McCully is munificent – but it’s easy to treat guests to posh wine and oysters with public money

July 30, 2010

Alf is bound to observe (at the risk of offending colleagues) he has always been bothered by the Government’s curious urge to have a Rugby World Cup Minister, a portfolio he regards as thoroughly unnecessary and surplus to requirements at the best of times, let alone when we are tightening the old budgetary belt.

If the Government was plush with the spending stuff, of course, and if someone really has to be the Rugby World Cup Minister, then that someone really should be Alf.

An element of self-interest, accordingly, might taint what follows.

What follows happens to be a spluttering of profound outrage on learning from the Herald that Murray McCully …

has snatched the dubious record for the most expensive wine bought at the taxpayers’ expense with not one but four bottles of $185pinot noir while hosting a dinner for the International Rugby Board this year.

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Chris Carter is on the come-back trail but only because Phil Goff puts up with prats

June 26, 2010

It took much too long thinking about it and being advised how to handle it. But sad-sack Chris Carter has said sorry to over-stretched taxpayers for overdoing things with his urge to travel with a companion at their expense.

The gay gallivanter – stripped last week of his foreign affairs job on the Labour front bench – has fessed up to say he travelled “excessively” as a minister and shouldn’t have taken his partner with him as often as he did.

Alas, after spending the past week working in his Te Atatu electorate after his position within the party was thrown into doubt following his demotion, he also told media he would be returning to Parliament next Tuesday

Pity. Alf was hoping the bugger would quit or – if he didn’t – be thrown out of the party for behaving like a prat, although if behaving like a prat was cause for excommunication from Labour Party ranks then a lot of excommunicating would be going on because Labour happens to attract members who are prone to behaving like prats.

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A challenge for florists: how do you say “bugger off, Chris Carter” in flowers?

June 16, 2010

It is a toss-up as to whose behaviour was more contemptible. Chris Carter’s, for doing his damndest to duck making an apology for his spending shenanigans, or the media larrikins for the way they pursued him through the corridors of Parliament.

The journalists’ unseemly pursuit of the hapless Carter, as Alf observed it on the telly last night, was rather like a sharks’ feeding frenzy.

Their behaviour was ugly.

Dammit, they were so intent on further breaking an obviously bewildered and shattered man that the effect was to have Alf feeling sorry for the bugger. Well, almost.

But Carter had committed the cardinal sin of refusing to take questions from them. They get huffy about that sort of thing.

He could learn a thing or two from Shane Jones, who has fronted the media consistently since the recent exposure of his inclination to watch pornographic movies in hotels, charge the taxpayer, then later repay.

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Chris Carter and his lifestyle – is quitting as an MP the only way to avoid discomforting publicity?

June 13, 2010

Oh dear. Labour’s Chris Carter is having something that looks suspiciously like a hissy-fit. He can’t take the heat and is thinking of quitting the kitchen.

The publicity around his dipping into the public trough has been too much for the poor soul.

But the publicity has less to do with being New Zealand’s first openly gay Cabinet minister (as the HoS describes him today) and more to do with his ministerial spending being dragged out of the closet.

Whatever the magnet for media attention, the HoS says, Carter is close to quitting Parliament because he is sick of being attacked as a “luxury-loving gay boy”.

Alf can find plenty of reasons for wanting to admonish Carter, but not because he is a “gay boy”. This is an expression he eschews, because it is the language of woofter social engineers, calculated to win greater public acceptance of a certain type of bedroom carry-on than otherwise it would get.

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