Just got away from the bikoi at Parliament. What a sight. At least 6,000 people they reckon. The lawn and half the forecourt covered. Tui flying overhead joining in the fun.
The bikers know are they being treated unfairly and National is using their levy money to pay for false propaganda for levy increases. They also know this is the thin end of the wedge. The only reason to move to a fully-funded model like an insurance company rather than a compensation scheme or to move to a user-pays system is to set it up for privatisation.
Goff really impressed with his speech. The crowd liked it too. Applause for him was a little half-hearted when he came up to the mic. But the cheers kept growing as he exposed the lies and National’s agenda. Thunderous by the time he finished. Rick Barker was a surprise stand out too. As was David Clendon, who becomes the new Green MP today. The crowd loved it all.
It was a funny contrast among the speakers. Goff’s punchy rhetorical style. Barker and Clendon’s blunt language. The biker organisation leaders revving up the crowd. The academics with their fancy terminology and statistics. Then Nick Smith. The crowd let him speak at first but as he dissembled he was nearly drowned out by boos. A weak voice trying to shift the blame onto his politically appointed puppet John Judge. Promising to ‘listen’ but saying that levy increases are certain.
Standing in the sunshine watching a chastened Smith scamper back into the Beehive, surrounded by minders as 6,000 people chanted bullsh*t. It made my day.
Update: Some phonecam video from Grant Robertson: