The Owen Glenn pledge

September 6th, 2011 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Entrepreneur and philanthropist says his commitment to donate $100 million to New Zealand youth is not contingent on National and Act winning the November 26 general election.

Glenn said on TV3’s The Nation over the weekend that he would make a donation but said today that his commitment was not contingent on the two parties winning the election, as was suggested by the programme.

“My commitment to this country is not politically motivated, so regardless of who governs New Zealand after November’s election, once my business is sold, which I anticipate will be during October, I will look to announce more on my plans,” Mr Glenn said.

He said he was not trying to influence the outcome of the election through the announcement.

“I happen to believe that currently a government involving both National and Act is best situated to move New Zealand forward and to leverage the opportunity I intend to create through this donation,” he said.

His earlier linking of it to the election outcome excited a couple of people. Idiot/Savant at No Right Turn called it attempted bribery and demanded Owen Glenn be prosecuted and jailed if convicted.

Personally I think the laws are about directly paying people to vote a certain way, not about what is effectively a charitable donation. But I guess one for the lawyers to decide.

But what struck me is the contrast.

If a businessman gets up and announces he will spend $100 million of his own money on helping disadvantaged youth if a political party he has no connection to wins the election, then some on the left call that bribery.

However if a politician gets up and announces he will take an extra $100 million forcibly off rich pricks, and spend it on disadvantaged youth, if his party wins the election (which happens to make that person prime minister, and get a big pay rise) – then that is commendable and noble.

So it is illegal to pledge your own money contingent on an election result, but it is legal to pledge other people’s money.

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19 Responses to “The Owen Glenn pledge”

  1. Graeme Edgeler (2,972 comments) says:

    Personally I think the bribery laws are about directly paying people to vote a certain way, not about what is effectively a charitable donation. But I guess one for the lawyers to decide.

    You think they are, or you think they should be?

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  2. East Wellington Superhero (1,139 comments) says:

    Yes, well, we all know how much the Left actually contributes to building society.

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  3. V (763 comments) says:

    It was always clear, given the interview ended on that note that Sean Plunkett made a very poor wrap of that interview. It gave completely the wrong impression.

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  4. Murray (8,803 comments) says:

    Man offers big sock o money to kiwi kids education – far leftie demands he be jailed!

    Well what more do we need to know? Cept he wouldn’t have whimpered if Glen had given MORe money to liarbor.

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  5. Mark (425 comments) says:

    It should be illegal for politicans to bribe people with other people’s money to get them to vote for them.

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  6. Kimble (3,955 comments) says:

    What if someone said, “if National wins the next election, I am leaving the country and taking my business with me”?

    Would that also be a ‘bribe’?

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  7. Murray (8,803 comments) says:

    If it was Keith Locke or his ilk it would be a frikken gift to the nation Kimble.

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  8. cabbage (457 comments) says:

    I/S proves once again that he is More Idiot than Savant.

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  9. James Stephenson (2,266 comments) says:

    Why is it that we are supposed to take notice when second-rate actresses flap their gobs to tell us what to do, but as soon as a businessman puts his own money where his mouth is, it’s “bribery”.

    It’s double-standard week, this week and every week in Leftyland.

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  10. jaba (2,146 comments) says:

    “So it is illegal to pledge your own money contingent on an election result, but it is legal to pledge other people’s money”
    yep, straight out of Labours social policy handbook

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  11. Deborah (120 comments) says:

    A transcript from the video: Sean Plunket interviewing Owen Glenn

    Plunket: Does it matter as to who is the gov… who wins the election as to whether or not you proceed with that plan?

    Glenn: I think very much so.

    Plunket: So you would… so you would think about not doing this initiative if …

    Glenn: Well, look, let’s put it in perspective. I think National has a better shot at it, particularly if A.C.T. (sic) are part of it. Because if I say A.C.T. goes a little bit hard on the right, if that is tempered there, they’re not bad people, they’re actually very good people…Labour…

    Plunket: Owen Glenn, I quickly want to ask you again, you’re prepared to invest hundreds of millions in New Zealand education …

    Glenn: I’d say at least a hundred.

    Plunket: … and young people. At least a hundred million if National and Act win the next election? (At 20.09)

    Glenn: That’s correct. (At 20.10/11)

    Plunket: I thank you very much indeed for your time, and I certainly will be watching that space.

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  12. mikenmild (12,340 comments) says:

    Thanks for that clarification Deborah. Whether it was Plunket summing up incorrectly or Glenn not making himself clear at the time, at least he has clarified that this is intended to be non-political.

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  13. david (2,194 comments) says:

    Simple, he did not rule the gift out if someone else won the election so his statements are not in contradiction.

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  14. lastmanstanding (1,310 comments) says:

    I agree with Mark 100% A politican promising to take money off me and give it to another person if that person votes for them is not only a bribe it is theft.

    End of story.

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  15. Mike Readman (353 comments) says:

    Here’s another one for you – we call NZ Super a “pay as you go” scheme, but if a private entity tried exactly the same thing it’s a “Ponzi” scheme and illegal.

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  16. Put it away (2,872 comments) says:

    The leftards though he was fine when he was their billionaire

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  17. Murth (27 comments) says:

    I think it is quite misleading, even dishonest, to say that a private person stating they will only provide money for a charitable purpose if they get an electoral outcome they like is not a bribe. The money is not being paid directly to voters to vote a certain way, but it might as well have been. A politician stating their policies, which may include a redistribution of wealth, is not a bribe.

    Glenn should either provide the money, or not, but to state that it will only be given if we the people choose political representatives he wants is reprehensible. Luckily for us, we are likely to choose the politicians he wants anyway so we can still get the dosh.

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  18. Tauhei Notts (1,687 comments) says:

    And I believe Glenn’s generosity. The flood lights at Matamata’s Bedford Park are legacy to that. Okay, he was talked into it after getting a belly full of piss there on one of those infamous Friday night drinking sessions. Some of those multi millionaires; the older they get, the better they used to be.

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  19. Sublime (296 comments) says:

    As much as I really hate to say it, I wonder if Malcolm (Idiot/Savant) has a point about the potential B word? Seriously.

    I’m not taking the piss.

    Maybe if he allowed comments on his blog we’d get a better idea.

    Are there any legal minds here who could clear this up? If so, that’d be much appreciated. David Garrett, you’re a lawyer. If you’re reading, care to enlighten me? I always enjoy your comments.

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