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Polity: Taxpayers Union on wine

Written By: - Date published: 10:01 am, January 16th, 2014 - 28 comments
Categories: making shit up - Tags:

polity_square_for_lynnPolity had this post up this morning. The only problem with it was that Rob Salmond missed out on the correct title. For complete accuracy it should have been “Jordan Williams on whine”

Jordan Williams, apparently speaking for all us taxpayers, is outraged that Sir Lockwood Smith would spent his time in London talking about New Zealand wine: [lprent: see note at the end of the post. ]

Sir Lockwood, 65, has settled quickly into the London diplomatic scene. On Friday he was guest speaker at a function for The Worshipful Company of Vintners, a trade group.

He used the occasion to argue that too many “great New Zealand wines” are unavailable in London, trade publication Drinks Business reported…

Mr [Jordan] Williams suggested Sir Lockwood was in danger of emulating Jonathan Hunt, high commissioner to the UK from 2005 to 2008, who was dubbed the “Minister for Wine and Cheese”, in part because of his regular appearances at openings and cocktail functions while an MP.

“Surely [Sir Lockwood] has more pertinent things to be talking about than not being able to get hold of his favourite wine.”

Um, OK. Here are some quick notes for Jordan:

  1. You may not have noticed, but Lockwood was talking to a group of vintners. The clue is in their name, The Worshipful Company of Vintners.
  2. “Vintner” means “wine person.” They are usually quite interested in wine.
  3. Our diplomats’ jobs include talking up our wine when talking with wine people. That way, they might buy more wine from New Zealand.
  4. When overseas people buy stuff from us, that is an “export.” Exports are good.
  5. You are an idiot.

Updated: Jordan Williams advises that the NZ Herald has removed a incorrect quote and attribution, and will be publishing a retraction in the morning. I have crossed out the portion that was deleted at the NZ Herald.

28 comments on “Polity: Taxpayers Union on wine”

  1. Tracey 1

    Does he have a similar problem with some of the things our Pm talks about?

    What’s the aim of this comment? To make it look like they “attack National too?” So as to give them some “credibility” as an independant group when they target labour and greens as a campaign strategy for national…

    Has anyone in the print media done a look at who is behind this tyaxpayers union, or are they just liberally regurgitating their press releases?

  2. Molly 2

    I realise that you are stating facts 1-4 to lead to your conclusion at No. 5, but I’m thinking No.5 could’ve been put at No. 1 anyway.

  3. red blooded 3

    The whole “Taxpayers’ Union” concept is a joke. This guy doesn’t want to pay taxes and attacks unions whenever he gets a chance. How many taxpayers does he really speak for? Certainly not me.

  4. mickysavage 4

    As far as I am concerned if Lockwood got totally sloshed every day and contributed to the increased sale of kiwi wine to the brits then he would be doing his job. Fancy complaining about him doing something for overseas trade.

  5. Colonial Viper 5

    As far as I can tell, any “Minister of Wine and Cheese” would be representing core NZ industries worth a couple of billion dollars. Fair enough, right?

    • tracey 5.1

      is jordan williams and act toady or a national toady?

      has matthew hooten gone strangely quiet on the airwaves and in print and blogs?

      • Arfamo 5.1.1

        Yep. Seems to have. Great, isn’t it? Everything seems so much more improved by his absence.

        • tracey

          except it means he is doing some secret stuff… like his hollowmen days… fighting off youngsters for the epsom seat for act?

          • Arfamo

            He might just have contracted an especially nasty disease or been trampled over by a gang of voting children running to get Dotcom party tickets. I’m all for being positive about this situation until such time as hospitals all announce he’s not one of their patients or he re-surfaces from the slime he swims in.

            • tracey

              sharks are more dangerous when you can’t see the fin grasshopper.

              • Arfamo

                Perhaps. But then again he might have suffered some dreadful affliction instead of being one for a change. I’d like to think so.

  6. infused 6

    Sounds like he was doing something pretty good (lockwood).

  7. Disraeli Gladstone 7

    I feel like this is the Taxpayers’ Union “token attack on National” tactic.

    – Pick something not very important. Like Lockwood Smith having some wine in Britain (ignoring any legitimate and worthwhile reason for it).
    – Attack it.
    – See look! We’re not partisan! We attack all wasteful spending!
    – Rio Tinto? Chorus? What’s that? Never heard of them. But look we’re not partisan. There’s wine. And stuff.

  8. QoT 8

    I love this story. I hope they keep doing more of them. Because every one is another opportunity for us to point out that the “Taxpayers Union” is fucking obsessed with trivia and yet has nothing to say about $1 million being spent to catch 22 beneficiaries taking drugs, or the massive blowout in costs to sell profitable state assets.

    • tracey 8.1

      sadly “we” are the only ones who might notice that cos the media sure as hell wont. I mean, WHY pick up this nothing story in the first place?|

      • Arfamo 8.1.1

        Given the sort of fluffy infotainment or sensationalist no details & dribble stories they usually use as frontpage items these days I can’t understand why you are asking this.

  9. ghostwhowalksnz 9

    Remember that as High Commisioner Lockwood Smith doesnt pay duty or tax on alcohol.

    So maybe this is why wine is such an important part of the job !

    Bringing it back to NZ, this would also apply to embassies and such in Wellington. Interesting in the recent ruckus over an Indian diplomat arrested in New York, back in New Delhi, the Indian Government has asked the US Embassy to shut down ‘the bar’ it was running.
    Apparently it was a local watering spot as well- no doubt the cheap prices helped.

    This is where Taxpayers Union could get interested, how much duty is not paid for alcohol supplied to Wellington embassies, and are there any ‘bars’ running inside diplomatic buildings that are frequented by locals regularly. Im not talking about official functions, but more like Friday free for alls.

    I wonder if our local US Embassy informant and well known blogger David Farrar, stocks up his grog via the cut price liquor store at the US Embassy

  10. Will@Welly 10

    I was never a fan of Lockwood as an M.P., but as a Speaker, he did try to keep National honest, which is more than the present ass is doing.
    As for his comments on wine, given that in recent years we’ve had a glut of wine, anything that helps sell wine is useful. The U.K. has some very influential wine critics/snobs, Lockwood would be aware of that – nothing like using the local press to push one’s home grown product. And it wasn’t that long ago that New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc was all the rage.
    As for Jordan Williams, it only reflects how badly out of touch he is with reality. “Taxpayers Union” – do us all a favour, call it what it is, “The National Front”.

    • tracey 10.1

      “he did try to keep National honest,” which is why he had to be shipped off to London…

  11. irascible 11

    Investigation of the possible ties between the Taxpayers Union and the UK based Taxpayers Alliance may discover their reason for existence…..obsession with trivia to distract from the ineptitude of their political and PR masters… Tory and Crosby-Textor?

  12. The incorrect quote and attribution has been removed and the NZ Herald is going to publish the following retraction in tomorrow’s edition:

    “Jordan Williams from the Taxpayers’ Union did not suggest Sir Lockwood Smith was in danger of emulating Jonathan Hunt, who was dubbed ‘Minister for Wine and Cheese’ as reported yesterday. Mr Williams was critical of the Government’s delay in disposing of the official residence of New Zealand’s High Commissioner to London, but not of Sir Lockwood’s efforts to promote New Zealand wine. The error is regretted.”

    As the quote does not reflect my view or what I had commented to the reporter, would you mind updating the post?

    Jordan Williams

    [lprent: Will update it appropriately. ]

  13. The words attributed to me were not mine. In fact I declined to comment on Sir Lockwood’s comments about wine referred to in the article.

    The same article quotes me in relation to the property. Those views and quotes are accurate.

  14. jcuknz 14

    With the info of #12-13 I think on reflection this is one of the funniest threads I have read in ages 🙂
    Not lprent but everybody else.

  15. Rodel 15

    Does an organisation calling itself a ‘union’ not have to satisfy certain legal requirements? Like meetings, membership voting and such? I believe the real unions are sticklers for correct protocol.

    Could I get a dozen or so like minded friends together and legally call ourselves for example the ‘Atheists Union’ or the ‘Sharia Union’? possibly claiming tax concessions etc.

    I know there are psuedo institutes like the ‘Maxim Institute’ who are really just a group of like minded right leaning individuals with a political agenda…but ‘union?’

  16. tricledrown 16

    Master Hoodwinker has been advising ACT to change its name.
    Union of
    Con sumers and

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