There are many things I like about The Greens. One of them is that they don’t treat Question Time in the House as a place for cheap point scoring and irrelevant personalised attacks. Most usually they keep on the issues – very often in a focused and on-going way.
Julie Anne Genter’s well-researched questions about transport policy comes to mind, as having been really good in exposing the weaknesses in the government’s destructive focus on Roads of National Significance, rather than upgrading public transport. This is the opposition doing its job – they are there to probe government policies for weaknesses.
So John Key’s contribution yesterday to the great Metiria Jacket Diversion was just plain wrong.
In response to the criticisms of Key’s ministers (Tolley and Collins’) personal attack on Turei’s clothes, Key said this:
Prime Minister John Key defended his female colleagues.
“Lots of members of Parliament, on both sides of the House live in actually, much better conditions than a lot of other New Zealanders, and buying much more expensive clothes, so it was a bit rich of Metiria Turei having a go at the minister,” he said.
“But I don’t think it’s racism.”
The Greens were often among the most personal in their attacks on the Government Key said, citing the number of times they called for ministers to be sacked.
“They go hard, they really go hard,” Key said.
Calling for ministers to be sacked is not in the same category of “personal” attacks as diversionary, smear attacks on someone’s clothes or appearance. Calling for ministers to be sacked is a standard opposition response to ministers failing to do the job for which they have responsibility.
It’s telling that, as an example of “personal” attacks by the Greens, this is all Key could come up with.
3 News last night also had Key repeating his Greens “go hard” line. It is also telling that 3 News was able to come up with several clips of Key “going hard” with some nasty little personal jibes:
Because noddy over there…
The devil beast…
I’m pleased yesterday when I described the opposition as deluded….”
And that’s just some of Key’s milder contributions in the House. But, in contrast, 3 News didn’t seem to havene be able to produce any clips of the Greens “going hard” in a personal way.
About the nearest I can think of is Turei’s wonderful response to Key’s and other Nat’s jibes against the opposition as being on “Planet Labour” or Planet Greens” – meaning they are out of touch with reality.
Turei on “Planet John Key”.
Bring back Lockwood.
So, where are the examples of the Greens’ going hard with diversionary digs at irrelevant aspects of other people’s clothes and appearance?
In contrast, I’m sure 3 News could have come up with some examples of Key being far nastier and more diversionary than the examples they used last night.
The Green Party earns kudos for the way they focus on the real issues for ordinary Kiwi and don’t get into cheap point scoring in the House.
NB: Could Judith Collins be any more contradictory with her 2 sentences:
“It would be hard to bully Metiria Turei,” Collins said on the way into National’s all day caucus at Premier House.
“Oh my goodness, isn’t she a sensitive wee sausage?”
What is it Ms Collins? Turei is unbulliable, or overly sensitive? It’s just so frustrating to see other women collude with the regressive pressure in society, whereby women are judged way more on their physical appearance than men. I would have expected women politicians to be more clued up than Tolley and Collins on this.
Turei – telling it like it is about growing up in poverty, and the way it is for those on low incomes today.