SB: Hey that’s awesome, man. Talk to you soon.

    JLR: Cheers, bye.

    SB: Cheers mate, bye.

    https://thespinoff.co.nz/politics/17-10-2018/the-jami-lee-tapes-a-transcript-of-the-ross-and-bridges-donation-chat/

    • I love that transcript. It just illustrates what a pack of imperious mercenary arseholes the National Party are. I almost feel sorry for Maureen Pugh. Almost. Can you imagine a meeting where Jacinda is like, “Yeah, and Phil Twyford’s really let the side down for us on this. He’s a fucking trainwreck and we need to jettison him out of the nearest airlock, ASAP. I mean, that whole Kiwibuild fiasco made us look like absolute muppets, so let’s throw Phil under the bus, yeah?” I’m sure Labour have their own ‘challenging’ conversations, but I just can’t picture it myself.

    • So it’s a choice between attack adds

      “like I say we want to do some more attack ads – say we want to do another regional fuel one, say we want to do an industrial relations one. We just want to keep doing those things, right?”

      or Who knew that MMP was going to be used not for MP’s who will work for the electorate, but for how many donations they can bring to the political party from identity groups!

      “SB: I mean, it’s like all these things, it’s bloody hard, you’ve only got so much space. Depends where we’re polling, you know? All that sort of thing. Two Chinese would be nice, but would it be one Chinese or one Filipino, or one – what do we do?

      JLR: Two Chinese would be more valuable than two Indians, I have to say.

      SB: Which is what we’ve got at the moment, right? Your problem there is you end up in a shit fight because you’ve got a list MP – you’ve got two list MPs – it’s a pretty mercenary cull – sitting MPs, all that shit. And then we’ve got the issue of – we could end up getting rid of some list MPs if we want and bringing in some of those new ones, and if you do that you’re just filling up your list even further with ones that you’ve gotta sort of look after – I mean I reckon there’s two or three of our MPs, not picking up obvious ones like Finlayson or Carter, but actually we just want them to go. You know? Like Maureen Pugh is fucking useless.

      JLR: Yeah, I know. Carter, Finlayson, Nicky Wagner – they don’t really need to hang around.

      Simon: Yeah, but then, we get, yeah, yeah, we don’t want them to go this year though.

      JLR: Oh, no.”

  5. All of these political parties do nothing but pander to rich people or business, the guy at the bottom is constantly getting smashed into the ground and none of these parties are that willing to help.
    Its become clear that if you want something out of the govt you have to pay them to get it, but lets call that party donations.
    Jamie Lee Ross spilled the beans on donation splitting to numerous MPs to hide them, the whole political landscape smells of corruption.

  6. ” The real solution to kicking out corporate interests in politics is public funding of Parties ”

    This from No Right Turn

    As bad as we expected

    Stuff has begun interviewing NZ First’s secret donors, and it turns out that its as bad as we expected. They start with racing industry figure Garry Chittick, who is predictably grumpy about NZ First’s coalition choices. Meanwhile, I’m looking at the list of pork NZ First has effectively given its secret donors – tax breaks, grants, more gambling money – and thinking that this is an influence that needed to be declared. Because it looks like a bunch of people in the racing industry invested in a politician to get government kickbacks, and that stinks. And then there’s this bit:
    But there were other large donations, many of which are from companies and individuals who work in industries that have benefited from the $3 billion Provincial Growth Fund. Stuff is not suggesting any wrongdoing on the part of the donors, and it may be that those industries would have benefited regardless.

    Sure, they might have. But the fact their donations were kept secret gives it a certain odour of corruption.

    Meanwhile, the government has ruled out any real change to election finance laws [audio, 55s in], and are quite happy with the status quo. But as Andrew Geddis pointed out the other day, if the status quo permits this, we have a real problem. And if the government is refusing to fix it, then that invites the conclusion that the problem extends further than NZ First, and that we need to fix them too.
    Posted by Idiot/Savant at 11/21/2019 12:22:00 PM

  7. So what’s new?
    The very survival of any democracy is anchored by a social conscience and it should be a well funded social conscience at that.
    The very most base measure of a democracy is how we treat our most at-risk.
    And who asks how we might identify those whom are ‘most at risk’?
    “Well, fucking homeless people living rough in a rich country dip shit!” Might be the start to an answer.
    And burgeoning private debt while privateers make pots of dosh off what were once our stuff and things?
    What do you think about that Otago people? You’re greedy fucking ‘powernet’ are rorting you over a barrel once again.
    ‘Powernet’ shouldn’t exist. And neither should your anxieties.
    winston peters is the final chapter in a quite big swindle.
    He ebbed and flowed because his job was as the administrator of a certain kind of anaesthetic.
    “ Dull the minds of the great unwashed… then pinch their shit. “
    My gravest concern is that those whom did this to us, us many generations, will get clean away with it.
    If they do? I bet winston peters enabled them.
    It’s one thing to say “ Oh, deary me. Seemed like a good idea at the time. Never mind. Life goes on. “
    I say fuck that. Put the bastards in jail.

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