web analytics

Foolish games

Written By: - Date published: 8:37 pm, January 31st, 2013 - 107 comments
Categories: labour - Tags: ,

As I indicated would happen in my post this morning on the Labour reshuffle, Mallard made a run for speaker today.* He and the Labour leadership tried to keep the fact he was running secret right to the last moment. Why not run an honest, open campaign? Because a vote on speaker can only be made by MPs physically present in the chamber. No proxies. Let me explain.

Mallard’s plan was to stay quiet so National MPs wouldn’t think there was a competition and, so, wouldn’t bother to show up to the chamber – with no question time today ministers would book other appointments and MPs would head back to their electorates. To try to keep it secret, the old guard went so far as to not even tell their own caucus until last night, despite having told the support parties days before.* (ouch!)

If it had gone to plan, with all the Labour, Green, and NZF MPs would have been present, National would have been short and Mallard would have the numbers to sneak in.

Mallard and the old guard seem to have thought that would be a mighty clever trick. But did they stop to think how it would have looked?

Mallard could never have had any legitimacy as speaker in the eyes of the House or the public. And it never would have lasted – the Nats would have just voted him out when next they had a majority present, or refused to accept his rulings. Labour would have got all pain, and for only temporary gain for Mallard’s ego.

Can’t they focus on stuff that matters to the people they want to vote Labour, rather than this bullshit? All it would have done is further tarnish Labour’s image and make them look like under-handed sneaks who are more interested in their personal elevation then the interests of ordinary New Zealanders – but, then, Trev and the rest of the old guard have being doing that for years.

*oops, when I let the cat out of the bag this morning, I didn’t realise it was such a huge secret because it was going around the traps long before most of Labour’s MPs were allowed to know.


107 comments on “Foolish games”

  1. QoT 1

    These foolish games are tearing me apart.


  2. Lanthanide 2

    NZ First abstained anyway, and Winston said they would in advance, thus making their ploy rather unlikely to work.

    • Eddie 2.1

      are you sure? The maths doesn’t add up:

      121 MPs – 62 for, 52 against leaves 7

      3 are in Vladivostok, o vote because no proxies. Leaves 4.

      Footage also shows a smattering of empty seats, that’s your other four.

      • Eddie 2.1.1

        unless the tweet i saw of the count was wrong and the reporter just totalled all the parties for and against and excluded nzf, forgetting the missing mps couldn’t vote.

        nonetheless, it could have worked without NZF had enough Nats been missing.

  3. Eddie 3

    song titles and puns are the lazy headline writer’s goldmine.

  4. “Can’t they focus on stuff that matters to the people they want to vote Labour, rather than this bullshit?”

    A vanity vote.
    Glad he failed in his attempt to snatch himself a legacy from the jaws of recent mediocrity.
    Labour summed up by their own failed motion.
    And on a day the great ‘revival’ once again stalled in the polls.
    Epic work, caucus.

  5. It seemed to have been a ploy. Brendan Horan popped up and proposed a secret vote and indicated that he had fed it through the “usual channels”. This level of understanding was way beyond Brendan’s comprehension levels and so I believe that he was persuaded to do this by members of other parties. The Greens were being principled so I presume it was either my lot or Hone and I doubt Hone would think it was appropriate.

    Whoever it was this was really stupid. I do not care what vote it is, I want every MP’s vote to always be public.

  6. KhandallaViper 6

    Lord Trevor of Wainouimata.
    Mmmmm….has a certain ring to it!

    Seriously though folks…..

    this type of silly opportunistic destructive behaviour is a mirror of how they dumped Parker and inserted Shearer in Nov 2011.
    Even at the Elllerslie Conference in November I recall Trevor trying to use some obscure/obtuse procedural point to argue against the 60/40 motion. The boy is so sharp he cuts himself.

    Spare us.

  7. Pete 7

    Foolish games? Is that a variant of playing silly buggers?

  8. Tiresias 8

    Certainly comes across as childish and petty. Ooooh we weren’t consulted. Watch me stamp my foot.

    A simple statement that National broke with both courtesy and tradition by not going through the usual civilised motions and getting approval for Carter’s nomination but accepting Carter anyway would have been adult and sensible. Now both sides of the House have potentially politicised the Speaker and his rulings, which is a dangerously slipperly slope to get on to.

  9. The Fan Club 9

    I don’t think Speakers may be removed from office by motion of the House. Deputy Speakers may per Standing Orders, but there is no such provision for the Speaker, and McGee makes no mention of such a possibility. I think this post is simply factually wrong, and should be amended.

  10. tc 10

    Come on it’s all about Trevor.

    More sterling well thought out work from the mallarfia, good to see they’re working on the important stuff.

    • David H 10.1

      They need to tell him that he is NOT wanted to represent where ever it is he haunts these days. And it’s dumb stunts like these, that make people say FFS not again. And then either not vote, or vote elsewhere. No wonder Labour is Flat-lining. If it was a patient in Hospital it would be on a Deathwatch!

  11. Hang on, How does this fit in with what Winston had to say re an unprecedented move of National’s to select a speaker without conferring with the other parties first?

    • Yawn 11.1

      The old guard consulted him on Mallard…. before they consulted Labour’s caucus.

      • CV - Real Labour 11.1.1

        That’s what I call real teamwork: trusting Winnie ahead of trusting your own Labour MPs.

    • Nope, I’m referring this:

      There is another aspect of the transition that cannot be overlooked. Given the importance of the role of the Speaker as Parliament’s man or woman, we were deeply disappointed that the Government chose not to involve all political parties in any of the background considerations regarding the selection of a new Speaker. We are committed to a well-organised and effective democratic parliamentary process. We would have contributed constructively and thoughtfully to a dialogue around the selection of a new Speaker, which has been the long tradition of this Parliament. We want this House to work and to work well in the interest of our democracy. So it is our view that it would have been consistent with the values and spirit of our democracy for the Government to engage with other parties over the appointment of a new Speaker. This was not done, and there remains outstanding any explanation as to why it was done this way—or even to have a debate today on this very unprecedented selection process. ~ Winston Peters

      January 31st 2013 Parliament

      [emphasis mine]

      i.e. That the Government didn’t involve other parties.

      I read Labour’s activities (of putting up another speaker) as attempting to emphasize &/or mitigate this travesty.

      Appalling that Labour didn’t tell their own colleagues, yet isn’t there a bigger story here?
      Or is the Government beyond reproach these days??

  12. The Fan Club 12

    Basically Speakers are normally chosen by the Gov’t and then run by the other parties in a sort of vaguely consensus driven but not really way. Key didn’t bother — or did so in an offensively cursory way, I dunno — and so Labour (fair enough) saw an opportunity for a spot of advantage by running Mallard, and talking to the other parties in an attempt to outflank Key.

    Why not, Speaker’s a traditional role surrounded by traditional gamesmanship and cleverness. But anyway they lost, and Labour & the Greens shook hands with Carter and said fair play. Winston, on the other hand, saw a chance to start needling and looking oppressed and such, and went on a rather petty rant.

  13. vto 13

    The biggest fool is always the one who does not know he is a fool, namely David Carter.

    Waffling shit about respect for great tradition blah blah fucking blah. The prick shits all over this particular tradition and shows it absolutely zero respect by firstly tearing up democracy in Canterbury so his constituents can steal what they couldn’t legitimately acquire and secondly by not following the tradition of consulting other parties on the speaker.

    David Carter shows no respect.

    David Carter gets no respect.

    He is just your typical white bread rich white boy christc college inherited money privilege average man. Average or less. Actually the average man in the street I would back over Carter to stand up for what is right and wrong. What a c%#t.

    And you know, the above assessment lines up with his early political days in some halls around Chch and his arrogant, smarmy, deceptive ways and nasty put-downs of people, with little intellect to back up his ways.

    David Carter = Belowaverage Man

    • The Al1en 13.1

      He should use that on his cv as a reference. 😆

    • He is just your typical white bread rich white boy christc college inherited money privilege average man. Average or less. Actually the average man in the street I would back over Carter to stand up for what is right and wrong. What a c%#t.

      Actually vto, Carter is an old boy of St Bede’s, along with Clayton Cosgrove and Damien O’Connor

      • mac1 13.2.1

        And along with Peter Dunne and Gerry Brownlee. I am an old boy, too. St Bede’s was not a ‘private school’ in the moneyed sense. Sons of West Coast miners mixed with scions of North Canterbury dynasties.

        The school motto is “Fide et Opere.” This translates as “By faith and by good works.” I would hope that the second part of the motto has been translated into actuality by these ex- Bedean parliamentarians. Something has to be in the water of the Dirty Mary, the creek that runs at the back of the College, for this many MPs to come from one school!

        • Rogue Trooper

          man, could I tell you some stories from under the Redwood round Daniels Road going down on Dunedin Street (wonder if the bark of the open pipes Big Block still echoes?), oh, and then there was car sex…and the big villa before Belfast…and Macs Black…oh and those couple of naughty nurses who raised my temperature…used to overnight at Sturrocks after Holy Trinity

          • mac1

            “oh, and then there was car sex…” Ah, rogue trooper, what memories that brings.

            I became a teacher specialising at one time in Health and especially Relationships including use of condoms etc. I used to tell the boys in my classes that I was very committed to good sex education since all that I received as a school boy (taught by nuns and priests) was this one bit of advice from a woman journalist of all people.

            “Beware of cars, boys. They are bedrooms on wheels.”

            They all agreed that a little more knowledge would have been a good thing.

            • Rogue Trooper

              good friend is a sexual health nurse up here. sadly we have some dreadful stats for STI’s
              (wasn’t all my doing) Seriously though, it’s not looking good. Did you read of the unrecognized health implications apparently from toxoplasmosis? (I was Recreation Officer at BIR’s Unit briefly, seriously, it was an occupational allied role, and also aided in physio department; that’s where I aquired my health politics / professional capture “bias” from, and years in disability support,TIL for ABI) After years of competent, or above, experience, even with my *convictions*, I am unable to return to the field now as risk management rules, and I can’t stand politics :). (ironically, was an R.N CSM colleague (close, yet no cigar) who was found to be funding her lifestyle to the extent of about 100K from the clients trust funds) One of the many life experience reasons I’m such a rogue…(+ as you can imagine, when I turned the critical gaze upon the professionalization of Nursing in Stage 1″ Socio-economic determinants” paper, they wouldn’t accept my essay (I already held an A- / B+ undergraduate degree (in guess what?) 🙂 said I had to rewrite it, and being the old dog that I am, I accepted my A average passes in the other papers cocked my leg, and went back to fixing buses, maybe you saw me in the Redbus breakdown 4-Wheel drive. So naughty…if I hadn’t already been released I’d be getting aroused about now 🙂

    • yeshe 13.3

      Maybe I shouldn’t say it, but, horribly, he reminds me of Richard Nixon. Ooops,there, I’ve said it.

      • Hami Shearlie 13.3.1

        We’ve been saying it for years as well, Yeshe, and we all know what happened to “Tricky Dicky”!!!!

    • Blue 13.4

      ” his arrogant, smarmy, deceptive ways and nasty put-downs of people, with little intellect to back up his ways” Now be fair, it sounds just like Trevor Mallard (without the psychopathic tendency for violence)

  14. Jane 14

    Looks like this is the plan to pry Mallard out of his seat on the cabinet bench after they win the election. Is an old ploy, if you can’t demote of fire someone then promote them out of the way.

  15. One Tāne Huna 15


    Stupid, petty, puerile, posturing, pathetic.

    So bloody angry!

  16. tracey 16

    It shows that sometimes some MP forget we pay them, they are our paid servants, not there to embark on self aggrandizement.

    If Mr Mallard and a few others remain on the front bench of the opposition benches post reshuffle then mallard et al will still be driving the truck… and it is heading toward a very steep cliff.

    Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result.

  17. SpaceMonkey 17

    Good one Labour… once again they demonstrate a complete inability to stay on target, focussed on the topics that matter. Every shenanigan like this means one less minute/hour/day that they could be hammering home the failings of this inept National Government.

    Politics is just a f**king game to these guys… colossal egos engaged in a perpetual w**kfest with each other. NZ needs real representation and until the Labour hierarchy get this notion, they can be assured of a diminishing share of the vote.

  18. felixviper 18

    I don’t really care about the silly game, but Mallard as Speaker?


  19. Rich 19

    If Mallard wants to retire from politics, why doesn’t he just do it.

    With Lance Armstrong and all the other elite cyclists who took drugs (e.g, all the elite cyclists) retiring, there should be room for a middle aged larger bloke in top level competition.

  20. chris73 20

    What I don’t get and I’d like someone to explain it to me is why is Trev in the position hes in?

    If you look at McCully you may not agree or like what he does or how he operates but the guy is smart, hes got a few brain cells.

    I look at Trev and I just think to myself “this is the best Labour can come up with?”

    There are some intelligent people in Labour (I’m guessing) so how/why is Trev still there?

    I’d run through his litany of cock ups but not really worth it is it…

    • The Fan Club 20.1

      Are kidding? McCully’s career highlights include a spectacular failure to restructure MAF, and a resignation in 99 over unlawful payments. He’s a clown too. Mallard, for all he’s supposedly useless, would appear to be a damn sight better at playing the game than any of you guys.

      Still waiting for the correction on the Speaker’s term of office — it’s pretty inept to not get that one right.

      Suppose the only thing this did was tie up Nat resources for an afternoon, and force Shearer to negotiate with the Greens/NZ First/Dunne/whoever. Isn’t that a worthwhile outcome? It isn’t like anybody who isn’t in the game would even know this happened. (And if they’d got Mallard in that would have been a real coup; apart from anything else the National whips would be heavily disgraced and probably have real trouble maintaining internal credibility.)

      • quartz 20.1.1

        Is that you trev?

      • chris73 20.1.2

        Well McCully as chief strategist for National appears to be doing a better job than Trevs doing for Labour (unless you don’t think winning elections is important)

        Lessee of the top my head:

        the Heineken beer bottle incident
        the homophobic attacks on chris finlayson
        trademe ticket scalping
        assaulting other politicians (I’m prepared to forgive that one)
        treatment of cunliffe

        anyone think of any else?

        • quartz

          2011 decision to chase marginal seats.

          Campaign period bike race with blogger.

          Boob jokes on facebook.

        • The Fan Club

          McCully was also involved in such sparkling moments of Nat history as “Don Brash” and “Bill English” and “Jenny Shipley”. He’s not actually that good. (Not that Trevor’s a super star, but if he’s pulling the strings he’s a damn sight better, than, ooh Cunliffe.)

          Mallard also made a lot of the running on Collins/ACC, and is by all accounts a perfectly competent shadow leader of the house.

          • chris73

            You mean Don Brash that take over after Nationals shellacking and almost managed to take the next election?

      • tc 20.1.3

        ‘Suppose the only thing this did was tie up Nat resources for an afternoon..’

        I wouldn’t call them resources, just placeholders doing as told. The real talent and drive doesn’t sit in parliament but lurks beyond dictating the agenda.

    • tracey 20.2

      McCully is a bully and he knows where bodies are buried… Mallard will know of a few too

  21. Adrian 21

    Oh,Shut the fuck up. If it had come off it would have been biggest bloody nose the Nats had had in the house in 4 years and would have highlighted how their incompetence is a direct result of their arrogance. Even the papers would have torn them a new arsehole, not to mention how having our own referee might have evened things up a bit.

    • quartz 21.1

      Surely you joke, Adrian. Nobody outside of Labour’s inept strategy team could possibly believe that. That said, you seem to be taking it very personally…

    • Lightly 21.2

      you did see the bit when the gallery laughed at the idea of Mallard as a speaker, didn’t you?

      If he had won, solely because National was duped into not being fully present, they hardly would have greeted that as a good thing.

      And then there would have been a no confidence vote in him immediately.

      • The Fan Club 21.2.1

        You can’t fucking no confidence a Speaker, you idiot. They sit until resignation or the next election. And if Mallard had won the gallery would have loved it. Best story of the year so far, Nat incompetence, Parliament’s hilarious idiosyncrasies, and guaranteed good copy for the next forever.

        • quartz

          You should probably spend some time outside of the precinct, Trev’s Fan Club. People don’t like Mallard and they don’t like all this politics as in-joke stuff. The Nats know that and would have eviscerated Labour for it. Sure a few in the gallery might have played in nice for a start but many would point out that this was going to go down like a cup of cold sick with the electorate.

          And if you don’t think the government could make the life of a usurping speaker untenable then you’re not the big time player you seem to think you are.

          One more thing. Labour’s never confirmed this strategy and I’ve not seen anyone else but the Standard posit it. But you and Adrian have made it clear you believe it was in play. Do you know something the rest of us don’t?

          • The Fan Club

            People don’t know who the fuck Mallard is. If you don’t care about politics-as-in-joke, you won’t care who the Speaker is. If you’re a voter and you do care, and someone tells you Labour pulled a swifty and got their guy in the Speaker’s chair it’s fifty-fifty you’ll think it’s a laugh.

            It’s not usurping, it’s having the numbers in the room, every pol knows that’s legitimate, and the Nats are no exception. Do you have any idea how embarrassing this would be for the Nats? Outwitted on Parliamentary practice (entirely fairly) and the Whips couldn’t get the numbers in the room? Brownlee and the Whips would have so much egg on face it wouldn’t be funny.

            Playing tricky games with the Speakership election is pretty much traditional. Tapsell. It’s part of Parliament’s rich tapestry, and no one thinks it’s unacceptable.

            Finally, how can the Government make the Speaker’s life miserable? Mallard would play it straight, to be clear, but if the Government started attacking the Speaker, the Speaker could slaughter them. The Government needs a fairly quick, fairly open House, and not to get screwed in Question Time. The Speaker can deny them those things. And it’s not like anyone outside the precinct would even have a clue what was going on.

            • One Tāne Huna

              This is the same Trevor Mallard who can’t sell tickets without the media making a song and dance over it? You underestimate the level of contempt in which he is held. Perhaps you’ve spent too long in the beltway.

              • The Fan Club

                The same Mallard who’s banging Jane Clifton, who’s probably the foremost parliamentary reporter of her generation? I think you overestimate the contempt in which he’s held. Perhaps you’ve spent too long in the Beltway?

                Let’s be serious: if Mallard was Speaker the gallery would think it was a hoot, the Nats would be very embarrassed, he’d settle down and do a competent job, and then probably retire at the next election. There’s plenty precedent for Speakers not from the government ranks, and there’s plenty precedent for sharp practice in elections for Speaker. In the end, no one really cares.

                • Lightly

                  “foremost parliamentary reporter of her generation” Which generation is that?

                  The Nats would never accept a speaker who got there by subterfuge (they would do a no confidence motion – as they did against Wilson , except this time they would have the numbers)

                  Neither would Armstrong, Watkins, Small, Edwards, or James – and that’s your press gallery right there.

                  Oh, and the public would see it as Labour playing dirty again because you can bet that National would beat Labour in the spin game following a Mallard election.

                  • The Fan Club

                    It’s not subterfuge, ffs. There’s no rule requiring notice of motion. If the Nats want to win a vote in the House, it’s up to them to get the numbers, it’s not up to Labour to do the Nats’ Whips’ job for them. That’s why the Whips exist, for god’s sake. Losing a vote because one lot has fewer people in the chamber than the other lot is pretty much the classic Westminster parliamentary loss.

                    I don’t think the motion of no confidence in Wilson was in order, and even if it passes, there’s no provision to unseat the Speaker on a no-confidence motion.

                    • One Tāne Huna

                      Get out of the way you miserable hack: you’ve spent too long “playing” “the game”.

                  • CV - Real Labour

                    Foremost indeed. For fucks sake our democracy’s Fourth Estate is in dire straits if that is true.

                • One Tāne Huna

                  Um, I don’t live in the beltway. In layman’s terms, I’m nobody. I don’t give a fuck who he’s “banging” – that you advance it as some sort of bona fides is pathetic. Embarrassing, in fact; perhaps I touched a nerve. Diddums.

                • Murray Olsen

                  Is “banging” the fashionable term among you guys? I suppose it’s better than rooting, but whatever you call it, wtf does it have to do with his (lack of) worth as a politician?
                  I liked the bit about him retiring though.

            • Anne

              Playing tricky games with the Speakership election is pretty much traditional. Tapsell.

              How many times has TFC been caught out talking bullshit now?

              After the 1993 election, the National Party had a majority of only one seat. The appointment of the Speaker, therefore, presented a problem – if National selected a Speaker from among its own ranks, as was traditional, it would lose its majority, since the Speaker was not permitted to vote at that time. Therefore, Prime Minister Jim Bolger decided to offer the Speaker’s position to a member of the Labour Party, thereby retaining the crucial vote. Tapsell was the person chosen by Bolger for this role.


              Oh, and btw… I remember it clearly. Labour was consulted and agreed to Tapsell taking the position before the final decision was taken.

        • Lightly

          National put forward a motion of no confidence in Wilson in 2006 (they withdrew it before a vote, if memory serves). http://tvnz.co.nz/content/797304/425825.xhtml

          There was also one in 1980.

          You idiot.

          • The Fan Club

            (a) if the Speaker ruled it out of order it wouldn’t be heard, and (b) even if it had passed, it doesn’t mean the Speaker’s unseated, it just means the House has no confidence.

            • IrishBill

              You may be right procedurally, I’m no expert on the minutiae of the house, but I doubt that the situation would be tenable. It would force National into creating chaos and they would have blamed it on Labour. Given the fact they have both greater resources and a more highly skilled media team, I’d pick that Labour would take the greatest hit.

              Even if Labour didn’t take the biggest hit they would be dedicating limited resources to defending this play that would have significant opportunity cost elsewhere. In my opinion the debacle would also contribute to an increase in enrolled non-vote in 2014 as the public were further alienated by a parliament fixated on playing elite games in Wellington.

              Rather than trying to bite of more than they can chew with this kind of bullshit Labour should be spending its energies on doing proper diligence on their housing policy so the leader has some good clean lines on it.

              It was a stupid play, Fan Club, and it shows exactly the blinkered, short-sighted, and house-focused strategic view that has blighted the party for the last four years. It would have wrecked Shearer just as he’s getting traction and you’re very very lucky it didn’t come off. You should be thankful Labour was saved from itself.

              My advice to Labour is to take a lesson from the Greens and start focusing on getting the basics right. You’re delusional if you think you’ve got the chops for the big plays before you get the fundamentals sorted.

              • The Fan Club

                Of course I’m right on the procedure, I’m just reciting McGee and Erskine May.

                If you don’t know that a Speaker can’t be unseated by a motion of the House, and you don’t know that it is well within the opposition’s rights to put a government to a division on a motion if they think they can win, without warning the government whips, why on earth should I trust your views on what National can or can’t do as a matter of Parliamentary practice?

                Admit it, you guys don’t know how the House works and are just flailing in a rather embarrassing attempt to attack the Labour Party.

                (In practice, of course, Mallard never had a hope. But suppose he had won, and he takes the chair. The first call is to the Government. What do they say? Because they have to hit their lines straight away, within seconds of the election. The next call is to Shearer, then Turei or Norman, then Peters, all singing Mallard’s praises, then to Dunne, Banks, and Horan, who are hardly credible political figures. Then the House stands adjourned for two weeks, and Shearer and Mallard lead the evening news.

                In a fortnight’s time, the House sits, and the Nats can either wage an incredibly difficult and destructive campaign to unseat Mallard [i.e. it will be fought out in the Supreme Court, or worse, the G-G will be dragged in, and either way the House will not function for the duration of the crises], or they can accept him. If they do fight, they will not be able to move forward a single item of business until Mallard is gone, and I think it is impossible to remove him, so I would say they are risking losing a term of legislation. They won’t fight.)

                Finally, Irish, if you don’t understand that the incumbent almost always loses in this set up, you should not be talking about politics. (But I guess given you seem to think it’s ok to run your mouth without understanding the Speaker’s office, or, you know, the basic Westminster rule that the side with more votes wins divisions, then yeah.)

                • Colonial Viper

                  The Fan Club rules on who is good enough to speak! All obey The Standard’s new Speaker!

                • One Tāne Huna

                  “…house-focused strategic view..”

                  Just don’t get it, do you, Fan Boy? Irish summed it up in just four words, and still you blither on is blissful denial.

                  • IrishBill

                    What One Tāne Huna said.

                    • RedLogix

                      In a way I can see that for someone close to the Beltway like TFC seems to be, the ‘Mallard hijacking the Speaker’s role’ idea must have some appeal.

                      After all National has been routinely arrogant and hi-handed around democratic and Parliamentary convention throughout their term; the opportunity to get one back on them must seem like pretty good karma.

                      But outside the Beltway IB is absolutely right; it would go over with voters like the original cup of cold sick.

                  • Te Reo Putake

                    Ahem, at the risk of being seen as wilfully contrarian, The Fan Club is correct in so many ways. Not only does TFC have the parliamentary procedures right, the Mallard move appears to have struck a chord with voters, if the conversation I overheard in a large factory donko yesterday is any guide. A group of print workers at the next table to mine were having a laugh at how well Labour played the speaker election, then moved on to ask, and I quote, “what’s wrong with Key?”. That wasn’t a question asked in support of the PM, it was an enquiry into his health.

                    MP’s shouldn’t be chastised for trying their best in the house any more than the AB’s could be criticized for playing rugby on a rugby field. The snide responses to TFC are not merited.

                    • One Tāne Huna

                      Yes, you’re absolutely right, how could I be so stupid. After all, it’s all about who one bangs, isn’t it?

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Don’t apologise to me, OTH! Your lovemaking failures are none of my business.

                    • One Tāne Huna

                      “…none of my business”.

                      Funny, that’s exactly what I thought when Fan Boy mentioned Jane Clifton.

                    • just saying

                      MP’s shouldn’t be chastised for trying their best in the house any more than the AB’s could be criticized for playing rugby on a rugby field.

                      That’s the whole point TRP. Unlike rugby, parliamentary politics is not a game. Parliament has power over all our lives. MPs treating it like a grand game is insulting.

                      TFC’s views appear to mirror those of the leadership team, and are symptomatic of the arrogant, small-minded, out of touch, and elitist attitude, that so many of us here object to. This kind of approach turns everyday people into nameless, faceless pawns, to be manipulated, played with, and carelessly sacrificed, for the benefit and amusement of the big boys.

                    • Olwyn

                      You’ve hit the nail on the head Just Saying. Well said!

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Rugby isn’t a game, it’s a business. So’s most sport these days, so it’s a pretty apt analogy, IMHO. And the arrogance you talk about can be found in spades in rugby as the grassroots game is sacrificed to pay for the elite.

                      However, I accept what you say is a genuine risk; isolation from real life can lead to some amazing arrogance from parliamentarians. Rodger Douglas screeching “I’m entitled” always springs to mind. The point I was making is that the speaker election appears to have connected with workers if the small sample I overheard is a guide. So why criticise Labour for getting it right?

                      Anyway, I look forward to the post putting the boot into the arrogant, small-minded, out of touch, and elitist Greens who voted for Mallard as speaker. Won’t be long now ….

                    • CV - Real Labour

                      Anyway, I look forward to the post putting the boot into the arrogant, small-minded, out of touch, and elitist Greens who voted for Mallard as speaker. Won’t be long now ….

                      Just inexperience on the part of the green Greens. You shouldn’t be too hard on them.

    • SpaceMonkey 21.3

      “…would have highlighted how [National’s] incompetence is a direct result of their arrogance.”

      Disagree. It would’ve done nothing of the sort. Labour should be focussing on the issues and stating what they’re going to do differently from National, not wasting time with this sort of stunt.

    • Elizabeth Bourchier Real Labour 21.4

      That may well have been the short term play out if events within the beltway.
      Did you think how it would play out with many members, given the divisions in the party ?

      • Olwyn 21.4.1

        Elizabeth, I think you have hit upon an important point. Clark won people over. It is true that she did not win everyone over, but she won enough people over to win elections for nine years. Among supporters, she was affectionately known as Aunty Helen, or just Aunty. The present lot have not done that, but they keep presupposing that they have, and doing things that only work if you have. For example, you modify your position when you have already established one and galvanised people around it, you do not set out with a pre-modified position. Similarly, this speaker stunt might have looked like a real lark if they were riding high in the polls and on the verge of bringing the government down. Without such conditions in place however it just looks like playing silly buggers.

        • The Fan Club

          Olwyn, it was not exactly affectionate. It was a rather ironic joke referring to her lack of personal warmth and her iron control over the Party apparat, rather like Uncle Joe…

          (Yours, someone who burst into tears when Helen resigned.)

          • Olwyn

            In the circles that I move among it was used affectionately, perhaps initially by riffing off the ironic use that enemies made of it. And I also cried when she resigned. However, my point was that she managed to galvanise people. That some of us cried when she resigned is evidence of this.

            • Anne

              some of us cried when she resigned.

              I guessed it was coming so I went to bed. Couldn’t even face seeing and hearing her resign – at least not on election night.

              As for The Fan Club: he/she is a troll! Anyone who suggests she had no personal warmth clearly never knew her or anything about her. She was full of personal warmth as anyone who has ever been associated with her can testify.

              • Anne

                Further to my 3:40 comment:

                Part of the reason (I suspect) her warmth was not so apparent in her public persona is because she knew it would be misrepresented by an antagonistic, NAct-leaning media pack as… weakness, instability or something equally as pernicious.

              • Anne

                Oops: I apologise to TFC. He/she may not be a t—l. (escaping moderation) I misread his/her

                Even so, it surprises me that TFC was not aware of Clark’s personal warmth.

                • RedLogix

                  Yes. I only met her once (working in the Beehive late one weekend) and without giving anything away I can testify that the encounter was a hoot.

        • CV - Real Labour

          Those who still didn’t like Clark, certainly still respected her (apart from the haters and wreckers of course). She had the charm and charisma to win over most people in most audiences.

          • Rhinocrates

            I didn’t “like” Helen Clark the PM, but neither did I dislike her – it was irrelevant I’m not sure if she wanted to be “liked” anyway (I suspect that if I had met Helen Clark the human I might have liked her – someone I know who has worked with her does like her). I respected her competence greatly then and I miss it now.

            That attribution of competence, which seems like faint praise isn’t. Politics is hard. I can’t find the attribution, but there was someone who laughed at Dwight Eisenhower’s presidential ambitions – not because they thought that he would be bad at the job, but that the former SCAFE’s (Supreme Commander, Allied Forces, Europe) who had been used to people obeying and implementing orders in a war would then have to depend on people who were incapable – and who had no intention – of doing either.

            Key’s supposed “likeability” has always been a repulsive smarminess to me, but he’s run a team and relied on his marketers well. I also disagree – purely on semantic terms – with those who say that every minister has been incompetent. They haven’t; Ryall, Joyce, English and even Bennett have all done exactly what was required of them by the party and its sponsors. They’re all awful, but they do what their constituents require. For all the talk of dissent and rivalry within National, it’s never made the headlines.

            Shearer can’t even manage the crude efficiency of Key; his authority is tenuous, he has no core principles, he’s a poor communicator, his party base is alienated and even the ABC club aren’t inspired to put themselves out in public to support him.

            That is actually what is most telling: for all their antipathy to Cunliffe, Shearer’s supporters in caucus are still not presenting themselves as a team supporting the next PM, let alone a government in waiting. Goff and King are vaguely professional, but Mallard’s a joke, Chippy’s… well, I can only say that I never met him, but I did step in him once… and all of them look like opportunists sailing under a flag of convenience.

            Shearer’s supporters said that his experience working for the UN made him a great team builder. Well, he hasn’t done that and a club is not a team. The ABCs find him “useful”, but they’re not loyal, not committed to him – look how lazy they are.

            Contrast that with Helen Clark, who made former rivals Michael Cullen and even Douglas’ Mini-Me, Goff, into not only supporters, but assets.

            The current Labour caucus is devolved so far that its sole focus, its sole performance indicator, is whether it serves the caucus, or even less than that. The one thin thread of hope that I have is not that the whole caucus will see that it needs a parliamentary leader who supports and communicates Labour values, but that enough junior and low-listed MPs realise that they could lose their meal tickets at Bellamy’s.

            • CV - Real Labour

              +1 Smith and Collins are also very competent National Ministers. It’s a mistake to underestimate Key’s Cabinet.

            • The Fan Club

              Comparing Shearer now, to Clark in 99, is hugely misleading. At this point in Clark’s tenure she was still pretty much engaged in open warfare with Goff/Cullen/King etc.

              • Anne

                Bollocks TFC. They went to Helen Clark expressing their concern over the disappointing leadership poll results. What’s more I’m pretty sure it happened sooner in Clark’s tenure. There was no open warfare. All behaved as mature adults are expected to behave.

              • Olwyn

                I made just one point about her; that she was able to galvanise people, which I think is in most cases needed for electoral success on the left of the spectrum.

            • VivaciousViper

              @ Rhinocrates, I never liked Clark either,much because of her term as health
              minister and her policies,which were more right wing than left wing,mum and
              i used to have some terrible rows over Clark, mum was a hard line Clark
              believer and you dare not say anything against Clark, mum was an active
              labour person,sadly passed on,but boy i remember her defence of Clark.
              I never voted for Labour while Clark was in power because of my own political principles,but i have to hand it to Clark she knew how to run a tight ship and because
              of that i admired in that way.
              I actually e-mailed Clark and let her know how i felt about her turning her back
              on the people and unless she included the people she would loose badly in the
              election and that is what happened, i felt no sympathy for her tears, at all.

  22. Afewknowthetruth 22

    Daffy Duck Mallard, the idiot Minister of Energy who told us Peak Oil would not be until 2067. Only 60 years out.

    How could anyone vote for the idiot for any reason?

  23. Do nothing Parker wrote a letter to the late Dr Peter Lloyd in 2006 saying peak would be between 2021 – 2067 http://oilcrash.com/articles/parker01.htm

    The scariest is a letter from the fat one dated 1June 2010 “The Government’s position on peak oil, therefore, continues to be that oil production will not change significantly until 2030, or some date beyond this”

    I asked Pete if he would sign this letter ….. http://oilcrash.com/articles/hodgson.htm ………today
    He said NO

    Yet Helen said quite clearly in 2006 that ‘we’ were close to if not already there http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxIp5h0Xtuc Then she oversaw the lie that is the oil/energy/growth dependent ponzi saving scam Kiwi Saver ..
    Yeah go Labour
    Yeah go all politicians
    And Yeah go all the fools that think voting for these fucking liars is going to do anything good.

  24. Coronial Typer 24

    I’m sorry I think Mallard would have made a great Speaker.

    He knew the rules, he knew the bodies, he’d slept with everyone.

    Would have ruled like Caligula.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts


  • Freedom on the Seas – A gift from your friendly Government
    When the Government announced it would need to uphold public safety during the upcoming International Naval Review, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was talking about wearing life jackets. But actually, the Government is applying restrictions that stop people boating ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    3 hours ago
  • Time for Paula Bennett to front up on HNZ P Fiasco
      Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett needs to rein in Housing NZ and sort out the mess that’s been created by the organisation’s misuse of methamphetamine testing procedures, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.   ...
    11 hours ago
  • A charge on plastic bags – debunking some myths
    The launch of my Members’ Bill last week, which would introduce a 15 cent charge on single-use plastic bags at the check-out, has generated a lot of comment on mainstream and social media. From The Paul Henry Show at the ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    2 days ago
  • National’s $1trillion property sandcastle
    The National government's failure to fix the housing crisis has seen the ballooning and unsustainable property market touch the $1 trillion mark, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. "Labour wants an economy that creates high wage work that is based ...
    2 days ago
  • Government failure on housing crisis drives Reserve Bank to add tools
    If the Government was delivering a comprehensive plan to fix the housing crisis, it is unlikely that the Reserve Bank would be continuing to pursue debt to income limits for lending for housing, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. ...
    3 days ago
  • International embarrassment for NZ likely over National’s failure to protect Maui dolphin
    New Zealanders who care about Maui dolphin should prepare to feel embarrassed: the Government is about to be put to shame on the international stage for its lack of action to protect Maui’s dolphin. The International Whaling Commissions’ 66th Biennial ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    5 days ago
  • Why don’t we spend $1b to keep people out of jail, rather than spending it on keeping them in?
    Earlier this week, Corrections Minister Judith Collins announced the government’s ‘solution’ to our burgeoning prison population. It seems that most, if not all, of Bill English’s hard-won surplus is going to disappear into another round of prison-building.  That must be ...
    GreensBy David Clendon
    1 week ago
  • PKE Ship Sent Packing – Not Too Soon
    It is appropriate that the palm kernel expeller (PKE) ship off Tauranga has been sent packing. For weeks I have been saying this ship needed to be sent away, but it seems as if MPI has been trying to find ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning
    1 week ago
  • Do you #LoveSnow?
    I was a lucky kid. When I was about five or six my mum and auntie took me up to Whakapapa on Mt Ruapehu and taught me to ski. As a young kid I thought there was no bigger ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    1 week ago
  • Awa Kairangi/Hutt River – Swimmable?
    On Thursday night I hosted a great swimmable rivers meeting organised by the local Greens in Heretaunga (Hutt Valley). It was great to see about 70 people attend and engage in the topic. We were welcomed by Te Atiawa representative ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • September benefit figures disappointing
    The Government is out of touch with the reality that fewer people are going off the benefit and into employment or study, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.  “The quarterly benefit numbers for September are concerning. They show that ...
    1 week ago
  • MFAT officials refuse to back Prime Minister on Saudi sheep claims
    An Ombudsman’s interim decision released about the existence or otherwise of legal advice on the multimillion dollar Saudi sheep deal shows MFAT has failed to back up the Prime Minister’s claims on the matter, says Labour MP David Parker. “The ...
    1 week ago
  • Barry Coates on his first weeks in Parliament
    Week one in Parliament has been quite an occasion. I would like to share the experience. I had given up on the prospect of getting into Parliament before the election and had been enjoying the diverse work I was doing ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    1 week ago
  • Nats still planning to take Housing NZ dividend
    Housing New Zealand’s Statement of Performance Expectations shows that the National Government intends to pocket $237m from Housing New Zealand this year including a $54m “surplus distribution”, despite promises that dividends would stop, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “After ...
    1 week ago
  • Parliament must restore democracy for Ecan
    Parliament has a chance to return full democracy to Canterbury with the drawing of a member’s bill that would replace the Government’s appointed commissioners with democratically elected councillors, says Labour’s Canterbury Spokesperson Megan Woods. “In 2010, the Government stripped Cantabrians ...
    1 week ago
  • Police struggle to hold the line in Northland
    Labour’s promise of a thousand extra police will go a long way to calming the fears of people in the North, says the MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis.  “Police are talking about the Northland towns of Kaitaia and ...
    1 week ago
  • Vote Sooty Shearwater/Tītī for Bird of the Year
    Sooty shearwater (Puffinus griseus) are amazing and deserve your vote in Forest and Bird’s Bird of the Year competition.  They make one of the longest known bird migrations, flying an annual round trip of 64,000 kms across the entire Pacific ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Urgent action on agriculture emissions needed
    Immediate action is required to curb agricultural emissions is the loud and clear message from Climate change & agriculture: Understanding the biological greenhouse gases report released today by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan ...
    1 week ago
  • Super Fund climate change approach a good start
    Labour Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson and Climate Change Spokesperson Dr Megan Woods have welcomed the adoption of a climate change investment strategy by the New Zealand Super Fund. “This is a good start. It is a welcome development that the Super ...
    1 week ago
  • Energy use going in the wrong direction
    New data out this week from Statistics NZ paints a concerning picture of energy use across the economy under this National Government. You won’t be surprised to hear that there is some seriously worrying information here about how dirty our ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    1 week ago
  • Raising the age the right thing to do
    The announcement today that the Government will leave the door open for young people leaving state care still means there is a lot of work to do, says Labour's Spokesperson for Children, Jacinda Ardern "The Government indicated some time ago ...
    1 week ago
  • Junior Doctors go on Strike
    Thousands of junior doctors took strike action for 24 hours this week for better working conditions and safer working hours.  The Green Party supports their cause, and particularly their claims to reduce the number of days worked from up to ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    1 week ago
  • Coleman plays down the plight of junior doctors
    Junior doctors are crucial to our health services and the industrial action that continues tomorrow shows how desperately the Government has underfunded health, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “Jonathan Coleman’s claim that he has not seen objective evidence of ...
    1 week ago
  • Inflation piles pressure on National and Reserve Bank
    While many households will welcome the low inflation figures announced today, they highlight serious questions for both the National government and the Reserve Bank, Labour’s  Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson said.  "While low inflation will be welcomed by many, the ...
    1 week ago
  • Officials warned Nat’s $1b infrastructure fund ineffective and rushed
    Treasury papers show the Government rushed out an infrastructure announcement officials told them risked making no significant difference to housing supply, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Like so much of National’s housing policy, this was another poll-driven PR initiative ...
    1 week ago
  • More cops needed to tackle P
    New Police statistics obtained in Written Questions show John Key is losing his War on P, highlighting the need for more Police, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “New Zealanders expect serious action on P but today’s hodgepodge of half-measures won’t ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Strengthening our relationship with the Rātana movement
    It was a privilege to visit Rātana Pā last week with fellow Greens’ Co-leader James Shaw, our Māori Caucus and senior staff to meet with the leaders of te iwi mōrehu, to strengthen the ties between the Green Party and ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei
    2 weeks ago
  • MBIE docs show country needs KiwiBuild, not Key’s pretend “building boom”
    John Key’s spin that New Zealand is in a building boom does not change the massive shortfall in building construction as new MBIE papers reveal, says Labour Party housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “We can fix the housing crisis, by the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1 in 7 Akl houses now going to big property speculators
    Speculators are running riot in the Auckland housing market making life tougher for first home buyers, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  Newly released data from Core Logic shows a 40 per cent increase in the share of house sales ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Disconnected thinking dirties the water
    Iain Rabbitts’ belief that drinking water quality, charging for water use and the land use that leads to water quality degradation should be treated separately is part of the problem we have right now in this country. The connection is ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Report back from Hands Off Our Tamariki hui
    This week I attended a hui in Otaki organised by Hands Off Our Tamariki about the proposed reforms to the Child Young Persons and their Families Act. Moana Jackson and Paora Moyle spoke.  They expressed deep, profound concern about the proposed ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour mourns passing of Helen Kelly
    Helen Kelly was a passionate advocate for working New Zealanders and for a safe and decent working life, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says.  “Helen Kelly spent her adult life fighting for the right of every working person to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s visionless immigration policy
    National’s recent immigration announcement is a continuation of the visionless approach to government that it has displayed in the last three terms. Rather than using the levers of government to implement a sustainable immigration policy that benefits new and current ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    2 weeks ago
  • Andrew Little: Speech to the Police Association Conference 2016
    Police Association delegates, Association life members and staff, representatives from overseas jurisdictions. Thank you for inviting me here today. The Police Association has become a strong and respected voice for Police officers and for policing in New Zealand. There is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1,000 more police for safer communities
    Labour will fund an extra 1,000 Police in its first term to tackle the rising rate of crime, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “Labour will put more cops on the beat to keep our communities safe. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Call for all-party round table on homelessness
    Labour is calling on the Government to take part in a roundtable meeting to hammer out a cross-party agreement on ending homelessness.  Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford said the country wanted positive solutions to homelessness, and wanted the political parties ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Seclusion rooms in schools
    Schools are undoubtedly stretched and underfunded to cope with students with high learning support needs. But this cannot justify the use of rooms (or cupboards) as spaces to forcibly isolate children. It has emerged via media that this practice continues ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Public should get a say on new Waikato power station
    I had an opinion piece published in the Waikato Times about a controversial proposal to build a new gas-fired power station. It’s not on their website yet, so here it is: If you think the public would get a say ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • MSD and their investment approach
    The Government talks about investment but there is no investment. It is not investment if it isn’t over the whole of life and if there is no new money  — Shamubeel Eaqub   Investment sounds like adequate resourcing but this ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Certainty needed for community services
    A couple of months ago I was at a seminar where three community organisations were presenting. Two of the three presenters were waiting to find out if their organisation would get a contract renewed with MSD. Not knowing if their ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Domestic Violence – some advice for the media
    For the purpose of this piece, I’m going to use Domestic Violence (DV) as a proxy for intimate partner violence. DV is not isolated to physical abuse in a relationship between people with the same power. DV is a pattern of ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    3 weeks ago
  • Leroy’s New Paw Prints
    Leroy, an Auckland great dane recently received a new 3D printed bionic leg after cancer was discovered. I think this is a fantastic story and highlights the real potential of additive manufacturing, or 3D printing Leroy’s prosthetic was printed in titanium and was ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    3 weeks ago