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1:05 pm, August 29th, 2008 - 3 comments
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Who would have expected to read this from Brian Connell upon his departure from Parliament?
In a backhander against his own party, he praised Prime Minister Helen Clark, her deputy Michael Cullen, and front-bench Labour MPs Phil Goff and Annette King. Cullen was “a pretty good treasurer” and Clark had been “a very fine prime minister for New Zealand”, he said.
Connell…decided not to make a valedictory speech to Parliament – a right of all MPs who retire undefeated. “I wasn’t prepared to stand up and articulate views that I found hypocritical,” Connell said. “If you haven’t got anything good to say about people, it’s best to leave it alone. I’ll shake hands and walk away.”
I would have liked to hear his observations about his caucus colleagues, and what sort of job they would do on the government benches. Perhaps he has his doubts….?
Compare and contrast; Connell leaves parliament to a better paying job than he presently has. Byer leaves parliament to go on the dole. Both end up in Australia.
I guess it is fortunate for the National Party that he did not articulate these views in a valedictory speech, because such a speech could easily have been turned into a political attack ad.
Connell strikes me as belonging to a pedigree of more-independently minded members, that there are several Labour members of. That makes believe that Connell’s troubles were symptomiatic, rather than causual, of both destructive policy and personal factions within the post-2002 National caucus.
It would be fair to say that while i disagreed with quite a few things he said (esp over the civil union) he appeared to be an active mp with quite a clear sense of what National meant to him. I just don’t think National means that quite so much anymore…