Before you read this post, please watch at least the first 3 1/2 minutes of this video. It’s James Shaw’s Adjournment speech in parliament yesterday, and he’s funny. Seriously, 3 minutes of jokes, casting shade on Winston, National, Act and even a wee bit on Labour. Much of it understated, some of it groan worthy Statistics dad jokes, but lots of laughs and support from the house. He is also softly self-deprecating about his own party.
Shaw then goes on to thank the Green MPs, including Gareth Hughes as he leaves parliament, the staff, volunteers as well as the parliamentary workers who work longest for least pay. He sincerely honours NZ First and Labour, particularly Peters and Ardern.
The speech is full of points made subtly enough. Here he quietly addresses one of the main (inaccurate) criticisms of the Greens, that they didn’t do enough or should somehow have forced their will on their coalition partners,
It is because of who we are and what we stand for that after just three years in Government, and with only eight MPs, that more people up and down New Zealand can make ends meet, that our economy is greener, and nature is healing.
And in those times when we didn’t get everything we wanted – we didn’t give up.
We didn’t get disillusioned.
We kept working.
Because for thousands of people all across New Zealand, having the Greens in Government shows that we can keep making life better for everyone.
Acknowledgement of not taking their vote for granted,
The only way to make sure the next Government does everything it can, not just to navigate through the present crisis, but to build a better world for future generations… is to make sure the Greens are part of it.
We know we need to get out every vote we can.
Green Party kaupapa on display,
Mr. Speaker, in the three years since the Green Party helped to form this Government, we have never forgotten that with every action we take, future generations are watching us.
For young people don’t look at this place the same way others do.
They don’t see the political point scoring in what we do.
They don’t see the one-liners, or the headline grabbing antics.
Rather, our ideas and our actions are the prism through which they see their future.
And when the polls open in four weeks’ time that is what we are deciding.
Not which individuals will sit in these seats, but who, together, will have the power to shape the type of country our children and grandchildren will grow up in.
The transcript is here.
In case you missed it, here is the list of Green Party achievements in government this term. If you want to slag off the Greens, this might be a better cultural fit.