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English condemned

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, October 29th, 2009 - 30 comments
Categories: bill english - Tags:

Bill English stands condemned. Only in part by the Auditor General. Her report is ambiguous:

The result was that the Crown was renting a property for Mr English from a trust in which he had an interest, and the arrangement was explicitly based on a view that he did not have an interest. Clearly, this was unfortunate. We emphasise that the Minister’s declaration was based on advice. However, in our view, the advice was not directly relevant to this situation. We consider that Ministerial Services should have raised this with the Minister.

In other words, English tried it on and got away with it. The AG’s report doesn’t conclude that he is blameless, just that nothing more would be added to her existing conclusions by further investigation. English will spin that as a “vindication” and will probably get away with it.

None the less, English stands condemned. He is condemned by his own words*:

There is No Shame

‘The New Zealand public will ultimately decide the standards of public probity in politics. If they let [… get] away with rort, then standards of transparency and honesty will drop across the board. New Zealand politics stays clean because all politicians have presumed the public don’t tolerate corruption, and because politicians do not want the shame of being seen as anything but squeaky clean until now that is. believe that can tough it out, that if doesn’t admit any wrongdoing, the media will eventually drop it, and the public don’t really care. doesn’t appear to believe the idea than any rules of public probity should get in the way of [the party’s] interests.’

He is condemned by the words of John Key:

On a prior scandal: “That may still legally be the case because it’s a grey area but that doesn’t meet the standards I believe in. I set high standards and the standards for the party are arguably different standards than just being close to the law.”

On being a politician: ‘Yeah, well I think the characteristics that you need anyway are.. Honesty and integrity. … And so I think the fact that they can trust you has got to be paramount in the end I mean I wouldn’t vote for someone I didn’t think I could trust.”

He is condemned by the words of National mouthpiece David Farrar:

On the Greens’ accommodation: “It is all within the rules, but so were most of the rorts in the UK. As David Cameron said, the issue is not the rules, but whether the behaviour is ethical and correct. And most of all, it is about whether the rules should allow an MP to maximise profit from their Wellington accommodation.”

And on others: “But the issue has never been one of legality as much as ethics. The criminal code is the bare minimum standards for society. For MPs we expect behaviour well beyond that.”

Bill English stands condemned by anyone who is concerned about the appropriate use of taxpayer funds, and anyone who expects ethical behaviour from our elected representatives…

[*The original – a hypocritical attack on Labour – is gone from Bill’s web site. What a surprise!  But Google still has it.  This version was adapted by Jim McDonald and picked up by Red Alert.]

30 comments on “English condemned ”

  1. RedLogix 1

    Nah, this report is great news.

    I’m hitting up my employer next week for a $900pw housing allowance cos the AG says it’s all ok.

  2. Winston Smith 2

    Bill English stands condemned… oops I stand corrected – no he doesn’t. The AG concludes that

    “Mr English correctly completed the declarations he was required to as an MP, and provided other information on his accommodation arrangements, in order to claim Wellington accommodation costs.”

    And:

    “The fact that Mr English was being reimbursed for the cost of renting a house owned by his family trust was not exceptional.”

    So when’s Trev the Muss posting his apology?

  3. Doug 3

    Labour will not be able to help themselves, they will bang on about this for another few months until the polls reach 20% and then wonder why.

  4. vto 4

    r0b, if you conclude he is condemned by himself, Key and Farrar who you quote then you must also conclude that the people that himself, Key and Farrar are condemning in those quotes are also condemned. Namely the greens, labour, etc. Thanks r0b.

    They are all condemned. There is egg on all the parties faces. And that is not just your opinion r0b, imo it is the opinion and knowledge of most NZers re pollies and wgtn rorts.

    • r0b 4.1

      Not all those accused are guilty vto, comes down to the merits of each case. I think the attacks on the Greens are a total beatup for example. The point here though is that Nationals own accusations apply very much to Bill.

    • Pascal's bookie 4.2

      hmmm.

      Mick: “That John of yours is a wanker plain and simple. He is a thief, and all thieves are wankers. ergo John is a fckn wanker.”

      Paul: “But he’s not a thief. Charlie on the other hand is a thief, so you agree that your mate Charlie is a wanker then right?”

      Mick: “hah! You’ve accepted that thieves are wankers so you must accept that your mate John is a wanker. Condemned from your own mouth, in your face, etc, pwned eleventy one.”

      Paul Must I?

    • burt 4.3

      rOb

      vto gave you the perfect “Others were doing it too” line that you could apply to English and say it wasn’t fair that he was held to account when others were doing it too… What has changed since the days when “it was confusing and others were doing it too” was justification for anything ? Oh that’s right – a change of govt and now you want accountability. Good on you.

  5. burt 5

    rOb

    So when we are talking about Labour and the AG says “They broke the law’ the AG made a bad call and was wrong. AND when we are talking about National and the AG says “No law was broken’ the AG made a bad call and was wrong.

    It is just such a pity that the AG wasn’t as partisan as you Muldoon rOb, if he/she was then you could be always right a position your idol was well famous for.

  6. burt 6

    Bill English stands condemned by anyone who is concerned about the appropriate use of taxpayer funds, and anyone who expects ethical behaviour from our elected representatives

    So you are saying he is exonerated then ?

  7. So BE lies about him having an interest in his own bloody trust, gets caught out and that is just unfortunate?
    F*&king hell.

  8. sean14 8

    I think English is in the wrong over this, but at least he paid the money back of his own accord and before the AG’s report came out.

    The sheer hypocrisy from the left is staggering on this issue. Labour were warned several times by the AG before spending hundreds of thousands of taxpayers money that doing so was wrong, but did it anyway. When the money was finally paid back, it was only because the ref had made a bad call – what a naughty referee.

    This is just further proof that both sides are as bad as each other. In my opinion, all those that claim that their side is holier than thou and that the other side are corrupt evildoers are just full of it.

    • vto 8.2

      exactly

      • vto 8.2.1

        exactly.

        Lordy knows how things like this get resolved and sorted. Two factors collide and collude to result in these situations – firstly, excessive regulation leads directly to excessive complication and difficulty in compliance and secondly, human nature is hard-wired to take any rules and regs to the limit in order to maximise one’s position.

        The combo is, as illustrated in this entire matter, just a mess.

    • r0b 8.3

      Labour were warned several times by the AG before spending hundreds of thousands of taxpayers money that doing so was wrong, but did it anyway.

      Labour was accused of inappropriate spending. As was National. And ACT. And the Maori Party. And the Greens. And NZF. And UF. Not exactly a left wing mistake eh?

      [AntiSpam: circles – around we go again…]

      • vto 8.3.1

        exactly.

        Lordy knows how things like this get resolved and sorted. Two factors collide and collude to result in these situations firstly, excessive regulation leads directly to excessive complication and difficulty in compliance and secondly, human nature is hard-wired to take any rules and regs to the limit in order to maximise one’s position.

        The combo is, as illustrated in this entire matter, just a mess.

      • cocamc 8.3.2

        r0b
        Labour, National and the rest were not accused. They were guilty of inappropriate spending and all had to pay it back – though never did figure out if NZF did in the end. As people above has said. This is not a left/right thing, this is about removing any shonky spending and getting a transparent picture.

      • burt 8.3.3

        I think only Labour got a written warning prior to the AG report that said they broke the law. But hey – the facts are a pain in the ass so spin away and call me lair to hide your shame.

  9. David L 9

    Why is Bill English still in parliament? He bent the rules to enrich himself from the public purse. I believe this is corruption. Corruption has no place in New Zealand politics, English must go.

    • burt 9.1

      David L

      Good question, he hasn’t broken the rules and validated himself – pretty weak show really from English; he hasn’t even demonstrated through his actions that he is above the law like his courageous corruption predecessors.

  10. toad 10

    This could be interesting:

    12. Hon PETE HODGSON to the Minister responsible for Ministerial Services: When a memo between two Internal Affairs officials of 3 February 2009 stated that “we sought advice from the 9th floor whether leasing from a family trust was appropriate’ and were subsequently advised that it was subject to three conditions, who determined those three conditions and when?

  11. Homo Domesticus 11

    Bill English is guilty of corruption. He deliberately changed his personal circumstances to qualify for allowances he was not entitled to. Bill English enriched himself from the public purse and he has fraudulently stolen money from taxpayers. I believe English is guilty of corruption. The auditor-general, shamefully but not unexpectedly, says English has done nothing wrong. I and many others think differently. I believe English should either resign or be charged with corruption. Can a citizen lay corruption charges against a public official in NZ?

    • r0b 11.1

      The auditor-general, shamefully but not unexpectedly, says English has done nothing wrong.

      No – The AGs conclusions are mixed. She says that nothing would be added by further investigation, but that is a far cry from ” English has done nothing wrong”.

      • Homo Domesticus 11.1.1

        It’s crap. Double talking bureaucrat speak. The investigation has closed, English has got of scot-free, laughing all the way to the bank at your expense. English is guilty of corruption. Where are the media, the opposition? There is no democracy in New Zealand when something like this can happen. Disgraceful.

  12. The bizarre part of this and the issue that needs to be investigated further is what idiot told Blinglish that even though his wife and children would financially benefit this does not amount to his having a pecuniary advantage.

    Lawyers would be sued if they gave this sort of advice.

    Many of the previous blog comments were on this point and I must admit that my jaw hit my desk when I read this particular part of the report.

    This advice is of equal quality to the advice to Blinglish that the TVone promo for Plain English is politically neutral.

    What is going on?

    Am I living in Zimbabwe as DPF suggested New Zealand was becoming?

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