So why haven’t the buggers in the Speaker’s Office alerted the news media to Alf’s holiday travel plans?
He would jump at the chance to be pictured climbing into his modest Mazda Atenza – a 2004 job – before driving to Taihape for a modest Christmas dinner with other members of the modest Grumble family.
Indeed, he offered TV3 a few hundred bucks if they would take such pictures and screen them on their news programme, but they somewhat impolitely turned down the offer.
The problem, probably, is that he is happily married to Mrs Grumble and they have three children and several grandchildren (Alf has lost count of how many exactly). This makes him remarkably ordinary, despite his accomplishments on behalf of his electorate.
Hence Alf is throughly pissed off to learn that Chris Carter, the bald-pated poof who happens to be an MP on the other side of the parliamentary divide, is saying the media have ruined his summer holiday after the itinerary for his taxpayer-subsidised trip to Sri Lanka was leaked.
Sri Lanka, eh?
Could be a tad warmer there than Taihape.
But it seems Carter won’t now be finding out.
Mr Carter and his partner, Peter Kaiser, were to leave on December 29 flying business class to Colombo, via Singapore, at a cost of $13,902 – 75 per cent of which was to be paid by the taxpayer.
Details of the trip were leaked to TV3, which said Mr Carter and Mr Kaiser were due to holiday with British MP Ben Bradshaw and his partner.
Mr Carter was not keen to discuss details of the trip when contacted last night. “We have cancelled it. We’ve lost the deposit. We’ve cancelled. We’re not going. Ok, fair enough? You guys have had yet another victory. So thanks, that’s the end of the discussion.”
Carter complained he was being unfairly targeted and many other MPs were using the travel perk to take holidays.
“But we’ll never know, will we? Only me. You would wonder why my travel’s been leaked and nobody else’s. I wonder why that was.”
It seems his trip was booked “months and months ago”, before Speaker Lockwood Smith axed MPs’ travel perks, and was within the rules at the time.
Carter reckons Smith’s office has leaked details of his trip.
“The leak had the date I was leaving, the hotel I was staying [at] in Singapore, the flight numbers – the only people that know that are Parliamentary Travel and the Speaker’s office, I’m quite sure that Parliamentary Travel wouldn’t have leaked it, so that only leaves one suspect,” he said. The leak was ” incredibly pathetic, vindictive and spiteful”.
Just a few points on these ravings.
First, Smith has denied leaking the documents and says he did not even know about Carter’s planned trip. Smith is a Nat and therefore is a highly trustworthy individual.
Second, why can Carter be so sure there could be only one suspect?
Third, let the record show the tip-off happens to have saved the taxpayer several thousand dollars. So well done, the incredibly pathetic, vincictime and spiteful leaker.
The most bemusing aspect of this story is that Carter was expelled from the Labour Party not too long ago.
What was the reason, again?
Oh, yes. As the Stuff report reminds us, the bugger ran foul of leader Phil Goff “for refusing to apologise over extravagant use of both his parliamentary travel perk and a jetsetting lifestyle”.
He racked up an $83,000 travel bill as education minister in 2008 and $57,000 in six months in Opposition.
Whaleoil sums it up pretty well when he says Carter is a slow learner. He further says
…in fact he has entitlitis so bad that it is now addling his brain. He has been caught trying to sup from the trough one last time before exiting.
The admirable David Farrar bloke makes a good point at Kiwiblog too.
He agrees with Carter that the leaker is unlikely to be parliamentary travel. “The parliamentary travel office probably have awarded Chris the title of ‘Most Valued Customer’ for his outstanding contributions to their sales targets.”