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Giving with one hand, taking with the other

Written By: - Date published: 11:49 am, August 10th, 2008 - 30 comments
Categories: same old national - Tags: ,

I’ve gotta admit feeling a little bit sorry for Key over the story of his offer to donate “a good part” of his PM’s salary – should he win – to charity.

One of those cases of damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

Crosby/Textor would be rightly concerned about the potential downside of Key having appeared in the NBR Rich List last month – I’ve already had several conversations with people ‘outside politics’ along these lines.

What better way to deal with the potential criticism than to offer to give up your salary? The problem for him, as Winston points out, is that it may be seen to smack slightly of desperation.

And things won’t be helped by today’s revelation that while attacking Labour for the “cronyism” of political appointments to diplomatic posts Key and McCully have been secretly negotiating a deal whereby Don Brash would be installed as the High Commissioner to London should they win.

The cost to the taxpayer? $600,000.

30 comments on “Giving with one hand, taking with the other ”

  1. sean 1

    The cost to taxpayer? Nothing you muppet – as its not a new role. Hand meet forehead.

  2. higherstandard 2

    Interesting Brash would probably make quite a good high commissioner if that’s the case, although who knows until he’s actually appointed.

    But your post does raise the issue of politicians on all sides supplying jobs to their mates and cronies. This is endemic in NZ and if anything appears to have gained pace in recent times.

  3. gobsmacked 3

    It’s Smashie and Nicey!

  4. NX 4

    That’s reason enough on its own to vote for John Key – we get him for free!

    Don’t forget – Helen Clark is comfortably a multi-millionaire – especially when you take into account her tax-payer funded superannuation scheme she’s had for the last 26 years (every dollar that Helen contributes is topped-up by the tax payer to the value of ~$5).

    Also, have you heard the rumour that Crosby/textor staged the secret recordings in an effort to assure disgruntled right-wing voters…

  5. randal 5

    if brash goes to the uk will harrods or marks and spencers start selling numbered sliced baloney packs?

  6. coge 6

    Helen Clark herself, would be more that capable of taking one of the bigger diplomatic postings, like say London. NZ is a small country, there is not a huge pool of suitably experienced folk to choose from.

  7. coge 7

    Randal, perhaps Marks & Sparks could run a line of “Brashwear”

  8. Anita 8

    There is a huge difference between choosing a competent experienced High Commissioner and using the promise of a diplomatic post to smooth the way for a leadership change.

    This is not Key worrying about the London post and thinking of his old mate in whom he has such confidence and respect.

    This is McCully giving away baubles to get his new prince crowned.

  9. Fairfacts Media 9

    [lprent: I’ve had you on my watchlist since Tane warned you what would happen if you misrepresented this site on your blog again. I think that “The Liarbour lapblog” counts.

    You also have really stupid set of daft catchphrases that mean that I have to waste time rescuing you out of moderation. You just clutter the comments section up with boring waffle. I’ve just been reading it here and on your site while making a decision.

    Decided to ban you permanently, because you don’t appear to have any ability to contribute here meaningfully. ]

  10. Quoth the Raven 10

    But your post does raise the issue of politicians on all sides supplying jobs to their mates and cronies. This is endemic in NZ and if anything appears to have gained pace in recent times.

    Yeah like Labour giving Jim Bolger a job. Shameless cronyism.

  11. Pascal's bookie 11


    Why exactly would Brash be any good in a diplomatic post? Politicians, if they stick around at the top level long enough certainly pick up the knowledge and skills to do the job.

    Brash didn’t exactly spend much time on the gov’t benches though, did he? His only notable foreign affairs highlight was gone by lunchtime.

    The minister of wine and cheese knows parliamentary systems backwards and has a lot of knowledge about how things happen. Brash? What the hell has he done that would translate?

  12. higherstandard 12


    Don Brash had was Governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand for 14 years and did a significant stint at the World bank also I would suggest he has some significant knowledge and skills to do such a job, regardless it is only vague rumour he’ll be offered it.


    I expect someone will post a list to offer examples of Labour cronies at some stage if you don’t think Jim Bolger is an example of politicians looking after their own I would suggest you are delusional.

    You seem to forget that the only time there is universal agreement in the house is whenever the higher salaries commission recommends parliament a pay rise.

  13. higherstandard 13

    Note for Lynn

    … the edit function seems to be misbehaving ?

    When trying to edit it pulses red and refuses to allow and changes.

  14. lprent 14

    hs: I tested it and got the same response on the first go after rediting the second time. Then everything worked perfectly for subsequent messages.

    It looks like it is actually a bug in the client side of the ajax edit function (it took me a while to get it into firebug). It seems to be losing its message ‘id’.

    I’m due to do upgrades next weekend – it is a bit late to do them today.

  15. Quoth the Raven 15

    HS – It was just a joke. I don’t have an encyclopedic knowledge of former MPs and what postings they have been given. If you do then I suppose you can make the claims you are making. What’s interesting is the guy who is high commissioner to London now is a career dimplomat. In the SST article it says his term might be cut short if Brash was given the job.

  16. randal 16

    fairfacts media…hmmmmmmm…billenglish is starting to look mmore and more like that polyester cyborg they use on fox news…hahahahaha

  17. NX,

    No, we won’t get him for free. Other people will pay him dearly to fuck us over.

  18. Sorry I know this is way way way off topic but:

    Could someone whos ability to post on kiwiblog hasnt been quietly disabled please go and pull up this brain dead tory on this statement:

    “Madeleine (25) +5 Says:

    August 10th, 2008 at 1:34 pm
    If you legislate on the concept that what consenting adults do in their own homes is ok then you are committed to putting in place policies that endorse polygamy, adult to adult incest, necrophilia, etc..

    (Empasis added)


  19. sdm 19

    But of course the appointment of Jonathan Hunt was completely not political.

  20. Have you read the article?

    National and there proxies have been running lines about cronyism all year. This is about hypocrisy not cronyism. Both parties have a history of cronyism, just this time around National is trying to score political points off fighting cronyism, which would be appropriate if they had taken a strong line against it, in their actions as well as words, but this obviously isn’t the case.

  21. lprent 21

    Yes – especially the odious Murray McCully who has been attacking every appointment to everything as being part of some evil plot.

    If the SST article stacks up, then you could probably draw the conclusion that it is what he would have done as well. There are quite a number of organizations that the government has to put people into. It is routine.

    Actually the main problems I’d have with Brash as a ambassador are:-

    * His age – born 1940, which means he is heading to 70 in the next few years. That is the age that health and stress become real issues.

    * His habit of being too honest. Think of the “gone by lunchtime” and other similar Brashism’s. I’m unsure that will be all that helpfull for NZ in a diplomatic post.

  22. randal 22

    randal say don is a dork and that is a necessary and sufficient condition for disqualification . besides shonkey johnkey aint gonna get the chance…hehehehehe. randalknowsthesethings

  23. Rakaia George 23

    KITNO – just curious as to how posting a former Reserve bank governor to one of the world’s two major finance centres is equivalent to posting someone to the food standards body becuase they’re from the Waikato?

    Do you understand the concept of qualifications?

  24. Scribe 24


    The cost to taxpayer? Nothing you muppet – as its not a new role. Hand meet forehead.

    Brief, but well said.

  25. “Rakaia George
    August 10, 2008 at 7:54 pm
    KITNO – just curious as to how posting a former Reserve bank governor to one of the world’s two major finance centres is equivalent to posting someone to the food standards body becuase they’re from the Waikato?

    Do you understand the concept of qualifications?

    As I said, the issue her is hypocrisy not cronyism.

  26. Phil 26

    I’m not sure how many of you are aware that Key already donates his salary to charity – what he’s said here is not a new thing, just a continuation of what he’s already doing.

  27. Anita 27


    The article said that. Or rather than he says he donates some of it to charity but he won’t say how much or to whom.

  28. Felix 28

    Don Brash in a diplomatic role?

    I dunno, he’s just never been very…. diplomatic.

  29. Draco TB 29

    I’m not sure how many of you are aware that Key already donates his salary to charity – what he’s said here is not a new thing, just a continuation of what he’s already doing.

    I’m wondering why JK thinks we need to know. It’s really not that important and certainly makes no difference to the policies he and the National Party are putting forward.

    Does he really think people choose their representatives by how much they donate to charity?

  30. Rich 30

    The reason salaries for MPs and politicians were introduced in the first place is so that ordinary people without private means can do the job.

    If it becomes expected that Prime Ministers don’t draw a salary, then the PM will have to be either rich, or live off various dodgy slush funds.

    (Also, I feel I might be Godwined here, but I do remember that Joe Stalin never drew a salary – after his death they found a deskful of unopened paycheques. Of course, Key is nothing like Stalin. If he was, the entire National caucus would be in Siberia by now 🙂 )

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