Monday, March 10, 2008

Little piggies in the trough

Yes, 2 Labour MPs (Marian Hobbs and Margaret Wilson), 2 National MPs (Brian Connell and Katherine Rich) and 1 from NZ First (Peter Brown), all engaging in a farewell hurrah tour to Europe - to perk up their airpoints, flying business class on Singapore Airlines to the political hub - Milan! I've calculated around 680 airpoints dollars per MP for that - not bad when you consider an airpoints dollar is worth a dollar to spend on future flights. Peter Brown as a rabid enthusiast for shipping ought to be sailing though.
.
Now I DO know that Singapore Airlines flights to Milan are not cheap, since they have the brand new business class onboard the Boeing 777-300ERs on that route. Stuff reports the fares alone will be little short of $10,000.
.
Brian Connell, a National MP suspended from caucus for 18 months, was suggested by no less than John Key for having one of the National "places on the tour".
.
So you see, National wont stop spending your money on pointless overseas travel by MPs.
.
Brian Connell's reaction was "It was very pleasant - a nice change of circumstances" . Marian Hobbs doesn't know why your money is paying for her to go to Europe saying "I don't know too much about the purpose. I think it's about MMP. I'm not sure." It's a jolly Marian isn't it?
.
Katherine Rich, who is meant to represent people who voted National in New Zealand said the trip would be a chance to represent Parliament overseas - because that is, so important, isn't it?
.
Margaret Wilson's office said "the trip was an opportunity to establish relations with countries that were part of an enlarged Europe". Um hello? What value is there in them establishing relations with outgoing MPs? Besides we already DO have diplomatic relations with Poland, Italy, the Czech Republic and Hungary. Europe hasn't enlarged either, the countries have always been a part of Europe - the European Union isn't "Europe".
.
Peter Brown's office said "he's so excited to go on a big plane at last" (no I made that up).
.
So while Labour defends its "impeccable record" at being frugal, and National claims it will be more frugal - it's clear that while this is small fry, none have any such interest. How, as an MP, living off of the money taken from others, can you with clear conscience go on a trip that has no clear purpose?
.
UPDATE: Not PC suggests that we are better off with them taking jollies. Well I'd definitely like to see most of them go on a permanent jolly. They can't make laws while they do.

No comments: