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Rough and tumble

Written By: - Date published: 8:49 pm, June 25th, 2009 - 14 comments
Categories: Parliament - Tags:

I didn’t listen to the House today but Tom Frewen did, and he points out there was:

Squabbling over minister’s answers to opposition questions continues with surprise twist when the Speaker upholds Labour’s complaint that the Finance Minister failed to answer a patsy question from one of his own backbenchers (visit site for the audio)

That’s got to be a bit embarassing surely? My overall impression from the clip is that the rough and tumble of the ‘bear pit’ is getting a bit more active, with Labour pushing back a bit harder. I hope I’m not mistaken – certainly it’s about time.

14 comments on “Rough and tumble ”

  1. I watched most of question time today and it certainly seemed like Labour were putting a bit more pressure on the Speaker to keep the Ministers honest.

    Darren Hughes did a bit of work for the first time in a while, rather than leaving everything to Trevor Mallard.

    • Daveski 1.1

      Isn’t it refreshing to have a Speaker that holds ministers to account.

      • mickysavage 1.1.1

        Lockwood Smith is not bad. And he is doing his best. I rank him far higher now than I did before the election.

        What I would like him to achieve is for Key to be obliged to say why Worth was fired as Minister. If it is because of the complaint by the Korean woman then maybe time should be allowed for the police complaint to be completed. But it should then be announced.

        I want more than “it is in the national interest” to set out if a minister has been involved in corrupt or illegal behaviour.

        Smith is performing well. He is by far the best performing senior National MP. From the front bench English is holding things together and Ryall appears to be creditable.

        But the rest are shytte …

      • felix 1.1.2

        Daveski, I’ve been pretty impressed with Dr The Honourable Lockwood as Speaker overall but I do think the high standards he set out at the beginning of his term have been slipping a bit lately.

        I might be imagining it but it seems to me that he’s falling into a pattern of maintaining high standards of conduct as long as nothing important is happening, but as soon as (e.g.) his boss is threatened, it’s a whole different story.

        The carry-on earlier this week with him actually answering questions for the PM was a disgrace.

        Still, I’ve been generally impressed so far, and I admit I never expected him to be as good as he has. However If he’s going to be selective about how and when he applies his high standards then they’re not worth a lot and frankly I’d prefer he just dropped the whole charade.

  2. sweetd 2

    Trolley, the least experienced minister imo pissed over labour today despite the best endevours of the borish socialist front bench to let her tell labour what you didnt want to hear. Trolley has improved by a great margin.

    • lprent 2.1

      Huh? What were you listening to. I amuse myself listening to the MP3’s on the bus. She has merely progressed from incoherence to incompetence in the house. She now doesn’t try to answer the questions.

  3. National must be thanking their lucky stars there’s a recession going on. They can use it as an excuse for cutting just about anything (remember Paula Bennett using it as an excuse for cutting university assistance for Mums on the DPB?)

    I’ve found Bill English generally quite impressive, although it’s ironic that he goes on and on about how poorly Labour handled the economy when in December what a good job Labour had done. Ryall is also generally doing an OK job, although he has faced some pretty weak opposition from Labour in this respect.

    Tolley & Bennett have surely been the poorest performing Ministers in the house (blaming everything and anything on the recession rather than answering the questions).

    • BLiP 3.1

      remember Paula Bennett using it as an excuse for cutting university assistance for Mums on the DPB?



      And Paula is so concerned about the plight of the nation’s solo mums that she has been organising a John Key National Party Inc – Lady Members’ Night Out at a Wellington shoe shop where staff stay on after hours just for them. Would never happen again, of course. Since Paula dismantled the Training Incentive Allowance solo mums coming behind her will be too busy paying off their student loan to be fussing over designer shoes; the bitch has pulled up the ladder.

      Seems a shame this latest act of John Key National Government Inc misogyny was executed by a woman.

  4. gingercrush 4

    Ooh interesting post. Smith is a good speaker. He makes mistakes and I do wish he’d let opposition members speak during points of order. But otherwise he’s been good as speaker. Speakers are always going to side with the government on most things. That isn’t being bias as such. Just that there are so many standing orders that it’s very difficult for a Minister to answer how the opposition would like them to. In that respect Smith does vastly better than either Wilson or Hunt.

    Whilst, the opposition may often disagree with the Speaker. It is certainly true that Ministers are required to answer questions better than what they previously have been required to. Indeed, Labour should be glad that get a Speaker like Smith and not a National clone of Wilson or Hunt. If that was the case they’d be in real trouble. I also think Smith being in the chair actually works to get opposition members to ask better questions.

    Hughes needs to step up more and he did that today. What Hughes or Labour can’t allow is for Mallard to keep standing up. I actually think that hurts Labour and Mallard’s constant questioning and criticisms of the speaker are in my opinion unbecoming. If Labour is going to allow Mallard to play the rottweiler role. Then at times they have to expect that to misfire. They need to restrain him more.

    While I would agree that Tolley and Bennett are weaker ministers. They are stepping to the plate more and more and are certainly improving. English, Power and Ryall are doing very well. Key is doing well, I know many here will disagree but he is doing well. Collins does okay, it certainly helps that in many respects there isn’t a big difference between herself and Cosgrove.

    Annette King was missing in action this week and to be honest. When she is asking questions, they’re not exactly working. I’m rather surprise because when she was a Minister she made mince-meat of her opponents. She just doesn’t seem to working in her opposition role. Perhaps, she should move to a different portfolio. Labour were right to move Chris Carter on from Education. He wasn’t particularly good as a Minister and he was going no where as the Minister of Education. He really shouldn’t be on the front bench. Shane Jones is terrible in opposition. Whatever, talent this guy is suppose to have has disappeared with him sitting on the opposition benches. Cunliffe, Parker and Dyson impress me greatly. I think Parker deserves to be sitting on the front bench. Street is doing rather well as well. If Goff could just be more succint (sp) in his questions, he’d be doing better himself.

    The real problem Labour has is that the people who are asking questions aren’t necessary the best people for the role. Hodgson, Carter, Jones, King, Horomia, Dalziel and others need to be moving on. A number of the 2008 intake need to be taking on larger roles in the house. Hence, I believe Robertson, Twyford, Hipkins and Davis should be pushed up. With perhaps Burns, Arden/Ardern and Beaumont pushed up as well. Shearer I suspect will play a larger role as well. Give him the Foreign Affairs portfolio, Carter is wasted on it. Labour’s talent lies in their 2008 intake. Besides the names mentioned there are several others that could play real roles in Labour in the future.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 4.1

      Do you take your lunch break from 2 to 4 every day, you seem to have a lot of knowledge of question time?
      From what I have seen, though, I would have to agree with a lot of what you say- though personally I feel Nick Smith has been the most compentant minister of a pretty moderate bunch. Key may be good one on one but he needs to improve his public speaking.
      What this year has shown is how weak Labour’s frontbench was last term, the don’t ahve any fire in their bellies and their arguments predictable. The old faces are getting badly shown up by the younger members of their own party as well as the Green MPs.

  5. BLiP 5

    Some great stuff in there – best line of the day, Cunliffe (I think) who described the John Key National Govermnent Inc’s answers to questions as ” . . some strange recounting of history .. “.

    I can’t understand the Education Minister’s strident enthusiasm for sign language, I would have thought that the Government was more in need of Braille.

    Rock on Lockwood. I reckon he’s doing okay – certainly better than the last few. I just wish Lockwood would fully subsume the role of Speaker and claim back the power of the position. At the moment he’s seems stuck in a quiz-show format where he is always right. I reckon he needs to actually mature as a human being and become the Speaker of the People of Aotearoa.

  6. bobo 6

    Moana Mackey has impressed me from what Ive seen of her in the house she sticks to the point of her questions which I think Labour should do more of, Cunliffe also is looking confident and knows his stuff , I think Labour is regenerating itself well for the future, not all is lost 🙂

    on the flip side

    Not a big fan of Shane Jones reminds me a bit of John Tamahere’s ego.
    Horomia hardly seen him ask any questions.
    Phil Goff – I dunno just seems to be upstaged a bit by Cunliffe so far..

  7. Craig Glen Eden 7

    Gc made a few good points I thought, though have to disagree on Key. He has not performed well at all. I have seen many middle management public servants do better. His media handling is getting worse and he has pissed off the major political journalists, watch his press meeting Monday 15 what a mess. Bennett is very arrogant, which she can not afford to be. She is thick not well qualified and has no experience of any substance. This is a bad combination. Cullen could be arrogant but he new his stuff and was very quick with a retort, Muldoon was the same, love both or hate them they got away with it because of intellect/ humour and the ability to absorb information.
    Bennett will never be able to do this. Contrast Bennett with Power,Power is not incredibly smart but he knows his limitations so is amenable and is thorough enough that he does not draw attention to his weaknesses and he has learnt the rules needed to survive. So I have to give him credit for that and think he will be a safe pair of hands and that in itself in politics is a good achievement.

    Tolley is a mare and she will crash and burn, she has no respect from the professions in education and has allowed vital money to be taken out of essential areas. Bennett Tolley and Key are all vulnerable. Ryall knows nothing about Health but has been around long enough and wont do anything of substance to make himself a human target.
    Hodgson, Cunliffe and Hughes need to lead the charge on Key, he is vulnerable to good thought out questions as he cant do a poker face.

  8. Pat 8

    No Questions on the list today over Worth. Look’s like Labour have finally given up.

    I’d like to give Tolley a rap. I think she has been performing very well of late at Question Time.

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