LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – Author, television celebrity and cultural icon Clive James criticized the Wellington City Council for spending public money bringing a broken down, injured football player, David Beckham, to Wellington.
James is currently in New Zealand with a one man show, ‘Out on his Own’.
James’ comments came during a question-and-answer session with his audience at the St James Theatre when he was asked about Beckham’s wife, the peculiarly untalented ‘Posh’ Spice.
To loud acclaim from the audience he expressed his strong disapproval of local councils embarking on commercial ventures like the Beckham adventure. He said it was ridiculous that the Americans would pay so much for a broken footballer, but unbelievable that our local council would add to his fortune by paying to see him.
They have no business doing this sort of thing, he said. “They should spend their money on boring things, like infrastructure.” Why anyone would want to bring an injured soccer star New Zealand, let alone a Council that uses public money to do so, is ridiculous, he said.
The Beckham visit has cost $2 million, of which an undisclosed amount has been advanced by the Wellington City Council’s special events fund, although the mayor, Kerry Prendergast, has refused to reveal how much public money is involved. Local candidates, including mayoral candidate Jack Ruben, have severely criticised the expenditure of public money events without consultation and said it was typical of the high handed manner in which the Wellington City Council has operated.