You've got to hand it to Winston Peters. He never misses an opportunity to run interefernce for the government, and he seldom gets called to account for it. The public and the MSM seem to have an endless tolerance for Winston's grandstanding, though there is a legion of us hoping that patience will finally be exhausted in 2008!
Well, today you've got to hand it to David Farrar as he mythbusts the rantings by Peters, repeated by Helen Clark et al, that the Opposition Leader's office has 36 staff - read this:
Bottom line - the number of staff in Ministerial offices has grown significantly since Labour came to power in 1999. Total staff numbers have increased by 52%, and spin doctors by an amazing 73%!!
But that's not all!!! DPF reports that a kindly reader has supplied figures for the Opposition Leader's office in 1999 - yep, Helen Clark's office. Helen Clark employed 30 staff for 37 MP's, compared with John Key's 36 staff for 48 MP's. Key's numerical increase of 20% is small in comparison to the government's excesses. But on a per-capita basis, Key employs 0.75 staff per MP compared to Clark's ratio of 0.81!
Will Winston come rushing down to the House this afternoon to correct the false information that he has provided? We think not. Winston has misled the House enough this week: