Thursday, 17 March 2005

Parliament's new Speaker throws her toys out

NZ Herald: MP ousted in TV film outburst
(A good summary of yesterday's proceedings, if somewhat lefty-biased in the traditional Granny Herald sort of way ;-)

It was like watching a spoilt only child on 3News tonight... New Speaker of the NZ Parliament, Margaret Wilson, getting increasingly agitated, as she tried in vain to get ACT Party leader Rodney Hide to eject himself from the chamber! ;-)

It all started with some innocent questioning by ACT, relating to the rules on what cameras could shoot in Parliament. (The NZ Government are trying to get rid of all network cameras, and replace them with their own state-run-and-sanctioned feed... We're not China for crying out loud!)

ACT's Richard Prebble and Rodney Hide asked whether TV cameras could film the empty Labour back bench seats... it seems a large proportion of the Government haven't been turning up recently, however those that do come to work are shuffled up to fill the frontbenches - hence making it look on tv like the Government's full of busy beavers.

In the end, Wilson (described by some as "possibly the least qualified Speaker NZ Parliament's ever seen") realised Rodney Hide wasn't going to listen to her rantings, and had to get some official security fella to escort him out of the house.

Today's activities follow a move by TV3 to broadcast a shot of Associate Education Minister David Benson-Pope, fast asleep in the debating chamber, on its Wednesday night's news.

Interesting that State TV has been playing catch-up about the latest developments...

(Quote of the day from Parliament:
Hon Richard Prebble: When the Prime Minister says that Mr Benson-Pope is a hard-working and conscientious Minister, can she confirm the belief that he rises at the crack of noon each day, works hard until the early hours of the afternoon, and then comes into the House to have a well-deserved sleep—is that his general work pattern?)

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