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I do a lot of work for charity, but I don’t like to talk about it

Written By: - Date published: 9:19 am, August 12th, 2008 - 57 comments
Categories: john key, Social issues - Tags:

Many New Zealand politicians give away a large portion of their salaries to needy causes but they don’t make a song and dance about it because a) lots of MPs do it b) boasting about charity donations is a rich man’s game, and the reason we have decent salaries for MPs is to prevent politics being the preserve of the wealthy c) it’s just crass to give to a needy cause and then ask to be deified for it. None of that has stopped John Key humbly informing New Zealanders of his big wallet twice in recent weeks saying he gives away most of his current MP’s salary and would do the same as PM (a drop in the bucket to a man worth $50 mil plus, of course). It reminds me of this:

It also annoys me on a more fundamental level. If you acknowledge there is poverty and need in society and that redistribution of wealth from the wealthy to the poor needs to take place to ease that problem there are two basic options. Charity, which is great for its flexibility and the direct sense of giving the donor receives but is often reliant on the personal whims of wealthy individuals like Key, meaning only the ‘deserving poor’ get help, and social welfare programmes which are comprehensive and impartial, if also behemoths. In unison, the two do much good and both could use more money. So, it’s disappointing, indeed flabbergasting, to see Key extolling his personal charity one day and attacking social welfare, which helps far more people, the next. Does he really care about helping those in poverty or is he more interested in his public image?

[In response to Key’s boosting, Ruth Dyson is asked about her charitable giving here, 3/4 of the way through]

57 comments on “I do a lot of work for charity, but I don’t like to talk about it”

  1. I don’t know that anyone would want to be “defied” for giving to charity, but they might want to be deified for it, especially if they are John Key.

    But, yes, this is rather like John McCain carrying on *endlessly* about his POW experience and getting away with it. Sickening.

  2. “POW experience”

    Try being a solo father living under a feminized controlled regime.
    Who will try to have me arrested again , the Children Commissioner or Miss Clark? TAB paying even money on both women.

    I do charity work for people shafted by a sinister and sick justice system .All the lawyers and judges ask me why I do it for no money. Not one of them can look me in the eye when I state I care about people? They think I am a alien when I ask them if they have a judicial system on Mars?

    Nice bit of yank bashing jaffa, what do you think of the Russian invasion of Georgia? Our carbon tax will run their tanks !!

  3. Andrew 3

    Smashy and Nicey! I suddenly have so much more time for the Standard.

    Bachman-Turner Overdrive – Let’s rock!

  4. Stephen 4

    and then ask to be defied for it.

    That should be ‘deified’

  5. yeah, the old hilarious typo.

  6. Stephen 6

    D4J, i’ll arrest ya if you want!

  7. Stephen 7

    Anyway, not really the worst move from Key – keeping a couple hundred grand on top of all the perks would be grounds for resentment or attack from some quarters.

  8. “D4J, i’ll arrest ya if you want!”

    No thanks Stephen as the grandmothers, mothers, children and fathers I am assisting need my assistance in a callous system stacked with heartless greedy lawyers, bent judges and nutbar psychologists.
    I am helping a lady that was thrown out of women’s refuge with a 4 month baby. Good one New Zealand.

    Charity on the front line is a world I don’t expect many on blogosphere to understand. In fact, not one of you would know what’s it like cleaning up mess after mess caused through systematic failures and cumulative errors.

    Arrest – no thanks ,besides at this time of year it’s hard to recover from the police beatings down in the freezing central cell dungeons.

  9. Benodic 9

    Dad, you’re boring.

  10. Be charitable… Ben Doc

  11. Perhaps you would like to read up on the Russian invasion of Georgia d4j. You are woefully underinformed as usual.

    This is genocide
    Did the U.S. Prep Georgia for War with Russia?
    US mercenary caught?

    You shouldn’t believe everything you read in our Corporately owned News Papers.

    Completely off topic but my post on John Key and his relationship with Andrew Krieger just got scoopited to the front page of Scoop. Awesome.

    Captcha: Paris Naomi. Sigh, even Captcha goes for Bimbos

  12. In fact everything I said was off topic. My apologies.

    On topic I have this to say about JK’s “generosity”. Someone who is so obscenely rich with money made while speculating and gambling on Countries currencies and hence entire populations better be giving something back. What he is doing is not generosity he is buying off his conscience.

    In a just society there would be no need for charity.

  13. couldn’t agree more travellerev.

    D4J – ‘be charitable’, gold.

  14. Scribe 14

    jafapete,

    But, yes, this is rather like John McCain carrying on *endlessly* about his POW experience and getting away with it. Sickening.

    From what I’ve seen and heard, McCain has actually been fairly reluctant to talk about it. The Republicans, in fact, have been urging him to talk MORE about it.

    Care to support your accusation with evidence?

  15. ak 15

    Goodonya dad: if Slippery Dick had shown the teensiest evidence of doing what you are rather than feathering his own fat nest overseas I’d be more inclined to give him the time of day. It’s a bit late to brazenly skite about flicking the poor a few crumbs off his fat belly when five minutes ago he was accusing screeds of our most vulnerable fellow citizens of “breeding for business”.
    Think about that phrase: and about the icy callous heart that could even hatch the thought. Nice man my arse – master of disguise with a case-hardened fist of steel under the velvet glove. I’d honestly rather vote4dad.

  16. ak. you can if you live in Christchurch (Central, I think). Peter’s the Republicans’ candidate.

  17. ak 18

    (ta Steve – ordering my D4J4PM plates as we speak….. 🙂

  18. gobsmacked 19

    You give to others, for the benefit of the people receiving.

    You talk about giving to others, for the benefit of the people listening.

    (Recommended reading for John Key: Mark, Chapter 12, verses 38-44).

  19. Phil 21

    As far as I’m aware, JK has been giving his salary to various charities the whiole time he’s been an MP. Remember also that ‘attacking social welfare’ are your words and not his.

    That this has taken as long to become public knowledge is a good sign that he’s not boasting at all. Green eyes aren’t a good look for you.

  20. Scribe 22

    Pb,

    I’m highly sceptical of that website you’ve linked to given it’s huge pro-Obama stance.

    It links to Karl Rove as one of the Republicans who is concerned about McCain’s reluctance to talk about his war record. I think that’s an indication he’s certainly not exploiting it.

  21. gobsmacked 23

    Phil

    This is an old story, which Key has pushed (sory, let slip) in the media several times.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10413135

    After a bad week for National, he got the front page of a Sunday paper. Convenient.

    (bit he doesn’t like to talk about it …)

  22. Pascal's bookie 24

    Dude, If you find ad hom arguments powerful then fine, but read his links. For eg, Links to McCain ads with interrogation footage.

    Then perhaps get address his evidence. Or are saying he faked those McCain quotes and campaign ads?

    And ummm, ‘Karl Fncking Rove’ is an unbiased analyst? Please.

    You don’t think that maybe, um, Rovey baby is just spreading the “McCain is a humble vet, who doesn’t like to talk about his service” meme?

  23. rave 25

    For the rich charity is natural welfare, from those who have to those who don’t. Interesting that many of the top people on the Rich List have “philanthopist” as one of their activities. Like next to ‘investor’ or ‘developer’ is ‘philanthopist’. I didnt notice that Key was listed as “speculator-philanthropist”.
    Acceptance of Key as a self-made man when he did it by ripping off the rest of us is what is staggering. Not really, as 20 years of neo-liberal dog eat dogism has created selfish me generation who dont want to be taxed for social spending but who want all of their personal income to be disposable, some of it for charity no doubt. I made it, its mine, I’ll give it away if I want to. HooHoo!
    Such as Key’s act of ‘charity’ in spiriting off Moana Ireland from McGegan Place up to Waitangi last year.
    What is really good is that most of the people of McGegan place did not take too kindly to Key’s patronage, nor are they waiting for some charitable handouts from rich bastards, and today are organising themselves into food coops and neighourhood watch. Go McGegan Place, fuck the charitymongers and their chequebook hope.

  24. “As far as I’m aware, JK has been giving his salary to various charities the whiole time he’s been an MP. Remember also that ‘attacking social welfare’ are your words and not his.”

    I guess giving a few hundred thousand himself makes it ok to slash millions as a prime minister, hows that for moral equivilence…

  25. gobsmacked 27

    And again a comment gets stuck in moderation, just because I provided a link to back up my point. Thanks.

    The Standard’s control-freak moderation pisses off friend and foe alike, and until you guys work that out, loosen up and stop being your own worst enemies, I’m done with commenting here. Life’s too short. See ya.

  26. IrishBill 28

    GS, I just had a look and it wasn’t our moderation system that held your comment but our Akismet spam system. I don’t think we can adjust that as it’s a wordpress plug-in. I’ll have a talk to Lynn about tweaking the moderation but one of the problems we have is that, unlike Kiwiblog, we don’t require registration but the downside is we are a lot easier for spambots (and trolls) to target. Perhaps you could try signing up as a registered user and see if that makes a difference.

    [lprent:
    Akismet has been getting a real pain on links in comments recently for some reason. There is an update for Akismet – I’ll turn that on tonight and see if it improves at all.
    Otherwise the only alternatives I can see are to
    1. Manually remove the spam – but quite a lot is getting through recaptcha now.
    2. Require registered users. The recaptcha on the registered users is working ok (at present). ]

  27. In fact since I’ve been using “clean” links I’ve been able to put in as many links as I liked without getting caught in the spam filter.

  28. Rex Widerstrom 30

    Whatever his other faults (real and imagined, as we all have) I take my imaginary (non tinfoil) hat off to D4J for the work he does helping others caught in the sewer that is our “justice” system.

    It’s a bit rich to bag a wealthy man for chucking some money to the poor and bragging about it, and then attacking a poor man who rolls up his sleeves and genuinely tries to help others. And doesn’t, unless he’s attacked, brag about it.

    Until I see a politician of any stripe acknowledge that our “justice”, police and prisons system is a joke (for a multitude of reasons I won’t go into here since it’s too far off topic) I’d be inclined to vote for Dad if I could, just to give the bastards a desperately-needed shakeup.

    “Do you give to charity” (or “you’re rich, surely you don’t need your MPs salary?”) is one of those “have you stopped beating your wife” questions. Give a modest “no comment” and it’s assumed you’re a tightwad. Reveal that you give some of it away and you’re a braggart. Reveal that you give most of it away and you invite the response “he can afford to give his salary away! What a rich prick!”. Though I agree that – as with so many other issues, Key could have handled the matter with a lot more finesse.

  29. Draco TB 31

    Rex, he could have given the modest Yes i do give to charity and left it at that rather than the immodest Yes, I give most of my MPs salary to charity.

  30. Rex Widerstrom 32

    Draco TB: I agree, that’s what I meant about lack of finesse. I don’t think it was boasting so much as a mix of poor spin and a genuine human desire to not be seen as a “rich prick”. We sometimes forget we’re dealing with human beings (yes, even John Key and Michael Cullen!) and some things can get under people’s skins.

    The fact that you’ve come up with a far better form of words and that I’ve spotted the potential trap in the question does prove one thing beyond a doubt, however – Draco / Rex know far more about strategy than Crosby / Textor 😀

  31. Quoth the Raven 33

    You’ve got to wonder hou much he gave to charity before he entered politics. That would be a real measure. I wonder if John Key will enlighten us on that one? I think we should think back to that magizine article where John Key was asked what he’d do if given a billion dollars. First thing he said was buy a private jet, then give some to charity.

  32. fiona 34

    I am stunned that someone who can make an empty gesture like this (presumably the prize for him is having PM on his CV not the dosh, lucky old him) thinks he has the right to be PM. This just shows how out of touch he is. People really are struggling to buy that block of cheese.

    Oh but that’s right, he grew up in a state house, so we can trust him to look after us – although maybe not trust him to support our solo mums the way his own mother was supported.

  33. Ari 35

    Pb,

    I’m highly sceptical of that website you’ve linked to given it’s huge pro-Obama stance.

    It links to Karl Rove as one of the Republicans who is concerned about McCain’s reluctance to talk about his war record. I think that’s an indication he’s certainly not exploiting it.

    If you have the time, go watch videos of McCain in debates. He usually drops some sort of reference to being tortured at least once. There’s been a lot of “I haven’t had this much fun since Hanoi” comments and so on. McCain doesn’t do anything obviously- he’s getting pretty handy with the dogwhistle, sadly.

    As for Mr. Key: If he really cared about charity, he could donate a lot more than just his salary. He has how many million stashed away? That could do a lot of good. If he wants to be recognised as a philanthropist, he better be ready to spend big on social justice, and preferably spend some of his time, too.

  34. insider 36

    Odd that the people who are most concerned about Mr Key’s wealth, talk about it most and speculate how he earnt it and what he does with it are….here.

    Yet when he is asked and answers what he does with his money he is pilloried by self same people. Bizarre.

    Rave

    key’s never ripped me off, not sure about your dealings with him. Perhaps you can expand. But I do know that I am contributing about $1000 in tax this year to buy a railway I don’t want, that extremely few people use, and which will continue to cost me unknown amounts of money in years to come all to fulfil some unknown dream of HC’s in some unknown way. If anyone has ripped me off it is her.

  35. For all his charity and giving away his MP salary wasn’t John Key rich enough to have made it on the Nations rich list having earned enough to make it?

    I wonder… does he have shares in Halliburton, Exxon, Boeing or other military industrial complex industries?

    I guess that is another question form my questions I’d like to ask John Key’s list.

    I tell you what though if I ever needed help I wouldn’t touch John Key’s blood money with a barge pole.

    If Key really wanted to make a difference he would have stayed out of politics and he would have quietly gone about improving peoples lives.

  36. Phil 38

    I happen to be a big fan of Halliburton, Exxon, and Boeing. They’re a good (pun intended) defensive stock holding

    http://www.vicefund.com/fundperf.htm

  37. Phil,

    Why am I not surprised?

    It’s just them Arabs ain’t it. Them extremist Muslims. Who gives a f*&k if they all get killed.

    The anti Semitic holocaust part deux.

  38. Draco TB 40

    But I do know that I am contributing about $1000 in tax this year to buy a railway I don’t want, that quite a few people use (especially tourists who go to look at the scenery), and which will continue to make me unknown amounts of money in years to come all to fulfill the required necessity of reducing carbon emissions.

    Fixed it for ya Insider.

  39. Anita 41

    insider,

    I am contributing about $1000 in tax this year to buy a railway I don’t want

    How much tax does one have to pay for $1000 of it to go to buying KiwiRail?

  40. Anita. fuckloads… the $1.5 billion cost for Kiwirail is over 5 years if i remember correctly. that’s $300 million a year. The Government spends $60 billion a year. So, it’s fair to say that 0.5% of the tax you pay in the next yearswill be going on Kiwirail.

    So, to be paying $1000 this year in tax or Kiwirail, you would have to be paying $200K in tax all up. How much is your income if you’re paying 200K in tax? Using the current tax rates (ignoring the fact that half of this year will be on lower rates) – your income would have to be over $535,000 [200K = (0.195*38K)+(0.33*22K)+(0.39*475K) ] I doubt insider earns $535K a year.

    … and for everyone who moans about paying 39% tax, note that even at $535K a year, you’re only paying 37% tax… from October 1, no-one earning 100K or less will be paying more than 29% tax. More than half of taxpayers will be paying less than 17% tax.

  41. I came up with 650,000, but flag trying to explain how, I assume Steve is probably more onto it than me!

  42. Anita 44

    *grin*

    I started to go a bit mental when I tried to separate out tax income from other sources of income and everything went a bit wobbly – so I gave up. I totally agree it must be fuckloads 🙂

  43. rave 45

    Insider, I figure that Key’s role in betting on the Kiwi$ causing it to fall by 5-10% made my cost of living go up.
    [see Travellerev http://aotearoaawiderperspective.wordpress.com/2008/08/04/john-key-and-the-things-he-does-not-want-you-to-know-part-1-the-attack-on-the-nz-dollar-in-1987/ That’s ripping off the whole country.
    Some of his financier mates got NZ rail for next to nothing, stripped it, sucked out a few billions, so that to keep it alive it had been bought back.
    I hope you are paying $1000 a year for kiwirail, that makes me think even more fondly of it.

  44. Razorlight 46

    “and for everyone who moans about paying 39% tax, note that even at $535K a year, you’re only paying 37% tax from October 1, no-one earning 100K or less will be paying more than 29% tax. More than half of taxpayers will be paying less than 17% tax.”

    And about bloody time

  45. J Mex 47

    Key is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. Key is often painted by opponents as money hungry and a rich prick. When he says that he gives his money away he is still smeared for being rich.

    “[In response to Key’s boosting, Ruth Dyson is asked about her charitable giving here…]”

    How the hell this is held up as being a good response is beyond me. She is asked (effectively) which charities do you support?

    Her response is (summarised):

    – Every day I would get a letter asking for support, I decide which ones of these I support.
    – I often give money to people to people who are going on trips/travel etc.

    ?

    One says he’s going to give most of his salary away and the other says she often gives money to people going on trips. Are you completely insane?

    Anyway. Full props for Smashie and Nicey. Mr Cholmondley-Warner is the best though….

  46. J Mex 48

    I heard that in addition to secret audio tapings of the National party cocktail party, someone managed to get secret video recordings as well…

  47. lprent 49

    JM: Yep, that is often the response for people who vacillate too often.

    They’re always damned if they don’t because, buggirit we’d like then to make some bloody decisions. If they do, then buggerit we were anticipating that they’d just do the cheezy grin thing again.

    You never quite know where they stand on anything, it is like they’re wearing Jandals or whatever the name of that footwear is..

  48. Kevyn 50

    J Mex, They’ve responded with a secret cocktail party training video, it ends with that nice Mr Key showing how it’s done properly.

  49. Insider,

    I couldn’t book a seat on the Overlander last month if my life depended on it. It was fully booked for weeks ahead.

    In Holland I could walk up to a station any time, get a ticket and get on the train. What’s more I could get a seat any time except perhaps in the busiest of times.

    I never had a car in Holland, I never even had a driving licence. We had one car and my husband used it for his business.

    I was 51 when I learned to drive. I love it by the way. Isn’t that ironical, frigging peak oil and madam learns to drive. LOL.

    Captcha: interurban 72. A prediction perhaps

  50. Kevyn 52

    Steve, Two problems with your sums.
    Insider’s $1,000 is for the purchase not for the future $1.5bn. That doubles the percent of govt. spending and reduces the tax to $100k and the taxable income to $280k, but only if insider doesn’t pay any GST. If someone earning 280k spent half that on things on which GST is payable they would pay $17k in GST on top of their income tax. A quick fiddle with the numbers in a spreadsheet, ignoring the actual portion of income spent on GSTable items and simply using $17k GST brings the taxable earnings down to $225k.

    It is possible the insider might earn that much, especially if his “my” refers to his household rather than individual income.

    When Mallard was interviewed on Agenda about Kiwirail he said the money for upgrades would come from the land transport fund, although the ten-year NLTP forecast doesn’t seem to include any rail funding that wasn’t in last year’s ten-year forecast. $1.5bn over 5 years does sound very much like the funding committed in the schedules to LTMA Amendment Act, for suburban rail upgrades. The only confirmed funding for Kiwirail I’ve seen is the $80m announced recently. Either you’re better informed than me, or worse. Hopefully not the latter. I can easily see the need for $1.5bn for freight wagons, locos, tunnel hieght improvements, passing bays (or loops) and so forth needed to actually carry more tonne/km efficiently. Then there’s the Seddon era bridges approaching the end of their natural lives plus the significant length of both rail and highway bridges built in the 20s and 30s that are both going to come up for renewal over the next decade or two. That lot includes the 1.6km Rakaia road and rail bridges that replaced the combined road/rail bridge. Actually it is the lineal metres that need replacing rather than the number of bridges that is disquieting.

  51. Kevyn 53

    Not that there’s anything wrong with earning $225k. Well, there can’t be since that’s my earnings too…for the whole time Helen’s been PM.

    Enough to afford to own a nearly-classic sportscar and a quaint Great Depression bungalow (no hallway, all the rooms open off the kitchen – fewer walls must have been cheaper to build. Definitely cheap to heat! Necessity being the mother of invention)

  52. rave 54

    Kevyn do I take it that you are in favor of a genuinely classic railway provided that it doesnt go through your bungalow since you don’t have a hall?

  53. insider 55

    Draco

    Thanks for the gap filling. Can you also tell me how much per tonne those emissions reductions will cost and what percentage of passenger journeys rail accounts for?

    Let;s hope those reductions aren’t as expensive s the biofuel ones where it was expected to cost $75m to save $15m of emissions.

    Rave

    my such envy and anger there. So if Key is to ‘blame’ for any problems following the fall in currency, was he then responsible for any benefits when it appreciated? ISn’t the point of a floating exchange rate that people can buy and sell it, and it can rise and fall? Who was part of the govt that brought that system in?

    Weird how we have a whole load of exporters are wanting the dollar to fall…are they ripping us off too?

  54. rave 56

    Insider,

    anger yes, envy no.
    Key is a parasite. He doesnt work at producing value. He redistributes already produced value. Just like his whole class who asset stripped NZ in the 1980s and 1990s. I know Labour started this off, but who said I was a Labour supporter?
    In the case of the dollar falling, Key and his mates caused this by selling heaps of dollars. At that time it caused prices of imports to rise which hit the consumption of wage workers.
    Exporters want the dollar to fall so they can sell more. Most of that ‘benefit’ goes into their pockets and appreciating land values and doesnt trickle down to workers, thought falling prices of those same commodities in NZ do lower prices to workers.
    Key’s agenda is to get back on the more market road of financiers ripping off value produced by others, workers mainly, but I include self-employed here as well. That is, the huge majority of NZers.
    I object to an economy run by a small bunch of parasites who live off the backs of workers and strike poses as ‘visionaries’, ‘philanthropists’ etc.

  55. Kevyn 57

    Rave, A genuinely classic railway? Well, it really should be located in the genuinely classic motorway designation that crosses the market gardens behind us. And would have to use genuinely classic steam locos…consistent with the character of the neighbourhood.

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