The lobbying President

September 25th, 2009 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

I’m amazed no one in the media, or even the Greens, have picked up on this revelation in a story on Tony Gibbs.

And then, on behalf of GPG shareholders, there was 2006′s epic joust with the government over its plan to change tax rules on foreign investments. …

Mr Gibbs launched a vigorous and ultimately successful campaign to get the government to back down. …

Former Labour Party president has dealt with Mr Gibbs for several years, including when Mr Gibbs was attempting to defeat the tax legislation being promoted by the Labour-led government. “He put up a hell of a fight and he won. He convinced me that it was unfair and, to be honest with you, I lobbied for him – it was unfair.”

Now just think about this. The Labour Party President, their chief fund-raiser, was lobbying his own Government Ministers on behalf of Mr Gibbs and GPG to secure the defeat of tax legislation.

Party Presidents should not be lobbyists for corporate interests. It is a fundamental conflict of interest to collect the money from corporates, and then lobby on their behalf to the Government.

This just reminds me how hollow Labour’s claim of concern about transparency in electoral financing is.

Tags: ,

11 Responses to “The lobbying President”

  1. Elijah Lineberry (306 comments) says:

    Ummmmm… perhaps because there is no story?

    If Williams lobbied he did the right thing because that proposal was outrageous.

    “Nothing to see here folks, move along…”

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. Jack5 (4,565 comments) says:

    Williams increasingly looks like Machiavelli without the intellect or the learning of the original.

    As an (of course unrelated) aside: How are the plods coming along with the Brash email scandal?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,787 comments) says:

    Elijah, what a pathetic response! Are you sure your name isn’t Pilate?

    David, perhaps you might like to publish some figures showing how much Mr Gibbs had previously contributed to the Labour Party.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. Ross Miller (1,659 comments) says:

    The only thing that is suprising about this is that people find it suprising.

    I mean it’s the Labour Party folks. Society norms do not form part of the equation … never have and never will.

    sigh

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. Elijah Lineberry (306 comments) says:

    Adolf… perhaps we could start discussing the National party bagmen and their lobbying? ..or what of Mr Farrar himself; is he a good chap to contact if you need a spot of lobbying? (and if he isn’t as well connected as everyone thinks, perhaps this topic is sour grapes?)

    I really cannot see what the problem is…(it is not as if he was asking to be a diplomat)

    You had a bad proposal, lobbying against it took place, it was dropped; a success for capitalism.

    http://www.nightcitytrader.blogspot.com

    [DPF: I do not raise money for the National Party. If you can not see the inherent conflict in raising the money for a party and being a lobbyist, well that is sad.

    And your suggestion that this is sour grapes? what are you smoking?]

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. georgedarroch (316 comments) says:

    Labour put through the Guinness Peat Group Exemption Act. (it had a “real” name) It was a disgusting piece of law, and Michael Cullen knew it. Unlike the stupid bleating in the last few years, this is real corruption – corruption being defined as giving money to your mates, rather than for the good of the country.

    But all the people crowing here should pull their heads out of their arses. National has just decided it wants to give Methanex $1 billion over the next decade in subsidies. Nice, huh?

    [DPF: I can guarantee you though the National Party President was not lobbying on their behalf.]

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. Sam Buchanan (502 comments) says:

    “It is a fundamental conflict of interest to collect the money from corporates, and then lobby on their behalf to the Government.”

    Shocking, DPF. Fancy a political party taking money of corporates then returning the favour by working to get legislation that suits corporates passed. How dare the Labour Party practice what is considered business as usual by pretty much every political party in the western world?

    Apparently you are disturbed that a Labour Party figure has commited the unpardonable sin of taking money with the same hand he used to pick up the phone when he made calls to lobby for legislative change. Any good politician should know that to stay pure and clean you must ALWAYS take the money with the left hand and make the calls with the right.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. tvb (4,192 comments) says:

    Williams was probably the only businessman Helen Clark knew and trusted hence his ability to lobby Ministers. Extraordinary and shows a massive weakness in the New Zealand Labour Party. Contrast that with Rudd and even Brown and the NZ Labour Party looks like a bunch of amateur careerists who are in it for a well paid job as a politician.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. backster (2,067 comments) says:

    Actually that law the brainchild of DUNNE was and still remains an abortion, GPG would have been impacted worse than other companies. The irony is that in good times it is a windfall for the Government and in recessionary times like now the tax take will slump.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. Rex Widerstrom (5,253 comments) says:

    While Sam Buchanan is fundamentally correct — and highlights why the rules need to be tightened, urgently — I still had to re-read your piece twice to make sure I wasn’t getting the wrong idea.

    Perhaps, as Sam implies, it’s naive to be astounded at the sheer chutpah of Williams when this sort of thing goes on discreetly. But I don’t think so. Sex goes on discreetly too — that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be shocked at Williams walking into the pub, lifting the skirts of Madame Democracy, and shagging her amongst the slops.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. Sam Buchanan (502 comments) says:

    Yes, but sex, in a socially acceptable place, isn’t a problem. Doing political favours in return for cash is corrupt, whether it’s done discreetly or otherwise.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.