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Rich resignation a huge blow for the Nats

Written By: - Date published: 10:25 am, February 13th, 2008 - 37 comments
Categories: national - Tags:

richout.jpgThe Press reports that “Senior National front-bencher Katherine Rich has resigned her education portfolio and will quit politics altogether at the election…”

Rich ran the “compassionate conservative” line hard during her time in parliament. She was the more acceptable face of the the Nats on social issues and the only Nat MP to support the repeal of s59 right through until Key’s final deal. The Press also notes that it was Rich who convinced the party to drop bulk-funding of teacher salaries. Presumably that’ll be back on the agenda now that Peachey is the deputy education health spokesperson. Back in November we reported from the Nelson Mail:

National MP and former principal Allan Peachey has broken ranks with front-bench colleague Katherine Rich over education policy, arguing in favour of the bulk-funding of teacher salaries The Tamaki MP and associate education spokesman publicly endorsed the controversial model of funding schools. This directly contradicted Ms Rich, who is the party’s education spokeswoman.

I can’t help but think that alongside the “family issues” Rich cites as her reason for leaving that she may have felt that some of the battles she was going to have to fight inside the National caucus were unwinnable for her.

English won’t be happy. His camp has lost a huge asset.

37 comments on “Rich resignation a huge blow for the Nats”

  1. Ex Labour Voter 1

    Shame to see her go. There are probably a few others who should have gone first. There’s a big contrast between the renewal in the National Party and the chronic time-servers in Labour.

  2. Matthew Pilott 2

    Yeah ELV – the Nats front bench is the paragon of youth and vitality 😉 classic!

  3. Tane 3

    ELV: http://www.thestandard.org.nz/?p=600

    (And bro, the “I used to vote Labour but never again” line is getting a bit tired.)

  4. Ex Labour Voter 4

    Own goal there, Matthew. David Cunliffe is the only Labour front-bencher younger than 52. Only one National front-bencher is older than 52. The average age of National’s front bench is some eleven years younger than Labour’s front bench.

    Do Helen Clark, Michael Cullen, Annette King, Phil Goff, Pete Hodgson, Parekura Horomia, and Chris Carter all spell youth and vitality for you?

  5. mike 5

    Helen did make an effort to shizz herself up a bit yesterday though.
    It mis-fired and she looked like she just fell down the night club stairs.

  6. Matthew Pilott 6

    ELV – you said chronic time servers, I’m still having a bit of a laugh! For starters:

    Power: 9 years
    Brownlee: 12 years
    Smith: 18 years
    Ryall: 18 years
    McCully: 21 Years

    There are indeed a few ‘chronic time servers,’ as you put it, in Labour but by no means does that make them unique… I’d be more interested in the vitality of their policies btw, thus far we’ve had… boot camps. Keep it up, you young nats 🙂

  7. I’m afraid that while she may be a soft Nat it won’t be a complete loss, The Rich of this world have difficulty understadning the issues that poor people face, most Nats have no idea what it is like for people on the bottom of the heap thus their paternalising social policy.
    In last weeks “The Star’ (Dunedin) Katherine Rich writes how Kiwis are feeling the pinch due to recent inflation pressures. Naturally this is all the fault of Labour’s policies and in particular Dr Cullen’s over taxation and poor fiscal management.

    I don’t count myself as at the bottom of the heap poor but I am on a relatively low income with 3 kids and the working for families tax relief tops up my take home pay by nearly 50%.
    That’s huge compared to what any Nat tax cut would offer and amkes a rel differnce to my family’s prospects.

    Read more http://faithfulleft.blogspot.com/2008/02/rich-and-poor.html

  8. The Double Standard 8

    Geez Matthew, time for a reality check

    Helen Clark – 27 years
    Michael Cullen – 27 years
    Jim Anderton – 24 years
    Phil Goff – 27 years
    Annette King – 24 years
    Pete Hodgson – 18 years
    Parekura Horomia – 9 years
    Chris Carter – 12 years

  9. Steve Pierson 9

    I don’t see why the length of time people have spent in Parliament is a bad thing. But that was ELV’s argument, that Labour’s frontbench is old and National’s new, Matthew pointed out that the National front bench isn’t really so fresh afterall.

  10. gobsmacked 10

    DPF provides a useful update of candidates chosen by the two main parties:

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2008_election_candidates

    It’ll be interesting to see if the final National list offers the diversity that John Key has called for. Not much sign of it so far.

  11. alvera 11

    For me the focus with the news of Rich’s resignation should be how the National Party has completely inadequate female representation, rather than the respective ages of the front benchers. The Nats will lose credibility with female voters now, that’s for sure.

  12. RANDAL 12

    9 years in opposition and staring down the barrel of another three would make any rat abandon ship

  13. The Double Standard 13

    Randy – so how would that explain the mass exodus from Teh Party’s ranks this year

  14. Ex Labour Voter 14

    Yes, that’s right, Randal. Katherine Rich definitely resigned because she is definitely fearful that with National only 17 points ahead of Labour in the polls, she had to jump ship. Brilliant analysis from you.

    Alvera, how much do you think Judith Tizard, Anne Hartley, Jill Pettis, Lynne Pillay, Darien Fenton, Lesley Soper, and Diane Yates represent ordinary New Zealand women? How much do you think Labour has a credibility problem when it promotes women whose only qualification is that they don’t have a penis?

  15. Hey TDS – I see you’re getting back into posting that research. Good stuff. How about you post the google search you used to get at that info?

    Or did it come off the key “facts” and “talking points” spin sheet the nats put together when they decided to run with the “tired corrupt government” line (yes bro, I’ve seen it – I see a lot of things…)

  16. The Double Standard 17

    Ahh Mr Porton, sad to see that you haven’t stopped your lies yet. I thought you might have calmed down after the holidays.

    I’m sure that you see a lot of things, but please try to keep you hallucinations to yourself in the future.

    If you bothered to read Tane’s link you would see that I looked that stuff up months ago.

  17. TomS 18

    GASP! National will replace a woman with a… Angry, mono-cultural white middle aged male.

    What a surprise.

  18. mike 19

    “GASP! National will replace a woman with a Angry, mono-cultural white middle aged male.”
    Anne Tolley might disagree. Shame when the facts spoil a good story..

  19. all_your_base 20

    I reckon the big questions are “why?” and “why now?”.

    I wonder what went on at the Nats’ retreat that prompted Rich’s decision…

    And re the timing, why announce this the day after Key’s big opening address?

  20. all_your_base 21

    Well mike, given Anne Tolley’s lack of education experience it’d be hard not to think that it’ll actually be Peachey running the show behind the scenes in the education portfolio.

    If I were him I might even be a little bitter.

  21. Steve Pierson 22

    Good questions A_Y_B, it makes her leaving the dominant story on National.

  22. Ex Labour Voter 23

    It’s obviously very difficult for an anti-Family party to understand that some people do consider that there’s a life out of politics. Katherine Rich didn’t want to be a Minister and miss her two young children growing up.

    It isn’t surprising that Labour Party stooges can’t contemplate that anybody would place their family lives ahead of their political careers.

  23. The Double Standard 24

    Well, Key’s address is yesterday’s news for all but the bloggers and newspaper columnists really.

    And what would be a better time – once the decision is made best get it out there I would think. Tomorrow this will be yesterday’s news for all but the bloggers and newspaper columnists really.

    Hey, at least Rich has made a decision on her own behalf, and not been dumped in a humiliating electorate nomination contest.

  24. all_your_base 25

    ELV/TDS – yeah, that’s the spin exactly, but I wonder what the truth is…

  25. Pablo 26

    Thanks ELV you have just put your finger on why Rich is resigning:

    She understands MMP better than the National leadership do and better than most right-wing trolls apparently. A lead in the polls is not an indicator of willingness or ability to form governing majorities after an election.

    Secondly, she realises that National’s key demographic don’t want a bar of bullshit “Compassionate Conservatism’. Key panders to this compassionate conservatism cos he thinks it makes him more electable amongst true conservatives, the ones who don’t subscribe to hard right economic policies. Right-wingers realise Act is dead in the water and want National to be more hard-line, this does not sit well with voters who want a conservative government. Like Bush, National in government will ditch compassionate conservatism like a hot potato to keep its BRT backers happy.

    Compassionate conservatism is a phrase as risible as Tony Blair’s “Third Way’ vacuity that means nothing but saying whatever you think will get you votes.

  26. The Double Standard 27

    Pablo

    You must know Katherine personally then, like Steve does apparently?

    Its funny that Teh Party supports can’t imagine that Rich might be actually telling the truth with her reasons. I suppose they judge her by Teh Party’s standards where diverting and dissembling is standard behaviour. You don’t need to look much further than DBP, TPF, etc.

    Remember this

    Commerce and Immigration Minister Lianne Dalziel has resigned from Cabinet after admitting she had mislead the media and others over who leaked a confidential lawyer’s report to TV3.

  27. Hey TDS – the sheets came out months ago. You seem a little on edge, bro. Worried they’ll put you back on coffee and archive duties?

  28. The Double Standard 29

    Sheets?

    What are you on about Michael?

    Maybe a should leave a comment on your wee blog so you can check out and publish my IP address too?

  29. losing Rich is a serious blow to National’s attempts to appear moderate and mainstream.

  30. Pablo 31

    Double, read previous comment from ELV:

    Yes, that’s right, Randal. Katherine Rich definitely resigned because she is definitely fearful that with National only 17 points ahead of Labour in the polls, she had to jump ship. Brilliant analysis from you.”

    Clearly I am responding to that. The second para is in response to this from A_Y_B:

    “I can’t help but think that alongside the “family issues’ Rich cites as her reason for leaving that she may have felt that some of the battles she was going to have to fight inside the National caucus were unwinnable for her.”

    Try reading things in context and your comprehension will improve markedly.

  31. The Double Standard 32

    Pablo

    Wow, context, like there wasn’t in you original post?

    I’m just impressed that Rich has chosen you to be her spin doctor on Teh Standard. Imagine her being so thoughtful to have someone come here and explain her true motives to the clamouring hordes.

  32. Don’t worry TDS – I already assume you either use an IP mask or redirect from a third server. I reckon it’d be a waste of my time trying to trace you, eh bro?

  33. The Double Standard 34

    Michael – once again you judge others by your low standards. Really, who has time to bother with all that devious behaviour. It seems you are familiar with them though for some reason. Have you got a new login at KB yet?

    I wonder why lprent doesn’t ping you for spamming. Thats 3 comments from you on this post, but no mention of the actual topic, just your rather dull assertions about me. You really are getting predictable. I’m making no more responses to you today after taking on board that old maxim “eure Perlen sollt ihr nicht vor die Schweine werfen” (or something like that)

    [lprent: that is a moderators job – not mine. But I have been known to remind ‘sod of boundaries a few times]

  34. AncientGeek 35

    It is always a pity to lose centrists from politics, even more so when they are from an underrepresented majority. It is a bit of a tragedy. Hopefully she will at least partially continue in public life.

    I see that the children have been playing here today as well. Such a wonderful playground atmosphere of people screaming nah-nah.

    And of course we have TDS laying his tracks in last with yet again no real content.

    Best comment – from Michah68.

    I don’t count myself as at the bottom of the heap poor but I am on a relatively low income with 3 kids and the working for families tax relief tops up my take home pay by nearly 50%.

    Which is exactly what WFF was designed for. It makes it feasible for people on lower incomes to have a family. Thats what it did for my brother’s family. The choice would have been pretty stark otherwise. Try and raise a couple of kids in poverty, or not have kids at all.

  35. Hey TDS – you’ve gotta do better than that bro, how about you post at my blog and I see if you’re using a proxy or not? Nah, you so are. Oh and I so do post at Kiwiblog – over there they call me redbaiter.

  36. Srthur James 37

    Should we now focus on the prospect of Anne Tolley as Minister of Education. Her sudden switch to head the huge Education portfolio looks like a slap in the face for Pansy Wong. Is promotion of Allan Peachey just a sop for him? From what you have said about Peachey and Rich, will Tolley be able to handle the same problems on an ongoing basis?

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