Written By: - Date published: 7:36 am, January 25th, 2019 - 39 comments
Categories: accountability, drugs, Media, Politics, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: jordan williams, nz taxpayers union, sam sachdeva
I don’t know what it is about the Taxpayer’s Union (*not a real union) but they really annoy.
Perhaps it is the use of the word “Union”. You can imagine Jordan Williams, David Farrar and various other doyens of the right sitting around a table having a few beers and talking about what they could do to really annoy the left. Like pretend to be a Union.
Perhaps it is the intimate relationship between the union and Dirty Politics operatives. Who can ever forget Jordan’s frankly misogynist statements in private messages that he clearly thought would never see the light of day.
Perhaps it is because it is clear to us that the Taxpayer’s Union (*not a real union)is there to push neoliberal right wing ideas, basically government is bad and private enterprise is more efficient and that it seems that any chance they have to ridicule a collective they do so.
But, at least for me, the most annoying thing about them is their pretension. That they are there to represent our (taxpayer’s) interests and to make sure that the powerful do not inappropriately use too many resources.
And their lack of transparency has always been disturbing. They manage, thanks to obviously large resources, to maintain a rather significant office and a large media presence that left wing organisations would die for.
And so the truth has emerged. It appears that the Taxpayers Union (*not a real union) is nothing more than a sock puppet for industry interests, and some of the worst industry interests like British American Tobacco.
From Sam Sachdeva at Newsroom:
A right-wing lobbying group which has railed against cigarette tax increases and plain packaging laws in New Zealand counts a tobacco giant among its corporate funders.
The NZ Taxpayers’ Union has not disclosed its financial support from tobacco companies in its reports or press releases, with one public health academic calling on it to be more transparent about its donors.
The Guardian identified the relationship between the Taxpayers’ Union and British American Tobacco as part of its series on “the huge damage of the tobacco epidemic … and the industry behind it”.
In an investigation into the ties between “free-market thinktanks” and the tobacco industry, the Taxpayers’ Union was identified as being supported by multinational firm British American Tobacco.
A British American Tobacco spokesman told Newsroom the company had been financially supporting the Taxpayers’ Union for three years, paying “a standard annual corporate membership fee”.
“We, like many other companies, support like-minded organisations on issues that are important to us and our consumers,” the spokesman said.
The company did not disclose the size of the fee it paid.
Perhaps in the interests of transparency the Taxpayer’s Union (*not a real union) should disclose how much it received from BAT. And who its other funders are.
The funny thing is the strong relationship between BAT and the National Party. Chris Bishop served his apprenticeship at BAT before entering Parliament. Todd Barclay (remember him?) did the same. What is the link between wanting to work for a corporate dedicated to selling a product that causes misery and shortens peoples’ life expectancy and wanting to represent a party whose ethos, blind support of the free market, comes up with a not dissimilar result?
And it is pretty chilling that the Taxpayer’s Union (*not a real union), which has major claims to occupation of the moral high ground, should apparently be working as a glove puppet for an international organisation dedicated to the selling of cancer sticks, and not the proper representation of us taxpayers.
And if you need proof have a look at this:
And the report itself reads like the typical high quality PR spin report that takes significant resources to produce.
So here is some free advice to the Taxpayer’s Union (*not a real union) if they wish to rescue what is left of their reputation.
Until this happens they should be ignored.