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.

The Nation – candidates on ‘the big issues’

On The Nation this morning Lisa Owens “talks to more would-be MPs about the big issues”.

The candidates:

Priyanca Radhakrishnan –  union member and a member of the Asia New Zealand Foundation Leadership Network and the National Council of Women (Auckland). Labour candidate for Maungakiekie, 12 on the Labour list so has a good chance of becoming an MP.

Brooke van Velden a public relations consultant and ACT candidate for Auckland Central. The ACT list will be announced this weekend. Interview on RNZ.

Jack McDonald – Ko Taranaki te Iwi. Green candidate for Te Tai Hauāuru and Māori Communications Advisor. at 13 on gthe party list he has a good chance of becoming an MP.

Erica Stanfordstaffer for Murray McCully, has has worked overseas in export sales roles. National candidate for East Coast Bays, should win a safe electorate.

To much to cover on the fly here, but Lisa is putting all four on the spot over personal views and positions versus their party policies and positions. A lot of avoiding of addressing these questions.

They all struggled a bit, it’s the deep end of politics so quite a challenge.

Stanford got feisty at times once she warmed up but tried to disguise what seemed like a lack of general political issues knowledge by focussing on electorate representation, which where she is likely to start her political career.

McDonald was well versed in Green policy and diverted to party speak, avoiding direct answers to most questions. When challenged on Greens lack of focus on environmental issues he quoted the party’s four foundation aims but later comments were on social rather than environmental issues.

When it was suggested that the Greens could and should work with any party on environmental issues he said it was “unfathomable” for the Green Party to work with National in Government.

Priyanca was asked if her being a student immigrant clashed with Labour’s clampdown on immigration which had her scrambling a bit. She mostly recited party mantra.

van Velden looked the most in the deep end, struggling quite a lot. She sometimes switched to ACT policy but had difficulty answering general questions that put her on the spot.

Phil O’Reilly on the panel discussion: “In the Green Room you could cut the ambition with a knife’.

Video: The would-be MPs

Transcript: Lisa Owen interviews new candidates

 

 

McCully’s East Coast Bays replacement

National have chosen Erica Stanford, currently working “in a senior role in McCully’s local electorate office”, to replace Murray McCully as next year’s East Coast Bays candidate.

She is likely to win the seat unless something very unexpected happens. In 2014 McCully won  with 19,951 votes, with Colin Craig coming next(4,923) beating  the Labour candidate (3,915).

Newstalk ZB: McCully’s replacement selected for East Coast Bays

A staffer in East Coast Bays MP Murray McCully’s local office has been selected to contest the seat at next year’s election.

look how far another former staffer from the electorate office of McCully went. It seems to be an incubator.

Haha, true. He’s better at picking talent than he is sites for sheep farms.

That’s funny.

Does anyone know who the other former staffer was?

Erica Stanford works in a senior role in McCully’s local electorate office and has worked overseas in export sales roles.

“Having been raised here, and now in turn raising my own kids here, I’m not exaggerating when I say I think it’s the best place to live in Auckland.

“From watching Murray up close working for him, as one of his constituents, and seeing his work for New Zealand on the world stage, I know I have big shoes to fill.”

She currently serves as chair of the Browns Bay Business Association, and has previously produced a number of local television shows.

National look to be continuing to do well at replenishing their caucus.