Monday, December 16, 2013

Dirtier and dirtier

So, it turns out that a pile of Auckland Mayor Len Brown's free hotel rooms were provided by SkyCity. Coincidentally, Brown also decided to reverse his longstanding opposition to pokies in order to support their pokie-ridden convention centre. I'm not suggesting that there was ever anything so crass as a transaction. But those freebies may have brought some goodwill - which is precisely why we demand politicians declare them. Brown's refusal to do so creates doubt, and that's not something we can tolerate. Our politicians don't just have to be clean - they must be seen to be so. Unfortunately, brown now looks the opposite.

It gets worse: Brown has also said that he won't take money from SkyCity. But he'll take their hotel-rooms, and he conveniently launders most of his electoral donations through a trust, so we can never tell if he's been honest with us, or if someone has bought his support. Fortunately he won't be able to do that anymore, but clearly that law change enforcing basic political hygiene came a little too late.