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Elitist Nats divorced from everyday Kiwis

Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, April 15th, 2011 - 49 comments
Categories: dpf, food, scoundrels - Tags: , , ,

Farrar on Treasury’s expensive dinners:

“I’m all for responsible use of credit cards, but running a story about spending $95/head at dinner entertaining the Executive Director of the World Bank is ridicolous [sic].Foxglove is a medium priced restaurant.

$95 doesn’t mean there were bottles of expensive wine drunk. $20 for an entree, $40 for a man [sic?] and $15 for a dessert is $75 so  arguably they had one bottle of $60 wine”

What an out of touch fuck.

Maree is meant to feed four people for a week on $200. Farrar says she should just economise if money runs tight.

John Whitehead and two World Bank shmoos chowing down for $300 a meal on our dime? Sweet as.

Also, $90 per head is “medium-priced” in whose world?

National’s pollster adds:

“Should we take the World Bank Executive Director to Uncle Chang’s instead?”

When old women are eating cat food to make ends meet, why not? Do the elitist bastard good to have to eat  amongst the middle-class, at least, for once.

PS. Idea we should spend a fortune to feed someone because they happen to be World Bank Executive Director (whatever that is) reminds me of the best rebuke of elitist airs I know:

Gandhi wore his dhoti for an audience with King George V of England.

When asked how he could possibly contemplate meeting the monarch clad in nothing but a length of cloth draped over his loins Gandhi simply said, ” Why not? The King wears enough clothes for the two of us.”

PPS. This was written a few days ago. Since then new stats show the price of bread is up 32% under National. Rome’s elite used to distract and placate the headcount with panem et circenses. Bread and circuses. We’ve got the circus alright. Key is head clown. But now even bread is getting too pricey for many.

49 comments on “Elitist Nats divorced from everyday Kiwis”

  1. Jim Nald 1

    Thus the public watch Key changing
    from Hero to Nero

    🙂

    • ianmac 1.1

      OOps Jim. Just been reading about Nero. In his stint of 15 years taxes lowered, no wars, Rome urban renewal, music and poetry revived.
      Still “Hero to Nero” has a great ring to it. 🙂
       
      High prices for bread!
      High prices for milk!
      High prices for meat!
      High prices for fruit and vegetables!
      High prices for petrol!
      Wages too low!
      NAct is the Government. Key promised a better deal. No excuses. Failed!

  2. Tigger 2

    Oh my god, I agree with Farrar – sort of!  Whitehead is a good CEO and this isn’t an alarming amount nor unreasonable given who he is entertaining.  There is mis-spending in government but this isn’t it – it’s a circus.
    I’d far rather see less of this crap and more about CERA, urgency, Petrogras…

    • todd 2.1

      I’m not sure what is more important, the ability to feed yourself properly or the use of urgency to ram through laws that could restrict your complaints about not being able to feed yourself properly.

      While the public is expected to cut costs all over the place and live on the bare minimum even if they’re working full time, it is not appreciated that the elitists carry on with their debauchery.

      When the Commissioner of Police uses the word malingerers to describe his own wayward Police officers, when the prime minister sends the Navy against Greenpeace and local iwi, when National ministers duck and cover and do not answer questions, when a musician is arrested for singing a song, when even their own fervent bloggers start speaking out against the National regime and when there is no confidence in the Government…

      What people eat might not seem consequential. However it is never a good idea to ignore a basic necessity that is not being met while others are over-indulging at our expense.

      • Tigger 2.1.1

        Ignore?  No.  Give it the time it deserves, yes.  The media has beaten up the CE expense issue, often at the expense of other stories that matter more.  Sorry, but if a reporter’s time is going to looking over CE expense reports vs attending select committees, for example, I know where I’d rather see their time.
        And heck, the restaurant staff need to work…it’s not like the money is going down the drain.
        I continue to worry that the left gets distracted by this small stuff while being unable to get traction on the big stuff.

        • todd 2.1.1.1

          Consider the fact that John Key gets $45,000.00 more per anum than Gillard while NZ falls further and further behind Aussie in nearly every respect. Meanwhile the disparity within New Zealand continues to grow and grow. Such things as being able to buy food are not little things Tigger, they are important and something we must get right.

  3. Peter Rabbit 3

    “When old women are eating cat food to make ends meet, why not?”

    I would love to know what sort of cat food these old women are buying that it is a cheaper option  than “human food”.

    The cheapest I can find  is Foodtowns Homebrand at 91c for a 400g tin vs 75c for a 420g tin of their Homebrand Baked Beans.  While I take nothing away from the point that food is expensive (because as member of a family of 5 I know it is) but the whole cat food side of this story seems to be nothing more than crap

    http://www.foodtown.co.nz/#url=/Shop/ProductDetails%3FStockcode%3D18178%26name%3Dhome-brand-cat-food-seafood-basket

    http://www.foodtown.co.nz/Shop/ProductDetails?Stockcode=47682&name=home-brand-baked-beans-in-tomato-sauce&search=baked%20beans

    • Tigger 3.1

      You need to compare catfood to other canned or fresh meat…comparing it to beans is, well, an apples vs oranges situation.

      • Peter Rabbit 3.1.1

        Tigger while I accept your point mine is that food that has been manufactured for human consumption is available at a lower price point than pet food.

        For less than 50c difference you can obtain tinned tuna.

        http://www.foodtown.co.nz/#url=/Shop/ProductDetails%3FStockcode%3D324092%26name%3Dhome-brand-tuna-yellow-fin-in-oil%26search%3Dfish

        The options available for low cost meals are not limited to Pet Food supplies.

      • Blondie 3.1.2

        I don’t want to detract from the actual point but….. would it really kill people to eat beans instead of meat?

        I’ve been vegetarian for several years now and it sure does help with the budget.

        Plus it’s interesting that my daughter is apparently the only kid in her class who hasn’t had food poisoning at some point or another – as well as being the only vegetarian.

        Beans/tofu etc are full of protein.  Iron is easily sourced in leafy greens.  I’m not sure that the same can really be said for sausages and luncheon.

    • Bright Red 3.2

      clearly she wasn’t eating cat food. clearly it’s all made up because your internet search proves it.

      • Peter Rabbit 3.2.1

        No clearly indicates that other food options were available to her for the same or lower cost than cat food.  Therefore before there are judgements made around it further information is needed as to why she was eating catfood.

        • todd 3.2.1.1

          Perhaps she had a cat, and ran out of food with only the cat food available. She might have needed to survive on cat food for a few days until her pension arrived or perhaps it had been cut. Since we are being hypothetical, perhaps it was a choice between eating cat food, her cat or nothing at all. Perhaps she was not able to get to a food bank or had been turned away because of high demand.
           
          The fact of the matter is that she ate cat food because that was the only option. The boy ate a cockroach because he was hungry and there was no food available. You do realize that there are many families that do not have enough money to buy food. Saying they had options when they clearly did not is rather arrogant and diminishes responsibility of somebody who should be held accountable.
           
          Accountability is one of those words the Government does not have in its vocabulary. They can always blame Labour instead of trying to resolve the issues. Who gives a shit if kids go hungry it’s Labours fault. Labour seems more like a scape goat than an opposition party these days. What a sad state of affairs.

          • Gus 3.2.1.1.1

            Lets be honest Todd, Accountability is something ALL governments lack no matter what side of the political fence they sit.

    • ianmac 3.3

      Peter Rabbit. The fact that this topic has arisen shows that the rising costs do make it tough for some. Catfood and Cockroaches. Symbols of concern. (And by the way try tinned meat V catfood rather than beans.

    • Lanthanide 3.4

      Maybe, just maybe, she didn’t actually buy the catfood herself? Maybe, just maybe, she got a food parcel, or otherwise came to be in possession of can of cat food? Perhaps she has a cat?
       
      Then, what do you know, she doesn’t have any money to go out and buy more food. With nothing left in the house, she is forced to eat the only food-like substance she has to hand – cat food. That or eat her shoe leather.
       
      Gee, now that wasn’t so hard to imagine, was it?

      • Peter Rabbit 3.4.1

        And maybe she eats catfood because she likes it or gambled away the rest of her money or some other reason.

        My point as stated above media have put this information out there with no clarification and people are just accepting it as gospel when clearly there are alternative food options available to her which are meant for human consumption for the same or lesser prices.

        Perhaps instead of speculation some real facts around the incident would be nice.

  4. tsmithfield 4

    “John Whitehead and two World Bank shmoos chowing down for $300 a meal on our dime? Sweet as.
    Also, $90 per head is “medium-priced” in whose world?”

    Maybe the World Bank execs should have been taken out to KFC.

  5. Tom Gould 5

    It’s cheaper than $7000 a head for a feed eaten by a guy who thinks eating cat food is a lifestyle choice.

  6. tsmithfield 6

    PB: “Maybe they can pay for their own bloody food. Fucking moochers.”

    Given that we’ll probably need these execs to bail us out if Labour ever get into power again, 🙂 don’t you think it would be a good idea to treat them nice while they’re here?

    I would think that $90 per head is at the bottom end of what international VIPs would be accustomed to, so it probably isn’t excessive given the context. Comparisons with a solo mother are silly. These execs get a government hand out of $90 each. Maree gets a government hand out of $43k per anum.

    • Bright Red 6.1

      the worldbank doesn’t lend money, the IMF does. If we need them, it will be because National has borrowed billions to fund tax cuts.
      “I would think that $90 per head is at the bottom end of what international VIPs would be accustomed to”
      And so we should be pandering to the tastes of elites, eh?

  7. Yeah, I agree with DPF. This is a senior civil servant and a relationship of value to the country. If you’re going to get this hysterical and high-minded, the time you spent writing this blog post is time you could have spent working for charity that would have helped feed the starving. So shame on you too.

    • Bright Red 7.1

      a) please explain the value to New Zealand in this expenditure. Exactly how do you think that a fancy dinner helps the country?
      b) this is clearly being used as a microcosm of wider elitism. But, being an elitist, you wouldn’t get that
      c) first you say an expensive dinner is no big deal then, without having a clue how Zet spends his/her spare time, you condemn them for spending 15 minutes writing a blog post rather than working for charity during that time. Which is it? Is every action that doesn’t directly aid the poor to be condemned or is not?

  8. Pascal's bookie 8

    I would think that $90 per head is at the bottom end of what international VIPs would be accustomed to

    I’m sure they feel entitled to all sorts of things that are nice to have.

  9. randal 9

    was Roys closed?

  10. Herodotus 10

    This post for me sums up what is wrong with many on the left… Small mindedness. $90 pp for senior execs is not over the top for a dinner.
    Are all here also happy with the bolly that the then min of Auck spent?
    There are times not to accept such beatups of nothingness ( and I include much of the past spending by MP’s on all sides of the divide). All this does is dilute any real issue that is raised at a later date as it has been preceeded by issues like this.
    Re the pet food, if that is an issue then attack the cause – benefit payments but mixing the 2 just displays that many have no idea of priorities and what are the issues of concern.
    The men concerned (and Mp’s and the like) are making huge decisions onour behalf do not let pettinenss get in the way of what matters.. !!!

    • todd 10.1

      Let’s compare then: While the poor are forced to eat cockroaches and cat food the elitists continue to dine out at our expense when they are easily able to afford to feed themselves. When you say priorities; I place people being able to afford food the number one priority. I certainly do not place free meals for the rich on a list of priorities at all. Your obvious worshiping of hierarchy, which has caused such disparity is obvious and ultimately misplaced.
       
      Even with MP’s and the like requiring meals, their wages can obviously meet those costs. That one meal you think is insignificant can feed a starving person for a week. I suppose starvation is insignificant if you’ve never had to feel its touch yourself. Let me get this clear… in your eyes Herodotus, the poor deserve to starve because MP’s make huge decisions? Many of those same decision you believe make the elitists deserving, result in horrendous negative social dynamics in our communities… So how deserving are they really, while the poor continue to go without?

      • Herodotus 10.1.1

        “While the poor are forced to eat cockroaches and cat food ” forced I believe you are overstating the situation.  Let me review milk, petrol, cheese etc are at similar price levels as in 07, so Todd you accept the levels of expenditure of the past from Mp’s and Civ Servants when as mentioned food costs are at todays level???
        You stil do not appear to get it, if benefits, wages etc are inadequate then attack the real problem, you are just as Nero was accused of doing when a certain fire hit Rome.
        What do you say then of MP’s and their entertainment allowance of $13k p.a. thast they do not even have to present chits to validate in order to claim this.
        In conclusion find the cause and fix it, complaining about a few $$ being spend for what may have been great value depending upon the outcomes.
        Do not be like Lab of 08, and experience the real world. I for one do not begruge this expense, if you do then I expect you will be calling for most senior civil servants and all MP’s to resign that is if you are consistant with your comments.
        If you want real disconnection then $1b for Obama to campaign to be reelected is obscene, not this.

        • todd 10.1.1.1

          What is there to overstate? The facts are simple enough. You either accept the facts like myself or you decline to realize that there is a problem.
           
          As for your claim that inflation has not resulted in less buying power since 2007, you must be somewhat blinded by the elitist meme that you espouse. Benefits, wages etc are inadequate because people like John Key and Bill English think that priorities lie elsewhere… They have far less concern for people eating properly than they do for their bank balances.
           
          The outcome was that a few rich people had another free meal at our expense. Comparing such things to the campaign spend of Obama is ridiculous and irrelevant; you deserve my contempt for such a stupid argument.

          • Herodotus 10.1.1.1.1

            Todd- your blinkered vision and misplaced fixations are astounding. 
            “Benefits, wages etc are inadequate because people like John Key and Bill English think that priorities lie elsewhere” so what was Labours excuses, they also had different priorities?? Another case of symptoms and not causation
            I never stated that inflation has not resulted in less buying power. Just commented that many items of expenditure that people are commenting towards today are at similar $ levels as of 3 years ago. With inflation milk, cheese, petrol are at lower levels in real terms today (perhaps not literally tomorrow)
            “Benefits, wages etc are inadequate because people like John Key and Bill English think that priorities lie elsewhere” more symptoms. It has nothing to do with accepting that we are progressing down a low wage economy and as a country we are saddled with debt and negative current accounts.
            LOOK at the CAUSES, not a few $ for a lunch. 

            • todd 10.1.1.1.1.1

              Heroditus, your excuses and misplaced insults are typical of National’s head in the sand mentality. Passing the buck does not solve the problems… It also does not absolve National from their responsibilities. There is relevance in this issue whether you like it or not. The cause for people going without the basic necessities can be squarely placed at Nationals feet, the same people who are getting a free lunch at our expense. Your reasoning is flawed on so many levels, I find it somewhat difficult to understand what your stumpy troll fingers are writing.

    • Bright Red 10.2

      “This post for me sums up what is wrong with many on the left… Small mindedness.”
      can you say ‘microcosm’?

      • Herodotus 10.2.1

        thanks BR I will in future substitute should a post ever require. Always a good day if you can improve tomorrow on what you can learn from today !! 😉
        I await your next gem to improve with !!!

  11. this is clearly being used as a microcosm of wider elitism. But, being an elitist, you wouldn’t get that
    I get that Michael Cullen spent $1500 dollars when he took the Australian Treasurer out to dinner in 2008, something The Standard authors had no particular problem with, other than to complain about the media beating up stories about credit card expenses.
    http://tvnz.co.nz/politics-news/glance-ministers-credit-card-expenses-3583454

    • todd 11.1

      Two wrongs don’t make a right.

      • higherstandard 11.1.1

        But according to this site two rights always make a wrong.

        • lprent 11.1.1.1

          Ah I think that was a misquote. I believe it was

          “Two Wongs don’t make a Worth”

          Some kind of question about the performance of National party cabinet ministers?

          • todd 11.1.1.1.1

            Pansy Wong – Corruption resigns

            Roger McClay – Fraud

            Steven Joyce – DNC (did not complete) Education

            Phil Heatley – Corruption resigns

            +

    • lprent 11.2

      The Standard authors had no particular problem with, other than to complain about the media beating up stories about credit card expenses.

      Ummm. I don’t remember any particular story about that. A link would be helpful to isolate which author you’re talking about.

      You know – just to prevent your statement for being regarded as being that of a simple-minded hack making statements without any sense of proportionality. In fact something rather like what you seem to be asserting that Zet is doing.

      As your statement stands you are effectively saying that I (as a author on The Standard) have done made such statements – which I haven’t. That is when I start getting moderation itches to suggest strongly that people read the about and the policy before I start educating them about being precise.

      (in other words don’t act like a fool where it comes to things I will moderate)

  12. My point is that neither are wrong. The author’s points is – as always – that it’s wrong when it happens under National but not when it happens under Labour, which is just hackery as usual.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.1

      I find such expensive meals by the politicals as wrong no matter who’s in power.
       
      That said, I don’t think that $90 each is excessive. We do, after all, want our politicians fed and they’re probably a little too busy to cook their own meals.

    • daveo 12.2

      I feel a lot better about high ranked civil servants and pollys getting a fancy feed under a government that also looks after ordinary working kiwis than one that tells poor folk to tighten their belt. It’s the hypocrisy that makes it different I guess.

  13. Galeandra 13

    Have to agree that the issue as addressed here  seems to be a beat-up which is a pity because it distracts us from the central issue which is widespread hidden poverty. The problem with sensationalising the issue in the World Bank/catfood/cockroach stories is that those who want to can ignore the theme  and excuse their indifference by picking on the disproportionateness or exceptionality  of the examples used.

    Given Dim Post’s attitude to The Standard over the long term, and McLachlan’s cheerful fomenting of mischief in that regard, I’m surprised that he even visits here anymore. Still, it was nice that he was able to go back a few years (again) to show that Labour did it too. Hackery as usual.

  14. Kevin Welsh 14

    So, why couldn’t he pay for his own? I doubt very much that he doesn’t have an expense account. Or, even better, why not take him home for a home-cooked meal?

  15. Tsmithfield you too are an out of touch – with reality. You know damn well the point is the hypocrisy of Farrar saying $95’s Ok for a meal for some and then complaining about families cutting back. There’s also a big f***ing gap between $95 and KFC or didn’t you know that. People like you make me laugh in your one eyed blindness to defend this stinking f**ing government.

  16. MrSmith 16

    Don’t you love the way the Right’os always roll out the child’s reply of “But they did it first” !!!

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    4 days ago
  • Govt’s strong financial management acknowledged
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  • Boost in Whānau Ora funding to keep changing lives
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  • More people getting into work
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    5 days ago
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  • Provincial Growth Fund to fund Waipukurau cultural development and tourism
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    6 days ago
  • 21 new judges boost diversity, improve access to justice
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  • Puhinui to Auckland Airport in 10 minutes
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    7 days ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit counterparts in US and Canada
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    2 weeks ago
  • Progress with new Police station in Mahia
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    2 weeks ago
  • Getting more out of our most productive firms
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  • Staying connected to Australian agriculture
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  • Investment in schools – a commitment to communities
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    3 weeks ago