The Dim-Post

June 29, 2010

Quote of the day, flicker of hope edition

Filed under: Politics — danylmc @ 1:03 pm

I was collecting for the City Mission at the supermarket on Saturday afternoon –and every second person had something to say around the credit card issue. Normally, if I’m out collecting for various charities I’ll get one in every five or six people who’d want to stand and chat about a particular political issue…So the fact that people have engaged so much with this, its terribly, terribly sad. I’ve kept saying to people – it was wrong. Spending outside the rules was wrong. But there’also more to it than that. It was the fact it was public money. People really, really feel that it was their money, and it was misused…and extravagantly spent by people. We’ve got to do better, so people can feel it is worthwhile to engage with politicians.

- Labour Party MP Grant Robertson in an interview with Gordon Campbell.

There still seems to be a sentiment amongst some Labour MPs and their supporters that they were entitled to misuse public money and that journalists who took umbrage at the abuse and wrote stories about it should be punished or fired – so it’s incredibly encouraging to see that Robertson gets why it was such a catastrophe for the party.

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25 Comments »

  1. There still seems to be a sentiment amongst some Labour MPs and their supporters

    Actually the prevailing sentiment I’ve noticed is more like “how come it’s only Labour MPs under the microscope?”

    Comment by felix — June 29, 2010 @ 1:17 pm

  2. Bunch of reasons but bad luck plays a big part – the UK expenses scandal broke just after National was voted in so Key told his Ministers to be super careful and not to travel with their partners. But really Carter and Jones were the only two to come under really intense scrutiny and that’s because they were the only two dumb enough to charge dozens of porn movies to their credit card or take their partner on several luxury overseas holidays a year.

    Comment by danylmc — June 29, 2010 @ 1:34 pm

  3. But Groser spending $40 per glass of crappy Jim Beam isn’t dumb. Even if he refuses to apologise. But the PM says we shouldn’t begrudge him it so there is no story there I guess.

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — June 29, 2010 @ 1:43 pm

  4. “Actually the prevailing sentiment I’ve noticed is more like “how come it’s only Labour MPs under the microscope?”

    If you didn’t spend all your time cheerleading those first year politics students at the Standard Felix, you get a better perspective on things.

    Comment by La Grand Fromage — June 29, 2010 @ 1:44 pm

  5. Much as I’d like to say Labour are being singled out, I think it’s simply that Labour MPs were more numerous and since they were in government had more opportunities to be bad over the last 10 years. The timing was excellent for the Nats, but the outcome is a matter of statistics more than bias I think.

    I like Robertson a lot. He appears to have his head screwed on the right way.

    Comment by Stephen Judd — June 29, 2010 @ 1:45 pm

  6. @Danyl: “But really Carter and Jones were the only two to come under really intense scrutiny and that’s because they were the only two dumb enough to charge dozens of porn movies to their credit card or take their partner on several luxury overseas holidays a year.”

    And Clayton Cosgrove. For clearly committing fraud. Remember?

    http://dimpost.wordpress.com/2010/06/14/oversight/

    @Stephen: “I like Robertson a lot. He appears to have his head screwed on the right way.:

    You need to check this out, then.

    http://www.pundit.co.nz/content/i-love-the-news-its-my-favourite-show

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — June 29, 2010 @ 2:21 pm

  7. Do you notice that in Robertson’s quote there isn’t a mention of changing the rules, bringing them more in line with Public Opinion? We’ve heard a lot of “Sorry, try harder” from out politicians but not a lot of talk about changing the rules so it cannot happen again.

    Comment by Green Tea — June 29, 2010 @ 2:54 pm

  8. Do you notice that in Robertson’s quote there isn’t a mention of changing the rules, bringing them more in line with Public Opinion? We’ve heard a lot of “Sorry, try harder” from out politicians but not a lot of talk about changing the rules so it cannot happen again.

    Yep. That’s a good thing. It shows the rules are clear enough already, that they have been broken, and those who broke them have no excuse. We don’t change the laws around robbery because someone commits a robbery, we just apply the laws we have, and there’s no need to change the law about misusing public financial resources, because they’re good enough already. They just need to be applied is all.

    Comment by Graeme Edgeler — June 29, 2010 @ 3:06 pm

  9. Middle aged men at the Pixies, how tragic.

    Comment by davy crockett — June 29, 2010 @ 3:29 pm

  10. Let it go, davy. Just let it go.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — June 29, 2010 @ 3:33 pm

  11. Danyl: There still seems to be a sentiment amongst some Labour MPs and their supporters that they were entitled to misuse public money and that journalists who took umbrage at the abuse and wrote stories about it should be punished or fired

    But isn’t that the typical expectation on the left? They are always complaining about coverage. On the other hand, the right has to whine that things aren’t covered.

    Take for example Al Gore. Anyone thinks if a republican was doing this it would not have been printed? Global warming sceptics? Not to be found in the NZ Herald.

    So Labour is used to quite a free ride, personal and policy wise. As they will be out of power for the next 6 years they should get used to a few more negative stories over the next 3 years.

    Comment by Berend de Boer — June 29, 2010 @ 3:34 pm

  12. Sorry, it was too funny an image to pass up.

    Comment by davy crockett — June 29, 2010 @ 3:49 pm

  13. And Danyl’s already mined that trope, davy.

    http://dimpost.wordpress.com/2010/03/13/pixies/

    BTW – there’s this funny series called “Seinfeld”, if you’re looking for yuks from the past.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — June 29, 2010 @ 3:56 pm

  14. I missed that but as you kindly revived Pixies for the arthritic today I can save Seinfeld for a wet Sunday. God bless you Guv’nor.

    Comment by davy crockett — June 29, 2010 @ 4:14 pm

  15. Global warming sceptics? Not to be found in the NZ Herald.

    Garth George? Fran O’Sullivan? Jim Hopkins? That’s just off the top of my head, and my impression is that far too many of their regular columnists are deluded in this manner. Do you actually read the Herald, Berend, or just complain about it?

    Comment by Stephen Judd — June 29, 2010 @ 4:28 pm

  16. We’re in ‘embrace Maori’ mode. Labour’s traditional support from within Maori is very important to the Labour Party, and we want to get back the people that we’ve lost. The importance of us engaging with the Maori constituency is hugely important to the whole caucus, and especially to the Maori caucus [within Labour] For me, the Maori Party is almost irrelevant to that…

    This is the most heartening thing in the interview actually. I don’t mind all that much which party (MP or Labour) represents Maori in Parliament. What this does speak to me is a realisation of where Labour has lost its touch with those who are (or should be) important to them.

    I hope they get in an ‘embrace working class’ mode soon, although not Trotter style, slinging the lamb over the shoulder and throwing teh gays, Maori and women under the bus.

    You can almost hear John Key say, ‘Oh, that’s Hone.’

    Indeed you can.

    Comment by George D — June 29, 2010 @ 4:30 pm

  17. “Garth George? Fran O’Sullivan? Jim Hopkins? That’s just off the top of my head, and my impression is that far too many of their regular columnists are deluded in this manner. Do you actually read the Herald, Berend, or just complain about it?”

    Owned

    Comment by Sam Finnemore — June 29, 2010 @ 5:03 pm

  18. “Garth George? Fran O’Sullivan? Jim Hopkins?

    Owen McShane, though he’s not so much a columnist as an op-ed guy.

    Comment by Stephen — June 29, 2010 @ 5:11 pm

  19. I touched a paper copy of ‘The Dominion’ today. It just got in the way of my short black & made me wonder when the dailies will go tabloid (in format as well as journalism).

    Comment by davy crockett — June 29, 2010 @ 5:14 pm

  20. People still read newspapers?

    Comment by SHG — June 29, 2010 @ 5:27 pm

  21. I like Grant Robertson a lot too, Stephen. He’s a good human. I’d like to see him become a major force in the Labour party.
    (though maybe not in a Julia Gillard kind of way).

    Comment by Carol — June 29, 2010 @ 7:36 pm

  22. Doubt that there’s any real cost-saving in paper. The old Dom did go tabloid in format – late 60’s early 70’s – theory being that it made easier reading in crowded places like trains etc. Later they (whoever `they’ was at the time) decided that, compared to the other self-titled quality newsheets, they gave a suggestion of tabloid content and changed back – the rival Evening Post in Wgn had remained full size, altho it had the rep of being less `substantial’ than the Dom, and thus potentially more of a candidat for tabloidisation.

    Comment by Leopold — June 29, 2010 @ 9:06 pm

  23. Leopold, maybe it’s because the Evening Post had a reputation for being less ‘substantial’ that it didn’t dare go for the tabloid format.

    By way of analogy, the Jaguar XJ6 is made of aluminium. Most car makers wouldn’t dare be the first to use aluminium, because people might think of it as a cheap and flimsy material, but Jaguar can get away with it with the XJ6 because nobody can ever possibly think of an XJ6 as a cheap and flimsy sort of car.

    Comment by kahikatea — June 29, 2010 @ 9:53 pm

  24. Interestingly enough:

    I live in Chris Carter’s Te Atatu electorate and did a random survey of non-politically interested people I know.

    While all agree that Chris Carter “shouldn’t have done” whatever he did (when I asked what he actually did no one could actually answer) only one person said he wouldn’t vote for Chris again.

    I suspect that the right-wing foaming from the Farrarites doesn’t reflect reality in any way. But again this was annecdotal so…

    Comment by Badger — June 30, 2010 @ 11:32 am

  25. what, you mean the same people who say that Helen Clark is universally loathed, then suddenly go silent when a (probably unscientific) poll shows her to be more trusted than any current party leader?

    Comment by kahikatea — June 30, 2010 @ 1:16 pm


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