So New Zealand First has made a donation of $158,000 to Starship hospital. By coincidence, $158,000 is the precise amount of taxpayers' money the auditor-general said New Zealand First spent illegally in the last election. Does this mean New Zealand First is off the hook?
It's an interesting tactic if it works. If you're done for fraud, can you just write a cheque to a charity and have it all go away? If you get a tax bill can you pay the exact amount to Starship? If you get a jail sentence can you sentence yourself to Starship? Why not take the money to one ward in Starship and get the kids to fight for it?
I think we've just managed to get rid of the whole court system if this works.
Every political party should try the same stunt. Take money from Parliamentary Services and write large cheques to whomever they want. Don't call it misappropriation of public funds. Don't call it embezzlement. Call it generosity.
But it's easy to be generous with other people's money. This is why politicians love stadiums that will be used once. It's not their money.
That's why we pay taxes right? So individual politicians can take the money and present them as donations to charities. They might as well wear Santa hats.
Every MP should follow Winston's lead. Then we'd see MMP in real action. Instead of having a government policy, or some legitimate reason to spend the money, each party should simply write cheques according to their own whim, and charge them to Parliamentary Services. Let the charities campaign for the misappropriated funds. Roll up! Roll up! Get your Parliamentary Services slush money here! It's disturbing that a former treasurer thinks this is OK. Wouldn't he be the first one up with a winebox full of documents if somebody else did this?
Shouldn't he have some clue about the distinction between New Zealand's money and New Zealand First's money? Did nobody write him a memo on the subject? It's an excusable mistake I suppose. New Zealand is such a similar name to New Zealand First. There's only one word different. Of course, you'd get the cheque accounts confused.Then again, maybe that's why he chose the name.
If I ever start a party, I'm going to call it the Parliamentary Services Party.
What's worse is when you see what the government actually does with our money. Like spraying the general populace for insects nobody is sure exists.
The officials say there'd be economic damage if these bugs were allowed to proliferate. Yet, when the economy thrives, and there's a surplus, nobody gets a bean of it. What exactly is the economy for? Is the economy for us, or we for it?
The economy is obviously a monster, to which citizens are sacrificed. We are fuel. That's it. Snacks.
I'd like to see what would happen, if, for one year, nobody paid taxes. And politicians just had to take what was there, and make it work. Would we notice a difference in public services? I doubt it. They'd just make up the difference with speed cameras. Hospitals like Starship and schools would install poker machines. And the police would start selling drugs at a premium after seizing them.
And imagine this: what if the painted apple moth had actually been useful? What if we discovered that the painted apple moth was a useful critter, a source of nutrition, or medicine? What if you could shear a painted apple moth and make jumpers from it? What if you could stomp them and make painted apple wine? We'll never know.
New Zealand only looks after hopeless animals. All our national creatures are various types of roadkill, in need of public money just to show up at all in a handful of zoos.
If a bug looks remotely resourceful, or has the slightest chance of thriving, we go to maximum threat level, scramble the air force, and, with their goggles tied back and their propellers on full, spray entire regions to wipe it out. And humans, well, they're just collateral damage. Surely those lovely homes in West Auckland would only be nicer without people in them. Imagine the growth if those homes didn't have Westies in them.
Maybe I'm a conspiracy theorist, but I never believed in the painted apple moth. I've seen more evidence for Santa. Then again, with politicians paying back their illegal spending, Santa rides again.
- Sunday Star Times