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The praiseworthy and the pitiful

Written By: - Date published: 12:33 pm, February 13th, 2009 - 14 comments
Categories: the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags:

Lockwood Smith managing of Question Time. B. Lockwood has made a commendable effort to get ministers to answer questions and cut down on some of the other bollocks that ruins Question Time. National MPs clearly expect that after years of complaining of ministers skirting questions it’s now their turn to do it, and Lockwood has had the courage to attempt to raise the standards even at the cost to his own party. So far, he hasn’t really succeeded in getting ministers to provide straight forward answers (Collins and Wilkinson are particularly bad) but the intent is there, I wonder if it will wear off in time. He is assisted by not having constant screaming from the opposition benches to deal with as Wilson did (indeed he has had to ask National MPs to stop yelling over the top of their own speakers several times). Points deducted for the change to the speaker’s procession,which is clearly a case of the egomaniac in the man shining through.

Gerry Brownlee trying to claim credit for Transpower ‘upgrading’ it’s transmission network as part of the Government’s reaction to the recession. C The Government does not direct Transpower how to spend its money and the head of Transpower has said the money is to be spent on crucial repairs, not ‘upgrades. Points for good politics though, in the sense that good politics is getting your bollocks repeated by unquestioning journos.

Labour for good criticisms of National’s response to the recession but letting their lines appear contradictory C Commentators are saying ‘Labour is trying to have it both ways: both claiming credit for National’s programmes and saying they’re not big enough’. Labour needs to make things crystal clear – yes, it’s good National is seeing the light and adopting Labour’s ideas but the economic situation has deteriorated since those ideas were proposed – they are now necessary but insufficient and more is needed.

Every journo who has uncritically accepted the ‘rolling maul’ or ‘drip-feed response’ line on the Government’s actions regarding the recession. D- No other country is doing ‘rolling mauls’ or whatever, they’re doing what they can as soon as they can because that’s the logical response, there’s no logic in waiting until things are worse – when things are worse the responses won’t be more powerful and they may be too late. National’s ‘rolling maul’ is just an excuse for not knowing what the hell to do. Didn’t mark too hard because one can’t expect journos to question underlying assumptions or understand economics too much, or even listen to what their own outlets’ business commentators are saying.

Pita Sharples for sitting there like a sucker while Kate Wilkinson revealed in Question Time that she had not bothered to respond to his submission as Minister of Maori Affairs on the minimum wage, despite the consultation provisions of their parties’ confidence and supply agreement. F Can you feel your mana being enhanced Pita?

14 comments on “The praiseworthy and the pitiful ”

  1. BLiP 1

    Goober John Key doesn’t know what he’s doing. The chances are Bill English is just leaving him out there swinging in the breeze, his credibility evaporating bit by bit while the dole queue lengthens. And as for the media – the fucking media – oh, don’t get me started

  2. lukas 2

    SP, I believe it was Labour that got asked to be quite when Clare Curran was asking a question, her own party were shouting at her after making two rather daft mistakes around tabling press releases… was excusable the first time but then to attempt to table another one straight afterward was just laughable!

  3. Rex Widerstrom 3

    I’d always written Lockwood off as an egomaniacal goose, and he did nothing during the election campaign to alter that opinion.

    But, over an admittedly short period, he’s acquitted himself astoundingly well as Speaker. If he keeps it up he could become the best in recent memory (and alas that’s all most of us have to go on, as the the performance of Speakers, vital though it is, is not something that is subject to the same debate and study as that of even a relatively unimportant Minister).

    He can be carried ino the Chamber on one of those seats-with-handles thingos*, preceded by heralds and maidens sprinkling bloody rose petals for all I care, provided he keeps trying to hold the bastards accountable.

    * it appears prolonged heat exposure really does shrivel the brain – I can feel my vocabularly melting and trickling out my ears.

  4. Ari 4

    Yeah, Lockwood as speaker is probably one of the best things John Key has done, strangely enough.

  5. ak 5

    (* sedan chair, I believe Rex, as also found in a Holden Lockwood…payback time for “no minister” Locky I feel – a few little splits and cracks already appearing in the shiny hull of HMS Labourlite, doesn’t augur well for the storm ahead…)

  6. BeShakey 6

    Agree regarding Lockwood having done well so far. I was impressed that, unlike Wilson, when he did something that was clearly a mistake he was willing to admit it and change the decision. It appears that he is starting to get the respect of the house.

    “SP, I believe it was Labour that got asked to be quite when Clare Curran was asking a question, her own party were shouting at her after making two rather daft mistakes around tabling press releases was excusable the first time but then to attempt to table another one straight afterward was just laughable!”

    Curran didn’t make a mistake. There was an agreement that the purpose of tabling documents is to make available information that is not in the public domain, and therefore tabling of documents that are in the public domain would be limited. Phil Heatley had got warned for this, then Curran repeated it, was reminded of the agreement, and sought to table another public document. So, not a mistake, and not alone in doing it. Given how lazy and useless many in the media are, I suspect the practice will continue as a way of helping to flesh out questions and provide background/ammo.

  7. lukas 7

    BeShakey, still a stupid thing to do… get told of the new agreement after you do it the first time, then do it again straight away. No wonder the Labour caucus were yelling at her.

  8. Akldnut 8

    Surely someone must have come close to acheiving more than a “B”, it’s been 4-5 months now and the only one who has lifted his game is Lockkie “The speaker”!!! Bwahahaha.
    Been reading some of the Hansards. Man are we in trouble if he’s the only “Shaker and Mover” that NactM have got!!! LOL

  9. lukas 9

    Akldnut, two words- “Catherine Delahunty”

  10. Felix 10

    lukas, have you noticed yet that no-one cares that you don’t think highly of Delahunty?

    If her maiden speech really bothered you so much I suggest that you haven’t seen very many maiden speeches. It wasn’t particularly remarkable.

  11. mike 11

    Akldnut, two words- “Catherine Delahunty’

    Carefull lukas the “Papatuanuku” seek you out
    That woman is seriously bonkers…

  12. Anita 12


    palanquin  a word I don’t get to use often enough 🙂

  13. expat 13

    >>Can you feel your mana being enhanced Pita?

    Um, at least the MP’s present partners listen to them and play nicely. The MP’s previous partners payed lip service, as the Greens have found out.

  14. Rex Widerstrom 14


    That’s it!! (though ak’s more prosaic “sedan chair” is also correct).

    Thanks… I’m one of those people for whom these things become a consuming obsession till the correct answer suddenly comes to mind when one least expects it. So you’ve probably saved me from screaming “palanquin!!!!” during an intimate moment 😀

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