Wednesday, April 07, 2010

MPs and legal fees

The Herald this morning reports that we're paying for MP's legal bills when they get themselves into trouble. I actually think this is reasonable. If MPs are sued for actions taken in the course of their duties as representatives (and no, Gerry, throwing someone down the stairs doesn't count), then any legal fees incurred are a legitimate expense, and should be covered - just as they would in any other reasonable workplace. The real problem here is the secrecy, which allows public money to be spent with no openness, transparency, or accountability, and greedy thugs like Gerry Brownlee to try it on secure in the knowledge that the public will never find out (guess he was wrong about that, and his self-admitted thinking - "oh well, I've got this big bill, I may as well see what is possible" - shows what a shameless trougher he is).

Labour's Trevor Mallard is reported as calling for public disclosure when money is spent in this way. He should put his money where his mouth is, and put up a member's bill to open Parliament to the scrutiny of the OIA. Anything less, and he's earning that reputation...