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Finlayson QC

Written By: - Date published: 11:27 am, December 14th, 2012 - 100 comments
Categories: corruption, politicans - Tags:

So Chris Finlayson, Attorney General, finally managed to get his Bill through last month re-allowing the antiquated title of Queen’s Counsel to be conferred on lawyers again.  The title is worth hundred of thousands in extra legal fees you can charge with your added prestige of having ‘taken silk’.

Yesterday he made his first appointment to the title.  It went to…

Chris Finlayson.

lprent: The press secretary for Chris Finlayson advises via e-mail:

…the Minister responsible for the Lawyers and Conveyancers Amendment Bill was the Justice Minister (although the Attorney did introduce the bill in 2009). The recommendation for the appointments to Queen’s Counsel of the Attorney-General and the Solicitor-General were made by the PM under the prerogative powers preserved by the Act, not by the Attorney-General.

Bunji: that’ll teach me to trust Newstalk ZB…

100 comments on “Finlayson QC”

  1. Rich 1

    In NZ, everyone knows everyone and clients will have a good idea whether a lawyer’s going to be any good for their work, whether they’re Mr Lord Justice Dr Sir Christopher Finlayson QC, KPMG, VC, DSO and Bar, or plain Mr Finlayson.

    So to make the big dollars, he’ll have to go overseas, and I’m not sure how well an NZ QC would do at the UK bar (would he even qualify?).

  2. vto 2

    ha ha how pathetic.

    The other words which QC stands for are far more appropriate for Finlayson.

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      What else does QC stand for?

    • vto-i am appalled that you use this inference, even if intended as light hearted (it is not) and feel that such comments should be immediately censored. It reflects badly on this blog while it remains in public view and is apparently tolerated.

      • vto 2.2.1

        Fair enough, it is certainly a heavy term. Funny thing is though that in use it in fact describes Finlayson and his actions in the political arena over time, and especially what he has done here. Not used or heard very many places these days so many people who don’t come across it may well take the wrong meaning from it. In its usual place it fits and in fact has little to do with abuse. More to describe someone’s actions and their relation to the relevant norms. Perhaps too much for here…

        • karol 2.2.1.1

          Say what?  vto, as a lesbian I really can’t fathom your attempted excuse for using that term.  I also totally disagree with Finlayson’s abuse of power.  It has nothing to do with sexuality.

          And I do find the term used above to be offensive. 

          • vto 2.2.1.1.1

            ok ok, point taken. Wrong side of the tracks. Will keep that shit to where it is known and its use accepted for what it is, along with all the other types of offensive shit that gets splattered at each and every thing and type and species. Nobody is immune in the badlands. But you know, I do not retract the fact that this alternative use of the letters describes Finlayson’s actions.

            Not a very merry christmas post was it – sorry for bringing down the tone

            And King Kong, do you know if South Park is real?

            • karol 2.2.1.1.1.1

              Nice. 🙁

              • vto

                Yeah, sorry. But you know, been thinking through the lunchtime wandering, the brain bouncing along the road behind, and I got to thinking that whenever this term is used it is never / rarely actually used in a homophobic abuse sense. The queer aspect relates to the unusuality of whatever is the subject of scorn, and this is of course a genuine and ancient definition for ‘queer’. It never relates to anything sexual. That is my experience of it. So I think this aspect of it has been misconstrued on here.

                The other half of the saying is of course used in the usual, and often good, sense that that word is used i.e. “He’s a good c…”. More in that sense. But it is well accepted that the word is one of the more reviled in the queens english.

                So, to call Finlayson such in these circumstances does fit. His actions in granting himself a status are the actions of a q c. The fact of his personal circumstances are immaterial, although given the surrounding lay of the land it was perhaps unwise to follow the brain trail down this rabbit hole …….

                And a bouquet for Finlayson, this matter aside… He impresses when he is on target. He is sharp certainly. Knowledgeable. Follows the conventions and rule of law. Seems to rest his actions on a broad base understanding and respect for our centuries-old system (which cannot be said for his colleagues in government).

                • King Kong

                  Thats hilarious. You are such a jizz stain.

                • Populuxe1

                  So basically if John Key uses the word “gay” out of context in a mildly pejorative way that was more buffoonery than anything, he’s a horrible homophobe, but if you use “queer” in a blatantly offensive way you expect to have it laughed off. Hmmm.

                • felixviper

                  For what it’s worth (probably not much) I’ve not known the term to be usually used in a homophobic sense either. It’s a hoary old saying and my experience of it is just as vto says, to mean a strange bastard.
                   
                  It’s not a particularly urban or urbane turn of phrase, and some of you sophisticated educated city dwellers might not be used to the kind of talk where words like “cunt” aren’t automatically assumed to be insulting.  
                   
                  So I do understand why people might find it offensive but I do also think it’s being taken the wrong way. vto has always seemed like a good cunt to me.

          • asp viper 2.2.1.1.2

            I presume you might be doubly offended?

          • Colonial Weka 2.2.1.1.3

            I’ve heard the term queer cunt used for a very long time and always assumed that queer was its old usage (as in odd). I would have to honestly say that it never occurred to me that it was being used homophobically given the places I heard it used. I know someone who uses the term queer to mean odd with no trace of homophobia (he’s quite old though), but that’s rare now. I think using the term queer cunt is inadvisable now because the main use of the word queer these days is for the not straight.

            • Populuxe1 2.2.1.1.3.1

              Calling a GLBT person a “queer cunt” is offensive. End. Of. Story.

              • vto

                I aint never heard anybody do that pop

                • Populuxe1

                  Findlayson is gay. This is public information. So yes you did.

                  • vto

                    Well yes I know that but it was used in the context described above.

                    But you concentrate a point – is abuse ladled out by the statement or by the receipt?

                    • Populuxe1

                      Give it up vto – unless you’ve lived in isolation in a cave for the last 70 years or so, you know perfectly well what “queer”‘s commonest usage is and how politically charged a term it is, even in the GLBT community. You should certainly know better than to use it as an insult, and it boggles the mind that you would use it of an openly gay man, especially in conjunction with a word deemed so offensive it’s one of the few you can’t use on  late night TV.

                      Just own that you did it deliberately, own that you fucked up and apologise properly. Maybe we’ll put it down to a similar lapse in judgement as Key’s “gay” brainfart. Stop trying to wriggle around the issue and you may come out of this with some dignity and respect intact. 

                    • vto

                      Look pop, read each of my posts on this. They are all up and down around here. No point in repeating myself to answer your points there. You have the wrong end of it. And certainly I have trodden on some more modern toes.

                      Put it like this – If some other non-gay cock had been made a QC in circumstances like this I would have called him a q c for the exact same reasons. It fits the actions. It is an old term.

                      The issue arises with my last sentence in my last post just above yours. And it is genuine question – what defines offence? The intent of the maker of the statement? Or the receipt in which the statement is taken?

                    • Colonial Weka

                      “And it is genuine question – what defines offence? The intent of the maker of the statement? Or the receipt in which the statement is taken?”
                       
                      Both those things, but also context (and lack of intent doesn’t equal absence of offense). Would you be surprised if someone called me a stupid cunt and I took that more personally (because I am a woman) than I might if I were a man? And do you understand that the reason I might be more upset is not only because I am a woman, but because women’s sexuality gets used against them all the time, esp that particuarly body part and word, often in incredibly damaging ways.
                       
                      Likewise, calling gay man a queer cunt has completely different implications than calling a straight man a queer cunt. You might not think or feel there is much difference, but that is beside the point.

                    • vto

                      Yes weka, I do see that. Sometimes maybe a D9 isn’t the best machine for the job

                  • Sosoo

                    It was a pun. How dense are you?

                • you did vto but I expect you’ll run around with your tail on fire for a while yet

              • Colonial Weka

                Agreed Populuxe. Context is everything.

              • Richard McGrath

                So a GLBT can never be an odd and silly person?

                • McFliper

                  Indeed they can.
                     
                  But one should be clear that it’s what one means, or one might be mistaken for a passive-aggressive moron who throws bigoted abuse and hides behind alternative definitions when called on it. And “silly or odd” seems to do the job quite adequately.

        • King Kong 2.2.1.2

          Dude, there is no way you can invoke the ground breaking case of the Southpark City Council vs Harley Davidson Riders of America where it was found that the word “fag” had evolved from being a derogatory term for a gay to an insult for noisy, attention seeking, motocycle riding douchebags.

          There is no way in the world that being called a queer c**t is anything other than a homophobic insult.

          • Kevin Welsh 2.2.1.2.1

            There is no way in the world that being called a queer c**t is anything other than a homophobic insult.

            Bollocks.

            • karol 2.2.1.2.1.1

              Really? If lesbian and gay people tell you they find it offensive, you say they are wrong?

              And I find it extremely offensive.   

              • asp viper

                I find it more stupid than offensive but hey…………..

              • Colonial Weka

                Karol, as I said above, I’ve known that term to be used without reference to queerness in its modern sense. The people I am thinking of probably didn’t even know that queer meant gay when I was younger, it simply meant odd. I can also understand why you would find it extremely offensive. It’s one of those transitions of language I think.

                • karol

                  When I was a child we used to use the term “queer” as a kind of term of friendly abuse.  We didn’t really understand why our parents didn’t like it.  

                  By the time I was a teenager, coming to terms with my sexuality, it was a pretty widely used homophobic term for homosexuals.  Since then the term has been reclaimed and used positively by LGBTI people.

                  Online etymology dictionaries date the use of the term to refer to homosexual as beginning around the 1920s or 30s.

                  But using the “c” word with it, and applying it to a known gay man, I don’t know how it could be seen as anything but homophobic.

                  The “c” word is one I rarely hear in my daily life, and the people I am closest to never used it as a swear word.  I tend to associate it as being used in fairly masculine contexts.

                   

                  • Soap

                    The original poster was making a mildly witty pun. as I read it, it was intended to get at CF in respect of being odd, not gay – the gay use being required to make the pun work. 

                  • Colonial Weka

                    You are right Karol, and my apologies, I was talking about the historic use of the phrase, not how it got brought up in this thread.
                     
                    I’m still fairly sure that the word queer was being used to mean odd when I was younger, but we may have grown up in different places and times. It wasn’t a word used in the main part of my life in either sense of it. Nor was cunt used. In my middle class background cunt would be the most offensive thing you could call someone. In latter years I’ve had to acclimatise myself to hearing it used regularly without the heavy association to it. Now I listen to see if it is being used as a weapon of misogyny or just another swear word. Mostly it’s the latter.
                     
                     

                    • Populuxe1

                      I mean, seriously, do you think it acceptable to refer to shoddy workmanship as a “Maori job”? People used to say that too.

                    • Colonial Weka

                      Were you talking to me? You’ll have to explain the comparison, because I don’t get it what you are comparing to.

                    • Populuxe1

                      Sorry, no – I was agreeing with you. I meant “you” rhetorically.

                    • karol

                      Actually two words in combination can be more offensive than either word used alone or combined with other words.  I don’t object to everyday uses of the term “queer” as obviously meaning odd.  Nor do I usually object to the “c” word, though it’s not one I use as a term of abuse.

                      But the words in combination these days, and applied to a gay man do take on a homophobic meaning.

                      Similarly, the words “black” and “bastard” in many sentences are not offensive. But calling a black person a “black bstrd” is considered by many people, especially when I lived in London, to be very offensive.

                    • Lanthanide

                      I commented on here that Key was a cunt for saying a shirt was “gay” and offered the (obviously strained) explanation that he meant “weird”. IMO that was justified.

                • Populuxe1

                  Well gosh, look out of the cave mouth and notice it’s the twenty-first century. Women have the vote and Maori are allowed into pubs. Things change. Deal with it.

              • Soap

                Not all do. These sorts of arguments go nowhere. 

              • Sweetd

                While I agree in this instance that the term queer c##t is offensive as I took it at the literal meaning not knowing of others in use in legal circles, I take offence at the attitude that just cause you are lesbian or gay you ‘own’ the word and thus define whether it is offensive or not.

                Just like the word Gay, there are other meanings to the word as Key demostrated, and sure as night follows day, someone will take offence.

                • karol

                  Of course.  And homophobia doesn’t really exist.  Those of us who have been on the receiving end of it should just accept that some het people don’t feel offended by homophobia.  Nothing to see here: ie when many people feel comfortable using words in a way many LGBT find offensive…. they’re just being silly.

                  And the “n” word really just means black.  So why should an African American take offence if an Caucasian person used it as a term of abuse against another African American man?

                  • Sosoo

                    You’re deliberately misunderstanding what the poster said in order to further your own agenda. 

                    • karol

                      Oh.  My agenda?  And what is that?

                      PS: Disagreeing with someone, is not the same as “deliberately misunderstanding them”.

                    • Populuxe1

                      Um, no. Karol was trying to explain why it’s so fucking offensive and shouldn’t used so casually – especially here. Go pedal your own agenda elsewhere thanks.

                    • Colonial Weka

                      It’s pretty clear that vto made a joke about Finlayson, a gay man, being a queer cunt, and that he was playing on the word queer. Irrespective of the fact that queer cunt may have historical use that isn’t homophobic, you can’t call a gay man a queer cunt not expect that to be unoffensive.
                       
                      As for who owns words, ‘queer’ was a pejorative and abusive word (and still is), and the queer communities reclaimed it. So yeah those communities have some claim over the word that others don’t. In the same way that as a woman I will challenge someone who use the term cunt as a way of putting women down.

              • Populuxe1

                I’m a “queer cunt” and I find it offensive.

            • King Kong 2.2.1.2.1.2

              I applaud your concise, insightful and well reasoned rebuttal

            • JonL 2.2.1.2.1.3

              “Bollocks”

              Quite agree – I’ve heard the expression used for 60 yrs and it does not have homophobic overtones – but – people will put interpretations to it according to their own perceptions, so……what do you do…….?
              Not use it I guess!
              Language bullies abound all over…….

              • King Kong

                My father, on occasion, would use the phrase “nigger in the woodpile” which I dare say was completely socially acceptable untill not that long ago (relatively). He doesn’t use it anymore.

                Damn those language bullies.

              • Populuxe1

                It might not have had “homophobic overtones” back before the asteroid hit and killed all the dinosaurs (except you and the tuatara, apparently) but it clearly does now. 

                Just in case you were wondering, it is also now offensive to use expressions like “Nigger in the woodpile” as well. Keep up, there’s a chap.

                • vto

                  What about “honky”? You know, like “fucking honky”.

                  • Populuxe1

                    Well now you’re just being pathetic, vto – but personally I find being called a honky offensive. 
                    Do you like it you red-necked slave-owning share-cropping pasty-arsed land-stealing, Maori-raping fucking honky? Now let that roll around your mind for a bit before putting it into context.

                  • Neoleftie

                    Jeeves weeped do we need adiscourse on flithy language , are we children….

            • QoT 2.2.1.2.1.4

              LOL, it’s funny because female genitals are gross, lol!

              • karol

                Hence the reason it’s a word I don’t use as an insult.  OTOH, it’s a strange thing that English uses words for male genitalia as well to insult people.  Strange to use such words to refer to people.

      • marty mars 2.2.2

        It reflects badly on vto not the blog IMO Dave but i agree the inference is totally uncalled for and quite yucky.

  3. Sweetd 3

    So, when Labour dropped Queens Council in favour of Senior Council did lawyers lose hundreds and thousands of dollars in extra legal fees?

  4. Tom Gould 4

    It’s a Tory thing. Muldoon knighted himself. It’s what they do.

    • Colonic Wiper 4.1

      Really , Cullen is quite keen on the idea as well from what I recall.

      • Tom Gould 4.1.1

        Cullen didn’t knight himself. Muldoon was PM when he ‘left the cabinet room’ while the decision was made, just like Findlayson I guess with the QC thing. Cullen was a private citizen when knighted, and it was by the opposing party cabinet.

        • KhandallaMan-an Absolutely Fabulous QC & Viper 4.1.1.1

          Michael Cullen disappointed many many admirers when he accepted the silly gong.  Whenever I see a reference to him I can’t help saying: you silly silly man.
          IMO, the title sh*t grates with where Labour came from and what Labour should be about.

    • quite correct TomG .What ever pleasure do they get from,some past Pommy title. My grandmother who was a stickler for good manners always said that the most important title was lady and gentleman in its true meaning. This government will hand out many titles to its mates .How long will Key wait because nothing is more certain than Sir John Key . which shows just what a farce the whole thing is.

  5. King Kong 5

    If Finlayson was in it for the dough then I doubt he would have left Bell Gully, where he was earning at least 4 times what he does now, to become an MP.

    • Ed 5.1

      So he became Attorney-General to give himself the title of Q.C.?

      • fender Viper 5.1.1

        The whole NActUF Govt is QC

        Quantitatively Corrupt………IMO

      • Arkonaut 5.1.2

        Um no Ed. If you remember it was his imminent departure from the legal profession into politics that was then non-lawyer Attorney-General Michael Cullen’s excuse, against official advice, to deny him a QC eight years ago.

    • tc 5.2

      It’s about the power KK, and the ability to build up so much credit with mates in the ‘favour/you owe me’ bank.

      The money will always be there for the boys club members they crave the pleasure only ruling the serfs gives.

  6. Cato 6

    I am sure this is what happened. Christopher Finlayson, in his pre-political days as an accomplished barrister with 9 appearances before the Judicial Branch of the Privy Council, sat down with his financial planner in 2004.

    Financial planner: “Gee Chris, you’re doing pretty well for yourself. Here’s what you want to do to take it to the next level. Next year, leave your chambers and abandon private practice to become a backbench list MP. Then work your way up to Attorney-General, arrange to have the law changed to restore the status of Queens Counsel. This will only work if you can get the government to restore honours generally, however, so you might need to bring back knighthoods as well.

    What you need to do then is get the Law Society and the Bar Society to recommend that the status be conferred upon you and then the last thing you need to fix up is for the CJ of the Supreme Court to approve the appointment.

    You can then quit your political career and return to private practice. You can then charge $950/hr instead of $750/hr and at that point, you should be set.”

    Get a grip.

  7. NoseViper (The Nose knows) 7

    Obviously if you’re prominent you have to be eminent or vice versa.

  8. aerobubble 8

    Key didn’t need to beat up the union movement to get the Hobbit film, he just wanted to blame someone for spending tax payer money. Globally movie goers have less money, are worried about prospects, and look to their unions as a social security. So it was unfathomable that Key would undermine the brand saleability of the Hobbit.

    Now Key’s government is attacking a highly respectable Judge in order to not pay compensation, and really do you think high caliber lawyers will be lining up to get named a QC. It reminds
    me of the SCOTUS when they declared for Bush against Gore, and Bush had nobody to replace for the next four years. Who would step down with the obvious conflict of interest observation.

    Because the law isn’t just the letter but the appearance as well. It would be funny if he is also the last QC.

    • karol 8.1

      In the mean time, what does Finlayson’s QC status, enable him to do on behalf of the Key government?

      • ColonialPete 8.1.1

        It’s pointless. It serves as a honour amongst barristers and as recognition of a senior and learned position in the profession. He can wear silk and lace at court rather than just the regular gown.

        • rosy viper 8.1.1.1

          hmmm I wonder if that means he’s intending to take up the silk sometime soon? Is he going to do a Simon Power and ditch the Nacts?

    • Cato 8.2

      Just to clarify: your prediction is that the Hobbit will suffer at the global box office because global movie goers will, out of sympathy with the NZ branch of Actors Equity, really frown upon the deal the Prime Minister made with Warner Brothers to have them made here?

      • King Kong 8.2.1

        I know that alot of people refused to watch “Retun of the Jedi” because the midgets playing the ewoks didn’t get their own individual dressing rooms.

      • aerobubble 8.2.2

        No, I’m saying Key’s own branding needs to be anti-union took precedence over the needs of the Hobbit movie brand.

        Anyway, just for the record, what you are saying is that thousands of workers in the movie industry have foregone union protections to keep work in NZ, and Key is muscling in and
        stealing off with their decision, and turning it into advertizing for his brand.

        Sorry, but I don’t buy this crap, first off I don’t buy that the Hobbit would not have been made here had the unions won, Key would have gotten out the cheque book. The tax payers paid.

        So I thank tax payers, I thank workers who gave up union affiliation, but Key is just gormless to think union bashing in the height of a ongoing global depression is considered and right.

        The reasons we don’t have the deprivation of the first Great depression is because of welfare,
        because of all the progress in innovation over the intervening period, otherwise it would be
        far worse consider how systemic and implicit are the debt to people, to nations, to the planet, are.

  9. The Al1en 9

    Kin ‘el, some of you crack me up.

    Funniest thing of all is no-one’s objecting to Finlayson being called a c*nt.

    • terryg viper 9.1

      I spotted that too Al1en, although Colonial Weka obliquely objected to it.

      And I’m explicitly objecting to it. Irrespective of converting it to a homophobic slur with the pejorative “queer”, cunt is about as sexist & misogynistic as it gets. and before anyone craps on about “nowadays its just an insult” it is, first and foremost, a crude term for vagina (having its roots in proto-germanic). the reason its an insult? misogyny, pure and simple.

      tsk tsk tsk VTO.

      • Populuxe1 9.1.1

        Actually the roots of the c-world lie with a Hindu fertility goddess Cunda. Finlayson isn’t a cunt because a cunt is a wonderful, useful organ that brings life into the world and enjoyment for many.

  10. ak 10

    Gotta admit but, he’s at least a weird cu….nundrum. Catholic in a party that relentlessly smashes the poor and vulnerable; openly gay qu… ixotic champion of treaty settlements after applauding the deliberate Brash racism that is the founding bedrock of modern National; voted against gay marriage. QC. Indeedy, deedy do.

  11. the pigman 11

    This may stem from a misapprehension, but it was my understanding that one of the selling points of the SC title when it was introduced was that it was going to be able to be conferred on lawyers in the public sector, partners in law firms and not just barristers sole. Until then, as I recall, it was only barristers sole that could be conferred with the QC title.

    Did they not roll back that change? Does Finlayson not feel it a little taboo that he is conferring this status while still Attorney-General? Seems like a bad look to me.

  12. Populuxe1 12

    I see vto hasn’t “manned” up yet

  13. SPC 13

    Has Tamihere beeen invited to offer his perpective on the re-instatement of the title QC?

  14. Dv 14

    DEAR HARRY
    Thank for the offer.
    We would like to borrow 5 billion to get us through Xmas.

    Yours in anticipation

    J Key

    [lprent: 🙂 Spam creeping through damnit. ]

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  • Green Party statement on the death of George Floyd
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