Friday, February 24, 2012

Good riddance

Former Ministers Doug Graham and Bill Jeffries, and two other board members of Lombard Finance, have been convicted of deceiving their investors. They face up to five years imprisonment, or a fine of up to $300,000. Good riddance. We don't get many victories against corporate malfeasance in New Zealand, so its something to be celebrated.

Also to be celebrated: neither of these two will be leaching free travel off the taxpayer any more. As a five-term MP, he was entitled (as a consequence of MP's self-interested feather-bedding) to a 90% rebate on private domestic and international travel. Jeffries was entitled to 60%. But thanks to amendments passed to the Speaker's Directions [PDF] two years ago, those entitlements are automatically stripped on conviction for serious crime. Its one way of cleaning up the tail of undeserving former Parliamentary parasites, I suppose.

As for the question of Graham's knighthood, of course it should be stripped - not for criminality, but simply as a matter of course. Feudal titles have no place in modern, democratic New Zealand, and they should all be revoked.