Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Fuck YOU, You Thieving Bastards!

The Labour Party has managed, quite successfully over the last seven years, to introduce stalking horses for broader policy measures that suit its own interests. By framing the debate, applying its monumental spin machine to the task, and distracting the opposition off-message on trivial issues, it can then follow-up with the sucker-punch of inevitability. It is inevitable, once campaign finance laws are introduced restricting the ability of political parties to raise money, that laws providing for taxpayer funding of those political parties are introduced, to “protect democracy”.

It has been good politics until now. Now the public are sick of these lying, cheating, self-serving bastards. The National Party should take note.

The Labour Party wants to cut off National Party funding—donations from individual members—any way it knows how, while preserving its own funding base—the unions—and enshrining that in law. That is one outrage, which the National Party is focussing on.

But the main outrage is Labour’s assumption that the public will accept spending millions of dollars a year of taxpayer’s money on political parties to spend and campaign as they see fit. This is the point that National needs to consistently run home: having been caught cheating stealing taxpayers’ money at the last election that they weren’t entitled to, and having legislated it to make that spending lawful after the fact, the Labour Party now wants to keep its filthy snout in the trough.

Labour’s argument for doing this is dishonest, and yet again assumes voters are too stupid to spot self-interest where it lies. The justification for Labour’s public funding is that its donation disclosure regime will make it harder to raise money. Well, Labour can’t have it both ways. Either it is benefiting from loose donation disclosure rules at the moment—allowing it to receive, as National does, large tracts of funding from a small pool of donors, or it doesn’t.

The reality is that Labour’s funding has dried up. Its only source of money is the unions. Labour is massively in debt, following the 2005 election spending fraud. It doesn’t have any other means of raising cash. This sudden concern for the integrity of party funding—that hasn’t occurred to Labour to be an agenda item until, miraculously, it reached the stage in the political cycle where it was raising less money than National—has become a lobbying position for dipping in to taxpayers’ funds permanently.

Well, Labour: you can have all the disclosure rules you want next election. It isn’t going to stop you from being voted out of office. But the cynical vote-yourself-cash policy will be repealed by National. There is no public mandate for you to steal yet more taxpayer money and spend it on staying in office.

Labour’s exemption on unions campaigning at election-time will be short-lived: every time a union message is broadcast at election time, it will be viewed by voters for what it is: Labour Party advantage, and yet another reminder of how the Labour Party is writing the rules to suit itself. National’s only recourse, in government, will be to remove the ability of unions to campaign during election time.

And if the Labour Party becomes reliant on its taxpayer-funded base, it will be even more badly damaged by a National Government removing the trough from which Labour can feed.

This kind of selfishness from a party so desperate to stay in power is almost enough to drive a guy to sedition.


Anonymous said...

I haven't seen the ins and outs of the changes, but the fact that a 'company' with members can spend $60,000.00 on electioneering.

How hard is it to set up a company in this country? Fill in a form and cough up a couple of hundred dollars.

Will we see a plothera of these companies set up in the future all spending $60,000.00 but all with the same messages being released.

Probably, if these changes are done by Labour before the next election.

Labour will have done away with any spending limits while contesting the next election.

Pamziewamzie said...

Sounds like the same inane 'tax is theft' rantings from the frustrated male right wing blogosphere.

Anonymous said...

You wouldn't say that if National banned Unions from doing any electioneering.

Typical leftie - no principles.

Seamonkey Madness said...

Calm down girl. Heres a sugar cube to let me take those blinkers off you.

What? You'll take the sugar cube and keep the blinkers on!?

Oh I see. Off back the trough then.

Insolent Prick said...

No, Pam. I didn't say all tax is theft.

But taking more than $800,000 illegally, and spending it on an election, and then refusing to pay it back until it becomes too politically unpalatable, and then ramming through proposals you have hooked together behind closed doors with other political parties to allow yourself access to millions more of taxpayers' money without reference to any public mandate... yes, that is fucking theft, and undermines your beloved socialist party's right to govern.

pdq said...

pam, you silly socialist bint. What do you not get about the following:

"Exempt from the new third-party rules groups such as unions or companies when they are communicating directly with their members."

Unions have members. Companies have shareholders and employees, neither of which are "members".

That means that unions only can politic ... on behalf of Labour of course.

Chris said...

pdq - it's clearly a definition issue. The same set of rules should apply to employers as to unions. A clear distinction would need to be drawn between communication that was genuinely with members or employees, and communication that was blatantly aimed at the wider public.

Pamziewamzie said...

Rowl. Calm down boys.