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English slapped down by CTU

Written By: - Date published: 11:26 am, April 2nd, 2008 - 16 comments
Categories: bill english, election funding, national - Tags: , ,

english-100.jpgThe Council of Trade Unions has given Bill English a good slapping over his false allegations in Parliament yesterday that the peak union body had broken the Electoral Finance Act.

English accused the CTU of failing to include the home address of its financial agent in its application to become a third party, a lapse he argued was evidence the CTU believes “Labour and its mates can break this law while everyone else has to keep it”.

Unfortunately for Bill, no law has been broken. The only omission here has been from his sloppy research unit, which confused the page on the Electoral Commission’s website that provides basic details about third parties with the CTU’s formal application, which did indeed comply fully with the law.

Perhaps in future English should get his facts straight before shooting off at the mouth and accusing people of breaking the law. That’s a pretty serious charge, and I’d expect a full apology to the CTU in Parliament today. What do you reckon the chances are?

UPDATE: According to reports Bill English has apologised in Parliament. Good on him for doing the right thing.

16 comments on “English slapped down by CTU”

  1. Aj 1

    Nil nought nada zip zero zilch.

    Although Bill might surprise as he does have some morals.

  2. the sprout 2

    christ – outright lies from English, climate change denial from Smith and williamson, armchair generalship from Mapp – are we seeing the dawn of a new National era? an era of complete confabulation to please any audience no matter what the downstream implications and costs?

    is this really the behaviour of a government in waiting? this is the sort of crap you’d expect from a party that expected no risk of gaining power and actually having to account for its words.

    unprofessional, undisciplined, unedifying.

  3. Tony 3

    Yes Bill does have some morals

  4. Tony 4

    anyway Tane,

    Didnt you used to work for the CTU? Of course you`ll defend it, then.

  5. enzer 5

    *laff* All this and bugger all policy as well…

  6. hmm 6

    If it’s the case that the CTU did provide the street address details of their financial agent then the Electoral Commission is being inconsistent in the way in which they display the information on their website.

    If you look at the page http://www.elections.org.nz/parties/listed-third-parties.html the third column for the first third parties listed Farrar, Horton, EPMU etc they provide the street address of the financial agents. Yet they haven’t for the CTU despite supposedly having this information. I think it was probably fair of English to have relied on the Electoral Commission to have been consistent in the information that it publishes, particularly when he has no legal right to view the application of the CTU all he has a is the ability to view the information presented by the Electoral Commission under section 14 of the Act.

    I would also note that the PSA has been silent as to whether it provided the street address of its financial agent in its application and at the moment seems to be in breach if it hasn’t.

  7. Tane 7

    anyway Tane,

    Didnt you used to work for the CTU?

    Bro, I lose track of the places I’m supposed to have worked.

    For the record though, I actually have a bit of respect for Bill and I reckon he’ll do the decent thing and apologise.

  8. higherstandard 8

    Tane if you do indeed have a ‘bit’ of respect for Bill why not report on the entire story and link copy the Hansard on his questions for Annette King.

    He was making a valid point that this law is poorly written and conceived.

  9. Tane 9

    HS, I have linked to the exchange in my post. You’re free to start a blog and write whatever you like, but I’ve chosen to focus on Bill’s smear against the CTU.

  10. Graeme 10

    That’s a pretty serious charge, and I’d expect a full apology to the CTU in Parliament today. What do you reckon the chances are?

    He just apologised.

  11. Tane 11

    That’s good to hear. I’ll update the post.

  12. Higher Standard said “Tane if you do indeed have a ‘bit’ of respect for Bill why not report on the entire story and link copy the Hansard on his questions for Annette King.”

    You’ll find the transcript here HS – http://keepingstock.blogspot.com/2008/04/king-hoist-by-her-own-petard.html

  13. And full marks to English for having the decency to ‘fess up and apologise. Not many from any party would have the same level of decency.

  14. Razorlight 14

    English’s point was made and is still valid though.

    The law is confusing, it was badly drafted and will cause multiple headaches for candidates, parties and authorities until well after the final electoral petitions have been submitted.

    The lawyers are looking forward to this post election scrap.

  15. AncientGeek 15

    It is hard to think of major legislation that hasn’t been amended within 10 years after its introduction. If we waited around for legislation to be perfect before it got passed, then there wouldn’t be any new act’s.

    Opposition members are expected to point out the holes in legislation. If they had a job description it would be in it. It is all grist to mill for the process of fixing legislation. You also find judges, lawyers, sector groups, and just about anyone adding their list of issues and suggested solutions to the amendment process.

  16. Razorlight 16

    The problems were pointed out before this act was passed.

    The largest criticism of the bill though was the process. Despite criticism of it from across the political spectrum it was bulldozed through. The consultation process was abysmal and as a result we have this act and will have to deal with the consequences until well after the election.

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