Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Costly indeed

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  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Right Craig. As I said, advantage has been taken or interpreted, to benefit and if anything from this, better knowledge of the rules and accountability ought to follow.
    I ain't gonna expect politicians to do claims in the middle of the job,(even if Tony Ryall wants paperwork done in the middle of operations). I just want our politicians to act according to the rules and if some now claim they had different interpretations, correct that. Still think one house should be enough though. :)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Still think one house should be enough though. :)

    Two houses are fine surely. Making it appear like a house you own isn't yours so you can get money paid to you for living in it, less so.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Two houses are fine surely.

    I'd suggest majority of those working in Parliament do ok with one. Hell we pay to fly these guys all around the country, so yes to a rental for ministers to work in Wellington who should be expected to live there Mon through Fri. These guys get more holidays, more pay rises, which are at odds for their employers to be given the same. So I say one house, and if warranted, one rental for the Ministers in Wellington. Stuff it .They can commute like the rest of us and use the phone when lonely for their little family. Otherwise buy your own. call it an investment, put those accounting skills to good use instead of manipulating that which can be. :)
    Do we pay for their kids education as well?

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    This is a case of the difference between the letter of the law and the spirit of the law. Surely the spirit of the law was that you pay for your own stuff and your legitimate expenses are covered, simple enough.
    But the letter of the law says the card shall not be used for personal expenses, even if you reimburse you have broken the rules and that is just plain stupid, it is the final tally that counts. It's bit like saying you will not borrow for tax cuts and then borrowing for something else that you could have afforded if you hadn't cut taxes.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Ian MacKay,

    Reading the continuing lists of Spending, most of which are part of the job it seems, I couldn't help thinking that if the accounts are going to be published every few months in the future as said by John Key, then current Ministers are also going to be embarrassed if the same slant is put on the results.
    The Herald. August 2010. Taxpayers money wasted on Luxury Living!: "Minister's bill for 8 days overseas $21,000. Car hire $2,100. Gifts $1856.31 Meals $4,045.23" etc.

    Bleheim • Since Nov 2006 • 498 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    then current Ministers are also going to be embarrassed if the same slant is put on the results.

    And the silence from them is almost deafening. :)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    And if we think our media is partisanised, spare a thought for the Belgians.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5445 posts Report Reply

  • Cecelia,

    Back home and read the response to my early morning rant. Yes, I guess I do have a puritanical streak and I'm also very bad at expressing stuff. I'll try again. I'm in my 60s and have been a Labour voter all my life (except when they piss me off and I vote Green). I remember exactly where I was when Norm Kirk died and David Lange resigned. They were both clever men and both brought Labour to the fore but both had shocking diets/health and died, burnt out or got sick before their time.
    I've been watching Shane Jones for years, since he was first praised as an up and coming Labour leader and I've been somewhat disappointed. And if I were his mum I'd think he was not looking after himself - he looks fat and flabby not robust and red-blooded to me. Winston Churchill might have been able to burn the candle at both ends and slip in a bit of world leadership but I don't know if there's anyone who could do that today.
    And perhaps after so many years of teaching I get sick of people saying "he has so much potential". What has Jones done as an MP to fulfil that potential? How many years can go by before people stop saying that?

    Hibiscus Coast • Since Apr 2008 • 559 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    then current Ministers are also going to be embarrassed if the same slant is put on the results.

    Oh, wouldn't that be an unspeakable tragedy -- pardon me if I don't regard it as some impertinent degradation if our employees occasionally deign to explain what they do, and how. I think the poor petals will adjust; they might even find that one agreeable side effect of disinfecting sunlight, and more care about how they behave, is real understanding and respect of what they do right.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    How many years can go by before people stop saying that?

    Until someone else proves themselves or takes their place because he hasn't changed.Plus debating skills appear to be a pre req now. Jones can always put many to shame in this department which is I guess one reason why it takes a wee time to get to the front benches. We have got some goodies in labour. Unfortunately the MSM will focus on the loud mouths not allowing people to digest the other attributes that many have. I love that under MMP we get to vote twice so I can appease my need to include the Greens.
    And 60 is no excuse Cecelia, I expect many more posts from you. ;)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    And just to lighten things up a bit, John Roughan's anguished cry of Where's a decent leader when you need one? had me reaching for a handkerchief... to stifle the laughter.

    Who would be a politician? Put an occasional personal expense on the business card and you are a front page rogue.

    You will be on television that night trying to explain quite reasonably that it was a mere convenience and you subsequently settled the account.

    But since John Campbell still seems morally concerned you are liable to abase yourself by cutting up the damn card on camera.

    Who would be a politician? None of the people I hoped might come forward now that Auckland is to be a united city and its mayor seriously powerful.

    You've got to read the whole thing to get the full bouquet of fatuous arse, rancid hypocrisy and oleaginous power worship but it's worth the time. While Roughan searches for a "decent leader", I wouldn't let him or O'Sullivan mind the cash box at a cake stall.

    Given that they've both held senior editorial positions at The Herald, I'd love to know how lassez faire APN is with the corporate plastic. Do share, folks.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Craig you really do look like a cigarette butt, no matter the spin. :)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Craig you really do look like a cigarette butt, no matter the spin. :)

    Thanks, Sofie -- I hope I don't look like a Preuvian Marlboro. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Marlboro.

    No, not the Marlboro man.
    I think that image must arise from my smoking habits of past, so guess that puts you at Peter Stuyvesant. He founded New York y'know? Precious. :)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    What they do need to take on board is that Labour invented the slide rule when it comes to legality on sexual issues in this country. It was Labour that legislated to make homosexuality legal in 1986 and followed that in 2003 by legitimising prostitution. Clark made former prostitute and transsexual Georgina Beyer a Minister outside Cabinet.

    - fran osullivan

    I feel very weird about this bit of writing. labour didn't invent any slide rule. The gay bigotry issue is a human rights issue that was ignored for decades.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    It was Labour that legislated to make homosexuality legal in 1986

    Well, if you want to be pedantic about it:

    1) National MP Venn Young made the first serious attempt at homosexual law reform in 1974, which was heavily defeated under a Labour government.

    2) The Homosexual Law Reform Bill was not, in any sense, a Labour bill. If Fran's not clear on the distinction between government and private members bills, or what a conscience vote is, she should refrain from political commentary.

    3) The Human Rights Amendment Bill, which in part banned discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation became law, under a National government with overwhelming bi-partisan support.

    But, hey, I guess we can't let historical fact get in the way of a "front-botties and faggots victimising poor Shane while coddling Carter" narrative.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Yes, I guess I do have a puritanical streak

    I should point out that when I said "puritanical bullshit" I was referring at the media coverage, not you or Deborah - much as I thought your respective choice of words was worth remarking.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    What they do need to take on board is that Labour invented the slide rule when it comes to legality on sexual issues in this country. It was Labour that legislated to make homosexuality legal in 1986 and followed that in 2003 by legitimising prostitution. Clark made former prostitute and transsexual Georgina Beyer a Minister outside Cabinet.

    Been off the grid and just catching up, but this is utter tripe. The implication is beneath even dear old Fran, surely?

    In fact, what is the implication? Jones' porn equates to legalised homosexuality, legalised prostitution and a transsexual Minister outside cabinet? FFS, that's a new low. If there are "more purse-lipped and moralistic female colleagues" in Labour that will make these comparisons, then maybe it is time for some zoology.

    And what Craig said.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Cecelia,

    not you or Deborah

    Ah, I like to be in the same category as the brainy Deborah. I always feel like the dumb one here but can't stop contributing!

    And I know you weren't really attacking me/us. And I do feel squeamish about pornographic films. There, I've admitted it. Very unfashionable around here. I've never seen one but I associate them with "the expense of spirit in a waste of shame". No I don't but that line from sonnet 129 (?) always sounded pretty cool to me ... Shakespeare the Puritan.

    It was his poor taste in chocolate too:)

    Hibiscus Coast • Since Apr 2008 • 559 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    unfashionable around here.

    They'd be plenty who read or write here, wont like it.
    FWIW, I don't watch any myself because it's a waste of my time,Sometimes I have paused to see what the stuff on Comedy Central is like after Colbert Report, (but it really seems like comedy to me rather than tits and bums all over the place, a lot of Germans, quite odd,) but I wont judge others for having anything to do with it except trafficking. That for me is a whole other level of sick. Anyway I hope you don't worry about your honesty. :)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Felix Marwick,

    I'd love to know how lassez faire APN is with the corporate plastic. Do share, folks.

    Well I work for Newstalk ZB, which is part of TRN, which in turn is half owned by APN.

    The procedure for us is that travel and accomodation is generally booked and paid for in advance. Any expenses we incur when overseas, or on the road, we pay for ourselves and then claim reimbursement afterwards.

    So - no work credit cards at all and no latitude to rack up dodgy expenses. The finance department's hardly going to repay me for stuff that they don't consider work related.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    I like to be in the same category as the brainy Deborah. I always feel like the dumb one here but can't stop contributing!

    Hmmm... I've got a fair degree of formal training in a particular area, but that's about it. I like hanging around with all the smart and insightful people here, and I don't get here nearly as often as I would like.

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1447 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    I do have issues with porn, but they are entirely tied up with the notion of consenting adults. Whatever any consenting adult and her or his partners and friends and chance acquaintances (who are also consenting adults) want to do in their bedrooms is entirely their affair, and none of mine. It's their private, personal business.

    And that's exactly why it shouldn't be on the taxpayers' tab, even momentarily. It's private, personal business. What is so hard to understand about that?

    It is exceedingly easy to get hotel staff to process two transactions instead of one. It is exceedingly easy to get a copy of the bill, highlight the personal items, and say to the clerk, "Put $x on this card, and the rest on this card." Far easier than trying to refund the amount to your employer.

    These people have put themselves forward to run the country. They have claimed that we can trust them, that they know the right thing to do, that they have the capacity to make good judgements, that they will act with due consideration and care. But they have failed on a very, very simple test. They can't distinguish between what is private and personal, and what is public. It's a very clear demonstration that they are not suitable to be parliamentarians.

    I wouldn't have worried so much if it had been just a one-off event w.r.t. Jones' after-hours entertainment. That would have been just a slip-up, the one, or maybe two, occasion(s) when the personal amounts didn't get split out of the bill, by mischance. But it wasn't a one-off event. It was repeated many times. That indicates on-going misjudgement, of the sort that suggests he ought not to be in parliament.

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1447 posts Report Reply

  • slarty,

    Per-diems are not the answer; they're legitimising the rort in the same way that national's tax cuts legitimised tax cheating.

    Oh good grief. I won't dignify that shit about the tax cuts with a response. But the per diem?

    Try it. No, really, just try being away from your family for 4 nights a week for a decent length of time. You may start out thinking that bumming around like a back-packer is cool, and hanging out with the young arty chicks in the local Hare Krishna joint is nice (and the food's tasty too!).

    But it gets tiring. You can only do so much art and coolness a) because it all looks mightily the same after a while and b) they're all either shut or really quiet between 7pm when you stop work and 9pm when you collapse in bed.

    Add up all the extra costs you incur - the fact you basically have to go to a pub if you want a beer (so no off-license prices), you have to go to a restaurant for dinner (or sit alone in your hotel room). Every time you buy even a tube of toothpaste it's from an expensive corner shop, not your local Pak'n'save.

    And if you fancy watching a porn movie, well you just can't OK? Because you're a long way from your Sky subscription and the loving arms of your significant other.

    Try leaving home at 5.30am and getting back at 10.30pm. And then listen to people telling you how exotic your life is, and how exciting it must be to get on a plane sooo often. And ooo look how dare you receive 12 Air dollars for that trip, that's public money that is. You should be ashamed. Enjoying your self like that, living off the pigs back.

    The irritating thing about this shit is that not really that there are thousands of honest hard working public servants out there trying to make years of truly irrational policy work, despite being treated like a bunch of naughty children.

    No, the thing that really depresses me is that there are hundreds of times as many ignorant, envious little fucks out there who will wank on for hours about this trivia as if it was important. But if you actually gave them the job they'd be whining about over-time and days off in lieu and compensation for cash costs and on and on.

    And to rub salt into it, these are the ignorant 'string-em-up' half wits who clamour for the fucked-up policies in the first place.

    Anyway, more importantly, I would be asking: what trash would you put out when you knew this story was about to hit the shelves?

    Since Nov 2006 • 290 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    And that's exactly why it shouldn't be on the taxpayers' tab, even momentarily. It's private, personal business. What is so hard to understand about that?

    Nothing is hard to understand, and nobody is disputing it. I'm simply making the point that Jones was singled out from the pack of the offenders - to the point where apparently his career is in jeopardy - purely because he rented porn. I guarantee you that if he had rented When Harry Met Sally it wouldn't have made the papers and we'd be talking about somebody else. Yet When Harry Met Sally and When Harry Banged Sally constitute exactly the same offence.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

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