The Dim-Post

August 7, 2012

Politicians and lobbyists seek exemption from political lobbying bill

Filed under: Politics — danylmc @ 9:33 am

When Holly Walker’s Lobbying Disclosure members bill was first drawn, most of the lobbyists in the country quickly insisted there wasn’t any need for such a bill, which suggests that there is an urgent need for this bill. Now Labour has decided that the lobbyists that lobby Labour are the good sort of lobbyists and should be exempt from disclosure. DPF transcribes an interview with Demosthenes David Shearer on the issue:

It is more of what I was just saying before umm ethan is that, you know I get you know trade unions or say salvation army or whatever they are standing up for rights of you know workers or rights of the poor or whatever, or whatever it is likely to be. Umm I don’t look to gain have had any sort of, I don’t look to have any material gain from that as a, as a as an MP–but there is what the the idea was is to try and capture the you know the various sort of business and corporate interests that might you know in a sense be trying to do sort of what you know they do offshore (not sure happens here?) is to buy buy politicans off”

Firstly, if you redraft the law so that there are exemptions for some bodies but exclude corporations, corporations will simply set up bodies that qualify for those exemptions and lobby through them. So this amendment would render the entire bill pointless.

Secondly, does Labour really think they need to conceal the fact that they’re lobbied by trade unions and social justice organisations? The fact that they want to hide their lobbying from public scrutiny is way more sinister than the actual lobbying. (At least, I hope it is.)

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17 Comments »

  1. Third, can we have that again in English, please?

    L

    Comment by Lew (@LewStoddart) — August 7, 2012 @ 9:43 am

  2. Isn’t the drafting of bills rendered pointless by loop-holes the principle policy of both National and Labour at the moment. It’s all about consistency, consistent incomptency and consistent double-standards admittedly, but nonetheless…

    Comment by Nathaniel — August 7, 2012 @ 10:10 am

  3. This also seems odd given that many unions actually have voting rights within the party (and candidates in the party), which is a fairly direct form of “lobbying” that wouldn’t need to be disclosed under the proposed law. I really don’t see the need for the ammendment from Labour’s point of view. It’s bewilderingly stupid.

    Comment by Will — August 7, 2012 @ 10:31 am

  4. Behind the chutzpah of Chauvel you can sense the sausage-fingered ineptitude of Mallard.

    Comment by Gregor W — August 7, 2012 @ 10:51 am

  5. Are Shearer and Key the two most inarticulate politicians on the planet (post-Dubya)? Can’t we get one of those European leaders in, the ones with English as a second language?

    Comment by sammy 2.0 — August 7, 2012 @ 11:39 am

  6. At least under Goff, Labour had the sense to adopt Green policies wholesale rather than attempting to tweak for the benefit of Labour.

    Think about: it’s a Green initiative; we’ve thought it through already. Stop trying to shoehorn in ifs, buts and exemptions.

    Comment by mikaerecurtis — August 7, 2012 @ 4:03 pm

  7. Everyone sounds evasive and indecisive when their conversations are transcribed. If you were listening to Phil Goff live, he’d come across as completely normal.

    Comment by MikeM — August 7, 2012 @ 4:42 pm

  8. @MikeM: Sure, but he could have simply said: “Sunlight is the best disinfectant, we’ll put it all out in the open and let the people of Aotearoa New Zealand decide.” Instead, it was all about lettting his mates continue to lobby without oversight.

    Comment by mikaerecurtis — August 7, 2012 @ 4:59 pm

  9. Whupps, force of habit, I meant to say David Shearer. :-p

    Anyway, I also wasn’t complete enough. I meant to say ‘he’d come across as completely normal for David Shearer’.

    Comment by MikeM — August 7, 2012 @ 5:32 pm

  10. Shear’s a bit confused, he’s supposed to make Labour look good, not the Greens.

    I’d thought this was just another bit of stupidity from Chauvel that would quickly fade away. Shearer suppporting it when he doesn’t know the details and really doesn’t sound like he himself supports it is a complete disaster. And in the most incoherent manner possible and antagonising the Greens. Hard to get more of a complete fuckup.

    It does sound as though the powers that be want to keep the cosy arrangement with the unions free from scrutiny.

    And that’s the dynamic that will play out til the election. Labour will try and maintain they’re a party of principle inorder to compete with the Greens and they will fail because they aren’t (and the Greens are only because they haven’t been in power). David Carter on mining is another example.

    Comment by NeilM — August 7, 2012 @ 7:54 pm

  11. “Behind the chutzpah of Chauvel you can sense the sausage-fingered ineptitude of Mallard.”

    How do you relay this concept as a type of animal? A yapping over enthusiastic food gobbling gender confused senile Labrador???

    Comment by Tim — August 7, 2012 @ 8:13 pm

  12. I’ve never been a big fan of Cunliffe, I never liked the way he came across, but if he’s so universally disliked within the Labour caucus that must mean he’s disliked by most of Mallard, Little, Chauvel, Curran and Jones. Perhaps he’s not that bad after all. Why has there never been an anyone-but-Mallard faction?

    Comment by NeilM — August 7, 2012 @ 8:37 pm

  13. he’s disliked by most of Mallard, Little, Chauvel, Curran and Jones. Perhaps he’s not that bad after all.

    I’ll definitely have to agree with you there.

    Comment by Rhinocrates — August 7, 2012 @ 10:54 pm

  14. who shall rid me of this …it is more of what I was just saying before umm …meddlesome priest…or whoever it is likely to be, umm I don’t look to gain have had any sort of, I don’t look to have any material gain from that but there is what the the idea was is to try and capture the you know the various sort …to do sort of what you know they do offshore (not sure happens here?)

    Comment by NeilM — August 8, 2012 @ 7:50 am

  15. a big part of the NGO concern is that if the volume of their lobbying with Govt. is revealed they will lose their tax free charity status …

    Comment by Jock — August 8, 2012 @ 8:22 am

  16. #15: it’s already happened with Family Fist, the Sensible Sentencing Trust, the Climate Science Coalition, and Greenpeace, after they crossed the dividing line between charity and politics.

    Comment by deepred — August 8, 2012 @ 11:10 pm

  17. Shearer’s comments make it fairly clear that he (and Labour?) hasn’t thought this through. One more reason to vote Green…..as it appears to be the ONLY larger party that has any integrity. Maori Party have sold out. Slippery Dunne never had any. Banks has shown what’s he’s made of in the integrity arena. Mana’s lone MP has integrity, but the Greens are more effective as an organisation. National? They are the party elected to raise wages…and set about pushing them down wherever possible. They haven’t registered significantly on the ‘Integ-o-meter’ since they deposed Bolger.

    Comment by Steve (@nza1) — August 9, 2012 @ 9:41 am


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