Even Eddie couldn’t make something like this up. From The Standard:
As I indicated would happen in my post this morning on the Labour reshuffle, Mallard made a run for speaker today.* He and the Labour leadership tried to keep the fact he was running secret right to the last moment. Why not run an honest, open campaign? Because a vote on speaker can only be made by MPs physically present in the chamber. No proxies. Let me explain.
Mallard’s plan was to stay quiet so National MPs wouldn’t think there was a competition and, so, wouldn’t bother to show up to the chamber – with no question time today ministers would book other appointments and MPs would head back to their electorates. To try to keep it secret, the old guard went so far as to not even tell their own caucus until last night, despite having told the support parties days before.* (ouch!)
If it had gone to plan, with all the Labour, Green, and NZF MPs would have been present, National would have been short and Mallard would have the numbers to sneak in.
Mallard and the old guard seem to have thought that would be a mighty clever trick. But did they stop to think how it would have looked?
Mallard could never have had any legitimacy as speaker in the eyes of the House or the public. And it never would have lasted – the Nats would have just voted him out when next they had a majority present, or refused to accept his rulings. Labour would have got all pain, and for only temporary gain for Mallard’s ego.
Can’t they focus on stuff that matters to the people they want to vote Labour, rather than this bullshit? All it would have done is further tarnish Labour’s image and make them look like under-handed sneaks who are more interested in their personal elevation then the interests of ordinary New Zealanders – but, then, Trev and the rest of the old guard have being doing that for years.
*oops, when I let the cat out of the bag this morning, I didn’t realise it was such a huge secret because it was going around the traps long before most of Labour’s MPs were allowed to know.
Brought to you by the leadership team that will fully endorse itself next Monday and go forth and demolish the Nats over the next 22 months.
David Shearer commented on National putting forward David Carter for speaker early this week, as reported in the ODT.
Labour miffed over choice of Speaker
Labour leader David Shearer will not rule out putting another MP forward for the role of Speaker in protest at the Government’s failure to consult with Labour over its choice of David Carter for the job.
Labour’s caucus will discuss the role this morning after Prime Minister John Key announced the Government was putting Mr Carter forward to replace Lockwood Smith.
The Speaker will be elected in Parliament on Thursday and the Government is almost certain to gets its choice through.
Mr Shearer said unless Labour was consulted before Thursday “I can’t see this going as smoothly as it has in the past”.
Caucus would consider today what it would do, he said.
“We haven’t had discussions about who might be an alternative. If they want to buy a fight over this, this is the way they are going.”
Mr Shearer said the Government had broken with convention by failing to discuss its choice for Speaker with Labour. He was also critical of Mr Carter, saying he did not appear to have any enthusiasm for the role or the knowledge of Parliament’s rules.
If it’s true that Labour pulled a stunt as Eddie describes this makes a mockery of both the role of speaker and the democratic process.
Mr Shearer said if Parliament was to function well, there had to be confidence in the Speaker.
I realise Eddie has far more direct motives than me, he wants to discredit Shearer and his caucus supporters to precipitate a leadership change, possibly to encourage or scare enough Labour MPs to vote no confidence in Shearer next Monday.
This is appallingly hypocritical, having accused National of not consulting sufficiently.
This has to be a huge embarrassment to Mallard and Shearer – and I wonder how many Labour MPs will at least be cringing in private.
How more Donald Duck can they get?