International Cat Speculators Since 2006

Posts tagged ‘Corruption’

An idea to get Conservatism back on track

The Republican party in the US just suffered quite a defeat. But they do have a position as majority in the house from which they can launch something.

I was reading via Instapundit today (or maybe yesterday) that in spite of recent events, in spite of Chicago being dominated by Democrats, in spite of the failures of Stimulus projects, in spite of the clear media cover-ups of Democratic party stumbles, gaffes and scandals, in spite of all the evidence people think it’s the Republican party that is the most corrupt.

So here’s the thing. I have no no doubt whatsoever that the Republican party does contain and tolerate a lot of corruption. Not as much as the Democrats, and it is not as fundamental as it is to the Democratic party, but it does exist. And no right thinking American wants a corrupt government.

At the same time, the Republicans have a big image problem. Trust me, they do. It’s like there’s two groups, Republicans and the people who think Republicans are evil. Very little middle ground. They need to fix this, and the media (who lovingly helped build it) is in no way going to help.

So here’s what I think the Republican led house should do. (I’m not entirely sure this is possible but what the hey, not like anyone’s going to read this!) Establish a house committee/commission to root out corruption. First, staff it with guys like McCain who’s integrity is utterly unimpeachable.

Next, go after the bad eggs in the Republican party itself. Have every member sign a statement saying that they will conduct their politics properly or leave. Then kick out the bad eggs, get them prosecuted if possible and let it be seen that the entire party condemns them as they go. If it loses the entire majority do it. Once the public get the idea that they’re genuine in what they’re doing, even willing to risk their own majority, those seats that are vacant may just be won back anyway.

Backers? Kick them to the curb. Special interests? Tell them to take a hike. Yea, it’s gonna hurt. Yea, it may damage the party in the sort term. But it’s like anything hard – the bigger the pain, the bigger the payoff is down the line.

In the meantime, other proprieties are just going to have to suffer. Let’s face it, the public voted for Obama so they don’t seem to care much about what the Republicans hold dearly do they? It’s just like anything, you have to decide what is really important. And you can be effective at running the country if you’re fat and lazy with a huge beer gut.

And it’s only when it’s very clear that the Republican party is absolutely, completely and utterly clean, so clean that even Chris Matthews is admiring the sparkle, so ruthless with corruption that there is no question that even the top brass would see the door they were found giving favors, then and only then you start on the Democrats.

But by that stage, you probably won’t have to. The public will start turning on them and the media will have to ask why they are not prepared to clean their own house.  Obama will probably finish his term, but his legacy of corruption will mean that everyone will be glad to see him go.

That’s my thinking anyway. I think it’d work in the US.

It’s never work here because we have no conservatives worth a damn in the first place.

Greenpeace Attempts Bribe of PM?

Sounds like it to me:

Prime Minister John Key will be offered $4781 by Lucy Lawless and Jim Salinger today in an attempt to get him to a climate change conference in Denmark next month.

Mr Key said he was comfortable sending Environment Minister Nick Smith to represent New Zealand.

His attitude has not gone down well with Greenpeace, which has been running a “Key to Copenhagen” fundraising drive involving cake stalls, sausage sizzles and donations.

Dr Salinger, a climate scientist, and actress Lawless have been tasked with presenting the proceeds to Mr Key, and plan to visit Parliament early this afternoon with the cheque and a boarding pass to Copenhagen.

Giving John Key money to try and change policy sounds very much like a bribe to me.

I guess it’s ok though – it’s for the planet and all that.

Field Given 6 Years

Justice is served – though as usual it’s taken some time.

Disgraced former MP Taito Phillip Field was today jailed for six years for bribery and corruption and perverting the course of justice.In August, a jury in the High Court in Auckland found the former Mangere MP guilty of 26 of the 35 criminal charges he faced at the end of a 14-week trial.

Now, about that pledge card…

Sitting there in front of one’s nose

Several bloggers have noted the lack of response on Labour’s blog to one of their former MPs being convicted of bribery and corruption.

Maybe their “About” statement explains it?

These are the voices of Labour MPs on issues that we care about…

Clearly the answer is right there: Labour MPs don’t care about corruption or they’d be blogging on it.

Which makes sense. They never seemed too worried about it when they were in power, why start now?

Field from Left Field

One of the advantages of having registered every single known public interest blog in Google Reader is that you can use the power of Google to quickly and efficiently find who’s bothered to comment on certain issues.

I thought it would be interesting to post reactions from the left.

Just left:

First thing first; if you’re looking around for someone to defend Taito Phillip Field, keep on looking because you’re unlikely to find it here. I hope they throw the book at him.

Then he’s off to attack Bill for spending most of his time in Wellington.

Kiwipolitico discusses cultural issues and concludes

Transculturalism is complicated.

Toad at g.blog really put the boot in.

I knew Field as a “fellow” (gag!) unionist, long before he got into Parliament.

He was a sleazy scumbag, and lazy to boot – even then he was more interested in his personal agrandisement than the interest of the people he was employed to represent. I won’t go into all the details here, but there was a particularly unpleasant night in a bar when I and several other unionist were asked to cover for him (and look after his wife who was there too) while he and a couple of others made a surepticious sojourn to a brothel.

How he ever got a Labour selection is beyond me – I guess it was to try to ensure they retained the Pacific Islander vote, but I knew then that his was a very poor selection.

And then Helen Clark made the error of judgment in making him a Minister. Who knows why. But it came back to haunt her – her continued tolerance of him after the scandals started to become public dragged the Labour Party down in the eyes of the public.

I’ve said before, and will say again, that Clark’s tolerance of Field is one of the 5 main reasons voters decided the Labour Government had to go (the others being their continued defence of the pledge card expenditure, the continued tolerance of David Benson-Pope and Winston Peters who were also electoral liabilities under serious suspicion of impropriety , and the debacle Mark Burton delivered with the Electoral Finance Act. In the two previous terms Clark was quick to address alleged impropriety – as Marian Hobbs, Lianne Dalziel, Ruth Dyson, Dover Samuels and David Parker (briefly, and correctly briefly in his case, becasue it was soon revealed he had done nothing corrupt) discovered to their detriment.

Anyway, Field is a traitor to the working class, and it is now official.

As someone who generally supports non-custodial sentences for crimes that don’t involve violence, I accept there have to occasionally be exceptions. Lets hope this scumbag rots in jail for several years.

Finally, No Right Turn.

Taito Philip Field has been found guilty on eleven of twelve counts of bribery and corruption as an MP, and 15 of 23 counts of perverting the course of justice.

Good riddance.

Quite.

It’s racist not to use “Taito”

People, please remember that when you refer to our first MP convicted of corruption, it’s “Petty Racism” not to use his chiefly title.

I only mention this because on the TV last night, there was a clip of Helen announcing Field’s demotion at some point and she omitted a certain word…

Less corruption, or more blindness?

Idiot/Savant blogs on corruption in Australia as opposed to New Zealand.

Meanwhile, over the ditch, former Queensland Cabinet Minister Gordon Nuttall has just been convicted on 36 charges of receiving secret commissions while in office and sentenced to seven years. And he’s not the first. He’s the fifth Queensland Cabinet Minister to be jailed for corruption (four were jailed as a result of the Fitzgerald Inquiry) – and that’s just Queensland. Other Ministers have been jailed for corruption in New South Wales, where Corrections Minister Rex Jackson took bribes to let people out of jail, and Western Australia, where two former Premiers and a former Deputy Premier were jailed after a Royal Commission into corruption.

While we have a lot in common, this is a fundamental difference between our two countries. Despite the [concerns raised by blogs I/S disagrees with], New Zealand is fundamentally not a corrupt country. Meanwhile, tight connections between business and government mean that high-level political corruption is endemic in parts of Australia. So how did things manage to go so wrong over there?

But wait, what is the Fitzgerald Inquiry?

The Fitzgerald Inquiry into Queensland Police corruption was a judicial inquiry presided over by Tony Fitzgerald QC. The inquiry was established in response to a series of articles on high-level police corruption in The Courier-Mail by reporter Phil Dickie, followed by a Four Corners report, aired on 11 May 1987, entitled “The Moonlight State” with reporter Chris Masters. With Queensland‘s Premier of 18 years, Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen, out of the state, his deputy Bill Gunn ordered a commission of inquiry.

Wait… isn’t a comission like that exactly what the right of the blogosphere has been asking for?

Pointing to lack of prosecutions or convictions for corruption is idiotic – the fact is we’ve just assumed that we’re less corrupt, and there hasn’t been the political will to look at the evidence that has been piling up.

Now, if we had had such commissions and found no corruption, then Idiot/Savant might have a case. But we haven’t.

Oh, perhaps such a commission might be setup to address the concerns raised by this blogger?

Unfortunately, there is nothing the Electoral Commission can do about it. When they drafted the law back in 1993, politicians included a cosy little out for themselves in the form of a six month time limit on prosecutions. It’s been more than six months since the donation in question was made, so no charges can be brought. And so Winston and his cronies get to walk on this one, despite pissing on the law and our democracy for years.

There is however something the public can do about it, and that is don’t vote for New Zealand First. By their actions they have shown themselves to be deeply corrupt, not to mention grossly hypocritical. And we should remember that at election time.

Does this make I/S a member of the “sewer”? Or just “grossly hypocritical”?

Policy Missing

With less than 3 days to go, I am deeply disappointed with the failure of National in particular to produce one policy in particular.

A Google search on the topic reveals nothing from any party at all.

Corruption.

While we are a long way from the situation where public officials can be bought and sold, Labour have conducted themselves disgracefully and undermined many aspects of government with a view to maintaining themselves in power or gaining more. The Pledge Card, EFA, refusal to prosecute various Labour officials, the list goes on.

I was hoping that National and Act would release policies on corruption, and run with this as a central part of their campaign.

Too much to ask apparently. I am very disappointed.

Face the Music

Reading comments today about how Labour is, once again, leaving a crap economy for National to fix up, I was reminded of when I was learning music and practicing for the end of year concert.

My teacher pointed out time and time again, that no one really remembers how you started, but everyone remembers if you make a mistake at the end.

I wonder how this government will be remembered?

My personal hope is that National takes immediate steps to make sure that what is remembered is the utter corruption that seeped into our nation over the last 9 years, to the point where we have cabinet talking today about whether or not they approve of Contact (a private company) raising their prices.

Helengrad indeed.

Sickening Pro-Government Police Corruption

Hooton has a post today on his OIA request regarding the Brash Email affair.

It makes sickening reading. This is the sort of pro-government political manipulation & undermining of the opposition we have come to expect from Zimbabwe, not here in New Zealand.

The fact that Matthew has to explain *why* this is important would also suggest that we have lost our perspective in a haze of government spin.

The letter then says that the police began their investigation on 28 September 2006. In other words, according to Police National Headquarters itself, they waited 13 months before commencing an investigation into an alleged theft that had potentially very significant electoral and constitutional implications.

(In a democracy, it is vitally important that political parties, unions, business groups and other NGOs are able to meet and communicate in private to achieve a common policy position, and then agree on strategy, tactics and operations. If collective groups are unable to do this, they cannot function, because no group of adults will ever agree on everything the moment they walk into a room, and they may not want their initial differences to be made public. Demanding that everything be transparent is Pollyanna-ish and simply undermines the efficacy of political parties, unions, business groups and other NGOs and therefore undermines democracy. The Police should take very seriously any suggestion of politically-motivated crimes which undermine this ability for groups that are important to our democracy, such as the main opposition party, to reach agreement privately.)

But Police National Headquarter’s dodgy behaviour is even worse than this.

In the letter, Police National Headquarters claims they were first notified of the alleged thefts on 30 August 2005. This is new information because, until now, it has always been believed that the first they knew officially about the alleged theft was when Dr Brash made a formal complaint in September 2006.

We now learn, from Police National Headquarters itself, that, in fact, the police waited at least 22 months from the time they were first notified about the alleged theft before interviewing any of the key players!

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