Winston hates the Herald

December 16th, 2007 at 9:43 am by David Farrar

Winston unleashes a torrent against the Herald:

Peters said the rejection came after “fuss” by “minions of foreign-owned interests”, referring to the country’s main newspaper owners, APN – publishers of the NZ Herald and the Herald on Sunday – and Fairfax.

“It’s all very well for a bunch of chardonnay-drinking, pinky-finger-lifting elitists to come up with their view. It’s the ultimate in elitist arrogance. There is no politics in this.”

It is typical Peters. Well if there is no politics in this, why not give the money back to the taxpayer to whom it is morally owed?

Matt McCarten is unimpressed also:

But of all of his antics, dropping off a cheque for $158,000 to Starship children’s hospital last week must be the most blatant example of cynical populism I can recall.

Mind you, the NZ First’s leader’s latest hypocrisy is consistent with his past behaviour. Peters has always had an uncanny knack of being able to take a strong principled position one moment and, with a straight face, do the exact opposite without claiming he has done anything wrong.

During the last election he defiantly claimed NZ First wouldn’t sell out for the baubles of office. Within weeks he was our Foreign Minister, claiming he wasn’t a member of the Government because he didn’t go to Cabinet meetings, and his other MPs remained on the backbenches.

The Auditor-General’s original charge was that our politicians had unethically used public money to buy votes. Peters has pulled off a breath-taking feat. Not only did he misuse money two years ago, but he is using the same money to fund publicity he hopes will get him elected again next year. It remains to be seen if enough New Zealanders vote for a party with this sort of morality compass.

One of the better summing ups I have seen.

19 Responses to “Winston hates the Herald”

  1. natural party of govt (281 comments) says:

    Like or not, the money is now legally NZ First, just like every cent of the far greater sums of taxpayers cash that National spent on advertising in the period before June 2005 is now legally National’s.

    Both NZ First and National spent their money on the same thing – to try and obtain support from the voters (remember the great iwi-kiwi billboards?).

    To their credit NZ First wants to pay some to sick children, National wants to keep all theirs.

    If its a cynical move, then let the voters make that judgement. Don’t withhold money from sick children as a political game or rejoice in a political victory when it is snatched away from them.

    I see sick children every day. It makes me gasp at the cynical self-absorded glee that has met the spiteful rejection of this donation by a man who was himself found to have accepted illegal money as a golden handshake.

    The Greens took the right line: to paraphase: “Its great that children are getting the money but remember the generosity is the taxpayers not NZ First”

    What an intelligent and mature response and so makes the response here and from National to rejoice that the children WILL NOT get that money look that much more mean and spiteful.

    The onus is on National to persuade one of those large donors to their wealthy secret trusts to stump up with 150 000 for the Starship.

    I just wish that some of these right wing folks could see just some of the kids that I see every day.

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  2. Peak Oil Conspiracy (3,949 comments) says:

    NPOG:

    Like or not, the money is now legally NZ First, just like every cent of the far greater sums of taxpayers cash that National spent on advertising in the period before June 2005 is now legally National’s.

    No no no no and no – this is completely incorrect. Try looking up, in any reputable legal textbook, the following phrases: constructive trust and equitable tracing. And think about the anology with the Proceeds of Crime Act: does crime really pay?

    Those who want to donate to Starship are quite entitled to do so – with their own money. NZ First, like it or not, controls tainted property as determined by the Auditor-General. If NZ First disagrees, it should repay the money under protest and seek redress through the courts. It’s that simple. Politics doesn’t even enter into the equation.

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  3. natural party of govt (281 comments) says:

    “No no no no and no – this is completely incorrect. Try looking up, in any reputable legal textbook, the following phrases: constructive trust and equitable tracing. And think about the anology with the Proceeds of Crime Act: does crime really pay?”

    Yes, yes, yes. try looking up the legislative sovereignty of Parliament. You are about the most legally ignorant person I have ever come across. Did you flunk first year?

    “It’s that simple. Politics doesn’t even enter into the equation.

    Nor do the interests of sick children apparantly.

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  4. Peak Oil Conspiracy (3,949 comments) says:

    NPOG:

    Yes, yes, yes. try looking up the legislative sovereignty of Parliament. You are about the most legally ignorant person I have ever come across. Did you flunk first year?

    Nice smear. Now show me the legislative instrument that supports your argument.

    If you’ve got nothing but piss-wind, then the solution is – again – for NZ First to challenge the Auditor-General’s ruling in the courts.

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  5. natural party of govt (281 comments) says:

    ” Now show me the legislative instrument that supports your argument.”

    Precedent or Section 14 abd 15 of Part III of the Constituition Act of 1986. But its well known by every first year law student that Parliament is sovereign.

    Now show me the legislative instrument that supports yours.

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  6. Peak Oil Conspiracy (3,949 comments) says:

    Sorry NPOG – but that just doesn’t cut it.

    Seen the movie The Castle? It’s Mabo. It’s the vibe, man.

    Yes, Parliament is generally accepted to exercise sovereign power (although there’s been a long-running legal debate about whether that’s the case). However, that’s not the point. I challenged you to substantiate your argument, and references to “precedent” or the Constitution Act 1986 don’t substantiate your argument or establish that NZ First can flout the law.

    I don’t need a legislative instrument to support my argument. The Auditor-General has made a ruling. NZ First is obliged to abide by it, unless it wishes to (1) flout the law; or (2) challenge the ruling in the courts. What part of that can’t you understand?

    Here’s an idea: why don’t you stick to your pediatric medical research and leave lawyers to debate legal issues?

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  7. natural party of govt (281 comments) says:

    “However, that’s not the point. I challenged you to substantiate your argument, and references to “precedent” or the Constitution Act 1986 don’t substantiate your argument or establish that NZ First can flout the law.

    I don’t need a legislative instrument to support my argument. The Auditor-General has made a ruling. NZ First is obliged to abide by it, unless it wishes to (1) flout the law; or (2) challenge the ruling in the courts. What part of that can’t you understand?”

    What part of this do you not understand?

    It is a fact not relevant to the issue here that the Auditor General did not make a ruling (he has no judicial authority) but issued a report. In other words he gave an opinion that all parties and Parliamentary Services broke the law in the lead up to the 2005 election and by extension a number of elections prior. This is not a judicial finding.

    The AG made a ruling that the money had been illegally appropriated, Parliament passed legislation that legalised all decisions of Parliamentary Services for all parties in this regard.

    So please point to the legislative instrument that overides Appropriation(Parliamentary Expenditure Validation) Act 2006 and in particular Section 5.

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  8. Peak Oil Conspiracy (3,949 comments) says:

    NPOG:

    The AG made a ruling that the money had been illegally appropriated, Parliament passed legislation that legalised all decisions of Parliamentary Services for all parties in this regard.

    Ah, voila, now I understand your argument. I thought we were discussing NZ First’s position vis-a-vis the Auditor-General – you hadn’t previously introduced the retrospective legislation into the discussion.

    First, a couple of observations:

    The Auditor-General is, legally, a corporation sole with perpetual succession and a seal of office – and exercises functions and powers in that capacity. And:

    The Public Finance Act 1989 sets out the authority that the Government must have in order to spend money. This authority – referred to as supply – has the following key elements:

    * the purpose of the expenditure must be lawful;
    * there must be an appropriation voted by Parliament; and
    * there must be a warrant from the Governor-General.

    The Act also says that, before any money can be issued from the Crown Bank Account, the Auditor-General must be satisfied that the money will be applied for purposes which are lawful [in this context, arguably, the ultimate purpose being that of Parliamentary Services] and are within the appropriations voted by Parliament.

    In checking whether the Government has supply, the “controller” function preserves the important constitutional principle that the Government cannot spend, borrow, or impose a tax without the authority of Parliament.

    http://www.oag.govt.nz/about-us/answers#how

    Now, against that background, some other comments:

    This is not a judicial finding.

    Now I follow your thought process. I didn’t mean “ruling” in the judical sense – and clearly you didn’t either when you said “The AG made a ruling that the money had been illegally appropriated“. In judicial review proceedings, for example, a ministerial decision (or, in fact, any decision by an entity exercising statutory powers) can be challenged in the courts. It doesn’t matter that the Minister or the entity don’t themselves exercise judicial functions.

    However, as correctly you point out, those statutory powers are subject to the conferring legislation. And it’s true that the retrospective legislation overrides any administrative decision-making powers.

    Does that let NZ First off the hook? Well, not really. Your argument is that, now the legality of NZ First’s spending has been retrospectively cured, NZ First has a legal entitlement to spend as it pleases. Perhaps. But the public may not see that as a moral entitlement. Particularly when other political parties have been quick – well, some quicker than others – to repay the funds.

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  9. natural party of govt (281 comments) says:

    So Peak Oil Conspiracy you now admit when you wrote this

    “Like or not, the money is now legally NZ First, just like every cent of the far greater sums of taxpayers cash that National spent on advertising in the period before June 2005 is now legally National’s.

    No no no no and no – this is completely incorrect. Try looking up, in any reputable legal textbook, the following phrases: constructive trust and equitable tracing. And think about the anology with the Proceeds of Crime Act: does crime really pay?”

    That what you wrote was completely incorrect.

    Legally NZ First, National and all the other parties are now the legally indistubable owners of their allocations from Parliamentary Services.

    End of Story.

    The politics then comes in when right wingers glorify that the sick children of New Zealand have 150 000 dollars snatched away from them.

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  10. Peak Oil Conspiracy (3,949 comments) says:

    NPOG:

    You’d best slow down – you’re getting a bit spin-dizzy.

    As I tried to point out, you’ve changed the terms of the argument, and I was responding on the basis of what I thought you were saying. Your last sentence doesn’t deal with my point about moral entitlement. How about addressing my substantive points for a change? Like Sonic, you pick and choose.

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  11. natural party of govt (281 comments) says:

    “As I tried to point out, you’ve changed the terms of the argument,”

    No, I didnt change the terms of the argument.

    You were simply wrong.

    When you said this:
    “No no no no and no – this is completely incorrect. Try looking up, in any reputable legal textbook, the following phrases: constructive trust and equitable tracing.”

    You were completely and totally incorrect.

    Why is it so hard to admit it?

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  12. Peak Oil Conspiracy (3,949 comments) says:

    NPOG:

    Oh FFS.

    I’m happy to accept I was wrong when you said the money is now legally NZ First money. As I said, I was thinking of NZ First’s position vis-a-vis the Auditor-General and issues of administrative law. I didn’t have the retrospective legislation in mind, which you apparently did.

    Happy?

    Now how about addressing my substantive points? I went to some effort in my 2:28 post – and you’re just an asshole if you can’t address my points respectfully.

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  13. natural party of govt (281 comments) says:

    My point is simply its a sad day when right wingers gloat because sick children are starved of funds.

    Winston’s move was cynical, like all politicians. The electorate can judge.

    But cynical or not, no one can doubt that the intended recipients deserve all they can get.

    If only the Right had the brains and the grace to stick with this
    “The Greens took the right line: to paraphase: “Its great that children are getting the money but remember the generosity is the taxpayers not NZ First”

    Rather than this awful Schadenfreude rejoicing in depriving children and their carers of the support they deserve.

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  14. Peak Oil Conspiracy (3,949 comments) says:

    NPOG:

    That’s a much more sensible contribution from you. The Green position is defensible. But, in another way, so is Starship’s – if they calculated that the public backlash from accepting NZ First’s “donation” was worse than returning it. Mogridge certainly couched his public explanation along those lines when he said: “It’s most unfortunate that the money wasn’t given in the spirit of genuine philanthropy, but rather it appears to gain political capital and media leverage“. There’s surely no point accepting one donation if one honestly believes other donations will dry up as a result.

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  15. natural party of govt (281 comments) says:

    Lets leave aside this is probably Mogridge’s payback for being accused of accepting an illegally appropriated golden handshake himself in 1998 of 200 000 dollars (and pretty disgraceful to bring spiteful personal considerations into his role).

    Exactly what group of people would be so SICK as to run a campaign urging to withhold donations from the Starship because they apolitically accepted a large donation they know they could do good work with?

    Who but the right wing blogosphere?

    What a commentary on their miserable zero sum politicising. And they want to run the country!

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  16. Peak Oil Conspiracy (3,949 comments) says:

    *Sigh*
    Must you always side-step my point?

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  17. Peak Oil Conspiracy (3,949 comments) says:

    NPOG:

    I hate to throw your words back at you, but you were completely and totally incorrect.

    Why is it so hard to admit it?

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  18. natural party of govt (281 comments) says:

    “I hate to throw your words back at you, but you were completely and totally incorrect.

    Why is it so hard to admit it?”

    About what?

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  19. Peak Oil Conspiracy (3,949 comments) says:

    NPOG:

    About what?

    Here’s a clue: click on this hyperlink and substantiate this allegation:

    For example if Bill English, who misappropriate 500 000 dollars in 2002 to pay for a pledge card, donates to the Starship, should they also return that?

    Remember, it was your allegation. The fact that, so far, you’ve been unable to substantiate it indicates that you made it up. Otherwise you could give us the proof right now. No wonder you’re desperately trying to deflect the focus on to National.

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