Ashcroft’s donations a worry

Written By: - Date published: 6:32 pm, September 6th, 2008 - 54 comments
Categories: crosby textor, john key, national, uncategorized - Tags:

Lord Ashcroft is a worry.

Not just to John Key, who had to admit that he didn’t know why Ascroft had met him at Key’s home: it just happened to be in his diary.

According to an article in the Daily Telegraph, he is also a worry to many in the Conservative Party.

Ashcroft “does not just give donations, he is also responsible for the Party’s polling and target seat strategy. When the shadow cabinet is briefed on focus group or poll results, it is Lord Ashcroft who presents the results. That puts him in an extraordinarily powerful position.”

He is also a generous donor. “According to the Electoral Commission website, he has given almost L2.6 million to the Conservatives since 2003.”

“About half of this comes in donations in kind – polling, focus group work, consultancy work and at one point last year, rather bizarrely, L5,927.88 for ‘bottle openers'”.

Both John Key and Lord Ashcroft were at pains to tell TV3’s Duncan Garner that Lord Ashcroft had given no money to the National Party. But nobody asked Key were there any donations in kind of the sort mentioned above – polling, focus group work, consultancy services such as those provided by Crosby/Textor, who were also used by the Conservative Party.

Kiwis wouldn’t need the bottle openers.

Donations of such kind are significant because Lord Ashcroft is not just the Deputy Chairman of the British Conservative Party, he is also the Treasurer of the International Democratic Union. This was founded several years ago by Margaret Thatcher and George HW Bush to give political and organising assistance to right-wing parties around the world. John Howard is its current President.  As has been noted, Ashcroft gave the Liberals in Australia $1million for the 2004 election.

So Ashcroft’s job is also to provide such help to their member parties. He didn’t fly halfway around the world just to give Key the latest news from Britain.

What Key should be asked is whether or not any political services to the National Party were discussed or arranged at the meeting? Donations of services are expressly described as party donations in the Electoral Finance Act, and as John Key himself noted when ruling out donations of cash, they cannot be made by overseas persons if they are valued at more than $1,000.

The law also says that if a donation – say of a service – of more than $1,000 in value is received from an overseas person that person must within 20 working days of receipt return the donation, less $1,000, or pay it to the Electoral Commission.

The deadline is September 26th.

Plenty of time for questions. Watch out for slippery answers.

54 comments on “Ashcroft’s donations a worry”

  1. Anita 1

    Not just to John Key, who had to admit that he didn’t know why Ascroft had met him at Key’s home: it just happened to be in his diary.

    I have to say I really feel for John; I know one of the toughest things in my life is when my staff arrange meetings for me with men who want to give me lots of money. It’s such an annoyance I try to just forget all about it three days later!

  2. Another fair and balanced post.

    [lprent: Thank you on behalf of the poster (taking your statement at face value). I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Hopefully we can provide more of the same in the future. It is better than the ranting that goes on in some blogs. ]

  3. The PC Avenger 3

    Quite so Brett, quite so. Fair and balanced is exactly what should be expected from an openly partisan blog.

    Oh wait no it’s not, and you’re an idiot if you have that expectation.

  4. Anita 4

    Brett Dale,

    Does it bother you at all that Key evaded to the point of dishonesty when asked about Ashcroft? However unbalanced you may think John A’s post is there is a real issue here.

  5. Janet 5

    On TV3 Linda Clark commented that she thought the whole Lord Ashcroft story was a ‘beat up’. She must have lost her political instincts in her years away from the Press Gallery, but fortunately Duncan Garner hasn’t. And now it appears that he was tipped off by a Nat. I hope the mainstream media will do some real investigative work now the Standard has given them the lead.

  6. John 6

    I think you will find that if Ashcroft paid advisers like Crosby Textor to advise National from Australia, there would be no way for New Zealand law enforcement agencies to prosecute such an illegal donation. The key to Key is to watch his slippery use of words.

    Key said Ashcroft did not discuss money with him. That does not mean that Ashcroft did not discuss arrangements for assistance to National that Ashcroft paid for outside of New Zealand.

  7. Janet: Linda Clark never really had any political instincts. Like Sean Plunket, Linda Clark has a bad habit of missing the point….not asking the question that REALLY needs to be asked. Not at all surprising she has failed to appreciate the possibilities inherent in a UK power player like Ashcroft making time to travel 18,000km to talk to John Key a couple months out from an election.

    How would anyone know what Ashcroft did, in kind, if he paid the money to a 3rd party who then contracted the “in kind” services?

  8. higherstandard 8

    Pathetic – now resorting to smearing a man who was generous enough to front up with a reward to help our authorities recover the stolen VCs.

  9. Bill 9

    John Key has adopted a “what would I know about Political donations” stance. This seems disingenuous when we consider his background. For years he was a highly placed executive with Merrill Lynch.

    In 2004, the CEO of Merrill Lynch ordered his executives to contribute to the Bush/Cheney campaign. They stumped up to the tune of almost half a million.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A50364-2004May23.html

    As for his “But it wouldn’t be possible for him to give anyway – he’s an offshore entity.” –

    Does he really expect us to believe that a currency trader and the proprietor of numerous offshore tax haven companies could not or would not covertly transfer funds?

    In my view, not nearly enough attention is being paid to the culture from which Mr Key and his fortune have sprung.

    A search on “Merrill Lynch Fraud” turns up nearly a million items – many proven cases such as
    “SEC Charges Four Merrill Lynch Executives with Aiding and Abetting Enron Accounting Fraud”
    http://www.sec.gov/news/press/2003-32.htm

    In 1998/9 when Enron and Merrill Lynch set up the entities that were to defraud millions, 97 Merill Lynch executives put up 16.6 million to buy in and profit from them.
    http://books.google.co.nz/books?id=fxWOLU2ZNOAC&pg=PA200&lpg=PA200&dq=Merrill+Lynch+history+corruption&source=web&ots=dC7nAiEXb0&sig=NKD0uJLtVGJKDX2W2WgtAA4imFI&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=3&ct=result

    This monumental fraud was perpetrated during Key’s tenure with the firm.

    H/T http://www.tumeke.blogspot.com/ “The Lord Ashcroft Files ” 2/9/08

  10. Lord Hyperbole 10

    Can you spot me a grand Lord?

  11. Ah, the stench emanating from Wall street finally reaches the nostrils of the average Kiwi but none dare call it a Conspiracy. LOL.

    Bill, have you noticed how John Key never talks about how he used to live in New York off and on for the six years he worked for Merrill lynch.Hmmm, I wonder why?

    Being the global head for forex for Merrill lynch and upon invitation only adviser of the Federal Reserve should be a massive boon for someone who has to prove his leadership skills. yet nothing in the puff piece in the 19 july nzherald.

    HS

    You should Google Asfhcroft’s name. He is definitly not a nice guy.

  12. higherstandard 12

    MMMMMM yes Eve

    Clearly the IDU is a front for the real 911 bombers and John Key is Osama Bin Slipperin.

  13. Bill 13

    Nice to see that the standard of trolls is somewhat higher on this blog than on Tumeke.

  14. Lord Hyperbole 14

    My masonic friends like flying planes into tall buildings.

  15. r0b 15

    Pathetic – now resorting to smearing a man who was generous enough to front up with a reward to help our authorities recover the stolen VCs.

    Smearing? No – smearing is what has been done to Owen Glenn, a man who was generous enough to front up with a huge donation to Auckland University (and incidentally supports a number of international charities through The Glenn Foundation).

  16. higherstandard 16

    Agreed r0b – Glenn has been very poorly treated.

    I would point out that Ashcroft has also been fairly generous over the years.

  17. Lord Hyperbole, (So sad you have to come up with something so crappy for a name)

    No, Simple carbon fires bring down massive steel framed buildings in perfect symmetry into their own footprint in 6.5 seconds according to NIST. Didn’t you know that? Oh oops, That is the same NIST that pioneered in the development of Nanothermite. The same Nanothermite found by independent laboratories with state of the art equipment in the dust of all three towers.

    Yes, Hyperbole three towers collapsed that day. All in freefall speed (11, 10 and 6.5 seconds), all symmetrical and all into a pyroclastic flow of dust into their own footprint which is now killing 70.000 first responders and New Yorkers. One tower hit in the middle of the tower, one tower hit sideways and the third tower not hit at all. The only three Steel framed buildings to ever collapse in that peculiar way due to carbon fires. They even came up with a brand spanking phenomenon for building three “thermal expansion”. LOL.

    This is what a group of fire fighters have to say about it.

    HS
    So yawn.

    And to get back to the thread;

    1/ A political party having contact with known power brokers and lying about it is conspiring.

    2/ A political party that does not want to tell us, the voters how they are going to govern the country while meeting with characters with a known history of corrupting the democratic process is up to no good.

  18. IrishBill 18

    Thanks John, I particularly liked the fact the Tories call Ashcroft “Blofeld”. I wouldn’t have thought they’d have that good a sense of humour.

  19. gobsmacked 19

    Speaking of Owen Glenn, why is the National Party trying to contact this young woman? What do they want to “chat” about?

    From today’s Sunday Star-Times:

    “WHILE WINSTON Peters’ troubles seem to go from bad to worse, billionaire benefactor Owen Glenn has been sailing the Mediterranean with a single white female aged 31.

    This demoiselle is an expatriate New Zealander called Mandii Pope. Christened Amanda Grace, Ms Pope is an attractive artiste now living in London, whose MySpace page says: “Would you love a hand painted image??? I can paint a small painting of family and friends or anything in any style for that matter in a few hours, or a larger detailed painting in a week. Interested???? Call me.”

    Which is just what Owen must have done. Mandii has just spent not one but two weeks on his superyacht, the Ubiquitous. Her MySpace page doesn’t mention why Owen’s portrait took so long.

    Curiously, Ms Pope is also sought by National MP Craig Foss. A google of Mandii Pope’s name brought up the following listing: “We would like to chat to former Aucklander, now Londonite Mandii Pope. Anyone knowing of her whereabouts or more details please forward … craigfossmp.blogspot.com.”

    Perhaps he’s a fan of her painting skills too … or is he trying to involve her in all the political mudslinging that’s going on?”

    (ENDS)

  20. deemac 20

    When the Tory Party first put Ashcroft forward for a peerage, he was turned down as he was a tax exile (in Belize). He promised to return to the UK and pay taxes; he got his peerage; his tax status however is still “unclear”.
    The British govt would fid it very embarrassing to remove his peerage as that would be to admit he duped them. Standard practice from the type who believes they can buy anything.

  21. Tim Ellis 21

    I don’t understand the purpose of this post, other than smearing by association, and a lot of unsubstantiated innuendo and speculation. So the claim is that John Key is getting some kind of services in kind from Ashcroft, despite this breaking the law.

    It really does seem quite breathtaking that people on the left have said for the last two years that National is sitting on millions of dollars, is cash rich, has plenty of money to throw at a big campaign, and that this was one of the reasons why the electoral finance act was necessary, to stop big money buying elections. Now, despite this claim, and no evidence that National has broken the electoral finance act, and plenty of evidence that parties of the Left have repeatedly breached the EFA, the allegation here is that National has broken the EFA, because John A can’t work out any other reason why Ashcroft would be in New Zealand. That’s right. The only reason he can think of Ashcroft’s presence in New Zealand is to take part in an act that would break the law. This is despite no evidence that Ashcroft has ever been a party to breaking electoral law.

    Next, we have the claim that Ashcroft has to be one of National’s bagmen, despite it being illegal for him to act in this capacity. This is despite no evidence of foreigners giving very large sums of money to the National Party, ever, while Labour’s biggest donor, a froeigner, that the Labour Party approached in the last couple of months requesting money, is only allowed to donate money because the Labour Party specifically amended the EFA to allow him to do so.

    John A, I know you are capable of interesting analysis. This isn’t such a thing. It isn’t a constructive, left-wing view. It is a partisan smear.

  22. gobsmacked 22

    What was Craig Foss looking for? What does he mean by “we”? Was he acting as a loose cannon, or for the National Party?

    Or is there an “innocent explanation”?

  23. What bothers me is the hypocritical nature of this blog, you accuse the right of the same behavior that the left does. Your the mirror image of Bill O’Reilly.

    Take a lesson from a newbie blogger, try to see both sides, and everything is not black and white, all people on the left are the great saviors while all people on the right aren’t these bad oil barons who just want your money and vise versa.

    As the great Garth Brooks once said “The more sides we see the better decisions we make”

  24. forgetaboutthelastone 24

    Brett Dale:

    protip: as a self-described “newbie blogger” you get to learn lessons not teach them.

  25. Disagree, there are some blogs that are fairly new that are brilliant, and some that have been hanging around for years that are useless.

    The length of time doesn’t make something good.

  26. Pascal's bookie 26

    “As the great Garth Brooks ”

    Garth ‘stadium’ Brooks isn’t great. He’s a popular pedestrian.

    Steve Earle’s great.

  27. Felix 27

    “there are some blogs that are fairly new that are brilliant”

    Yes Brett but yours is neither.

  28. higherstandard 28

    There are also some blogs that are brilliantly fair.

  29. Pascal’s bookie:

    The comment “Stadium Brooks” relates to his 1993 US tour, where he sold out stadiums in minutes.

    His last tour 1996-1998 was played in arenas, so a more intimate setting.

    A lot his songs are about Gay rights, social equality, racial harmony, womans rights the environment, he is a democrat, and understated songwriter, just because he has had massive success doesn’t mean he is a sellout or a bad artist.

    When you have artists like David Bowie, James Taylor, George Michael, Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson crediting him as being a great artist, then you can kind of figure out he’s something special.

    Agree with you about Steve Earl.

  30. fleix:

    What is wrong with my blog? 🙁

  31. Pascal's bookie 31

    Yeah I know Brett, Garth has achieved a lot, all power to him and I’m sure he’s a top bloke. Just not to my taste. Maybe he’ll mellow as his career develops and I’ll end up a big fan. If you had to recommend one album as a showcase what should I get?

    Sorry for the wind up, but I could tell you’d bite.

  32. 2001: Scarecrow
    1997: Sevens
    1989: Garth Brooks

    They are his least overproduced albums and have a lot of songs that wouldnt make mainstream radio, you could always try his Chirs Gaines album.

  33. Pascal's bookie 33

    cheers Brett

  34. Felix 34

    I never meant to suggest that there is anything wrong with your blog Brett.

  35. Bill 35

    Conspiracy theory is the new magic bullet designed to end all argument in this age of internet debate. Just as “anti-Semitism’ became the standard response to all who would criticise the Israeli Government, “conspiracy theory’ has become the weapon of choice for the intellectually lazy in other matters. On closer examination however, both of these terms reveal themselves as emotive nonsense.

    Anyone who has lodged a protest at the policies of the Israeli Government has been accused of anti-Semitism but what does this mean? What does the label anti-Semite tell us about someone that the term racist does not? Why is an act of oppression or slander against blacks “racism” whilst the same act against Jews has its own special term?
    It is tempting to believe that it is simply the usefulness of the term that has lead to its widespread adoption. During the late, unlamented apartheid era in South Africa, protestors against the Nationalist regime were never labeled racist for obvious reasons. Today, however, those whose protest against a “Jewish State’ is based on those very same principles can and are labeled anti-Semite. In my view this is due to an emotive power the term acquired in the post WWII era. Unfortunately the genocidal crimes against the black races of South Africa during the era of slavery had passed from living memory before “racism’ entered the lexicon. For this reason, though the terms are exactly equivalent, “anti-Semitism’ in some minds, carries a voodoo-like power.

    Likewise now with “conspiracy theory’. The very usefulness of the term has given it wide currency despite it’s obvious fallacy. “Conspiracy’ is legitimate but add “theory to it and it becomes another hex.
    Law enforcement agencies spend most of their time investigating conspiracies.
    Ah but those are small conspiracies do I hear you say?
    How big was Enron? Here we have a fraudulent conspiracy that involved sums of money larger than the GNP of many countries.
    But that didn’t involve elected representatives do I hear you say?
    Personally I would not agree but we don’t need to go there. How about the assassination of Martin Luther King Jnr?
    It is a testament to the power of suppression of truth that many of you will not have heard of the 1999 court case initiated by the King family which resulted in this statement:

    ” After hearing and reviewing the extensive testimony and evidence, which had never before been tested under oath in a court of law, it took the Memphis jury only 1½ hours to find that a conspiracy to kill Dr. King did exist. Most significantly, this conspiracy involved agents of the governments of the City of Memphis, the state of Tennessee and the United States of America. The overwhelming weight of the evidence also indicated that James Earl Ray was not the triggerman and, in fact, was an unknowing patsy.’
    http://www.thekingcenter.org/news/trial.html

    Now I do not have an opinion on 911 but I suggest that those who dismiss dissent, purely on the basis that it is “conspiracy theory’, should maybe get one of their own to use in rebuttal rather than invoking an irrational curse.

    To those who consider speculation that John Key may have known about and possibly participated in a huge conspiracy to defraud that was perpetrated by the company in which he was a highly placed executive (and from which 97 of his fellow executives profited) is a baseless smear should perhaps concern themselves with probability rather than conspiracy theory.

  36. Swampy 36

    Yawn, travellerev and others, can we stick to the topic please, I’m sure there are other blogs you can post this stuff to.

    As for the MSM, the Winston Peters-Helen Clark thing has much more legs to it right now. I’m sure this post is an attempt to distract from that, but I wonder how much longer Clark will continue to sycophantically prop up Peters given the damage that is being done by association.

  37. Bill 37

    I beg your pardon. It must be the fault of this computer. On my screen, the topic at the head of this thread reads

    “Lord Ashcroft is a worry. Not just to John Key, who had to admit that he didn’t know why Ascroft had met him at Key’s home: it just happened to be in his diary.”

    …to which posters leveled sneers of conspiracy theory.

    If my posts are appearing on a “Winston Peters-Helen Clark ” thread by some mischance, I apologise.

  38. Swampy 38

    Dear Bill, a bit of your own conspiracy theory

    A search on “Merrill Lynch Fraud’ turns up nearly a million items – many proven cases such as
    “SEC Charges Four Merrill Lynch Executives with Aiding and Abetting Enron Accounting Fraud'”

    What is a “proven case”? Were you unable to write “Four Merrill Lynch Executives Convicted of Aiding and Abetting Enron Accounting Fraud” because no such convictions were obtained? Is that the truth of this matter?

    Is it therefore the case that by insinuation you are smearing Key with some other activity that took place during a period when he worked for Merrill Lynch, but you can’t prove that he was involved or that there was anything untoward about it, it is just your opinion isn’t it.

    There is a lot of hot air opinion on the internet these days – like this blog and many other blogs and web sites.

  39. Lord Hyperbole 39

    Google is ten years old and hot air blogs are everywhere. It stinks.

    Where has dad4justice gone as I wanted to wish him a happy fathers day?

  40. Bill 40

    Five executives convicted of fraud in Enron-Merrill trial

    By Our City Staff
    Thursday, 4 November 2004

    A US jury convicted four former executives from the Wall Street bank Merrill Lynch and a former Enron finance executive of conspiracy and fraud yesterday for helping push through a sham deal to pad the energy company’s earnings.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/five-executives-convicted-of-fraud-in-enronmerrill-trial-531977.html

  41. Felix:

    Cool, thanks. 🙂

  42. forgetaboutthelastone 42

    Bill – here’s an example for you regarding National’s leaks:

    “Cockup usually wins over conspiracy for me, and it’s far more likely they were dropped or left somewhere by mistake in my opinon.”

    Link.

    Its all very well if one has a preference for “cockup over conspiracy” but there is evidence to consider here.

  43. Bill 43

    But wait…..there’s more.

    Merrill’s Enron imbroglio couldn’t come at a worse time. Less than four months ago, Merrill paid $100 million to settle charges with New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer that its Internet analysts issued biased research reports to win investment-banking deals.
    http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/02_37/b3799097.htm

  44. darryl 44

    Brett Dale @ Pascalls Bookie,

    You may not believe this but in the early 90’s after Steve Earle came to NZ, we hooked up with him for a beer and actually sang Garth Brooks songs. From all accounts Steve and Garth get on like a house on fire.

    There’s a time for “The Other Kind” and there’s a time for “I’ve Got Friends in Low Places”.

    🙂

  45. Tara 45

    See also

    MICHAEL ASHCROFT is a powerful man. A former treasurer of the Conservative Party, he is now its deputy-chairman. He is also a very wealthy man—the 65th richest in Britain, according to a rough-and-ready ranking by the Sunday Times. Through one of his companies, he has given over £3m ($6m, at ..

    https://www.economist.com/displayStory.cfm?story_id=11377008

    Belize has two parallel societies: a native economy which struggles to make a living from agriculture, and a vibrant offshore financial sector dominated by foreign businessmen who fund and control the political system. The country is almost feudal, dominated by magnates such as Lord Ashcroft, Baron of Belize, who has used his financial muscle to gain influence in the ruling People’s United Part (PUP). Ashcroft’s eagerness to protect his offshore interests threatened vital British debt relief in 2002. This came after Hurricane Iris devastated Belize’s poor fishing communities and indigenous villages, which would have benefited from the freeing up of spending that debt relief could have brought.

    Ashcroft’s extensive business interests are inseparable from the nation’s political and economic fabric. The US ambassador to Belize, George Bruno, claimed ‘Belize government officials realise that he [Ashcroft] has financial resources equal to the Belize government, that his contacts exceed the government’s in the international community and that he is prepared to litigate all the way to the privy council on any issue’. He was the main protagonist in the establishment of the country’s offshore financial sector, which has achieved infamy in recent years, and has entrenched his interests by forming a powerful grouping within the PUP. As such, Ashcroft has locked horns with several foreign governments over the county’s tax laws, which have granted his Carlisle Holdings a 30-yr moratorium worth up to US$20 million, ending in 2028. .. snip ..

    http://www.scoopit.co.nz/shakeit.php

    British billionaire Michael Ashcroft, owner of Belize Telemedia Ltd (BTL) took over Channel 5 TV on Tuesday, June 17, 2008. and Amalia Mai, former Belize Times editor and close friend of People’s United Party leader Johnny Briceño, is replacing Stewart Krohn as the company’s Chief Executive

    http://www.huntingtonnews.net/columns/080620-kinchen-columnsbelizediary.html

    She tells the tale of
    one Michael Ashcroft, Belizean citizen, owner of various banks and Treasurer
    of the UK Conservative Party. Ashcroft was reported in The Times of London
    as under investigation by the US Drugs Enforcement Agency. He sued The
    Times, but dropped the case after ‘direct discussions with Rupert Murdoch,
    owner of the parent company News International’ (p. 136). Now wouldn’t
    that have been an interesting conversation to overhear
    According to Duffy (p. 137) ‘tourism is often associated with an increase in
    crime, prostitution and drugs.’ When the US Counter-Narcotics Unit visited
    Customs at the Port of Belize, their ‘sniffer dogs were so overwhelmed by the
    smell of drugs that they suffered sensory overload and were unable to func-
    tion’ (p. 138). And there are various reports of individuals buying island
    resorts using cash from drug trafficking. Fishermen near the Mexican border,
    apparently, not uncommonly encounter floating bodies or if they are luck-
    ier, floating bales of cocaine. This is known locally as ‘winning the sea lotto’
    (p. 141). Presumably, the floating bodies have lost the sea lotto.
    The core of Duffy’s thesis is developed on pp. 141153, ‘The Impact of the
    Shadow State on Ecotourism Policy,’ which describes a series of dubious
    development approvals and similar events. Duffy’s conclusion (p. 159) is that
    tourists visit Belize to see reefs, rainforests and ruins, and also to drink, take
    drugs and have sex; but because of links between tourism and the shadow
    state, their mere presence creates a spiral of impacts on the social and natural
    environment of which they are not aware and over which they have no
    control. Ecotourism in Southern Belize, she says, can only be analysed in the
    context of international financial institutions, environmental NGOs, logging
    companies, and illegal traffic in drugs and wildlife.

    http://209.85.141.104/search?q=cache:q4sg4zRcsWQJ:www98.griffith.edu.au/dspace/bitstream/10072/8430/3/atriptoo.pdf+ashcroft+belize+americas+review&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=20&gl=nz

    [lprent; Pleeezeeeee – quote less monumentally. More links. ]

  46. Iprent,

    Sorry, I know you need to read everything but Tara is another much needed sentinel. Give her space.

  47. Tara 48

    [lprent; Pleeezeeeee – quote less monumentally. More links. ]

    Its a developing story. If Keys vision for NZ is anything like Ashcrofts Belize .. agrarian feudalism with an urban hi-tech financial sector based largely in Auckland .. it marks a radical break with past bipartisan consensus. Such as it is ..

  48. higherstandard 49

    agrarian feudalism – I’m sure Fonterra shareholders want to go down that path.

    Is there a breeding farm for nutters somewhere in NZ other than parliament seems their posts are becoming more frequent.

  49. Tara 50

    “agrarian feudalism – I’m sure Fonterra shareholders want to go down that path.”

    .. while vineyard and orchard owners consider “creating their own labour force” from the outer Pacific Islands.

    In Nth. Queensland it was called “blackbirding” – as slavery was being abolished in the US.

  50. Tara 51

    Have a look at

    http://www.scoopit.co.nz

    9.13 AM 8/9/08

  51. Phil 52

    “About half of this comes in donations in kind – polling, focus group work, consultancy work and at one point last year, rather bizarrely, L5,927.88 for ‘bottle openers”.

    Apparently, the Daily Telegraph has never heard of branded merchandise.

    Top quality “Waiters friends” could probably be sourced for about 5 pound each in bulk. Add another pound each for the cost of branding with a company or party logo, and you’ve got an excellent product.

  52. Tara,

    Don’t bother with HS. He’s a numbskull troll. Encountering anything resembling females with intelligence and he goes of on the nutter angle. Must be his age.

  53. Was Mr Adam Dudding from the Sunday Star Times never taught it’s not polite to involve innocent people in assuming slander?
    Surely Sherlock must be due a promotion for his fact finding skills?

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