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The house built on sand

Written By: - Date published: 8:48 am, August 6th, 2009 - 26 comments
Categories: bill english, corruption, national - Tags:

English, now known by the moniker Double Dipton, has decided to give back half the amount to has rorted so far from the taxpayer. Rather than claim the full ministers’ allowance, he’ll pocket ‘only’ $24,000 a year for living in his own family home, thank you very much. His claim that he didn’t know he could charge us less is an out and out lie. If it weren’t it would be a display of gross incompetence.

He’s not off the hook. This has always been an issue primarily of claiming an allowance he shouldn’t. The quantum of what they are claiming is of secondary importance. It doesn’t do that English has decided to halve the amount he is rorting. It is the fact of the rort that is the problem.

There’s also new questions about why he declared ownership of the farm in Dipton when in fact he part owns a company that owns (perhaps among other things) that farm, and why he is registered at different addresses as director and shareholder of that company. Sloppy paperwork at best from the man running the country’s finances.

Still, interesting that he suddenly switched positions on the money. Tuesday it was ‘move on’. Wednesday ‘OK, you can have half back’. Pressure behind the scenes has done that.

Some evidence is leaking out. Whaleoil (who’s involved in all National’s strategy, for some reason) has called for English’s head – that doesn’t come from nowhere. Neither does the change in behaviour that Mallard is reporting from the House. Old English loyalists suddenly rushing over to talk to Joyce, Key’s right-hand man and odds on replacement Deputy PM.

going down with his shipCould he be for the chop? Probably not right now. Key is generous with the final chances. But English has already had his fair share. Last year he gave us lines like “eventually but not now” on privatisation and “winning is everything … despite the highly principled statements”, which cost the Nats 5% in the polls. Now he’s at the centre of another scandal making his party look opportunistic and unprincipled. No wonder he’s suddenly backed down.

But his greed is still outweighing his nous. Until he stops rorting us altogether, Double Dipton will keep on bringing his party grief.

26 comments on “The house built on sand ”

  1. Deciduous 1

    Nice one, althought Key isn’t quite as generous as Clark when it comes to 2nd chances I’d say.

    Never the less lets see the full line up of bene’s scabbed by all pollies lined up for public voyeurism.

  2. Zetetic 2

    That pic took as long as the writing 🙂 Pity English’s face came out so small.

  3. vto 3

    One aspect I don’t understand regarding the lefts approach to this. English is strictly within the rules yet you say he should bend around them for higher reasons. And yet, with Bennett and the poster girls you claim she should not bend around the rules for higher reason and should stick exactly to them.

    So which principle is it? Or is this just another case of malleable morality?

    It is in fact exactly like Winston Peters years ago with Tuku’s undies. Peters roared from his smelly pulpit that Tuku was within the rules so back off! Yet when the wine box findings were that they were within the rules Peters claimed they should bend around the rules for some higher reason. Peters and his principles of putty.

    Malleable morality and principles of putty..

    • Zetetic 3.1

      Burt. It’s not hard. Both ministers should behave both morally and legally.

      Bennett did neither. English has behaved legally but not morally.

      You’re falsely equating the situations.

      English would not be breaking the law or even bending the rules if he weren’t rorting us. English is under no legal obligation to take the money. He has a moral obligation not to because he is clearly exploiting a loophole.

      Bennett was breaking the law by releasing that personal information. She was under a legal obligation not to release it. And I, of course, dispute your assertion that she did it for a morally justifying ‘higher cause’. Her cause was immoral.

    • Maggie 3.2

      Keep wriggling, vto. Every time you do the hook gets more securely embedded in your mouth.

      English thought he had found a loophole in the rules. By inventing the fiction that he didn’t own his own home he could claim a higher housing allowance.

      He has now been caught out. After trying to bluster his way out, he has finally offered to pay a little back, apparently believing this will save his hide.

  4. PaulD 4

    I’m sure I heard a recent radio interview where Bill was saying he had more important things to do as “Prime Minister” quickly corrected to “Deputy Prime Minister”. He’s paying for that slip now.

  5. I’d rather English stayed if the alternative is Mr 84% as deputy PM and Minister of Finance.

    • Anita 5.1

      I’m pretty sure Joyce can’t be deputy as National needs to at least nod toward their rural constituency. He could get finance tho :-/

  6. ghostwhowalks 6

    Whaleoil is just ‘kiteing’ Brownlees chances .

    Remember English deposed Brownlee when Brash was replaced for double dipping of a different kind.

  7. gingercrush 7

    I can’t believe the same author who went on and on about “Dittoheads” is now coming up with “dittohead” slogans. Rather pathetic. Also I wouldn’t read much into what Whaleoil or Trevor Mallard says about English and what has been going on.

  8. Mallard raises an interesting point about the form English would have had to fill in about a “primary residence” over on Red Alert: http://blog.labour.org.nz/index.php/2009/08/06/members-primary-place-of-residence-form/

  9. felix 9

    “Bill, we know it’s rough and really mate, we’re all behind you. But really, you should think about paying it back. That’ll shut the peasants up for a while”

    “Pay it back? But won’t that be like admitting I stole it in the first place?”

    “Ah yeah. Tell you what – just pay back half. Then it looks like you’re just being a thoroughly good cunt about it without really admitting anything”

    “Alright, as long I don’t have to apologize to anyone. It’s my bloody money after all – I am the Minister of Finance”

    “Ah yeah, about that…”

    • The Voice of Reason 9.1

      I think his paying back half is mathematical confirmation that he was double dipping. But I’m not an expert like, say, an auditor. Perhaps there’s one of those out there who can do the sums for us?

  10. Ianmac 10

    One thing about English is that he does answer questions in the house more clearly than most. He does so better than Mr Key and I suspect he has a much greater intellect than Key. Is it my imagination but does Bill look very tired? Do I mind that this could be embarrassing for the Government? Not at all.

  11. JustRight 11

    Why has Chris Carter not fronted on his outrageous expenses? Selective enquiry people!

    • gingercrush 11.1

      Yeah there are questions about Chris Carter. But I have some problems with the media when it appears to be that Carter is being targeted simply because he was a big spender.

    • The Voice of Reason 11.2

      Because they’re not outrageous, JR. Carter fronted for the last Gov’t in a variety of roles overseas. If it wasn’t him going on those trips, other ministers would have gone and the costs would be exactly the same. Every trip was acting for the gov’t on behalf of the people of NZ. Not one trip was a holiday, all were sanctioned and approved. It’s not like he took his nearest and dearest to London for a tax payer funded perk holiday, coz he felt ‘entitled’, eh.

      • Pat 11.2.1

        The trips may not have been a holiday for Carter, but they were a first-class-flying holiday for his husband.

  12. Tim Ellis 12

    I think you have an inflated view of your own importance zetetic. Mr English isn’t known as “Double Dipton” as far as I know, any more than Mr Goff is known as “Phil-In”. Just because a few commenters here at the Standard call him that doesn’t mean the mainstream media and the general public will suddenly latch onto it.

    You seem to be far more concerned about Mr English’s use of a ministerial accommodation allowance than you are of Mr Goff, who has been notably silent on the issue.

    As for being “generous with final chances”, I suppose generosity is a relative term. Relatively, Mr Key is less generous than Ms Clark was with Mr Williams, Mr Benson-Pope, Mr Field, or Mr Mallard, to name a few. Mr Key apparently seems to be more generous with second chances than Ms Clark was with Mrs Turia, but I don’t think that kind of pragmatism has really paid off for the labour party.

    • toad 12.1

      Yes, Goff and other Labour MPs have been remarkably quiet, and I share your suspiciaons as to why, although, as jarbury notes above, Mallard has finally had something to say about it.

      But what you don’t seem to get Tim is “they did it as well” is NOT a defence.

    • felix 12.2

      Hey Ellis, if you insist on feigning courtesy you should at least get the names right – Helen goes by “Miss Clark”.

      As for Key being generous, he’s being pretty bloody generous with you considering the piss-poor job you’ve been doing here lately. Too many late nights I suspect.

  13. Maggie 13

    To be fair to Tim “they did it, too” is the only defence he has left.

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