Wrong Mr Key, wrong

Party leaders defend Europe trip – 12 Mar 2008 – Politics: New Zealand Political News, Analysis and Comment including 2008 election coverage – NZ Herald

John Key has got it wrong. He shouldn’t be defending the pigs feeding at the trough. Five MP’s, none with any prospect of ever being MP’s again are off on a trip “to foster parliamentary relationships”. Quite how leaving MP’s are ever going to foster anything other than an impressive of self aggrandisement is beyond me.

Marion Hobbs opened her prodigious gob and inserted both feet by saying the trip could be seen as a “last hurrah” for the retiring MPs and admitting “I don’t know too much about the purpose. I think it’s about MMP. I’m not sure.”

Helen Clark is obfuscating as well. It is plain and simple bullshit that the trip is fostering relationships. John Key shouldn’t even be entering the debate, he should be using the case as an example of why Labour is out of touch and he should cancel the attendance of Connell and Rich.

The Herald Editorial is right on the money.

Taxpayers struggle to stomach parliamentary junkets at the best of times. The trips are commonly explained as a way to provide legislators with valuable insights to how other countries handle problems common to all. But what can be said of a tour of eastern Europe next month awarded to five MPs, four of whom have announced their retirement at the coming election?

The four, National MPs Katherine Rich and Brian Connell, a former Labour minister Marian Hobbs and Speaker Margaret Wilson, who will lead the tour, have been chosen, their leaders say, precisely because they are retiring. Others would be too busy with the election campaign. The fifth tourist, New Zealand First’s Peter Brown, presumably is superfluous to his party’s now desperate prospects of survival.

This nothing more than a bloody great big junket and golden handshake for 5 MP’s.

John Armstrong weighs in as well;

When plague, famine, nuclear war or some other vehicle of mass destruction eventually lays waste to the planet, one thing will survive along with the cockroaches – Speaker’s tours.

So entrenched is this perk on the parliamentary calendar that a politician as steeped in logic as the Prime Minister was yesterday forced to throw logic out of the window to defend the latest outrage surrounding this annual taxpayer-funded overseas junket.

It is well past time that we reined in the excesses of our parliamentarians. Almost without fail they are all venal, self serving wankers who do nothing more than add unnecessary coasts to ordinary Kiwis, pass unnecessary laws and generally make a nuisance of themselves for no good purpose.

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