Thursday, 30 June 2005

Are the Labour Party getting rattled?

After crusing along in Government for the last few years, PM Hillin Cluck's Labour Party suddenly seem to be edging towards panic mode...

With recent polls putting National about equal, or even slightly ahead of Labour, they now seem a little concerned that a third term might not be a shoe-in, and are refusing to announce an election date until the last possibly minute.

Late last month, Finance Minister Dr Michael Cullen rushed out a Press Release ahead of National's annual conference, entitled Tax policy announcement from National on Sunday?. In the release, Dr Cullen called on Dr Brash to reveal his tax policy during the conference...

“National Party delegates are surely entitled to expect that Don Brash will announce this weekend the tax platform National will take into the election,” Finance Minister Michael Cullen said.

It seems Labour are anxiously hanging out for National's taxation policy, so they have time to try and come up with some legitimate sounding reasons about why they can't do it. (Despite the fact they just suddenly found an extra 1/2 a billion dollars, which they promptly committed to "transport"... and apparently $500 million translates to less than "the proverbial packet of chewing gum" for taxpayers, according to Dr Cullen's unique math!)

PM Clark's also getting rattled. She was upset that one of her bezza mates, Speaker of the House Margaret Wilson, kicked her out of the House recently for butting in while Nick Smith was speaking. She said the incident was "frankly, a little ridiculous". Apparently the rules of Parliament should apply only to everybody else.

She then called a Media conference to announce the 'apology' to Israel at 3pm on the Sunday afternoon of National's annual conference, forcing journalists to fly from Auckland to Wellington to catch the afternoon apology.

The reason for the unusually timed weekend media conference was (according to Ms Clark) because it was being "synchronised with the Government of Israel"... despite the notion that politicians in Tel Aviv were rising at 6am on a Sunday morning especially for a cabinet meeting to hear a statement from the New Zealand Prime Minister seemed highly unlikely. (That was apparently confirmed shortly after, with Israel saying the apology had been approved by their PM two months earlier!)

Finally, David Benson-Pope's happily back at work for the Labour Government, and seems unlikely to face charges following 'Bullygate'. Speaker Margaret Wilson ruled earlier this month, there's no question of privilege against Benson-Pope.

Apparently telling the House that you "didn't stuff tennis balls in students mouths, didn't tie students hands together, and didn't whack a student on the back of the head so his nose bled", doesn't constitute "lying in Parliament". Huh? Am I living in North Korea?!

Even some of Benson-Pope's supporters have said "well he might have done it, but lots of others probably did similar things back then... it's just how things were in schools". That's as may be. But any other teachers who did similar acts aren't now Associate Ministers of Education launching anti-bullying campaigns...
[ Right now I'm listening to:
^ Gavin DeGraw - Chariot
^ Bodies Without Organs - Open Door ]

Posted in |