Undoing the trouser button

Written By: - Date published: 12:28 pm, December 1st, 2009 - 9 comments
Categories: bill english, Media, national/act government - Tags: ,

Recall that last week Speaker Lockwood Smith tried to heavy the press, demanding that they stop doing stories on MP’s expenses or he would do away with the Press Gallery. I suspected at the time that this was a tactical blunder, any hack worth their salt should take that as fighting talk! And it may be just a coincidence, but right on cue Monday morning we had the story about Ministers’ profligate spending on flowers for their offices. This was backed up with a Herald “your views” piece:

Is ministerial spending out of control?

Ministers have racked up a $52,000 bill for flowers in the first 11 months of the National-led Government. Finance Minister Bill English spent $4051 on flowers from January to November – double the amount of most of his ministerial colleagues and second only to the Prime Minister, who spent $5503. It was also double the $1928 spent on flowers by Mr English’s predecessor Michael Cullen over the same period in 2008.

Turns out from the views posted that we the people are not at all happy about this. I was particularly struck by the comment from Merv (Remuera):

Bill English. Don’t you just love the guy? Asks us all to tighten our belts, while at the same – not only loosening his own, but undoing the trouser button as well.

“Undoing the trouser button” – just seems to capture our greedy, overindulgent Ministers to a tee don’t you think? A suggestive image which in many ways I would rather have remained without. Too late now. Anyway, this is just one example of how the comments on public forums are turning sceptic for the Nats. I’ve written about this before, quoting Cindy (Titirangi):

I loathe this government and I could kick myself for voting them in.

Almost everywhere you look there seems to be a growing tide of anger in public forums. Is this because only angry people can be bothered speaking up, or is it the tip of the iceberg of a changing mass of public opinion? If the latter, then I think we’ll start to see it slowly but steadily in the polls as the new year gets under way…

9 comments on “Undoing the trouser button”

  1. Jim McDonald 1

    Appalling lot of National Government MPs.

    It is bad enough when they do things behind our back, metaphorically.

    With the has-been National leader’s latest report aiming to rewind us to the time when we fell behind Australia at a faster rate, they’ll have us on our knees, metaphorically.

    Behind our backs or on our knees? Some of us are regretting the votes we cast.

    • Rex Widerstrom 1.1

      Or behind our back whilst we’re on our knees…

      Which conjures an altogether more disturbing mental image than Bill’s trouser button being undone.

  2. Ron 2

    That’s ok, Cindy. I’ll kick you for you. Idiot.

  3. gitmo 3

    What you’re surprised that politicians aren’t being miserly with taxpayers money ?

    They and their staff need a kick up the backside as do the following from the same article.

    The labour ministers who spent $45,733 over the same period in 2008 and had fruit baskets for their offices.

    The role of shame and honour ……

    * Prime Minister John Key – $5503
    * (Helen Clark – $4900 In 2008)
    * Finance Minister Bill English – $4051
    * (Michael Cullen – $1928 in 2008)
    * Local Government Minister Rodney Hide (Act) – $2893
    * Education Minister Anne Tolley – $2716

    * Health Minister Tony Ryall – $53
    * Customs Minister Maurice Williamson – $74.67
    * Arts and Culture Minister Chris Finlayson – $397
    * Consumer Affairs Minister Heather Roy (Act) – $622

    • Rex Widerstrom 3.1

      In the spirit of that horrendous choir that caused so much mirth at Labour’s conference, I reckon Tony, Maurice, Chris and Heather ought to peform a ballad of their own to their Leader at the next NACT get together.

      • felix 3.1.1

        Very clever, Rex.

        Also, did you know that in certain circles “fruit & flowers” is an accounting euphemism for hookers and coke?

        Just a thought.

        • Rex Widerstrom

          It is?! Then someone’s buying hugely expensive fruit, or is satiated by very cheap hookers.

  4. Lew 4

    Thanks, Merv from Remuera. You’ve given us a phrase with potential to be one of the all-time greats of NZ politics. Now, if only there was someone in opposition who could pick it up and run with it like it so richly deserves to be run with …


  5. jcuknz 5

    Instead of pinching the tulips and daffs that the council planted for our enjoyment they are supporting local floral industry … unless darstadly the flowers are being imported?
    Trust the lefties to crit the polys irrespective 🙂

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