Many have commented that John Key dodges all the hard questions in favour of scripted photo-ops. But 3 News reminded us that his MPs are just as bad. In fact, although Key’s face is everywhere, the rest of the Nats are working hard at being invisible. Let’s bring a little sunlight into that darkness, and remind ourselves just who we’d be re-electing along with the Dear Leader.
Probably the most famous ex woodwork teacher in Christchurch. Brownlee first attracted political attention when he pushed a protesting pensioner down the stairs at a National Party meeting (see “Gerry Brownlee MP Ordered To Pay $8500 For Assault” – like a true politician Brownlee applied for taxpayer money to cover his bill).
In the current government Brownlee is Leader of the House, in which role he has been a disgrace (or as Herald reporter John Armstrong put it: “Shame on National. That party’s behaviour in Parliament over the past couple of weeks has on occasion veered close to being a disgrace both to itself and the institution”). Right from the start Brownlee started abusing urgency and making a mockery of Parliamentary process. Both failings continued, and became the shameful defining characteristics of his shambolic term as leader.
Brownlee’s greatest policy fiasco was his incompetent handling of the issue of mining in national parks. Without even plausible estimates, Brownlee completely lost the public debate, and provoked the largest single protest in this country since 1938, when 50,000 Kiwis marched in Auckland to tell the Nats to keep their grubby hands off our conservation land. Beware of Gerry – he may not be finished yet with our national parks, and he’s also pushing for undersea mining and crazy offshore oil drilling
Finally of course, Brownlee was appointed Tsar of the country by the Christchurch Earthquake Recovery Act (CERA). He angered Christchurch quake victims by delaying and withholding information, by making and breaking promises, by using CERA to intimidate businesses, by pushing to bulldoze the city’s heritage and with his general arrogance. Heck of a job, Brownlee.