Espiner on National’s hypocrisy

Written By: - Date published: 6:14 pm, February 25th, 2008 - 36 comments
Categories: articles, national - Tags: ,

From Colin’s blog:

It’s time for National to put its mouth where its money is.

After a week of climbing into Labour boots and all over the Owen Glenn saga, one thing has become abundantly clear: the Nats have lost any defence of their right to keep their own campaign donations secret.

It is the height of hypocrisy for National to claim, as both its leader John Key and deputy Bill English have done this week, that ‘Labour’s relationship with its largest donor looks very murky indeed’ when National’s own relationship with its donors is not so much murky as totally hidden.

All week National has been stirring the pot, demanding to know more about what Labour promised Owen Glenn in return for his financial assistance. Right, I’d like to know just what National promised its donors last time around. Well first I’d like to know who the donors were, full stop.

Click here to read on

36 comments on “Espiner on National’s hypocrisy”

  1. westmere 1

    Interesting e-mail quoted there!

    Matthew Hooten, a man who knows his Nats, said on Radio NZ today there’s a rumour in Wellington that the e-mails were leaked to Hager by a senior, disaffected National MP. Who could that be, I wonder?

  2. illuminatedtiger 2

    Colin grew a pair 😉

  3. Dan 3

    I agree totally. If you stand back and ask, if a party is judged by its donors and what they represent for the future of New Zealand, I would far rather have Owen Glenn and his cheerful, self deprecating humour, his positive view for NZ’s future and his eloquent support for the Labour, rather than the hypocritical hollow-men who never show their faces, and who expect policies to be made after the election to pay for the generous hidden funds that pay for the National party’s glib hoardings.
    It is also great to see Australia following New Zealand’s lead on the Electoral Finance Act. As Mr English keeps inferring, we should be doing what the Australians are doing! They know corruption when they see it.

  4. Dale 4

    If I were a doner and in a paticularly sensitive provider of a certain service I would think that a anonymous donation to any party would be very appropriate.What business is it of anyone else anyway.

  5. It’s my business.

    I deserve to know who’s helping who get elected, thank you very much. Donations for policy is corruption, plain pure and simple.

  6. the sprout 6

    “e-mails were leaked to Hager by a senior, disaffected National MP. Who could that be, I wonder?”

    well gee, who stood to gain the most from rolling The Don?

  7. higherstandard 7

    Dear Dan and George

    If you’re so determined to know who’s supporting whom why don’t you request the owners of this blog to out themselves. (By the way I completely support their wish to remain anonymous)

    I agree with Dale it’s a dangerous game making donations openly to any political party all politicicians left and right have long memories and can be extremely vindictive.

  8. Dan 8

    Amongst all the impassioned debate and a lot of rubbish on this blog site, I reckon the exchange between Dale and George sums up the gulf between the Nats and the rest. Nice one George. Multi millionaire Glenn reckons Labour is OK, but who are the people behind all of the Nats trusts?

  9. Dale 9

    No you dont George.Its a privacy issue.”Donations for policy”. Give me a break.Every party panders to their supporters.Labour and the UNIONS. Need I say more.

  10. the sprout 10

    ooh incisive comeback HS – blog contributors should have the same standards of accountability as a “Leader” of the Opposition.
    No make that more accountable! Why, hosting a blogsite can run into tens of dollars per month! And blogs are vastly more influential on the fabric of our democracy than say, oh a few million for corporate friendly policies, or leadership positions.

  11. higherstandard 11

    blog contributors should have the same standards of accountability as a “Leader’ of the Opposition … don’t think I said that Sprout just making a point that prople are entitled to their anonymity – your determined to see conspiracies where there are none and if your interested in the fabric of democracy why don’t you take issue witrh the Electoral Finance Act which is the most antidemocratic piece of legislation this country has ever seen.

  12. Dale 12

    Yes Dan your right.So how many points do you recon Labour have gained with Owen Glenns coments over the last ten days? Bet you wish he could be anonmyous now eh?

  13. Dan 13

    Dale, the guy is brilliant. I am sure if he had not shown his cards so openly, the Nats would have wanted him as a trump card. If only all politicians were so open, eloquent and capable. You must have missed his interview with Campbell on TV3.
    What has he done that has left you so unhappy? Confess all.

  14. higherstandard 14

    Dan I think you’ve missed the point Owen Glenn does come across as a successful bloke and charitable with it.

    It’s not for anyone to tell him who he should donate his money to (within reason) and if he wanted to do it openly or remain anonymous it should be up to him.

    Why should a different standard be be applied to other persons who donate openly or anonymously and why do you assume that donors to other parties are any more or less driven by self interest than those who donate to labour.

  15. Dale 15

    Unhappy? No Dan Im stoked.Yes he is brilliant,thats why he resides in Monaco to avoid Labours tax reigm. It all comes down to privacy. Do you tell all and sundry who you support and vote for? When there is a government you support you prop them up with your taxes,hence money for policy.Were you forced to make your vote public? Of coarse not,because if you change your ideology or world view do you think you should be punished for it.Democracy can not exist without privacy of ones own perceptions.

  16. By bye Helen 16

    Give us the names of all these anonymous fuckers from 2005 then…
    New Zealand Labour Party Anonymous $25,000.00
    New Zealand Labour Party Anonymous $50,000.00
    New Zealand Labour Party Anonymous $40,000.00
    New Zealand Labour Party Anonymous $40,000.00
    New Zealand Labour Party Anonymous $20,000.00
    New Zealand Labour Party Anonymous $50,000.00
    New Zealand Labour Party Anonymous $20,000.00
    New Zealand Labour Party Anonymous $70,000.00

    You hypocritical boot lickers

  17. Tane 17

    why don’t you take issue witrh the Electoral Finance Act which is the most antidemocratic piece of legislation this country has ever seen.

    You might think otherwise if you’d be involved in the 1951 waterfront dispute, where free speech was outlawed and it was made illegal to provide food to the families of striking workers. The complete lack of any sense of history is behind many of New Zealand’s current problems.

    Oh and yes ‘By Bye Helen’, I agree that anonymous donations should be outlawed completely and without loopholes up to say $1000. No one’s denying other parties have had anonymous donations, but when it comes to secrecy of donors the Nats take the cake with more than $2m racked up and evidence suggesting they sold their ACC policies to the Insurance Council.

  18. Dale 18

    Yep gotta love ACC. A 17year old had all his skin blown off his legs and one arm because of a poorly maintained transformer. The company paid him $200 in petrol vouchers and a fruit basket,he is intitled to $40 a week from ACC.This lads future is on hold for God knows how long. That pathetic little amount is a disgrace. ACC promotes no accountability.Is’nt time we grew up and joined the real world?

  19. By bye Helen 19

    where’s that evidence then?

  20. higherstandard 20

    Tane

    The 1951 dispute was a disaster for all NZ. let’s hope we never see its like again in this country.

    From what I remember watersiders and their sympathisers evaded government censorship by producing illegal newsletters and dodging police raids to distribute them through clandestine networks.

    That said why would a staunch unionist like yourself support the EFA – sorry but it just doesn’t make sense to me.

  21. Dan 21

    Dale, I am not sure of your comment on ACC. How is it that every insurance office in the country is going to block vote for the Nats because it is a given that the Nats will sell off ACC. There must be a few bob in it for someone, even if it is at the expense of the unfortunate that you mention.

  22. r0b 22

    By bye [sic] Helen: where’s that evidence then?

    Are you new at this BBH?

    http://www.elections.org.nz/parties/donations_summary.html

  23. r0b 23

    Higherstandard – what relevance does the watersiders dispute have to the current situation? 50 years later the world has changed, its a different battle entirely. Unionists on this blog have spelled out the reasons for their support. Why not read through a few back issues?

    In the mean time, the focus in this thread is Espiner highlighting National’s hypocrisy over its secret “anonymous” donors.

  24. infused 24

    ACC is shiat, purely because we have lost the right to so sue.

  25. Policy Parrot 25

    To the ACC-haters:

    Not everyone can afford to take legal action morons, especially considering if they are out of work…
    ACC needs to move with the times, granted, but you should never throw out the baby with the bath water.

    How can people expect to survive, let alone win a case that typically is not open and shut? The only people who win from such cases are the employers (who are more likely to get off – at least in civil cases), and lawyers.

    Many foreign people I’ve spoken to think our “no-fault” system is the best in the world, and if by the way, if you wish to sue, you can still agree not to undertake cover provided by ACC in hope of discretionary damages granted through a criminal prosecution.

  26. AncientGeek 26

    I’d fully support a fully transparent donation system.

    I can’t see any reason to have anonymous significant donations for any party.

  27. Totally off-topic, but did anyone else know that it’s Helen Clark’s 58th birthday today – what I’ve written may surprise!

    http://keepingstock.blogspot.com/2008/02/happy-birthday-helen.html

  28. Glenn 28

    You (and possibly Colin) miss the point spectacularly. National aren’t claming to be lily white on this, but they do have grounds to make political capital out of Labour’s hypocrisy. Labour crusaded all last year on campaign finance transparency, adopting a holier-than-thou stance with endless references to “hollow men’ and “big money’ and they’ve been caught out. National don’t consider anonymous donations a sin. Labour claim they do, and now they’re proven guilty of their (non-)crime.

    Imagine National winning the 2005 election and not delivering tax cuts. Labour would have every right to make political mileage out of it, not because they would deliver tax cuts, but because National made it so central to their political identity.

  29. James Kearney 29

    But Glenn as you can see from the list of Labour’s anonymous donations above they don’t see it as a sin- they just don’t want our system to be overwhelmed by them especially after the dodgyness of the 2005 election.

    There was nothing illegal or immoral in Owen Glenn’s donation and at $8,000 value it was below the declaration limit. The only ‘scandal’ was Mike Williams’ confusion about whether a loan counted as a donation.

  30. Santi 30

    “The only ‘scandal’ was Mike Williams’ confusion about whether a loan counted as a donation.”

    You missed the “Yeah right”.

    You must try harder, James. Your feeble defense doesn’t sound credible, but considering you’re a loyal Labour supporter….

  31. Cheers rOb, but there’s no guarantee that my “tory charity” will extend past midnight tonight!

    I do believe though that one of the biggest weaknesses of our media-driven political scene is that we seldom see the person behind the mask – and I believe that applies right across the political specturm.

  32. r0b 32

    Totally off-topic, but did anyone else know that it’s Helen Clark’s 58th birthday today – what I’ve written may surprise!

    Nicely written Iv2, bravo. Welcome to what some of us have known for the last many years.

  33. “So noted, we remain ancestral enemies then!”

    In the nicest possible way!!

  34. r0b 34

    Cheers rOb, but there’s no guarantee that my “tory charity’ will extend past midnight tonight!

    So noted, we remain ancestral enemies then!

    And to your closing comment, agreed.

  35. Matthew Pilott 35

    “The only ‘scandal’ was Mike Williams’ confusion about whether a loan counted as a donation.’

    You missed the “Yeah right’.

    Classic stuff form Santi – he uses the only form of wit lower than sarcasm, the ‘yeah right’, and follows up with:

    You must try harder, James. Your feeble defense doesn’t sound credible, but considering you’re a loyal Labour supporter

    That’s gotta be a joke, right?

  36. randal 36

    so then wht is the price of democracy…is this all the whingers have got to go on about. we have turned into a nation of niggardly scrooges worrying about chump change instead of the goals and directions of the country… al this led by the little money counters in the press who haven’t got enough yet themselves, never done anything in their lives yet still profess tio be the conscience of the nation…what a larf…and spineless is the worst of the lot!

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