Nick Smith…another in a long line of shamed politicians

I referenced in my last post that Nick Smith was “another example of an MP abusing his position…denying it, then having to fall on his sword.”

From the Dom Post here are some details just in this century

  • Nick Smith, 2012: Resigned after he came under pressure for writing a reference letter for his friend Bronwyn Pullar, who was seeking help with her ACC case. His letter was written on ACC letterhead and used to advance Pullar’s claim.
  • Phil Heatley, 2010: Resigned from housing and fisheries portfolios after misspending taxpayers’ money. He was reinstated a month later after the Auditor-General’s inquiry found that while he spent $1402 wrongly, he did not intentionally break the rules.
  • Pansy Wong, 2010: Prime Minister John Key said he would have sacked the Ethnic Affairs Minister if she hadn’t handed in her resignation. Wong came under fire after she used her travel entitlement to pay for parts of her husband’s trip to China in late 2008, where he conducted private business.
  • Richard Worth, 2009: Resigned as Internal Affairs Minister and from other portfolios after it was alleged he offered a woman a job in return for romantic favours. Police investigated Worth after the woman laid a complaint, but no charges were laid.
  • David Benson Pope, 2007: Forced to resign as Social Development and Environment Minister after making misleading statements about the removal of Madeleine Setchell from her job as Environment Ministry communications manager.
  • Lianne Dalziel, 2004: Resigned as Immigration Minister after misleading the media over leaked documents about a controversial immigration case. Reinstated October 2005.
  • Ruth Dyson, 2000: Quit after being caught drink driving. Reinstated in 2001.
  • Dover Samuels, 2000: Sacked as Maori Affairs Minister over allegations of sexual misconduct. Police investigated but no charges were laid.

And these are just ministers who have had the ‘decency’ to  fall on their swords, we could now start to mention, imagine the list of those who have abused their position and thought nothing of it al a  Rodney Hide and his overseas jaunt with his girldfriend.

I shudder to think how long that list is

As you can see several were reinstated, I think this is the likely situation for Smith, he’ll be on the back bench for a year, then he will come back into cabinet in the shuffle just prior to the next election.

 

Gone by…well about 2pm. Nick Smith Resigns

It’s been a shoddy affair, and I don’t mean the ‘affair’ comment literally although we’ll wait and see what the relationship between Nick Smith and  Bronwyn Pullar was all about, and another example of an MP abusing his position…denying it, then having to fall on his sword.

How often more do we need to see this before people of influence realise that it’ll catch up to them.

Nick Smith has him self admitted to more than one ‘error of judgement’ in this whole fiasco.

“I have tendered my resignation, I do so because I made not one error of judgment but two in dealing with a conflict of interest in respect of a friend.”

“It was an error of judgement firstly in doing the letter but more so on it being in ministerial letterhead.”

There was another incident in 2010 where then associate minister for ACC, Pansy Wong, declared a conflict of interest as she also knew Pullar so she referred the situation back to Dr. Smith. (imaging Pansy Wong doing the right thing for a change when it came to ethical questions)

“ACC prepared a formal response to that letter, I signed out that error back to that constituent without acknowledging that I too had a conflict of interest.”

“I did not in my view interfere in any way in the judgement calls that ACC made about that persons claim.”

“I do accept that the signing of those two letters is not up to the standard this Parliament can rightly expect of its ministers.”

Smith said that it was because he erred twice that he had to resign, one would assume that means if it was only one letter he would not have.

John Key promised to clean up our political scene and this example just shows nothing has improved in that house. Another MP makes a decision that the public cannot abide by, the leader then defends them and minimises the situation, the MP the steps aside.

When will this end?

I guess on thing seems pretty clear, Nick Smith lost the support of John Key earlier today so one assumes that he had been given the chance to do the ‘honourable’ thing before Key would have thrown him out of his portfolios anyways.

One last thing, I don’t think this soap opera is quite over, even though Nick Smith has stepped aside, I can assure you that the media world will still want to look into the private life of the ex-ACC Minister to see about this relationship he had with Pullar. Currently Smith has been left with a black eye, it’s highly probable he will end up with a bloody nose as well when we find out more about his ‘friendship’ there.

 

The Panel with David Farrar and Petra Bagust

Talking Uruwera Four and Nick Smith’s ACC fallout

DTW: Subservient Chicken

If you are feeling like you need more control in your life…or at least to be more controlling…then subservient chicken is for you.

Tell chick what to do, and what him follow your instructions to the letter of the law…unless he can’t do it then you get a wag of the finger.

CLICK HERE TO HEAD TO SUBSERVIENT CHICK AND BEGIN YOUR MASTER RACE OF CONTROLLABLE CHICKENS

And yes, the lounge does look a bit like somewhere a serial killer may live…“she puts the lotion on her skin or else she gets the hose again”

You can’t legislate against being a ‘dick’

I wrote a few months ago about football players in the UK being arrested and facing criminal charges for racial taunts, I said then I wasn’t for it, and I have to say I am still not for it. You can’t legislate the ‘dick-ishness’ out of someone.

I could understand if a player was to face a British Football enquiry, that’d make sense, but to head to criminal court, over an offensive statement just rubs me up the wrong way. It’s obviously not that I approve of the statements, but there is something deep in our psyche about speaking freely…even if we are an offensive douche.

It makes me uncomforatble.

Well you can heighten that  uncomfortably now as a 21 year old has just been in court in the UK after ‘tweeting offensive comments‘.

A Welsh student could go to jail after tweeting offensive comments about footballer Fabrice Muamba collapsing during a game on Sunday.

Liam Stacey, from Pontypridd, south Wales, was arrested after the comments were shown to police from Twitter users, including former Liverpool striker Stan Collymore.

The tweet read: “LOL. F*** Muamba. He’s dead.” After various users complained, the 21-year-old replied with a series of offensive messages.

Liam Stacey is obviously an idiot, and an insensitive moron…but is he a criminal for sending offensive tweets…what the heck have we come to?

It feels all a little Orwellian to me…and that worries me.

We have the freedoms to be as offensive as we want, and whilst those amongst with an ounce of sense will realise that what Liam Stacey was reprehensible…it wasn’t criminal.

What’s next? Undercover cops in pubs listening to our conversations to hear an offensive comment?

No matter how hard we try, we cannot legislate away someone being a ‘dick’ and to try will just lead to those of us who are not, to lose some of our freedoms as well.

With freedoms we have to acknowledge that idiots and morons are going to be able to use those freedoms to offend…but it is so much better than the alternative…isn’t it?

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