Thursday, May 1, 2014

National joins the Third World

In many parts of the world, the whole point of being in government is that people will give you money, and one of the main reasons for making a lot of money is that you'll need it to buy influence in the corrupt political and judicial system.

Worryingly, much of the current National government seems to consider this Third World approach to politics and business an aspirational goal, rather than something to be stamped out wherever its found.

Today, in the latest of a series of corruption scandals involving dodgy dealings with rich foreign businessmen, Maurice Williamson has resigned because he contacted police on behalf of one who's been arrested.  It would seem odd that he would be corrupt enough to try and use his position to help a rich patron, but at the same time have sufficient integrity to resign when it was discovered.  Not so odd though if you consider that his boss probably didn't give him a choice about it.

I guess Labour really must be performing  badly, because it's difficult otherwise to explain how a crowd this corrupt retains its support.


Ghost Of Greenwood said...

To most of these dodgy plutocrats, a business "partnership" is the metaphorical equivalent of getting someone in a headlock.

Same thing with political donations, sure they'll donate, but they do expect their pound of flesh in due course, as Williamson, along with Jones & Banks previously have discovered.

gravedodger said...

When did "just helping a constituent" become a capital offense, it used to be nothing to see here in earlier times.

Anonymous said...

Probably because they are slightly less corrupt than the Labour lot

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Come now Milt.

"..latest in a series.....?"

In your imagination which sometimes channels The standard.

Psycho Milt said...

Yes, latest in a series of dodgy dealings with rich foreign businessmen, involving:

1. Whoever signed off on Dotcom's entry, against official advice.

2. John Banks, whose dealings with Dotcom have put him in court.

3. Whoever signed off on Donghua Liu's entry, against official advice. We don't know how Dotcom got entry, but we do know that Liu made a substantial donation to the National Party after he was let in.

4. Key's 'charity' event with Stone Shi of Oravida, in which the 'charity' Shi was donating to was the National Party.

5. Judith Collins' dealings with Shi's company on a visit to China.

6. Williamson trying to get the cops to back off from Donghua Liu (yes, him again).

This stuff is poison to our political and business systems, and National are revelling in it.

Psycho Milt said...

None of which is to imply that Amy Adams' conflicts of interest, Nick Smith's abuses of power and McCully's dodgy dealings with Shane Jones aren't equally reprehensible, of course.

Watcher said...

Williamson...wasn't he the guy who would blurb on about operational matters after he got a couple under the belt in public areas during his tenure as a previous Minister of the department ?
I'm guessing there are a few people who would welcome his withdrawal.

Psycho Milt said...

Well, he's gone and Collins isn't, so there's an indicator of his relative value to the PM.

The Veteran said...

PM ... a more balanced view might be that MW failed basic MP ship 101 as an MP and Cabinet Minister and paid the price ... and he had the good grace to acknowledge that.

No need to prattle on about JC. She attended a 'private dinner' organised by a personal friend. David Cunliffe attends private dinners organised by his mates in the CTU. Guess is that Wussel attends private dinners orgainised my his mates in the (Aust) Socialist Workers Party. Winston attends private dinners oirganised by anyone who has a spare whisky bottle.

John Key quick and decisive. Contrast that with your poster girl re Taiko Philip Field.

Psycho Milt said...

John Key quick and decisive.

Just as soon as he became aware the media had hold of it...

She attended a 'private dinner' organised by a personal friend.

She used her position to benefit a company directed by her husband and run by a big Nat donor. This kind of shit is fine in the Third World, not so flash here. Some Nats have been spending too much time with Asian authoritarians - they've lost track of what kind of society they actually live in.

Psycho Milt said...

Interesting - here's an alternative take on Key's 'quick and decisive' handling of this:

"You could almost buy it.

Until Williamson announced he would seek re-election in September.

By voicing that intention, it instantly became clear that neither he or his boss really believe he has done wrong."

Viking said...

Psycho Milt said...

Well, he's gone and Collins isn't, so there's an indicator of his relative value to Bill English.
Who has previously made it clear he despised Williamson.
Note that the useful idiot Smith remains even though he is even more useless than Williamson. English needs him to keep his job. One which he is uninspiring at.

Psycho Milt said...

This just keeps on giving. From the Herald:

Williamson said he was not "friends" with Liu.

"It is pretty hard to have a friend that you cannot speak a word of their language and they of yours.

So, Williamson figured that a guy he couldn't exchange a sentence with, because the guy doesn't speak a word of English, was a top candidate for NZ citizenship, such a top candidate in fact that he should not only be granted citizenship as soon as possible and against official advice, but that he should have his citizenship conferred by the Minister personally in a private ceremony in his electorate office. We're in Dover Samuels territory here, which is about as dodgy as it gets.

I invite readers to ask themselves how likely it is that Mr Williamson did all this in exchange for a $22,000 donation to the National Party. If there isn't more to this, Williamson is the cheapest date in history.

Edward the Confessor said...

And Maurice did maintenance work on Liu's holiday house, which the honourable former Minister scouted for him. What MP doesn't do that for a constituent?

This is a bit like some sort of inverted Phillip Field/Thai tiler thing, where Maurice does all the work in return for the honour of helping Lui get citizenship. Nothing wrong with any of this though...

JC said...

"If there isn't more to this, Williamson is the cheapest date in history."

You seem to forget that Liu's residency was granted by Damian O'Connor against official advice. Officials were concerned about his lack of English.

O'Conner said ""I have no recollection of it – quite likely though." He said there were about 4500 cases a year and many were overriden. "Most of the advice is that they shouldn't go through, otherwise they would have been approved, so it's pretty much standard advice from immigration to say this shouldn't go ahead." That was why people sought ministerial discretion, he said. He made decisions for the right reasons – humanitarianism or good business outcomes."

No one has suggested "humanitarianism" was the reason for O'Conner's decision so I think we can assume Labour approved the residency for "good business outcomes".. same as National.

Undoubtedly Liu gave the appropriate bribe to Labour who promptly hid it compared to the Nats upfront declaration.. afterall, you've made it perfectly clear that bribes must have been paid to accept the dodgy Yellow Bastard Who Is Subverting Our Democracy.

But who would know.. certainly not Damian who can't recall the case despite the recommendation not to approve residency.

Damian has done well not to remember this case because NZ has a long history of xenophobia.. to the point where NZ has the 1st or 2nd worst record in the OECD for foreign direct investment.. more widely its known as the most restrictive country for FDI outside Nth Korea, China, Japan and Saudi Arabia.. I think Iceland is in there too.. the stupid runs deep in NZ and is being avidly promoted here by Labour, NZ 1st, Hone and the Greens (albeit whilst all are chasing funds from a dodgy German crook with Nazi pretensions).


Edward the Confessor said...

There's a big difference between residency and citizenship JC. Look it up. Anyway, did Damian call the cops when Liu got arrested and help Liu find a house and do work on it for him and accept free dinners from him and lobby for him to get citizenship against advice and God know what else (despite them not being able to talk to one another)? What was the quid pro quo I wonder.

Psycho Milt said...

Damian has done well not to remember this case because NZ has a long history of xenophobia.

Oh, please. I lived for three years in a country where you don't get to apply for citizenship, let alone get granted it, where foreigners can't own land or a business, and every foreign worker requires a local sponsor. We know jack shit about xenophobia.

...Liu's residency was granted by Damian O'Connor against official advice. Officials were concerned about his lack of English.

The officials were right, and both parties are guilty of letting dodgy characters buy a NZ passport. The Nats really seem to have a thing for the Chinese way, though - which may be enriching them personally and giving their party a much fuller war chest than Labour's, but is not a good thing for the country.