OPINION – Talking Politics by Gordon Campbell – Quoted from The Wellingtonian 18 November 2010, p. 11 (see below)
[Corruption involving fraud, bribery etc can only be rooted out among politicians when those with their fingers in the till are appropriately prosecuted and sentenced to ensure that full reparation is made. To be effective, this presupposes that enforcement agencies apply regular quality legal scrutiny involving the highest level of accounting standards to the use of tax-payers’ money. Thereby community standards can be upheld and the public good protected against injury].
“Politicians cannot be exempt from the laws they make, a point driven home more than once last week.
“Women’s Affairs Minister Pansy Wong, for example, had to resign from Cabinet after she confessed to violating the parliamentary rules intended to ensure that MPs don’t blur the lines between their public duties and their private interests.
“Yet on a regular basis, it transpired Wong had used her parliamentary travel perk to help pay for her husband’s travel costs on overseas trips, during which he conducted private business deals.
“This contradicted the crystal clear Speaker’s ruling that “no rebate is payable in respect of any travel undertaken by the member for private business purposes”.
“Wong will be allowed to repay the money involved, which could run to thousands of dollars.
“As some commentators pointed out, a beneficiary who misused the terms of their benefit eligibility for personal gain would almost certainly be prosecuted, as well as having to pay back the money – but as yet, there is no sign of the Wong affair being referred to the police.”