Craig Foss, the National MP for Tukituki has been blogging actively and effectively in the last few days as he seeks to "deconstruct" Health Minister David Cunliffe. Here's today's post: http://craigfossmp.blogspot.com/2008/04/hbdhb-personal-attacks.html
Here's the opening paragraphs:
"It never ceases to amaze me how the Socialists get so personal and nasty so quickly when their rhetoric is challenged. Yet they quickly cry foul out if anyone else ever strays into the gutter that some MP's feel comfortable in and choose to occupy.
Take this example: Health Minister David Cunliffe and his cheerleaders have called the former board members, including Maori representatives Rangi Manuel and Tom Mulligan, “a nasty little nest of self-perpetuating, provincial elites". Presumably the aim being to put fear into and silence critics.
Resorting to name calling, and withholding documentation from public scrutiny, demonstrates just how weak the Minister’s case against the board.The Minister and sacking cheerleaders should either apologise or provide all associated evidence that these two men, who have served Hawke’s Bay so well, are part of "a nasty little nest of self-perpetuating, provincial elites.”
I have known Mr Mulligan for many years and have the highest respect for him. Mr Manuel, who I understand is a good friend of Minister Parekura Horomia, has also served our region well."
I am in full agreement with Craig on this. David "Boy Wonder" Cunliffe (as the Herald christened him earlier in the week) has pretty much staked his reputation on his decision to side with the King appointee to the HBDHB, Peter Hausmann, but increasingly, his motivation for sacking the Board is being exposed as personal and vindictive. Craig Foss is doing exactly what a good electorate MP should do; he has gone into bat for his constituents. Moreover, he is using the blogosphere to drip-feed the good oil on Cunliffe, Chris Clarke and others.
Right now, you'd almost suspect that Cunliffe might welcome a decision by the Auditor General to take a closer look at the whole messy saga that is Baygate; he could then deflect questions while an inquiry was in progress. Then again, that would have to be balanced by the political fallout that might come from the Auditor General shining light on the activities of Hausmann, of Cunliffe, of Clarke, and of course, of Ray Lind and last but not least (not by a long way!) of Annette King.