Petty Parliament

Noted in Open Forum yesterday:

Gezza:

What a complete waste of taxpayers’ money by Labour members in the General Debate.
Instead of debating an issue of governance or legislative importance the tossers spent nearly all their time one after the spouting lame insulting jokes & putdowns with ludicrous speculations on who would be the next leader of the National Party.

Mefrostate:

I agree with you entirely. Far too much parliament time is wasted on cheap shots and distractions, and any Labour MP who has engaged in soapboxing about the National leadership race will lose respect in my eyes.

As an example I just watched Chris Hipkins and he spent an annoying two minutes grandstanding.

Hipkins is Leader of the House, so this is very poor from him, although to his credit he began by acknowledging Bill English:

I want to begin today by acknowledging the Rt Hon Bill English in his decision to stand down from Parliament after close to 28 years of service to this House and to the people of New Zealand. He deserves to be acknowledged. I haven’t always agreed with Bill English—in fact, I have probably disagreed with him more than I have agree with him—but I think he does deserve to be recognised for the service he has given to the people of New Zealand and for the determination that he has shown over that period of time through a number of ups and downs that he’s experienced in this House.

He then went on to shower praise on his Government, not mentioning the awkward situation of Partnership Schools that he is primarily responsible for.

Then he took shots and Nation MPs.

I do believe one of the things that was stated today by one of those contenders, Simon Bridges, when he said “I’m focused on Simon Bridges”. Everybody in the House will believe that Simon Bridges is focused on Simon Bridges. He clearly appears to be appealing to the young fogey contingent within the National Party; that’s his key demographic. A barbecue at Simon’s place has already had the desired effect: the vacancy has been created and he’s off.

It’s the same with Judith Collins. Now it will be interesting to see how Judith Collins fares. It’s a little bit like giving the wicketkeeper a bowl when you’re playing cricket. It means you’ve given up on winning the game. That would be what would happen if Judith Collins was to become the leader of the National Party. It would be like an admission of defeat and they just needed somebody to fill in the shoes.

There is, of course, Amy Adams. She is the ultimate compromise candidate: the worst of everything. She is the worst of everything: no values, no profile, and absolutely nothing that would be attractive to the voters. By the time Amy Adams is done preparing for her race, the race will be over, but she’s certainly in the running.

Then, of course, we’ve got Jonathan Coleman. I have been told on good authority that Jonathan Coleman has secured his first vote to be the leader of the National Party. It is his own, but he has at least determined that he is going to be voting for himself.

Then, of course, we’ve got Steven Joyce. He’s mulling it over. He’s just trying to figure out whether he’s got a ladder tall enough to get himself out of his $11 billion hole so that he can make a run for the top job of the National Party.

But then there is the mystery candidate out the back there: Mark Mitchell, who’s throwing his name into the ring. Mark Mitchell used to be dog handler. Now that could come in handy if he does succeed in becoming the next leader of the New Zealand National Party.

I feel like I’ve watched this movie before, as the National Party tears itself limb from limb as they decide who the next leader of their party is going to be. And it is nice to be part of a strong, cohesive, and unified Government that’s focused on delivering for New Zealanders. We have seen real results in the first three or four months that we have been in Government and we are barely getting warmed up.

This is quite ironic, given the amount of limb tearing Labour went through over their leadership for nearly nine years, and how weak and un-cohesive Labour was during much of that time.

Next up for Labour was Meka Whatiri (Associate Minister of Agriculture):

The first question, though, is what kind of track is this? Hard and fast? Soft and slow? A bit of bounce? That might let someone keen and unexpected charge through the field, like the old show pony “Craving Coleman”, bloodline out of “Naked Opportunity” and “Desperation”. He may still come out of nowhere to surprise, but he will break a leg and will then have to be put down, like the last time he ran.

Then we have “Crusher Collins” in the blue silks, who may also be guilty of interference when that two-year-old “Brylcreem Bridges” tries to pass her on the inside. Look for the illegal use of the whip.

Very silly stuff from the Minister of Customs and Associate Minister of Agriculture, Local Government and Crown/Māori Relations.

Gezza again:

True Mefro. Same. An illustration of the difference today. How have we ended up putting up with this sort of crap (from all parties at times) and paying them to waste time just playing silly buggers & spouting rubbish.

An illustration
Speech 7 – Labour – Jackson

Unbecoming of the Minister for Employment.

Speech 8 – National – Stanford

 I find it so interesting that the only thing the last three Labour MPs could speak about was the National Party leadership race. Do you know why that is? I’ll tell you why that is. That is because they are deflecting, because the issue of the day is charter schools and they don’t want to talk about it. They will do anything in their power not to talk about charter schools.

Stanford looked quite capable -and she showed the preceding Labour Ministers up.

She is a first term MP, taking over the safe East Coast Bays electorate when Murray McCully retired – she had previously worked for McCully in his electorate office, and before that has worked in export sales and producing local television shows. Too soon for her to stand for the leadership, and too soon to judge her capabilities, but she looks promising, especially in contrast to the Labour speakers before her.

The next Labour speaker, Willow-Jean Prime:

What I find interesting is that, in this general debate, I would have thought that the other side would have used this as an opportunity to do their speeches for the leadership campaign. I’m surprised, actually, that they didn’t. They are trying to find somebody who can match the very popular Jacinda Ardern, our current Prime Minister. They are trying to find somebody with youth. They are trying to find somebody who can appeal to a different generation. We’ve seen these tweets and these reports and these updates coming through.

What I challenge the other side to do is to find a leader who has as much heart as our Prime Minister has. We are a Government with heart, versus the Opposition.

Very ironic given the content of her fellow Labour MP’s speeches that did focus on the National leadership, that would hardly appeal to a different generation with heart.

Also guilty of dirty politics are several co-authors at The Standard who posted Who will be National’s next leader?

Mickysavage has built up some credibility with generally thoughtful and reasonable posts over the past year or two, but this drags him back down to trash talk level.

There are times in politics, like when another party is going through a process, that fools should not open their mouths to prove their pettiness.

It is a real shame to see Parliament’s General Debate wasted on petty, pathetic politics. It’s sadly no surprise to see The Standard stoop.

55 Comments

  1. robertguyton

     /  February 15, 2018

    Nah, that was great! Chris Trotter captures the situation nicely:
    “WHAT ROUGH BEAST SLOUCHES towards Wellington to be born? What sort of National Party are the people who brought down Bill English trying to establish? And will there be enough reasonable men and women in National’s caucus on Tuesday, 27 February to stop them?”

    • PDB

       /  February 15, 2018

      And thus the hypocrisy of the Guyton. If National were the one’s doing this now it would have been the end of parliament as we know it. When the three-headed monster does it – ‘nothing to see here’.

      Please continue for our entertainment.

      • robertguyton

         /  February 15, 2018

        Well, PDB, to give your argument some credence, you could paste a quote from the time when National was in Government and you chided them for “doing it”. Then I’d see how free from hypocrisy you truly are.

        • PDB

           /  February 15, 2018

          As usual you miss the point….the question you should be asking yourself is where have I posted any criticism of the new govt doing this? Indeed any govt doing this? Hence no hypocrisy.

  2. artcroft

     /  February 15, 2018

    Hipkins is a waste of space. All he’s good for is dirty politics in the Wellington Beltway. He’s not interested in his portfolio beyond appeasing the union base. His greatest achievement to date is meddling in Aussie politics.

  3. David

     /  February 15, 2018

    The Stanford lady is quite impressive

    • Gezza

       /  February 15, 2018

      Very. That was my reaction. Blimey! Who’s this? I didn’t notice anything on-screen saying who she was. I had to find her on the National Party website.

      She was reading a well-prepared script as well as ad-libbing, but that was a very professional & hard-hitting performance.

      Looks good, young, & very smart. No 53 out of 56. The performance contrast with some of Labour’s stumbling newbies is inescapable. One to watch for the future, I reckon.

  4. Alan Wilkinson

     /  February 15, 2018

    As I noted a couple of days ago, Hipkins is a creep you wouldn’t trust with anything you valued. He and the teachers unions will spend the next three years licking each other.

  5. David

     /  February 15, 2018

    Labour seem to forget they are in government now, those were speech,s more suited to opposition.

    • robertguyton

       /  February 15, 2018

      Reminds me of some of Key’s petty shots in the House, only Hipkins isn’t as nasty.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  February 15, 2018

        He’s not as witty, you mean.

        I agree that they sound more like the Opposition, and Willie Jackson sounded like an idiot. What business is it of his who leads National ? I also thought that his comments about (didn’t catch her name) were a little patronising. He should have been told to shut up and sit down. They are supposed to be running the country, not slagging off the National party.

  6. robertguyton

     /  February 15, 2018

    “Also guilty of dirty politics are several co-authors at The Standard who posted Who will be National’s next leader?”
    How is that “dirty politics”, Pete?

    • Would you call it clean politics Robert?

      Do you think that Jacinda would approve of negative petty politicking? It certainly seems nothing like ‘relentlessly positive’.

      • Blazer

         /  February 15, 2018

        ludicrous…did the last National Govt really take care not to be arrogant,to be the most transparent Govt…ever!

      • David

         /  February 15, 2018

        I think she has other priorities, but leading others is not something she has any experience in so perhaps we should give her a few years to learn how to do it….in between having babies of course.

      • robertguyton

         /  February 15, 2018

        You answered my question …with two questions, Pete. Plus the observation that the TS post wasn’t relentlessly positive. Do you mean that unless all blog posts from TS are relentlessly positive, you’ll deem them to be “dirty politics”. TS is not Jacinda, Pete. I think you are confused.

        • And you didn’t answer the questions.

          Plus you have misconstrued what I said. Of course I don’t expect TS to be relentlessly positive. But I will call them out when the play dirty politics, albeit in this case fairly lamely. Much like you often play dirty, lamely.

          The key question is on the approach of the Labour MPs, who I would expect to follow the wishes of their leader in being positive.

          Unless Ardewrn meant that she would be relentlessly positive but turn a blind eye to her MPs being relentlessly negative, which would concern me.

          Don’t you think there is a clash of styles between what Ardern has claimed and what Labour MPs did in Parliament yesterday?

          • Blazer

             /  February 15, 2018

            I thought her campaign was ‘relentlessly positive’…campaign is..over.

          • robertguyton

             /  February 15, 2018

            So Pete, do you still hold that the TS post was “dirty politics”? I think you misunderstand the term.

            • robertguyton

               /  February 15, 2018

              And Pete, you’ve accused me of playing dirty – can you paste even a single example, so that I can understand what you mean? I’d hate to be thought of as a dirty player and would adjust my behaviour accordingly. Just a single quote would do, thanks.

            • I think you misunderstand the term. There’s a wide range of ways of playing dirty in politics, including on political forums.

              And you haven’t answered my questions.

            • robertguyton

               /  February 15, 2018

              So Pete, etiquette requires, I would think, that a blogger accusing a commenter of “often playing dirty”, should have the manners to substantiate their (hurtful) claim. Will you?

            • “And Pete, you’ve accused me of playing dirty – can you paste even a single example, so that I can understand what you mean? I”

              There’s numerous examples here and at TS where you attack people, and ignore issues being discussed. I’ve pointed that out to you here before.

            • robertguyton

               /  February 15, 2018

              Just one example, Pete. One example of dirty play. Please.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  February 15, 2018

              That display was a disgrace. If I’d been Labour, I wouldn’t be now.

              It was a total embarrassment.

  7. Gerrit

     /  February 15, 2018

    All not helped by Mallard. Not quite as bad as Margeret Wlison yet, but fast getting there.

    “No more supplementary questions for the rest of the week” WTF?

    A repressed bully able to vent his spleen now he sits in the speakers chair.

    • Blazer

       /  February 15, 2018

      Attn…Gerrit…could you please contact the NZ Govt,Auckland City and of course Team NZ urgently….they don’t yet realise the America’s Cup regatta will be held in…Italy!

      • Gerrit

         /  February 15, 2018

        Before it goes to Italy there is this fancy little dance going on called “passing the buck”. Goff, Parker and Dalton dont want to be seen as the cause of the cup going to Italy.

        Hence the play in progress.

        But they may still pull the poker out the fire however IMHO, the Parker attitude will stifle that.

        Politically the tank farm is the stumbling block for there is many millions of dollars to be spent on rectification work to clean up the site. The owner will vacate the site early as long as they don’t have to do the clean up work. Parker does not want to pay for it (corporate welfare) Goff want the site but faces a too long clean up period. Obvious answer is to level the site and lay an encapsulating layer of concrete over it. All teams need is a level slab of concrete to place a crane and a few containers.

        Politics son, politics. And money.

  8. Gezza

     /  February 15, 2018

    Blazer commented joked yesterday why did I want to torture myself watching Parliament TV – which is a good point, given the way they carry on. I often watch Question Time if I can make the free time – either at 2pm live, or at 6 or 10 when Parliament TV repeats QT. I don’t generally watch the debates, but I’d left the tv on.

    To be honest I think more people should watch it. If it was compulsory viewing maybe public pressure would eventually end up going on to our politicians to shape up & get on with doing the bloody job we elect them to do – not spend huge amounts of time just acting like a pack of smart arse clowns.

    It’s been going on for so long we’ve all ended up resigning ourselves to it & expecting no better. This time it was Labour, but National did it too in their time in government, & so have members of other parties. If we constantly carried on like this at work or business meetings we’d be sacked. This is wasting our money.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  February 15, 2018

      The amount of money wasted in Parliamentary horse-play is utterly trivial compared with what they waste when they actually do something. I would much rather the public watch that intelligently and give feedback.

      • Gezza

         /  February 15, 2018

        And how can they watch that intelligently when they’re working & raising their families & have to rely on the unintelligent tripe they’re fed by an increasingly vacuuous msm for their information?

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  February 15, 2018

          Best way is to watch the data. Is the good stuff going up and the bad stuff going down? Otherwise pull the chain on them. Like any investor.

  9. Gezza

     /  February 15, 2018

    Today’s Question Time. Trevor has just read the prayer in Maori.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  February 15, 2018

      Useless meets pretentious.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  February 15, 2018

        Enough long lunch. Got to get back to fixing things.

      • Gezza

         /  February 15, 2018

        Silly remark Sir Alan.
        Generally better, more appropriate behaviour from both sides today than yesterday. Willie Jackson the only really silly Minister.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  February 15, 2018

          The prayer is useless as you well know and saying it in Maori is pretentious. Nothing silly at all about that.

          • Gezza

             /  February 15, 2018

            I mentioned Question Time, Trevor, The Prayer, & it being said in Maori.

            Your response? Useless meets pretentious. Silly.

            Thank you for the clarification & allow me to apologise to readers on your behalf for your first meaningless remark.

            • Gezza

               /  February 15, 2018

              Now, dealing with your clarification of that first brain fart.

              Of course the prayer is meaningless – given that the guts of it is:

              “Laying aside all personal interests, we pray for guidance in our deliberations, that we may conduct the affairs of this House with wisdom and humility, for the public welfare and peace of New Zealand.”

              the assembled multitude then generally proceeds to ignore its entreaty to the creator within minutes.

              However, as long as it is still to be required there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be said in Maori. Maori words like mahi, rangatahi, tamariki are already becoming part of the Debating Chamber vernacular.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  February 15, 2018

              Thought you had more clues but I guess continually intentionally misinterpreting things has had a permanent impact. Apologise all you want.

          • Gezza

             /  February 15, 2018

            Probably not really worth bothering further with you when you’re in one of these cantankerous moods but how do you arrive at the bizarre conclusion Mallard reading the prayer in Maori is pretentious?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  February 15, 2018

              Most of the audience is not Maori first language and neither is Mallard.

            • Gezza

               /  February 15, 2018

              They know the English. His pronunciation was poor, & he knows it – but there is a lot more use of te reo Maori & Maori words being made in Parliament already because there are now more Maori members prepared to use it. I give him a thumbs up for acknowledging this in that way, Alan. It did not in any way interfere with the conduct of the proceedings.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  February 15, 2018

              No, but it was pretentious. As well as useless.

            • Gezza

               /  February 15, 2018

              It was neither. Your comment is beneath you.

            • Gezza

               /  February 15, 2018

              That’s not me downticking you. I am making allowances for your shortcomings.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  February 15, 2018

              Obviously my comment was above you. And I win again.

            • Gezza

               /  February 15, 2018

              🙄
              Only because you said it first. Your argument was crap!

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  February 15, 2018

              My crap was better than your crap. And much shorter.

            • Gezza

               /  February 15, 2018

              You probably just eat more veges than me.

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