Should MPs also be subject to sanctions when they don’t do their job?

Written By: - Date published: 11:55 am, May 8th, 2018 - 59 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, accountability, benefits, Gerry Brownlee, national, Politics, same old national, trevor mallard, welfare - Tags:

National is a great believer that if you are paid to do a job you should do the job. And that people reliant on the public purse should turn up to state required meetings. Otherwise they should lose their entitlements.

Louise Upston sums up National’s approach to beneficiary obligations well:

“New Zealanders are a fair minded people who want to help those who fall on hard times. But they also believe that people should help themselves and when they can work they should.

“Anyone who needs access to welfare can get it. It’s only right that they in return they meet obligations including looking for work, turning up to appointments, staying drug free and being honest about their living arrangements.

“It’s the clear expectation of tax payers that if beneficiaries are not doing that, then there should be sanctions.

“This is not ‘beneficiary bashing’. This is simply us wanting to make sure that every New Zealander is achieving their potential and that’s done by getting out of dependency.”

But this does not apply to everyone. Solo mums and people on the dole yes, members of Parliament no.

At least this is the only interpretation available from recent behaviour from National in Parliament.

From Isaac Davidson at the Herald:

National Party MPs have skipped a meeting of the Business Committee in an apparent protest at Speaker Trevor Mallard’s handling of Question Time.

National’s members of the committee did not turn up to a meeting last Tuesday. Only Anne Tolley attended, though she was there in her capacity as Deputy Speaker.

The committee is in charge of when Parliament sits and what is debated, including what laws come before the House.

Shadow Leader of the House Gerry Brownlee, who is on the committee, said it was not compulsory to attend and his MPs had only missed one meeting.

He rejected the suggestion that National MPs were staging a boycott, and said they would “probably” attend tomorrow’s meeting.

But it is understood that his party is upset about Mallard’s handling of Parliamentary Question Time and his treatment of MPs on the National side.

A source said Mallard, who must be a neutral referee, had been condescending and disparaging towards National’s senior MPs.

I think that Mallard has actually tried to be really fair. He has deducted questions from National but he has also deducted a number of questions from Labour. He reminds me of Lockwood Smith rather than David Carter.

But National’s response feels like born to rule anger they are not still in power stuff.  And the one word that springs to mind over their complaint is “diddums”.

And not turning up to a Parliamentary committee meeting through spite?

The procedural stupidity is stunning.  National needs to get its new MP onto select committees, particularly Health where there is now a vacancy.  And there was a proposal to allow allow provincial MPs to leave earlier on Thursday in order to make flights home which cannot be advanced.  Failing to turn up to the meeting only delays matters.

 

Maybe their entitlements to state support should be reconsidered. After all it is the clear expectation of taxpayers that MPs as well as beneficiaries should meet their expections. And if they don’t then why shouldn’t there be sanctions.

59 comments on “Should MPs also be subject to sanctions when they don’t do their job? ”

  1. Ed 1

    Yes.
    Cut their pay.

  2. Gosman 2

    National feels like they aren’t getting a fair deal from Mallard. I would think it is beholden on Mallard to sort this out as he wouldn’t want to be seen to be partisan.

    • Pat 2.1

      oh i dont know….never appeared to bother Carter

    • Akldnut 2.2

      You’re type some real shit sometime’s Gossy, with your partisan veiws we’re lucky you’re not the speaker

      • Gosman 2.2.1

        Exactly. You don’t want a partisan speaker. Mallard should be concerned if the opposition perceive him in that way.

        • Barfly 2.2.1.1

          Maybe they need new prescriptions for their monocles

        • alwyn 2.2.1.2

          You must be fair though.
          Mallard has a much tougher job than Carter.
          Look at the enormous range of completely incompetent Ministers he has to protect from having to answer questions. Trevor will be gone if he doesn’t hide them from being pilloried by the sensible questions they are quite incapable of answering
          Whoever described the collection of idiots as being in Witless Protection had it spot on.
          Has anyone seen Curran or Davis lately?

          • In Vino 2.2.1.2.1

            Ha ha ha ha. No incompetent National muppets’ backsides covered by cack-handed Carter?
            You’re a laugh, alwyn.

            • alwyn 2.2.1.2.1.1

              A few were for a little while.
              At least when Key was PM they tended to be moved on before they could do that much damage. English was a bit more forgiving.
              With the current lot it is about half the Ministerial pool. Are you really impressed with them?

    • Banjo 2.3

      Lots of workers feel like they’re not getting a fair deal. No-one else has the luxury of withholding their Labour without notice like these National MPs have done.

      • Gosman 2.3.1

        It is the benefit of being an MP. If you don’t like what they do get rid of them by not voting for either them or their political party.

        • Banjo 2.3.1.1

          Thats not the benefit of being an MP thats entitlement in action. I already understand how voting works but thanks anyway.

    • Grantoc 2.4

      Maybe Mallard should also have his pay cut; in his case for incompetent performance as speaker.

      A critical element of his job is to be neutral – his neutrality has been absent recently (although today in the house he was a lot more sympathetic to National MPs during question time and noticeably harder on Labour).

      BTW – incompetent performance is much more serious than not turning up to a meeting.

      • dukeofurl 2.4.1

        “Carter admits being an unbiased Speaker ‘a big ask”

        That was when he was appointed out of the blue by Key, who broke with convention by not ‘consulting’ the opposition.

        • tracey 2.4.1.1

          Not for Lockwood Smith. But then the Nats had to move him to London to ensure a 3rd term.

        • alwyn 2.4.1.2

          You have any evidence for that claim?
          Or is it just another fairy story?

  3. Dazzer 3

    Got me there. I thought you were talking out Mallard. Yes, he should be docked his pay for not doing his job.

  4. Wayne 4

    Parliamentary Question Time is the principal place where the opposition holds the government to account. While I appreciate the questions are allocated according to the size of the party, and thus it appears that this is not about holding the government to account, that ignores the real and substantive purpose of Question Time. Which is the opposition testing government ministers and holding them to account.

    So Question Time matters a lot to oppositions. It is their major opportunity to show their mettle. Thus any perceived unfairness has more bite in Question Time than at any other time during House proceedings. Oppositions losing questions is vastly more significant than governments losing questions (which are patsies anyway).

    The Speaker will be concerned if he gets seriously offside with the opposition. And the opposition is clearly signalling that.

    I imagine the Speaker will be thinking twice about the wisdom of docking the oppositions questions, at least at the rate he does. The threshold to do so, from what I have seen of the current question time, ought to be higher than it currently is. Previously it was a pretty rare thing to lose a question, now it is a regular occurrence mostly due to how the Speaker runs Question time.

    • Anne 4.1

      Perhaps if your side of the house stopped being so vindictive and petty minded then maybe they wouldn’t lose so many supplementary questions.

      I don’t get to watch all that much of QT, but what I have seen suggests its about ‘even steven’ with perhaps a handful of extra penalties over time for National because of their attitude. It’s time your lot stopped seething with revenge because they lost the Treasury Benches which they imagine is theirs’ by rights.

      They are behaving like an entitled bunch of spoiled brats.

      • veutoviper 4.1.1

        Hate to say it, but today Mallard was handing out the supplementaries to National like a lolly scramble – and coming down on Labour Ministers like a tonne of bricks. He even called Nash a child twice, and later apologised for doing so.

        • alwyn 4.1.1.1

          Has he realised he has been going to far then?
          About time. I had high hopes that Trevor had matured a bit in his dotage, ie when he first became Speaker. Then he reverted to form though he had the sense not to get back into attacking MPs from the opposite party in the House and ending up in Court having to plead guilty to fighting in a public place and having to donate to a most appropriate charity. That was the Salvation Army Drug and Alcohol Program.
          Perhaps he can finally do something useful for New Zealand. God knows though. He has already spent more that 30 useless years in Parliament.

        • Chris 4.1.1.2

          Mallard’s always been in the wrong party, anyway.

    • veutoviper 4.2

      Wayne, I agree that:

      “While I appreciate the questions are allocated according to the size of the party, and thus it appears that this is not about holding the government to account, that ignores the real and substantive purpose of Question Time. Which is the opposition testing government ministers and holding them to account.

      So Question Time matters a lot to oppositions. It is their major opportunity to show their mettle. “

      The Opposition is currently made up of the National Party and ACT. Because it is a one man/person band, ACT gets very few questions. In the current term to date, a total of only six questions to be precise of a total of 516 questions (including today’s 12 questions).

      Under the current Oral Question Roster, today is Day 43, so ACT is scheduled to ask Question 5 (and NZF Question 10*).

      Oral Question Roster – https://www.parliament.nz/resource/en-NZ/52SCBUDeterminations201711081/8711510daa40c86a56295e2b6e5cbece93abf7da

      Today’s Oral Questions – https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/order-paper-questions/list-of-oral-questions/oral-questions-8-may-2018/

      BUT no Seymour question at Q5. Instead Judith Collins is using the Q5 slot to ask what is becoming something of a perennial – and as such hardly a bombshell imo:

      “Hon JUDITH COLLINS to the Minister of Housing and Urban Development: How many houses will be built under the KiwiBuild programme?”

      So why is Seymour not using one of his very rare opportunities to hold the government to account?

      I do hope Seymour is not too busy practicing for ‘Dancing With the Stars’ to take his place in the House for Question Time today – but if he is (practicing his dancing instead of being in the House to hold the government to account) then why should he not be subject to some form of sanction for not doing his paid job?

      (* Darroch Ball used the NZF Q10 slot to ask questions of his fellow NZF Member Ron Mark as Minister for Veterans – not as patsy questions but very somber questions about the repatriation of bodies of NZ service personnel who died overseas.)

      • dukeofurl 4.2.1

        Will twinkle toes Seymour even be in Wellington for the house sitting this week ?

    • Barfly 4.3

      Good grief Wayne considering Carter’s behavior you are truly “jumping the shark”.

  5. Greg 5

    Speaker mallard is doing a wonderful job national just can’t cope with the loss of power well tuff

  6. Michelle 6

    What a bunch of cry babies the nats are they need to do there f..n job they are getting well paid for it. They also need to walk their talk. Why do people think this country is in such a mess who left that mess and someone else is cleaning up their shit and some stupid NZders expect the nats shit to be fixed in 6 months wise up you bunch of ders. Just like all our cow shit it will takes years to fix the mess not months.

    • Gosman 6.1

      Nice party political broadcast for the Labour party there…

    • greg 6.2

      those nacts looted lied and used oppression for 9 years it will take a decade to undo the damage i totally support speaker mallard to torture those filthy nacts

  7. Cinny 7

    Have been very impressed with Mallard in his role of Speaker, he doesn’t let anyone talk shite, unlike Carter who appear to have selective hearing often. Mallard holds the nat’s to account, and all the other parties and after carter ruling the roost for so long, it’s no wonder the nat’s are struggling with their egos.

    As for the nat’s doing a no-show for meetings, yes dock their pay, if anyone else didn’t show up for work they would be held accountable, MPs should be no different.

    If the nat’s really want to protest they should join a union.

  8. Puckish Rogue 8

    Ok so taking this post seriously i’d have to say a firm…maybe but only if its applied equally in other areas.

    • Barfly 8.1

      Are you willing to offer an honest assessment of Carter’s work as “speaker” ? Please

      • Puckish Rogue 8.1.1

        David Carter was as bad as, if not worse, than Margret Wilson.

        • alwyn 8.1.1.1

          God. I can only suggest the your memory is failing.
          Carter may not have been very good but nobody compares with the Banshee from Hamilton, Wilson.
          She was the by far the worst in my lifetime and that goes back to the later years of the First Labour Government.

          • In Vino 8.1.1.1.1

            Your senility explains your constant misjudgements. She was far from being the worst.

            • alwyn 8.1.1.1.1.1

              I may not be suffering from senility as you so stupidly suggest.
              There is one thing where my memory cannot provide me with an answer though. I am completely unable to think of a single sensible thing you have ever said on this blog.
              That isn’t a memory problem of course. A sensible comment from you doesn’t exist.

          • Stuart Munro 8.1.1.1.2

            Carter was much worse. He was so bad it was like not having a parliament at all. Under Carter Gerry could do wtf he liked – and that turned out to be helping insurers bilk their NZ customers – none of which was reviewed by parliament because useless dickhead Carter protected him.

            Same goes for Coleman – health is a fucking disaster area, but the asshole responsible slithered off with barely a harsh word addressed to him.

            Cunts like Carter make the very idea of parliament and ministerial responsibility a joke. And by doing so they require rational citizens to seek redress by other means.

            • Puckish Rogue 8.1.1.1.2.1

              Instead of arguing who is worst shouldn’t we arguing why current Speakers arn’t up to the standard of Lockwood Smith (or any other Speaker that was as good)

              • roy cartland

                Lockwood was surprisingly good, really apparent next to the trainwreck that was Carter. Mallard is way better than I expected, but he still needs to settle into a little bit more decorum than he has – last night he called someone a spoilt child. The casualness he’s introduced works in some areas (such as nodding for further supplementaries, not being too stiff with rulings and replies to members when it’s not necessary and keeping the air somewhat jocular); and not on those such as when he almost lapses into his former, idiotic braying self.

                Though it is apparent that the NATs are not used to getting away with the crap that Carter put up with from them, and they can’t stand it (hence Brownlee getting up to question every other ruling).

              • alwyn

                It isn’t nearly as much fun for most of the commenters here. I’m sure they would be very hard pressed to name more than one of the Speakers before Wilson. I certainly had to think quite hard even to name them when I got back into the 1970s. I simply couldn’t remember the Speaker in the Kirk/Rowling years from memory at all and had to look it up.

                • Puckish Rogue

                  Me neither but i thought I should add it in case there was someone the old timers around here might remember

  9. patricia bremner 9

    Gerry is too used to taking away legal rights… Christchurch

    Ignoring rules when they don’t suit him,….. airports

    Thinking he is still in charge, but he’s …….. opposition.

  10. greywarshark 10

    Yes dock their pay. Put them on notice from the ordinary people they have carried out a crusade against. Beneficiaries can have their living withheld at the malicious lie of an informer. Politicians who won’t follow the laws and conventions of the polity can definitely be sanctioned, this is another step in their hostile takeover started in the 1980’s. It is part of a revolution, but not as we have known it.

  11. Gabby 11

    Mallard doesn’t seem to appreciate Jeery Browneye telling him how to do his job. Hard to believe, I know.

  12. Ken 12

    If National wants to cut off it’s nose to spite it’s face, that’s fine by me.

  13. Stuart Munro 13

    “Should MPs also be subject to sanctions when they don’t do their job?”

    Gerry never has. Neither have most of his colleagues.

    Not turning up for a parliamentary process committee is small potatoes after a career of non-performance. But sure – hang the useless fuckers out to dry.

  14. Tuppence Shrewsbury 14

    Taking away a civil servants right to protest Mickey?

  15. mac1 15

    National want new friends to play with!

    http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2018/05/act-s-future-looks-shaky-as-simon-bridges-noncommittal-about-epsom-deal.html

    $4,500,000 didn’t buy enough votes for National in 2017 so have they finally wised up to the fact that they need friends, not dancing clowns and batty Conservatives.

    With the way they’re going, National are entering into the ‘angry’ stage of grief. Grumpy with the Speaker, grumpy with ACT, grumpy internally.

  16. Jackel 16

    Like a lot of things we get paid for politics isn’t work. When was the last time one of them broke into a sweat, despite all their lies.

    • Cold Hard Truth 16.1

      Its only when politicians get caught in a lie that you actually get to see them sweat! That said I suspect some of them don’t have sweat glands or had them removed before they took the “job”…..

  17. Cold Hard Truth 17

    I’d guess few of them would last more than a day if that standard was applied? Maybe its worth considering…..?

  18. Jenny 18

    “Should MPs also be subject to sanctions when they don’t do their job?”
    MICKYSAVAGE

    I think that this MP certainly merits it

    “…..we certainly haven’t done any work,”

    (and seemingly, proud of it)

    Laziness?

  19. R.P Mcmurphy 19

    I must say I have never seen trevs hand signals.

  20. R.P Mcmurphy 20

    one of th e reasons british monarchical democracy is so important is the unwritten laws and the one we should cherish is that an mp is there to represent the interests of his/her constituents and shall be judged by them.
    if this principle is lost then it will be a job.

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