Tuesday, March 11, 2008

No justification for junket

I cannot come up with any reasonable justification for or defence of this.


Rick said...

It's Parliamentary outreach. Which means, our 'governmental club' is keeping up relations with the world around it.

Plenty of merit in building and maintaining bridges with our overseas contacts.

There is a perception that it's for the benefit of the individual MP alone. But the idea is that they are representing parliament to others, and that they'll bring home the fruits of that foreign contact.
Just because these of our MPs are leaving does not disqualify them from doing that job.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

For someone who doesn't believe in much govt you do a pretty good job of promoting it.
And anyone leaving a job mentally switches off in advance. That's why I don't agree with long farewells.

Rick said...

One wishes to minimise government for the right reasons, not indiscriminantly.

Those MPs still have their duty to do. If they fail, if they switch-off, then they deserve to be hung for it.

Anonymous said...

Rick, it's a damned junket.

Lindsay, I love your blog, and have a huge amount of respect for you, but if you want to know why I won't be voting ACT anymore, then yet another reason has been printed in The Press this morning, quote:

"ACT leader Rodney Hide, who joined a taxpayer-funded jaunt to South America, said such trips were all about building relationship overseas."

From your own post here, I know we both see that for the BS it is. You are right, Rodney is way out of order. I've had a gutsful of all the non-Left parties, including ACT, and am voting on principle from this point on.

You say on another post below that you want to be thought of as a liberal, not right wing, well, assuming you're talking classic liberal, then you're in the wrong party, you should be looking at Libertarianz: that's the party with my vote from this election on.

Mark Hubbard

Anonymous said...

Or indiscriminately, even. :)

Clutching at straws a bit, Rick. The point *is* that all but one of those guys are leaving Parliament.

Your argument was one of building and maintaining contacts. What direct maintenance after their departure?

If that's the validation, they can sit in their offices and video-conference for a fraction of the price, albeit that it's much less fun. Otherwise, send people who at least have no intention of retiring just yet. (Whether they're re-elected is another matter).

As for me, I'd rather leave relationship & 'bridge-building' to commerce.

Anonymous said...

And lets not forget, Marian doesn't even know the purpose of her trip, so we must suspect she's not planning on doing a lot of homework.

Mark Hubbard

Anonymous said...

Good point, Mark. It's all bullshit .. and it reeks more strongly with every excuse proffered.

Anonymous said...

It's shameful to see all politicians defending themselves and their perks. National is no better than Labour, NZF, the Greens or even ACT.

When comes to protect their patch these leeches and parasites react in the same manner.

As proud member I congratulate Mark H. for his inspired choice of voting Libertarianz :-)

Rick said...

Hubbard, that is not an argument. Haven't you got one? You say it's "just a junket" and I say otherwise. That gets us nowhere.

Remember, Susan, it's only part of the purpose that MPs should
bring something home from these trips. The other part is
what we contribute to those we visit and to the ties between
us. This purpose is still being served.

However, even the charge of this experience falling on dead
ducks cannot stick. The five MPs are representing the entire
parliament and are bringing home what this trip gives them
for the entire parliament. They can be expected to transmit
what they gain to others, as is expected. This is not a
capacity which will be hampered by the fact that they have
months, and not years, to do it in.

Hobbes, I assume, is only to happy to be a bitter thorn in
the PM's rump whenever she can be. She has been dissed and is unhappy about that. Her comments hurt the PM.

Susan, there is such a thing as the personal touch. Email and camera links will never ever ever replace sitting down over drinks and literal handshakes.
And, for as long as we have nation states there will need to be relationships between them- political and diplomatic.

Sharpen up, dreamers!

Allistar said...

But being flown business class? There is no reason for anything but economy, especially as it's being paid for by money confiscated from tax payers.

Rick said...

Why not cargo-class then?

Answer: because, as all must conceed, this is supposed to be a serious and productive use of parliamentarian time. Presentation is important, the message is important, our delegates are important.

Anonymous said...

Argue the point as you made it, Rick. Your original defence was based on one of creating relationships and "maintaining bridges".

My point is that those particular guys are going. Then what? New guys take their place. But there are no prior fuzzy handshakes & drinks in expensive hotels with the new guys - which means the so-called 'relationships' are technically non-existent. You're defending the indefensible.

Ever had ongoing relations with a public servant in the business world? In my experience they chop and change like the weather and with every new face, you're back to square one. So much for transmission of information and ideas.

And having worked in the business world for more than 25 years, I'm perfectly well aware of the importance of the human touch. I'm also aware of public servants and their insatiable capacity to spend my damn money.

I repeat: leave the creation of ties & relationships to the productive, not the unproductive. Exactly who is it that's dreaming?!

Anonymous said...

Why do politicians need to go overseas and shake hands anyway?

Thats the business of the private sector....

Anonymous said...

Rick, you ask if I have an argument for this being a junket.

I take that you mean other than the patently bloody obvious? ;)


'Maid Marian, why are you going on this 'junket'?'

"Um, gosh, I'm not too sure, is it something to do with ... um, no, no, I'm not too sure? I'll have to have a wee word with Herr Helen."

'You're not too sure Maid Marian?'

'No. Perhaps something to do with rain forests? I love trees. I think there should be many more trees. Or, or perhaps I'm having a relationship over there? Mr Hide says these things are all about relationships, Anyway, I'm sure it will be lovely ... the trip that is. Where did you say I'm going again?'

Mark Hubbard

Anonymous said...

... and yes, I don't want any politician traveling overseas on 'my' behalf. As a poster above said, that's the purview of the private sector. Period.

Mark Hubbard

Rick said...

Ex-minister Marian is politically savvy. No way did she stumble into talking to the media and saying those things by mistake. She is creating trouble for the Prime Minister she has fallen out with, as I said.

My point is that those particular guys are going. Then what? New guys take their place.

That happens anyway, sooner or latter. The point is that the New Zealand parliament is a continuous entity.
Individual representitives come and go anyway, and the age of the parliament is beyond any one's life span.

Were it not so, we would have to renegotiate all international treaties and trade deals with the expiry of the individual signitories.

In my experience they chop and change like the weather and with every new face, you're back to square one.

No, parliamentary culture is pretty much the same. NZ interests are broadly the same just as the Labour and National tribes are the same.
But in so far as they change and updates are required, we need new outreach and diplomatic get-togethers like this to regenerate the bond.

I repeat: leave the creation of ties & relationships to the productive, not the unproductive.

Diplomacy is productive, Sus'. It's a legitimate function of government.
We have nation states and we have trade deals to strike and an open economy to persue. There is lots of work to do politically so we need this sort of thing.
And when the work is done one day we'll need a whole lot less of it. I hope so.

Anonymous said...

Re Marian, I think you impute far too much intelligence and guile.

And what's all this about nation states: I thought you were a freedom lover Rick? Nation states are just tribalistic BS: the sumblimation of the self to a state. A society where the individual is free is a borderless society. Yes?

Free market capitalism, under a constitution that enshrines the individual in the seat of power, and the non initiation of force. That is a free society. And that can't thrive under the tyranny of the majority, with politicians supposedly representing 'majority' interests. Business is for businesses, they're the best to contract their own deals, just unfetter them from the chains of State and let them get on with it. Yes?

But back to trade deals, if we must: so we send Nandor on a JUNKET to promote free trade? Wait a minute, that party doesn't even believe in free trade! So what the hell are we doing. What will he be doing?

Lets just get rid of the politicians.

Mark Hubbard

Anonymous said...

Oh, and re diplomacy - other than to counter an external threat of force, why?

Create a zero income tax environment, and you don't need diplomacy, or to send parasites on junkets to negiotiate trade deals: business will simply come flocking in.

Mark Hubbard

Rick said...

How about to counter criminals who cross boarders with their crime? Or supply goods such as arms to and from other shores?

And how about having diplomatic relation like this "junket" exactly so that we can enstate the stat of affairs you suggest?!

Lindsay Mitchell said...

Rick, I don't think you will find many libertarians arguing their is NO role for govt in national security and law and order. That's not what this junket is about.

Sorry we didn't get a chance to talk yesterday.

Anonymous said...


As a Libertarian, I believe in a very small State (we're not anarchists, Lindsay, or at least this one is not). That is, a police force and army to protect the individual from the initiation of force, plus a criminal and civil (to enforce contract) legal system, the first to protect against the initiation of force, again, the second to allow the operation of a laissez-faire capitalist system.

And that's it. The smallest state possible. ACT would still crush the individual under compulsion, and run the currently huge state mechanism that would continue to do likewise. Did anything come out of the ACT conference, or from Douglas's mouth to say you're going to reduce the size of the State? NO! Like the socialist Key, you're still talking about merely curtailing it at the level it is now.

Appalling. There will be no state of personal freedom found in NZ under ACT. Our lives will continue to be used and abused by second handers.

Mark Hubbard

Rick said...

Me too LM. I was so happy to hear what you had to say. Wanted to give you a hug but you dashed away.

Mark, I'm at least as crazy about those aims as you are. Probably as radical as one can get, short of being Rodney Hide.

ACT would still crush the individual under compulsion, and run the currently huge state mechanism for a year or two yet- minus some of it's more insidious and fundamental enaballying elements. And then minus less. And less. And less.
After a few years of hard work ACT will bring our social system down to a level withing striking distance to our aims. Yours and mine.

Lend ACT your support and we will make National's current attitude the touch-stone of the far left-wing!

First let's cap the rocketing tax-and-regulate society. Then let's wind back the state.

To that end, I see the institution of speakers' tours facilitating that end. Their own ending.