A generous donation to Labour

Written By: - Date published: 11:13 am, May 31st, 2017 - 34 comments
Categories: labour, religion, socialism - Tags: , ,

Labour does not generally have “big money” donors like the Nats. It relies on small donations from lots of people, and tends to fight every election at a significant spending disadvantage. But this is a very generous donation, for a very interesting reason:

‘Socialism closer to Gospel than free enterprise’: donor on why he gave $115k to Labour

A retired High Court judge who donated $115,000 to Labour says the party’s principles reflect those of his religion.

In Labour’s first large donation for some time, Robert Smellie, QC, gave $100,000 this month, on top of the $15,000 he gave in December.

Smellie told the Herald one reason was his religion.

“[Former PM] Michael Joseph Savage once said, ‘Labour is Christianity in action’. And I am a practising Anglican and as such I see socialism as being far closer to the Gospel than free enterprise.” …

Thank you Robert Smellie QC, I’m sure your donation will be put to great use.

I am not myself of a religious persuasion, but I must admit that the combination of “christianity” and right-wing political beliefs does puzzle me.

34 comments on “A generous donation to Labour”

  1. roy cartland 1

    Now there’s a GC.

  2. Craig H 2

    My reading of the Bible certainly agrees with that. I’ve also noticed a lot of active church-going members (and a few ministers) at our LEC.

  3. David Mac 3

    Yep, Jesus was a socialist.

    Onya Bob.

    • mac1 3.1

      This came up on my Facebook today, from the Marginal Mennonite group, who pay respects to peaceful men and women by honouring their good works.

      “Rabbi Jesus In A Nutshell: The Sermon on the Mount in 26 words:
      “Be generous. Be merciful. Be compassionate. Love unconditionally, like God does. Forgive, because you’re forgiven. Don’t kill. Don’t fret. Don’t judge. Don’t be attached to things.””

      From what I’m reading in the comments on this post Judge Bob might have heard of some of teachings from the Sermon on the Mount, at least.

      Putting into action such teaching, as Michael Joseph Savage said socialism is, needs and deserves some respect.

  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    I am not myself of a religious persuasion, but I must admit that the combination of “christianity” and right-wing political beliefs does puzzle me.

    As far as I can make out it’s nothing but camouflage. Essentially they’re saying See, I’m religious and Christian and therefore I’m Good and so you shouldn’t attack me for my greed, hubris and other anti-social actions.

    • ianmac 4.1

      The deeply religious PM has a strange way of showing Christian principles. Almost as though his actions contradict his faith. Still he can go to confession to dispose of his doubts.

      • WILD KATIPO 4.1.1

        Why are you puzzled about this at all ?

        Have you not ever heard of Jesuits?.. or does the image bring up men in long red gowns, with beards and kneeling piously in prayer in great ornately carved sculptured cathedrals ?

        Far from it !

        Modern day Jesuits drive round in expensive cars, wear expensive suits and are found all throughout the major western govts , – Washington is loaded with them and NZ would have its fair share as well.

        And the Jesuit order is certainly NOT dedicated to the benevolent and altruistic spread of some docile pacifist belief system. They have one aim and one aim only.And even in the true Catholic Church they are regarded as subversives and anti Christ moles. However due to Freemasonry , extreme wealth and their historic presence they are now accepted as an unfortunate part of it. So much so , – that this latest Pope – is a Jesuit !!!!

        And Jesuits are NOT Christians.

        And do you know where the Jesuit order came from ?

        The Knights Templars – when they were disbanded in 1307.

        And do you think for one minute the Knights Templars were ‘ Christians’ ?

        L0L!

        They were Gnostics !!!!

        A religion condemned by the early church as heretics and traced back to the Essenes – who were in turn Gnostic . And how did the Gnostics infiltrate the Roman Catholic church ?- well , they did so when Constantine adopted both pagan and Christian beliefs to appease their Germanic tribal overlords who had by then sacked Rome several times and had gained influence in Romes governance.

        And where did the Essenes derive their beliefs from ?

        The ancient mystery religions of Babylon ,the same as practiced by the Assyrians , Egyptians and Sumerians and was a pantheistic and sun worshiping religion – the same sun worship as the Nazis practiced aka the ‘ Black Sun’ – which was based on the Antediluvian period , and later revised by Nimrod at the tower of Babel.

        And this ‘ Mystery Religion ‘ is one and the same that the Freemasons practice. In fact the Freemasons trace their roots right back to the two pillars of Boaz and Jachin. So back to the Jesuits – the Roman Catholic Jesuits – and you ask ‘ whats their game’ ? Well , their game is the same as the Freemasons , the same as the Rosicrucians , the same as the Nazis ( Aryeotheoology -which was a direct offshoot of Theosophy – aka Madame Helena Blavatsky ).

        An anti Christian , anti Judaic , anti Muslim , anti monotheistic , 10 nation trading bloc , centralized One World Government , – with a religious wing that unites all of the religions of the world under this ancient Babylonic mystery religion.

        Right ! – you got all of that ? – I hope so.

        I’m off to have a cup of tea.

        • Paul Campbell 4.1.1.1

          bah humbug, it’s still all pie in the sky when you die, doesn’t really matter who’s pie

          • WILD KATIPO 4.1.1.1.1

            Call it what you will , but that doesn’t change the fact that this is the historical ‘ religious’ record of western belief systems – and that certainly doesn’t change history and it doesn’t change the motivations of these people.

            And btw – have you died and came back recently to tell us what is and isn’t fact?

        • Whispering Kate 4.1.1.2

          Wow Wild Katipo – spot on with the Jesuits – my only memory of them was in the 1960’s and I had the opportunity to hear a Jesuit preaching to a Roman Catholic congregation – my other half was Catholic and I was at church with him. This Jesuit was on what they called a teaching circuit and man alive was he teaching alright. He scared the bejusus out of me with the sins of birth control and the fire and brimstone that went with sinning and using anything which would control and limit a family. They are as mad as a hatter and totally dedicated to the point of obsession. I don’t want to go back there anytime soon.

          • WILD KATIPO 4.1.1.2.1

            Cheers mate.

            Edit : ‘ 10 nation trading bloc ‘

            Meant to read , – 10 interdependent trading blocs, divided up into different country’s and regions around the world using free trade agreements. IE : Nafta, TTPA , TISA etc etc.

            Interestingly NZ was designated in with Israel and Brazil of all places in one version , it was a while back and I cant recall which treaty it was . So it wont be done by using brute military force , – they tried that before both with Napoleon and later on Hitler , so now its going to be far more ‘acceptable’ , fluid and adaptable using international trade agreements etc.

            That’s how they’re going to do it.

    • I think it’s easier to understand once you start thinking about whether they’re conservatives or liberals. For the liberals, it’s probably spot on. Christianity is part of how they justify their liberal social beliefs and reassure themselves that their right-wing economic beliefs still leave them room to be “good,” even though a lot of the doctrines call for worldly acts of charity and kindness that are inconsistent with a right-wing ideology.

      But churches have wielded a lot of social power over the years, so naturally conservatives saw them as an authority and a purveyor of traditional wisdom, so it’s completely understandable that right-wing conservative congregations spewing hatred, or preaching Just World Theory, or whatever, have formed. A lot of the worst religious types are the right-wing conservatives who’ve caught religion, and that explains many right-wingers believing in what are nominally quite socialist texts.

  5. Ad 5

    A great signal to the remaining haute-bourgeoisie to open up the accounts and shunt this lot out.

    Redlogix, I’ve given the Labour bundlers your home address. 😉

    • RedLogix 5.1

      Hey I’m upper middle trailer trash. (Sighs, how many political parties can one man support?)

  6. ianmac 6

    Yep. Good on yer Robert Smellie. I guess as a Judge he saw the hash reality of the underfunded underpaid strugglers waiting in vain for a trickle down, to trickle down and stop the trickle up.

  7. mickysavage 7

    I appeared before him a few times before he retired. He was always a very dedicated pleasant Judge keen to ensure that justice occurred.

    • The fact is, this Mr Robert Smellie is a wise man – and he would have seen the direct fall out of neo liberalism time and again in his profession . And being the wise man that he is , – saw the value system of today’s Labour compared with today’s National and concluded Labour is the closest to his belief system.

      Good on the man.

    • Enough is Enough 7.2

      Greg, what do you think about his support of Labour being based somewhat on the contents of the bible?

      I personally agree with. Just curious as to your take on it

    • North 7.3

      Over three decades ago (before the decline explained by the narrative below) I had a carpark in the Auckland CBD. Next to one labelled “R. Smellie QC”.

      One mid-week evening after convivial drinks in the city I preferred to put the seat back and have a sobering nap before very probably breaking the law by immediately driving home. Humiliation and shame hours later at 7.00 am when woken by a loud door-slamming noise I was propelled upwards by my spring loaded driver seat…….into the view of a distinguished looking gentleman peering somewhat disapprovingly at the startled, dishevelled, head-a-throb, ‘smelly’ (nay stinking) occupant of my own vehicle.

      Onya’ Sir Robert Smellie QC ! Not the money so much as the bold expression as to why.

  8. Whispering Kate 8

    A very generous gesture indeed and how comforting to know that amongst all the sea of greed and me, me, me society we live in that somebody who is financially able is coming to the aid of Labour for the election. Hopefully there may be more in the coming weeks who are seeing through this disgusting Government and its policies. Thank you Robert Smellie Q.C.

    • Louis 8.1

      I dont have much money, but what I can spare every now and again I donate to the Labour party because as I see it changing from the National government is an investment in the future of our people and my country as a whole.

      • r0b 8.1.1

        Thank you Louis!

      • Anne 8.1.2

        Yep Louis. There’s quite a few thousand of us who do the same and for the same reason. We only wish we could donate more. All hail to Robert Smellie and here’s hoping others of his standing will do the same.

        • ianmac 8.1.2.1

          Me too. Obama managed with a huge number of little people each contributing a little bit. So…

  9. Richard McGrath 9

    If he’s a socialist, why didn’t he donate his money into the government coffers rather than to a political party? Does he not believe the government – not he – should decide how to spend his money? Instead he sent the money in a direction of his own choosing – what a selfish individualist!

    • McFlock 9.1

      Oh, I’m sure he pays his taxes, too.

    • North 9.2

      What a sour-puss you are McGrath !

      The answer may be that given the recent performance of National Party MP and junior minister Alfred Ngongo, viz. the levelling of de-funding threats at social agencies who dare to criticise, the honourable former judge suspects that funds donated to ‘the government’ will be misapplied (effectively) to advancing the political fortunes of hubristic, authoritarian Christian Ngongo and the National Party.

      Trumpishly selfish of you to suggest selfishness in him.

    • because he believes that the country needs to be more socialist, rather than simply wanting more spending?

      Besides, I don’t know if IRD is even allowed to take donations. The closest I do is not declaring charitable giving.

  10. Well done that man. And kudos to ‘The Standard’ for honouring this gesture. As you noted, you don’t have to share his beliefs to appreciate his actions (for the record, I do share his beliefs).

    The more we focus on what we of the left agree on, rather than tearing each other apart for where we may disagree, the more we are clearly ready to change the Government.

  11. Heather Grimwood 11

    Just seen this column. I have these quick comments.
    * the first Labour government had Christian socialist and Catholic members , many of whom made statements and certainly showed action akin to that of the Golden Rule of the New Testament. That government was certainly not driven by greed, but by the plight of the many.
    At that time, NZ was predominately a Christian country of course.
    We now embrace, and govern for diverse religions.
    Many religions emphasise caring for lives of fellow humans, some including lives of all living things,animate and inanimate.
    *to Anthony: my long experience is that altruistic/non-petty/caring/global personalities abide alongside those who aregreedy/punitive/controlling/domineering in all denominations….a cross-section of society.
    I write this in acknowledgement of the wonderful gift from Judge Robert Smellie to the Labour Party, a gift which reinforces the goals of that first Labour Party and that of the present, any of whose members I know have the same goal of care.

  12. Mrs Brillo 12

    Judge Smellie for GG. After a decent interval, of course.

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    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    2 weeks ago

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