Wednesday, September 19, 2012

UPDATED: Focusing on the things that matter

UPDATE: Here we go again:

Q1 - DAVID SHEARER to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement: "The test is whether I can rely on the member's word and he has given me assurance that he met the law … There is a statute of limitations and he has complied with the law"?

Q10 - METIRIA TUREI to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement, "I do not know so much about 'Planet Key', but my expectations are it would be a lovely place to live, it would be beautifully governed, golf courses would be plentiful, people would have plenty of holidays to enjoy their time, and what a wonderful place it would be"?

At the very least you'd have expected the Greens to come up with something a little more cutting-edge and original than "Planet Key"! But plentiful golf courses? Sounds like our kinda place!! 

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It hasn't been plain sailing for the Government over the past few weeks, and you'd think that they would be vulnerable on any number of fronts; if the Opposition was even half competent.

So what happened at Question Time yesterday? David Shearer questioned the Prime Minister about - John Banks. Metiria Turei questioned the Prime Minister about - John Banks. Not to be outdone, Grant Robertson questioned the Prime Minister about - John Banks. And just when you thought it couldn't get any sillier, first term MP David Clark had a very obscure question to the Minister of Small Business - who just happens to be John Banks!

Where were the questions from Labour on child poverty? Where was the attack from Labour's Welfare spokeswoman Jacinda Ardern about the welfare reforms announced on Monday and last week? Where were the questions over water ownership/rights and asset sales?

And as if that wasn't bad enough, Labour's Finance spokesman David Parker packed a sad at the end of Question Time. He had a question to Bill English who had left to go to a hui in Hamilton. He sought leave to have the question held over, and when the Government objected to leave being granted (as they are absolutely within their rights to do, given that the Associate Minister was in the House), Parker withdrew the question meaning that it cannot be asked again in the same form.

Labour was playing to the gallery yesterday, and it runs the risk of backfiring on them. On Breakfast this morning, TVNZ's political editor Corin Dann said that the public is tiring of the Banks issue, and that it is starting to look like petty politics from the Opposition. We couldn't agree more.

It seems that Labour has learned nothing from its 2008 and 2011 election defeats. If it wants the public to take it seriously as a potential government, Labour needs to focus on the issues that matter, not the petty political sideshows. And to achieve that, someone needs to persuade their strategic genius, Trevor Mallard to stand aside.

19 comments:

toad said...

You seem to be suggesting that alleged corruption and deception by a Minister of the Crown is not a serious matter that deserves attention during Question Time. I beg to differ.

Keeping Stock said...

Not at all Toad; but 4/11 questions was overkill. Was the fact that Labour didn't question Bennett on welfare reforms was an indication of the way that Labour regards the poor?

If Mallard was the ringmaster of all of that, it is time for him to sling his hook IMHO; he is dragging Labour down to his level, and risks taking the Greens with him.

James Stephenson said...

I think that Corin's absolutely right and that the public weren't that interested in the first place.

As an only-really-follows-politics-at-election-time mate said to me yesterday, "Who f-ing cares, it's not as if he won that election anyway."

Tremelo said...

The Labour and Green politicians are dragging the issue out into the light, repeatedly, until the public look straight at it and realise how sick the behaviour of Banks and Key has become. This is working already. First the public will express irritation, but then will follow anger, when they realise that their Prime Minister is being evasive and dishonest and is making fools of all of us.

Mully said...

Exactly right. Watching the news at he gym the other night, and there was a "story" about a beneficiary who got an automated letter from WINZ wanting repayment of 1c.
They asked Ardern who said it was terrible, etc
Then asked Paula Bennett who looked like she couldn't believe her luck that this was the question as she explained it was an automated letter sent by the computer.
Petty pointless politics by Labour. Banks isn't going to be sacked and there is more they should be worried about. Like the fact that Bellyacher Bradford bought more attention to welfare reforms than the opposition.

Red Wallace said...

The questions from the Green co-leader to the Prime Minister that had him respond boastfully about what it's like on Planet Key, were strategically perfect. For the public to get a chance to hear the arrogant boasting from Key about his nirvana, golf courses and holidays, is gold. The 'spoiled-brat Prime Minister' is an image that is firmly fixed to Key now and will be worked upon by the Opposition from here on in.

Kilmog said...

Keeping Stock, did National MPs, when they were in Opposition, mention Winston Peter's 'issues' just the once, then move on to 'more important matters'? Did you as a blogger, move on once the issue had been aired initially?
No. You harped on and on, as did National's MPs, including Key, endlessly.
Banks is your Winston, Key is your Clark.
Good times.

Quintin Hogg said...

Ahem,
Bill Lui
Daljit Singh,
Darren Hughes.

The Labour opposition should remember about throwing rocks in glass houses.

Fraser said...

Quintin ^
Ahem - didn't Labour deal with the Darren Hughes issue?
That's right - they did, and in an appropriate fashion (for something that was not a criminal offence).
Are you suggesting that Key-National should deal with Banks in the same way? Excellent. That's exactly what the rest of us want as well. Sadly, integrity is unknown on planets Key and Banks.

Keeping Stock said...

Labour did indeed deal with the Hughes issue Fraser, even if it took Phil Goff three or four goes to get his story right. Goff initally pretended that nothing had happened, then said that it wasn't a matter for him to deal with, then stood Hughes down from his shadow role, and finally and reluctantly accepted his resignation from Parliament.

But wouldn't it be interesting if someone was to do an OIA request for the police files on that case; hmmm...

Edward the Confessor said...

"But wouldn't it be interesting if someone was to do an OIA request for the police files on that case; hmmm..."

If you think that you should do it. You never really follow through on any of this stuff though. Did you ever make that complaint to the Police over that murder threat you said the Standard made to the Pagani's? No?

Bunk said...

Taito...............
Philip..............
Field...............

Keeping Stock said...

@ Bunk - you can probably remove the first line of that comment. I believe that Phillip Field was stripped of his Samoan title when he was found guilty and imprisoned.

Isn't it interesting too that whilst Labour wants to hang, draw and quarter John Banks for something he did whilst he wasn't even an MP, let alone a Minister, they are still to condemn Field's actions when he used his ministerial position to his personal advantage. The nearest they could ever come was acknowledging the verdict; but never a word of criticism or condemnation.

Robyn said...

If Labour and the Greens heard Cunliffe on NewstalkZB with Larry Williams around 5pm yesterday, they will be wanting the National-led coalition Government to stay in power until Cunliffe is gone.
Today's Banks stuff is a smoke screen to keep the attention away from Cunliffe.

rogerguyford said...

Many of these commenters remind me that the "Mouth of the South" has limited his own blog to "Bloglice Central", an echo chamber for the envy veto crowd.

Come visit soon if you fit the profile.

Edward the Confessor said...

Field got sent to prisonl, Bunk. I guess you're suggesting that's where Banks should be, rather than sitting in an office in the Beehive. You're probably right.

Bunk said...

No Eddie mate. Field and the why Auntie Helen dealt with it is so much worse than this. Anyway who'd have thought that the left's hero in all this would be a fat, German, criminal, capitalist multi milionaire?? Michael Savage must be rolling in his grave.

Keeping Stock said...

@ Bunk; you left a bit out this time; you should have said "a fat, German, criminal, capitalist multi milionaire who has now respect for other people's intellectual property, and thinks that jokes about rape and the Holocaust are ok"

Bunk said...

Amen to that KS