Thursday, August 26, 2010

ON ROGER McCLAY

Let me be very clear at the outset. I do not hold a candle for the now (dis)honorable Roger McClay.

He has shamed himself and it is unlikely he will ever find gainful employment in any position involving significant trust.

If one was inclined to put the boot in one might comment that perhaps things started to go pear shaped when he jumped fence to Winston First and became a Trustee of the now infamous Spencer Trust. I mean we still don't know what happened to the $154k supposed raised and supposedly donated to to Charity.

But I do think the outcry from the media and others about the so called leniency of the sentence (300 hours community service) is a dog whistle response which fails to take account of all that he has lost.

And the sentencing judge was wrong to suggest that he defrauded the organisations he worked for. My understanding is that he was entitled to claim travel expenses from those organisation and did so. But where he went wrong was that he also double dipped against his ex MP travel entitlement and as such he defrauded you and me a taxpayers.

But my point is that in addition to the conviction and sentence he is also certain to loose his Honorific and forfeit his QSO as well as his ex MP travel entitlement. McClay is now 65 years old and if we work that entitlement through (one return business class fare to London and 12 return trips to Wellington per annum) and based on the average male expectancy of 78.2 he will also forfeit something in the order of $192,000 (2010 dollars).

Taken as a whole I think the collective punishment fits the crime.

14 comments:

kevin said...

and not forgetting his son Todd McClay (Rotorua MP) has the 'mud' stuck to him as well...

gravedodger said...

On the money Vet,
This raises the perennial question as to punishing those at the bottom of the heap.
Some years ago I was using workers from Task Force Green and in discussion with them one day raised the question of an effective punishment,they were all troubled youth with convictions and some had been guests of us at the big house. It quickly became apparent that they had nothing to lose but their freedom as they had no assetts, no pride of place in society and prison was regarded as a pleasant enough alternative to their straightened home circumstances.
The one thing they clearly feared was to have their Mana threatened on the Marae.
Mr McClay has gone from the upper echelons to the gutter and that is for him a very severe penalty. I am very sad for his family and it is a great pity he didn't consider that before he acted so badly.
What is it with these people who have it so good at our expense and have so little in the way of a moral compass, arrogance I guess plain and simple.
Thats it they are indeed, simple.

Anonymous said...

God this is lame. The poor boy! Losing his "entitlement" to 90% subsidised holidays (business class) to Europe! Oh the humanity! And won't anyone think of the children!

You don't actually know what collective punishment is do you?

Judge Holden

dad4justice said...

This bastard should be in prison.

Anonymous said...

I like what Judge H said. TM may be embarrassed but what he loses is on top of more than enough anyway. He can hide away and still be conmfortable. This is the trouble with legislation - we know at a base level what's honest and moral but legislation blurs the line and excuses bad behaviour because its legal.

Anonymous said...

So he was entitled to claim expenses

He was entitled to have free trips on the taxpayer

Please explain the fraud

Inventory2 said...

@ Anon - the fraud is that the rule expressly prohibit former MP's using travel perks for business purposes. That's where the fraud was committed.

Otherwise, what The Veteran said.

kevin said...

anon3.. it was the fact he was claiming both..aka double-dipping.

The Veteran said...

Judge Holden ... I have lost your point. You said ....

"Oh the humanity! And won't anyone think of the children!"

McClay was entitled to claim for the travel from the two organisations he worked for and did that. The 'Children' did not miss out. Where he went wrong was claiming a second time against his ex MP travel entitlement and compounded the offence because that cannot be used for business travel.

I reiterate again. Taken as a whole I think McClay has been punished enough. Disagree fine, but that's how I see it.

Psycho Milt said...

Yes. As Bill English has demonstrated, double-dipping is acceptable if both dips are at the taxpayer's expense, but McLay pushed it beyond the taxpayer so must be punished.

Graeme Edgeler said...

I had thought it was the case that he would have been entitled to claim from the charities, but for the fact he didn't actually have expenses. He was entitled to reasonable mileage ... but since he didn't drive, and flew instead, his mileage was zero.

k said...

and... McClay said he is having to borrow the money (about 24k) to pay back. Clearly troughing is not very fruitful if he has has no readies to pay the funds back...

Anonymous said...

Ah well lie with the pigs.....

Entitle-itis strikes again. I wounder if the next 'victim' of this disease will be a certain prancer currently on extended holiday

Anonymous said...

Why should they be entitled to any perks after leaving parliament ??

They are rewarded well.. For the little they produce..

Abolish all perks..

No problems..

Save millions..

adam2314.