Brian Edwards Media

Owen Glenn Has A Change Of Heart

At 8.35 PM on Monday September 5 the on-line Herald reported Owen Glenn as having said: “I’ll donate the $100m no matter who wins the election.” The donation to New Zealand youth, which he had announced on Saturday’s The Nation, would no longer be contingent on National/ACT winning the November election. Mr Glenn said his commitment to this country was not politically motivated and he was not trying to influence the outcome of the election through the announcement.

No reason was given in the Herald story for the Monaco billionaire’s change of heart.

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28 Comments:

  1. The seed has been planted.

  2. By referring to him as the Monaco billionaire you focus on his wealth and the fact that he doesn’t live in New Zealand. Why not call him the Monaco based New Zealand raised philanthropist, which is more accurate.
    Could it be that you can’t resist bagging an expat rich prick, who no longer funds your beloved Labour Party?
    Why not acknowledge that in line with the good PR advice you give, that he’s belatedly recognised the fact that linking the donation to a political outcome could affect the election and he’s, quite rightly, pulled back.
    The most important fact in all of this of course is that it’s a generous donation. Why not mention that!

    BE: See my reply to Joe Bloggs.

    Here’s your mindset: This fellow Edwards believes in nothing except the Labour Party. He’s incapable of any sort of independent or disinterested thinking. If the Labour Party proposed to bring back hanging, drawing and quartering tomorrow, he’d be in favour of it. He’s intellectually totally dishonest.

    If you have a look at my reply to Joe Bloggs, you’ll see that I say “If he now invests that 100 million in New Zealand youth, I will applaud him.” But you’re almost certainly a selective reader. You’d rather ignore the fact that I’ve done the very thing you say you want me to do: expressed approval of Glenn for his philanthropy. That wouldn’t fit your picture of me as a closed-minded Labour bigot.

    Maybe your problem is one of projection. You expect me to think the way you think. I don’t. Read some of the posts I’ve written about Phil Goff on this site and see if they support your jaundiced view of me.

    Can I finally suggest that you’d be much more at home with Whaleoil.

  3. Your projection of me Brian is a little harsh. I am a fan, which is why I read your blog and have loved your work over the years. I am a little hurt.

    It’s fair enough that you had a go at me as I did have a crack, but don’t you think Owen Glenn deserves some credit for backing away from his political interference?

    BE: I’m not sure whether it was pragmatism or a genuine change of heart, Philip, but let’s give him the benefit of the doubt.

  4. Of course the message has reached the audience. Eating your cake and denying the crumbs on his chin is rather clever.

  5. Riddle me,riddle me, Brian.

    What is the difference between clarification and as you put it ” a change of heart”…and before you leap into droll defence; “change of heart” appears to be your interpretation ?

    As for your allegiance to Helen and the Labour Party…what’s wrong with that?
    ( do not adjust your set..the picture is clear ?)

  6. Methinks his change of heart might have something to do with the threat of criminal charges resulting from attempting to pervert an election through bribery. Wot.

  7. On another angle $100 mill is an aweful lot of money and this guy is not even on our NZ rich list or in the global billionaire club. Has he actually got the cash?
    I notice in the herald article Glen says “once my business is sold, which I anticipate will be during October” how true is this? Not exactly a good time to be selling a business unless its at bargain prices. Just a thought.

  8. a lot of these posts here relating to Owen Glenn both today and yesterday, border on slander, in my opinion!

    He strikes me as a gentleman not to be trifled with ?

  9. This is not the first time that this particular Monaco billionaire has contradicted himself. Problem is that most journalists can’t seem to deal with very rich people with anything other than fawning, craven sycophancy. In the U.S. an idiot billionaire is treated as an idiot billionaire, except on Fox maybe.

  10. @ Richard Aston – Mr Glenn is a very successful businessman in freight and logistics. If he says he has the money, I’d tend to believe him.

    That being said, my advice to Mr Glenn would be to set up an independant charity to administer the $100m donation to “youth”. Governments (of all colours) have a tendancy to waste vast sums of money, and I suspect any Government would squander this cash by cutting their own pitiful spending.

  11. @ Mully I agree about keeping Government out of this money and Mr Glenn does have a charity already set up the Glenn Family Foundation covering 10 countries – http://www.glennfamilyfoundation.org – they just appointed Professor Barry Spicer as chair.

    Compared to other charitable foundations I have worked with it seems fairly closed off at first glance – no way for a charity to approach them – bounced emails etc. It looks like a vehicle for Glenn’s personal philanthropy – he has a few buildings named after him.

    I made a mistake about Owen Glenn’s position on the rich list the NBR NZ rich list has him at number 9 with $900 mill.

  12. I am getting SO sick of these bastards overseas (you know the names) telling us what to do, but who don’t/can’t bring themselves to live here.

  13. PS Tom, who said “In the U.S. an idiot billionaire is treated as an idiot billionaire, except on Fox maybe.”

    Tom, obviously you haven’t seen the American mainstream media’s fawning adulation of George Soros, and Fox’s diametrically opposite (though more balanced) take; the exact opposite of your idiot assertion.

  14. @ Wake Up, I can’t recall George Soros promising a $100m for poor kids if Americans vote Republican. He’s far too smart and sophisticated for that idiotic nonsense.

  15. The problem with philanthropy is that usual there are conditions that are attached to ‘donations’ along the line of Owen Glen.

    I prefer to sock the rich with higher taxes so we can build an education that provides for ALL young people, and not just those that Glen likes the look of.

  16. Methinks his change of heart might have something to do with the threat of criminal charges resulting from attempting to pervert an election through bribery.

    Methinks you have hit the nail on the head Andrew Paul Wood. At the least, he’s been warned that he has probably contravened New Zealand’s electoral law and needs to issue a retraction pronto.
    Edited.

  17. Tom: of course Soros is not going to fund Republicans; he’s too busy funding the entire Left Wing.

    (ps – putting up a straw man, then knocking it down yourself, doesn’t constitute rational debate.)

  18. @ millsy “The problem with philanthropy is that usual there are conditions that are attached to ‘donations’ along the line of Owen Glen.
    I prefer to sock the rich with higher taxes so we can build an education that provides for ALL young people, and not just those that Glen likes the look of.”
    Those taxes then flow through a myriad of government departments and ministerial hands before they are distributed – government money comes with conditions attached – in my experience lots of conditions.

  19. “I prefer to sock the rich with higher taxes so we can build an education that provides for ALL young people, and not just those that Glen likes the look of”

    Which is all very well, except that Mr Glenn doesn’t live in NZ, and IIRC, hasn’t for some time. So the idea of socking him with higher taxes is academic.

  20. Actually, for that matter, how many of NZ’s rich list live (and pay tax) in NZ?

  21. Mully: “If he says he has the money, I’d tend to believe him.”

    I would be more circumspect. Terry Serepisos claims that his properties are worth about $230 million but that seems grossly exaggerated. You shouldn’t believe everything you hear or read.

  22. @ millsy
    ” I prefer to sock the rich with higher taxes so we can build an education that provides for ALL young people, and not just those that Glen likes the look of.”
    Taking this idea one step further – those taxes will flow through the hands of a myriad of government officials, be fiddled with by ministers and eventually be spent on social, health or education services. This money ends up with a lot of conditions attached to it – in my experience Government money often has way more strings attached than that coming from rich benefactors.

    I’d be careful what you wish for.

    Building a education system that works for all is a whole other debate

  23. @ Ross, good point!!

    However, Mr Glenn is indeed on the Rich List and I’ve not heard of him gloating about his wealth, unlike Mr Serepisos. But then, you know what they say about empty vessels…

    @Richard, dead right. I’m not aware of anyone who can squander money better than a Government Department (of whichever colour).

  24. “in my experience Government money often has way more strings attached than that coming from rich benefactors.”

    Last time I recall, publicly owned schools were obliged to take everyone who applied for them. Last time I recall, public hospitals were required to treat everyone who turned up to them.

    Talking through your hat there Ashton.

  25. “a lot of these posts here relating to Owen Glenn both today and yesterday, border on slander, in my opinion!”

    I think, Rob Pharazyn, that your opinions can be safely discounted since you clearly do not understand the distinction between slander and libel, or that the New Zealand law has done away with those distinctions prefering the single heading of defamation.

    And reading through the comments made there are none that are defamatory of Mr Glenn. There are plenty that are critical, but fortunately we live in a world where criticism is still allowed.

    As regards Mr Glenn’s $100m, since the result of the election is immaterial to the gift, why wait. Give it now. I will believe Mr Glenn’s generosity when I hear the fanfare of trumpets (no doubt orchestrated by himself) or possibly when I see a squadron of pigs overhead.

  26. @Ben. More like an elite platoon of pigs on terra firma, rooting and snuffling in search of truffles to consume to excess. Truffles which represent the results of the hard working, lower paid, further down on the food chain.
    “Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward”.

  27. Rob Pharazyn (September 6th, 2011 at 23:36)

    “a lot of these posts here relating to Owen Glenn both today and yesterday, border on slander, in my opinion! He strikes me as a gentleman not to be trifled with ?”

    Riiiiight…

    A “gentleman”.

    A very wealthy “gentleman”.

    Who, as I recall tried to buy some sort of diplomatic position (Consul-General?) during the previous Labour-NZF government? To which Ms Clark responded with a very firm, definitive, “No way, Jose!”

    As for “border[ing] on slander” – I tend to agree with Ben (September 10th, 2011 at 10:05 ) – criticism is not automatically slander/libel. There is still such a thing as an “honestly held opinion”.

    God help us if the day should come when we can’t criticise a person because s/he happens to be wealthy?

    If Glen wants to help with a donation – let him. Whether he donates it to the Christchurch Relief Fund or Habitat for Humanity or the guvmint, matters not a whit to me. He can blow the whole lot at the races, for all I care.

    What matters to me was that he was arrogant enough to believe he could “buy” an election. I know NZ is busily hocking off it’s SOEs, farms, etc, to the highest bidder, but could we at least maintain a pretence that our collective soul is not (yet) on Trademe, with a Buy Now price of $100 million?

  28. In Coronation Street-speak, I’m surprised Owen Glenn would want to give the “steam of his cuppa tea” to any NZ political party, after the icy Helen Clark gave him the cold shoulder at the opening of the — eponymous — AU Business School; and Winston came up short with his undertaking to make him NZ’s Consul-General to Monaco. Just shows how generous and forgiving, he is.