Written By: - Date published: 8:55 am, July 16th, 2017 - 52 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, bill english, Dirty Politics, national, national/act government, Politics, same old national - Tags: Todd Barclay
Under this Government if you are a beneficiary there are strenuous work obligations and drug test obligations. The Government seems to take a sadistic pleasure in making people look for non existing jobs or to submit themselves to drug tests that almost invariably showed that they were clean.
It is a shame that these same rules do not apply to National MPs. If they did it is almost inevitable that the state would save itself the need to pay Todd Barclay’s parliamentary salary.
It remains unclear whether embattled Clutha-Southland MP Todd Barclay will return to Parliament before retiring at the election in September.
Barclay has been absent from the House and select committees since he announced he would stand down in June over further revelations about his alleged illegal taping of a staff-member.
Parliament is currently in recess but will sit for a further four weeks prior to the election. Barclay is the deputy chair of both the Education and Science and Primary Production select committees.
Senior whip Jami-Lee Ross and Invercargill MP Sarah Dowie are travelling to Queenstown on Tuesday to meet with Barclay.
“We’re talking about local issues, talking about how he’s doing. We know he’s been going into his electorate office and doing work on a regular basis.”
Ross said he would likely be talking to Barclay about whether he was coming back to Parliament or not.
“I don’t know if he’s made a decision yet. I’m sure that will come up in the conversation – we’ll discuss if and when he does come back to Parliament.”
Todd has been elusive ever since the story about the use of the Prime Minister’s fund to pay a former employee compensation for having her rights of privacy breached. He has not been seen at his office although he has been seen at a local pub.
The young MP, who usually has a busy schedule, hasn’t been spotted at a single public event – even when other National MPs have visited the electorate.
It is understood he was even absent from a National Party fundraiser in Queenstown on Friday, which deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett attended.
Early in July Barclay was spotted taking a phone call outside the Pig and Whistle, in Queenstown. A Stuff reporter approached him for comment and was told several times that he was “not going to be speaking to anybody” and he was “taking a bit of a break” before Barclay disappeared back inside the pub.
And the pressure is on him to return to work. After all that is what is required of all ordinary workers. Again from Stuff:
Prime Minister Bill English says he’s expecting MP Todd Barclay back in Parliament next week.
The temperature has been turned up on the National Party’s MP this weekend, with mayors in his Clutha-Southland electorate saying he should either show up to work or quit – and he should front up to a police inquiry.
Despite claims from Barclay and senior Government whip Jami-Lee Ross that Barclay had been hard at work, the only time he’s been seen in public since announcing his resignation was when he was spotted at the Pig and Whistle pub in Queenstown last week.Prime Minister Bill English and senior Government whip Jami-Lee Ross are sending mixed message on whether Todd Barclay will return to Parliament after recess.
Police want to talk to him about allegations he secretly recorded the phone conversations of his electorate staff member Glenys Dickson, in an ugly falling out.
According to a Stuff source, phone records show Dickson was in constant contact with English as she prepared an employment grievance against Barclay.
She had previously worked for English when he was the local MP, and the two are said to have communicated by phone or text message up to 10 times a day as relations with Barclay deteriorated.
National must be wishing this story would fade. But this seems unlikely.