A guest post by Flipper:
It is hard to decide whether Peters’ smart-arse ATM, Shane Jones, is simply a smart-arse.
Most of his answers to questions in the House, both real (Opposition) and softball (ex-regime), seem to indicate that he is.
But is he really as cunning as the proverbial S***house rabid dog?
His strategy for the operation of his Ministerial ATM persona seems to suggest, nay confirm, that he is.
Jones travels the country dispensing a $million here, or $2 million or more there, of vote-buying money withdrawn from his ATM machine.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with gifting money from one’s ATM – provided all campaign and / or election finance laws and limitations are observed.
The problem is that Jones’ (and Ardern-Peters-Poofies’) ATM is funded (aka stolen from and stocked) by us long – suffering taxpayers to the stated extent of $3 Billion.
Buying votes is fine, provided it is done within all election and campaign law on quantum …. and is properly disclosed according to the Statutes.
Over the New Year holiday period Flipper (and the Memsahib, plus two Grandlings) had a delicious lunch with friends at their Kapiti Coast home. But the luncheon (once the Grandlings had departed for the tennis court) changed. A pleasant social occasion eventually morphed into a discussion on local political issues – one that was also highly informative.
Our host was once a leading bank’s Chief Business Analyst in New Zealand, and then in Australia. While there he was lured by a smallish, but wealthy (aren’t they all), Middle Eastern nation to abandon his bank job and establish his own economic and business proposal-analysis consultancy.
Returning to New Zealand he did just that on the back of a highly profitable contractual arrangement (with said Mid-east nation) that often brought him into head to head challenges of MFAT and MBIE analysts.
Those skills have (since November 2017) seen him engaged as an analyst whose role is to question / rubbish, endorse, or correct MBIE and/or Treasury position papers and advice, on each and every proposal for some sort of Jones ATM funding.
If a proposal makes national and/or regional sense, and creates or expands employment opportunities in the originating region, it is certain to gain approval. If the case is marginal, it is our friend’s role to suggest improvements and/or to give interim, parallel advice to ATM Jones. In that event (“the word’) advice must obfuscated or capable being mis-read by the “busy” ATM.
In some instances, “the word” is preliminary, and it is specified as being the “subject of further analysis and consideration”.
The consultant’s advice is said to also be used by the ATM Minister to poke holes in advice from bureaucrats.
Sometimes there is a “mis-understanding” and the project is announced before analysis is complete and the proposal(s) approved.
Of course, our friend’s role is kept under wraps. But it is increasingly pissing off Ministries.
It is, of course, not our friend’s fault if his carefully nuanced, and caveat loaded, commentary and/or advice is mis-interpreted or mis-used by the ATM and his colleagues.
Local Government, of course, is not complaining. They are able to jump on any band-wagon that passes their way.
And bear in mind that 2019 is Local Government election year.
Mr ATM and his colleagues are quite happy to accept the LG’s support and/or endorsement. Then, Dear Readers, there is the Prince of Serendip. Serendipity is very, very helpful – and welcomed.
But that is not an over-riding determinate. There is one overall condition that must be met to guarantee approval.
It is simple really.
The project must have been completed and in operation, or black, red and white (also Redmelon if convenient) ribbon cutting by mid-June 2020. That is the Jones / Peters / Ardern et al Madoff scam equivalent of Obama’s “shovel ready” schemes (that mostly failed). August passes, September will be marginal, but possible, if it is seen as a crucial “biggie”.
And that, Dear Readers, brings us back to the pesky statutes and campaign finance limitations, and the cunning of a S***house rat.
I wonder why. 😊 </b>