Labour’s credit card records out today

Written By: - Date published: 8:28 am, June 4th, 2010 - 21 comments
Categories: accountability, labour - Tags:

Back last year when National was being stung over Bill ‘Double Dipton’ English and other ministers rorting the accommodation allowance and misuse of ministerial credit cards, National thought they would get a bite back at Labour by releasing the credit card records for Labour’s terms in office too. All in the interests of fairness, of course (mysteriously they didn’t think the credit card records of retread ministers from when they were in government in the 90s were needed for fairness…). Apparently, it cost a bomb to get DIA officials to go through nine years of records, yet National has been sitting on the results for a couple of months.

Word around the traps is they’re going to drop it later today.

It seems like odd timing to me. Usually, dropping something on the day before a long weekend is what you do when you want to bury it – like Judith Collins releasing the data on rising crime on her watch on the Thursday before Easter. But you would think that in 9 years of credit records there’s got to be something National can make a song and dance about.

So, the counter theory is that the Nats have something they think is juicy and are hoping to dominate the weekend news cycles into next week and the recess. This could be their chance to regain some momentum after a horror few weeks, hell, a horror half year.

It’ll be interesting to see what they’ve come up with. The worry is that the media will just report ‘wow, big numbers’, whereas even John Key has been saying that the issue is whether any particular spending was legitimate, within the rules, not the quantity itself. We’ve all got an interest in those in power sticking to the rules but just attacking spending when there’s no suggestion of impropriety undermines trust in government. And no-one thinks minor misdemeanors like Phil Heatley’s wine thing are a big deal as long as a the offender pays it back (that’s why suspicion remains that there was something else behind the Heatley resignation).

I’m betting there are a few ex-ministers feeling pretty nervous, and some National spin doctors crossing their fingers hoping to shift the media’s attention off the government.

21 comments on “Labour’s credit card records out today”

  1. ghostwhowalksnz 1

    Farrars Pravdablog would have been given a pre release look so he can have his spin allready ( along with the work of taxpayer paid people in Ministers offices) soon after the official release time

  2. I dreamed a dream 2

    The government probably have something else they need to bury over the weekend, and using the Labour credit card records release to hide it further.

  3. ghostwhowalksnz 3

    Could be they are trying to bury this

    The friday drop also works very well for the Sunday papers. As you say they are putting Parliament into recess – again. So they want this to be the weeks talking points

  4. vto 4

    hee hee, should be a laugh. I would bet my bottom dollar there is some good stuff in it. Good ol’ humanity and its frailties – never fails to disappoint.

    anyways, enjoy. we’re off to the wilderness before it all disappears under mines and dairy farms. the last frontier – no wireless, no newspaper, no internet, no insanity, no cars, no supermarket – just the sky high trails of jetplanes winging their way west. wahooo….

  5. zimmer 5

    enjoy VTO, may as well mine it anyway bc the Greens want to ban cars so we won’t be able to visit in the future.

  6. Sanctuary 6

    “…Farrars Pravdablog…”

    Are you joking? Tim Murphy would have been personally briefed and probably has been sent the entire story pre-written straight from Jason Eade’s office.

  7. Lew 7

    Friday will work only for quick-hit headlines such as “look, big numbers” and press-release-reprints. A long weekend when even journalists tend to go visit their mums or try to catch a round or two of golf doesn’t afford much room for serious analysis before the Sunday paper deadline, and next week the big story will be the long weekend road toll.

    So I think Eddie’s initial analysis is right — if there was anything much in it, they’d have held it until Tuesday for maximum impact on Thursday and Friday. What they want is to have the press releases duly reprinted, knowing that there’s nothing much damaging to be found by crunching the actual numbers. If there was anything truly career-endangering in there, it would have come out in the last few days to peak today and give people something to cuss Labour about over barbecues and rounds of golf this weekend.


  8. National thought they would get a bite back at Labour by releasing the credit card records for Labour’s terms in office too.

    That and every reporter in the gallery OIA’d them.

    The worry is that the media will just report ‘wow, big numbers’

    Rumour has it that one former Labour Minister used to – literally – buy chewing gum with her credit-card so some big stories might actually come from small numbers.

    • Michael Foxglove 8.1

      “That and every reporter in the gallery OIA’d them.”

      OIA’d them after National hinted it was going to release the details mind you.

      • Sideoiler 8.1.1

        If the info has been “OIA’d then national would have little choice other than to release them.

  9. gobsmacked 9

    Labour MPs have had weeks to prepare their lines in response, so they’ve got no excuse for mis-managing this one.

    Smart response: – For any stand-out rorts, quick mea culpa, pay back any outlandish expenses, story dies.

    – For more general and justified parliamentary expenses, welcome transparency and accountability, pledge to keep tight rein, “the people pay our wages”, etc. Some announcement would be good: e.g. the new gov’t in Britain took a 5% pay cut. Labour could announce a cap on Cabinet salaries in their first term, or some such commitment. Don’t just sit there like rabbits in headlights, take the initiative.

    Stupid response: – defensive, “I’m entitled”, any tone and language reinforcing public perception of troughing politicians.

    Really stupid response: – doing a Rodney. i.e. defiantly saying “I’m entitled”, and then caving after days of bad headlines. If you’re going to cave, cave quick. I’ll be bloody furious if any of them give the story legs, if they haven’t learned from the cases of Hide, English, etc. And anybody who says “Well, it’s within the rules” should be given a smack (for correctional purposes).

    Never mind the predictable reaction from the usual suspects in the blogosphere. It’s the non-political, general public that matters. Labour just have to show that they “get it”. I hope they do.

    • I dreamed a dream 9.1

      Definitely no excuse for mis-managing this one because I understand Labour get to see the report first before it’s released. Should be adequate time to prepare responses, if needed.

      • Bright Red 9.1.1

        I hear the Nats haven’t let them see it. But it’s not out today. Looks like your sources need more spice, eddie.

        • I dreamed a dream

          “Looks like your sources need more spice, eddie.”

          Agreed! Hopefully, next time your sources are more reliable 🙂

  10. Craig Glen Eden 10

    Oh no not chewing gum, hell I hope they didn’t buy some for their gay partner who also works in a trade union while on a trip across the Auckland Harbor to address workers rights because that would truly be scandalous.

    I wait with baited breath for the real story but I bet its not to different from the fictional one above!

  11. kriswgtn 11

    So where are they? still waiting surprise surprise

    Another FAIL by donkey to try and detract what he and his litter of snouts in the trough have been doing……..

  12. Doug 12

    So where are they? still waiting surprise surprise

    The latest New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll shows support for John Key’s National-led Government has strengthen considerably to 57.5% (up 3.5%), comprising National Party 52.5% (up 4%), Maori Party 3.5% (up 1%), ACT NZ 1% (down 1.5%) and United Future 0.5% (unchanged).

    Support for Opposition Parties has fallen to 42.5% (down 3.5%); Labour Party 30% (down 3.5%), Greens 9.5% (up 0.5%), New Zealand First 2.5% (down 0.5%), the Progressive Party 0.5% (unchanged) and Others 0% (unchanged).

    If a National Election were held today the National Party would be clearly returned to Government.

  13. Bright Red, that is a nonsense, Labour have had the accounts for months. And nobody has seen them yet. There have been many calls and emails sent begging for a sneak preview. Damn Lockwood Smith and his insistence on being even handed. It is just unfair, we get back into power and reverse a decade of partisanship from the speaker.

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