Do as I say, not as I do

Written By: - Date published: 11:59 am, August 3rd, 2009 - 37 comments
Categories: bill english, corruption - Tags:

fatty english

What gets me is the entitlement mentality from these senior members of Key’s government. Exactly the same mentality they claim afflicts ‘bludgers’ who get benefits and public servants. Their only response is ‘I’m entitled. I’m not breaking the rules’

English won’t even dip into his $276,700 salary to pay for his own family home. If you live in Wellington, you can’t claim the Wellington allowance. English keeps up the fiction that he’s based out of Wellington to rort the system for another $50K (when was the last time English lived out of Wellington? He was a Treasury analyst before entering Parliament).

English enjoys playing the angel of death. Darkly threatening the public service demanding they do more with less. Threatening further, deeper cuts. ‘Got to cut back’ he says. ‘Tough times, no free rides’. Meanwhile, Bludger Bill’s bleeding the taxpayer for all he can himself.

37 comments on “Do as I say, not as I do”

  1. Ianmac 1

    Great cartoon! A picture is worth…..

  2. Tom Semmens 2

    I feel uncomfortable with this. If a 50K unethical-but-legal rort by the deputy PM is the best the media can dredge up, then all is OK in my book. We are rated the least corrupt country in the world for a reason.

    The other reason I am uncomfortable with this focus is the left has, in the long run, more to lose than the right. I heard today John Key being held up as a model because his wife went to China at their own expense, which is all well and good if you are a multi-millionaire but wouldn’t do if you were a humble joe six pack relying solely on your salary as PM to get by. A constant stoking of resentment against politicians and constant nit-picking scrutiny of their expenses only favours the millionaires, because they can whip campaigns at poorer politicians having their snouts in the trough while they claim the high ground. And all that will lead to is a situation where only the mega-rich can afford politics.

    • The Voice of Reason 2.1

      Cheers, Tom. I can give you an example of one right wing polly doing exactly that right now. That would be Mayor Michael Laws. He does not take the salary that comes with the job, but does spend an enormous amount of ratepayer dollars on self promotion instead.

      He takes the line that his other media income is sufficient for his needs, and I’m sure it is. But the dog whistle that goes with it is that if Whanganui elects someone else, then Council costs will go up because any new Mayor would presumably take the salary.

      So he gets the moral highground, spends lavishly on Brand Laws anyway and makes any opponent look costly by the smug implication that if they’re not rich enough, they shouldn’t be Mayor.

    • Exactly, which is why the focus needs to switch to an effective, transparent solution via a publicly reported enquiry,

  3. graham 3

    the whole story is rubbish and you know it.he has never owned the house it is owned by a trust which his wife is the beneficary so it isnt his asset .this whole story is a beat up and everybody knows is quite common for families to live together in the national party and to have children unlike the labour party .how sad just look at the polls and try something else

    • Daveski 3.1

      I’m breaking a code of mine not to encourage Zet’s posts 🙂

      However, I think the cartoon and the thrust of the post summarises the bulk of the views including most at KB of all places.

      As I’ve commented elsewhere, this is an issue that impacts on all parties and I note the Greens have not uttered a word yet (at least not one that I’ve seen).

      For some one insisting on restraint, it’s not a good look in the least and the cartoon summarises the issue quite nicely.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 3.2

      Its not illegal but questionable ethically. Family trusts are a good way of protecting assets from the IRD. Maybe he could ask Traesury to look at reform in this area.
      Would the Business Round Table support him?

    • DeeDub 3.3

      Good God Graham give it up!?! Technicalities or misdirection are all you wingnuts can voice as a defense of this. Even the most rabid Nat. I know thinks English is in an ethical distaster zone on this one.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.4

      Yeah, the house is owned by a trust which he owns. Ergo, he owns the house which means he’s rorting the taxpayer.

    • Craig Glen Eden 3.5

      Bullshit Graham, he is claiming the out of town allowance when his wife and kids live in Wellington, unless they are not really living together and are just keeping up appearances. Maybe he just visits Mary and the kids a couple of times a week like some other bludgers do,in his case to make it look like they are the nice family unit so as to claim the greater amount for a large family house. English is ripping the hard working tax payer and you know it.
      The National party are a disgrace. In the interest of balance, full details of nights spent in which house should be disclosed. If its good enough for people on the DPB its good enough for these politicians to fully disclose exactly what the situation is.
      Let the masses decide if what English and his MATES are up to is ok or not after all, Key could then get one more populist opinion to run government policy on.

      • Macro 3.5.1

        Furthermore, English moved into Parliament NOT from his electorate, but for a wellington job in Treasury! He and his family were living in Wellington even before he went into Parliament!

  4. J Mex 4

    I agree wit hthe author, it’s bollocks.

    However (and don’t take this as me running the “but they did it too” excuse), I really don’t recall the same outrage from any authors ot The Standard, when Labour ran their Pledge card rort.

    Their only response was ‘We’re entitled. We’re not breaking the rules’

  5. BK 5

    The entry says “English keeps up the fiction that he’s based out of Wellington to ‘rort’ the system.”

    I’m seeing this word ‘rort’ a lot lately (such as in Michael Laws’s recent opinion piece).

    Wikipedia gives a brief and unreliable explanation. Why are we using this word so much all of a sudden? It stinks, and isn’t in the Oxford dictionary.

    • Bright Red 5.1

      A rort is a gaming of a system, usually for personal advantage, in a manner that may or may not be illegal. It’s an action in the nature of fraud but without, necessarily, the criminal element.

      Like ‘nous’ it’s common in the New Zealand/Australian political lexicon but virtually unknown elsewhere. in the English-speaking world.

      • The Voice of Reason 5.1.1

        I’ve always understood the word ‘rort’ to mean exploiting an arrangement or agreement in a manner that is technically legal, but not within the spirit of the arrangement or agreement. I’ve been hearing it and using it for over twenty years and it’s come up in sports, employment, business and politics. Anywhere really where someone spots an advantage within the rules that can be used to make gain, even if it defeats the purpose of the rules.

        The result of a rort being uncovered is usually a change of the rules, often, but not always, to the detriment of those who abided by the spirit of the rules anyway.

        I’m struggling to remember when I first heard it, but I have a feeling that it was used to describe the behaviour of Greg Chappell in a cricket match back in the eighties. I wonder whether Bill English can bowl anything but underarm?

        • Ianmac

          VOR”it was used to describe the behaviour of Greg Chappell in a cricket match back in the eighties.”
          Great example legal but unethical.

  6. Tim Ellis 6

    I wonder what the cost of keeping Dr Cullen in Wellington was? Or Mr Anderton?

    I suspect it was equal if not greater than Mr English’s accommodation costs. Except we won’t know for sure because Labour never released that information.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 6.1

      i take it you feel this sort of this is not ethical then?

    • The Voice of Reason 6.2

      Dunno about Dr Cullen, Tim, but I thought Jim Anderton resided in the family home in Chch during my days as one of his constituents. Probably still does, for all I know. I think he had a business in Ak during the seventies (shopping carts?), so presumably he had a house there at some stage too. Anyhoo, if you’ve got some dirt, dish…

      And I’m surprised an auditor would ask if a fixed cost in the past could be more than a fixed cost in the present day. I would have thought inflation adjustments would have rendered that impossible. Especially when English is maxing it out right here and now. Can you explain how they individually could have got more? Or did you mean that the two of them together equal one English rort?

      • Tim Ellis 6.2.1

        TVOR, both Dr Cullen and Mr Anderton would have been entitled to ministerial houses in Wellington, since they didn’t live in Wellington. Mr Anderton occupied Vogel House for a long time.

        I doubt the accommodation Mr English receives is any greater than any other senior minister from outside of Wellington in recent years.

        • Pascal's bookie

          In what sense is English from outside of Wellington?

          • Tim Ellis

            In the sense that he is the MP for Southland, has a home in Dipton, and that he and his family would be living in Dipton if he weren’t an MP and needed to be in Wellington.

            • Macro

              Bullshit – he worked for Treasury before entering Parliament His family lived there too. Going back “home” to Dipton could almost be called carpet bagging. Key doesn’t live in my electorate either – and Paula Bennett is NOT a westie, she is originally from Rotorua. So its hardly correct to say that his family have had to shift to be with him!

        • Draco T Bastard

          So, tell me TE, does Mr Anderton now own Vogel House?

  7. DeeDub 7

    Tim Ellis – master misdirector – strikes again!

    • grumpy 7.1

      But with a very good point – do you know the answer? Maybe one of those contributors from Labour’s Head Office could help out?

      • Bright Red 7.1.1

        Sorry, what’s good about Tim’s point?

        the problem isn’t with ministers geting a housing allowance if they live outside Wellington and only live there for their job. The problem is that English lives in Wellington anyway but is claiming $50,000 in an allowance only an out of towm minister should be getting.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.2

      He’s not a master but he is trying.

  8. outofbed 8

    You can’t campaign on a trust and Labour is corrupt we need change blah blah
    and then use the excuse that ? Labour did it every time you are exposed

    The question is, Is it right for English to get 1000$ from the taxpayer to live with his wife in a house that they own ?
    If you think it is right, come out and say so don’t give use” they did it too” shit

  9. graham 9

    it is right to get the allowance and you guys know it.if a trust is owned by his wife it isnt his .if on the off chance they broke up because her trust owns the house it wouldnt be matrimonial find something else to whine about like the polls and why the people love john key

    • Craig Glen Eden 9.1

      Graham do you not understand the issue or are you paid by the National party to write the shit you do. if you cant do better than repeating the same poor thought that is not even dealing with the issue, piss off.

      While I don’t agree very much ( if ever ) with some people like daveski, caktus kate and so on, at least they can debate an issue like adults and they generally contribute some thing or thought, occasionally they are even funny.
      You on the other hand are bringing nothing to the discussion.

      • graham 9.1.1

        i was always taught that once you resort to abuse you lose the aruguement. so that means you lose i win

        • Bright Red

          Claiming victory in an internet debate?

          Sure sign this guy is a libertarian. Only they’re so nuts.

  10. graham 10

    he is acording to his rank eligable to live in vogel house so what he should do is move into vogel house and rent out his wifes home

  11. graham 11

    the issue is that he hasnt broke the law.he has not done anything different that any cabnet minister has done in the if we want to change the law fine all that will happen is that he will sell his house and move into vogel house and any other mp will not own investment property in wellington including the greens.and still john key will be loved any national will be high in the polls how sad .

  12. loui59 12

    Where is Rodney Hide all of a sudden? he is keeping very quiet on this, maybe his boss Roger the artful dodger has gagged him on this topic for some reason, Can’t imagine why though unless they are happy to take all our hard earned tax money for there own use too, like family holidays. My family live in London too, my boss laughed when I suggested the company pay 90% of my costs to go and visit my Grandchildren.

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