Sunday, March 18, 2018

PSYCHO MILT WILL BE PLEASED ... OR PERHAPS NOT

With the announcement by the Greens that as they can no longer ask questions in the House holding the government to account they are gifting National all of their Question Time allocation for them to do as they think fit.

A move of this sort would have been described by Sir Humphrey as 'very courageous'.     I particularly like the comment posted on The Daily Blog (mouthpiece for the Greens)  which has it that a Labour Party source greeted the news with "are you fu****g stoned".

This is unprecedented in NZ politics.   A political party with MPs holding ministerial warrants and having signed a support agreement with the government, siding with the opposition to embarrass the government of which it is a member.    

Clearly the Youthgate affair and Winston's determination to pursue a free-trade agreement with the Russians are the straws that have broken the camel's back.    This ain't 'trouble t Mill' territory.   This is a full blown clusterfu*k that could bring the government down.

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

Probably waiting for your take on Ron Marks helicopter jaunts?

The Veteran said...

Anon ... see previous post.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Vet, how interesting. It is but a small step now for them to move up to a confidence and supply agreement with the Gnats. (Just slightly tongue in cheek)

Psycho Milt said...

It's always comical to read right-wingers views on what the Greens are up to. In this case, what they're doing was explained very clearly by James Shaw:

“The Green Party has long advocated the importance of Parliament having the powers to hold the Government of the day to account. Question Time is a key avenue for the opposition to interrogate the Government, so this move is a small step we can take to live up to the values we stated in opposition now that we are part of the Government,” said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.

“Using Question Time to ask ourselves scripted, set-piece patsy questions does nothing to advance the principles of democracy and accountability that are very important to us as a party. We expect the opposition to use our questions to hold us to account as much as any other party in Government.


So, in this instance the Greens being a party of principle benefits National. Don't hold your breath for the reverse ever being the case.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Yes Milt.

I guess it's a fine theory which could have been used by the Wehrmacht who could have given German and polish Jews rifles in 1943.

By hell, then there would have been some accountability, eh?

These guys make Monty Circus's Flying Python look like the board of the Reserve Bank.

alloy said...

@PM said "Don't hold your breath for the reverse ever being the case."

What would it take PM, adopting Green Policy despite being them being in opposition to your government, or perhaps promoting a private members bill which advances environmental concerns.

You may exhale now.

Of course the next most obvious question must be asked.....

Aside from ministerial warrants (and they came at a considerable cost), what has Labour done for the Greens lately?

Psycho Milt said...

What would it take PM, adopting Green Policy despite being them being in opposition to your government, or perhaps promoting a private members bill which advances environmental concerns.

Well, the first thing it would take is for National to be a principles-based party, rather than one that views winning and retaining power as the only purpose for its existence - which is why I don't imagine the Greens will ever benefit from National acting on principle.

But taking a broader view, there isn't even the slightest possibility of National and the Greens working together as long as National's policies are the antithesis of everything the Greens stand for. I would have thought this was an easy concept to grasp, but some on the right seem to really struggle with it.

Snowflake said...

How exactly would tossing a few parliamentary questions to the Tories bring the government down? Bridges and co are so breathtakingly incompetent, it’ll take a bit more than that. Keep shrieking though, I’m finding you very amusing.

Duncan Brown said...

“We think patsy questions are a waste of time…” I agree. So why don’t they grow a spine and ask some decent questions about subjects or issues closest to their own heart, thus representing their constituency who voted for them. It’s not as if Labour treated them with much respect in the coalition talks. A wasted opportunity.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Milt, in what way are National's policies the antithesis of everything the Greens stand for?

The Greens don't appear to stand for much, if anything. I doubt they stand for the National Anthem.

They appear to applaud benefit fraud. They seem to be vehemently opposed to full employment.

They seem unenthusiastic about cheap clean energy.

So what do they stand for?

The Veteran said...

Snowflake ... it's not the tossing to the Nationals a few questions that's the issue in play here. It's the breaking of ranks with their government colleagues. You guys can spin it whatever way whichever but the reality is the fracture is in 'your' ranks; it's unprecedented in politics and, without belaboring the point (because I don't need to). the Labour Party source quoted on The Daily Blog had it dead on with their comment "are you f*****g stoned" ... actually that's not the whole quote ... it was followed up with "are you f*****g mad".

The answer to both is probably yes.

That coupled with the deliberate put down by St Jacinda of WRP insisting he was totally onboard with the government's condemnation of Russia (and, by extension, meekly acquiesced with the scuppering of his flag-piece free-trade deal with Russia) and if you believe that I have a bridge I can sell you cheap.

Happy daze.

Psycho Milt said...

So why don’t they grow a spine and ask some decent questions about subjects or issues closest to their own heart, thus representing their constituency who voted for them.

Why doesn't the government spend parliamentary question time holding the government to account? I'm not going to bother trying to explain that one.

Psycho Milt said...

Milt, in what way are National's policies the antithesis of everything the Greens stand for?

Seriously? The current Leader of the Opposition signed off on mining exploration of a DoC forest park, FFS. He appeared on TV shouting at John Campbell about how deep sea oil drilling off our coast wouldn't be a significant risk. Where exactly are you picturing the common policy ground?

The Greens don't appear to stand for much, if anything.

Ignorance on your part isn't a problem on the Greens' part.

Psycho Milt said...

It's the breaking of ranks with their government colleagues.

It's a funny thing, isn't it? The previous government's coalition partners had to continually lie to their supporters that they had no disagreements with National in the interests of maintaining a pretence of unity, and all it got them was fewer supporters. The Greens don't play that shit, and their supporters thank them for it.

The Veteran said...

PM ... you got it in spades with your second sentence. 'They' recognise they can't so they abrogate that role to National. But hold on ... they're part of the government.
So they're giving National extra ammunition to embarrass THEMSELVES and their government colleagues.

Truly a Byzantine logic to that. I'll stick with the Labour Party apparatchik's view.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Come now Milt.

Milt, thank you for confirming my view that the Greens don't stand for anything. They oppose everything. Spot the difference?


If I remember rightly it was a tiny part of a DoC forest.

Well, he's quite right to shout at a sanctimonious idiot like Campbell who lost his programme due to falling ratings after he was dismemberedd by John Key.. Another Green failure.

And in fact, deep sea drilling is not a significant risk. It carries an insignificant risk, probably less risk than there is in allowing Young Labour piss ups to take place while the adults sleep.

Duncan Brown said...

The Greens only have a Confidence and Supply Agreement with Labour.
"The Green Party will determine its own position in relation to any policy or legislative matter not covered by collective responsibility"
Which do you think would be more effective, to ask questions regarding their own concerns or gift their questions to National which is guaranteed to be negative towards the government. Seems like friendly fire to me. To rephrase your question, "Why has the government gifted thier parliamentary questions to the Opposition so they can hold the government to account ?

Psycho Milt said...

...they abrogate that role to National.

They leave the role of opposition to the opposition, yes. Like I said, it's funny watching you guys trying to make sense of this.

Psycho Milt said...

Why has the government gifted thier parliamentary questions to the Opposition so they can hold the government to account ?

Instead of asking questions here you could just read Shaw's press release, which explains it clearly enough.

Psycho Milt said...

Milt, thank you for confirming my view that the Greens don't stand for anything. They oppose everything.

Again, ignorance on your part isn't a problem on the Greens' part.

Andrei said...

Exactly PM - this is a good move on the Greens part

It is s amove designed to stop Ministers getting new backbench MPs to ask them patsey questions designed to allow the originating minister to preen how good they are

The last National Government turned that into an art form and it was puke territory

Andrei said...

David Farrar approves

George said...

It appears that the Greens are tired of being Yes Men to the Peters when he hates them (check the seating in the House).
And Marks might be giving the Brylcreamers a chance to flash their only decent toy

Anonymous said...

The point is: Did either Winston or Jacinda see this coming? I doubt it, or is Winston so disinterested in life these days to care or was Jacinda too deeply immersed in covering-up the goings-on at Labour's Sex and Booze Camp?

Cadwallader

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Cadwallader

This is not a 'no surprises' government. It has more surprises than policies.

Psycho Milt said...

The point is: Did either Winston or Jacinda see this coming?

It seems Labour at least did:

"Labour was verbally told about the Greens' plans a couple of weeks ago, before an approach was made to National, and gave Labour the documentation outlining the details on Thursday."

Anonymous said...

This is clearly a sign of James Shaw growing some balls and sending Labour First a message that the greens are not simpletons to be taken for granted.

I’m not a supporter but the way Labour and Winston have been treating Greens like their bitch is disgraceful. They are very lucky the Greens didn’t throw their toys months ago the way they’ve been publicly slapping them down over stuff like waka jumping, by-catch cameras on fishing boats, Chloe Swarbrook's marijuana bill...

- RRM

Anonymous said...

RRM: you are right about the way the Greens have been treated but sadly they brought this on themselves leading-up to the last election. Had the Greens punished/expelled Turei in July 2017 their share of the vote may not have collapsed in tandem with NZF. In fact it may have now been the Greens in Coalition and Winston in the wilderness (where he deserves to be.) If the latest move by the Greens heralds a move against the Coalition I'd welcome it.

Cadwallader

The Veteran said...

PM ... I can agree that on one level this might be argued to be an astute move by the Greens to send a not too subtle message to Labour ... we are our own people; we're not bound to you like you are to Winston First. But the down side is that they are providing more ammunition to the Opposition to take potshots with. The crack that exists between the Greens and NZ First just got larger ... FFS, there is zip zero interaction now between Green and Winston First MPs with Peters making no attempt to conceal his loathing of you and yours.

You think this is going to improve relations with a WRP already smarting from being slapped down by the PM?




Psycho Milt said...

Oh, it's anything but an astute political move. It's a free gift to National that comes at a cost to the Greens and the government as a whole while offering no benefit to them. Labour will be annoyed, and Winston will be absolutely livid. Even on the The Standard there's a lot of commenters angry at the Greens' "naivety" and "virtue signalling." That's the thing about integrity, it can be really fucking inconvenient at times and people just sneer at you for having it.

On the other hand, I'm not the only Green voter chuffed to see that the party's principles are surviving its transition to government. And, furious as Winston will be about this, what's he going to do? He can bring down the government any time he chooses, but good luck beating the 5% threshold after doing that.

pdm said...

Well Milt - the Greens next `principled act' must surely be to oppose the Waka Jumping legislation.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

"He can bring down the government any time he chooses, but good luck beating the 5% threshold after doing that."

You've nailed it Milt. To my way of thinking the Gnats could do a lot worse than offer them some seriously attractive policies and then wait for the fireworks.

The Greens will be dog tucker just as they were with Clark, as long as Peters is in the chair. They need to hang him our to dry (My, my. That's a Freudian slip.)

The Veteran said...

PM ... tough at the top ain't it. Having to make a stand if you sense you're being treated as a doormat.

The Opposition will accept the one extra question per day as the gift that keeps on coming. A far more principled move by the Greens would be to call time out on Winston's Waka Jumping Bill (that ain't). If they did and, as you say, WTF can Winston (and St Jacinda) do about it?

That's principled politics. Waiting .....

Psycho Milt said...

Having to make a stand if you sense you're being treated as a doormat.

Like I said, there is no political advantage to the Greens whatsoever in this move, quite the opposite in fact. I get that that's difficult for people on the right to grasp.

A far more principled move by the Greens would be to call time out on Winston's Waka Jumping Bill (that ain't).

Pdm said the same. But those are your principles, not the Greens'. Demanding other people adopt your principles they may not share isn't how principles work.

Andrei said...

Why are you against the Waka jumping bill Veteran?

It makes sense under MMP and reflects the voters wishes for list MPs in any case

I hate MMP but sine we have it the Waka jumping bill would be a good thing if enacted

The Veteran said...

Andrei ... clearly you haven't read the Bill. It doesn't just apply to List MPs as you suggest and it doesn't apply to MPs belonging to parties with just a two member caucus.

It ignores the fact that electorate MPs are elected by and answerable to their electorate while the exemption of two member parties from the Bill is a fatal flaw. You just cannot get the two-thirds trigger vote provided for in the Bill in a two member caucus.

Psycho Milt said...

I forgot this one:

To my way of thinking the Gnats could do a lot worse than offer them some seriously attractive policies and then wait for the fireworks.

What "seriously attractive" policies could National afford to offer the Green Party? Start taking climate change seriously? Rejection of fossil fuel exploitation and vigorous promotion of renewable sources? A roll-back of over-intensive farming practices? Draconian "polluter pays" policies? Wholesale rewriting of its economic policies? A declaration that poverty exists accompanied by concrete proposals to do something about it that don't involve punitive measures against the poor? I mean, yeah, by all means, I would love to see National offer up a smorgasbord of those policies to the Greens and invite them to take their pick, but at that point it would stop being the National Party and become something else - something that its current donors would not be willing to fork out for. Don't hold your breath.

The Veteran said...

PM ... your 9.06 refers. But, up until now the Greens have been steadfastly against any attempt to reintroduce waka jumping (so called) legislation.

Are you saying that 'your' principles are for sale to the highest bidder?

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Milt

Your 9:06 reminds me of Groucho Marx. (how appropriate)

If you don't like our principles, we've got plenty of others.

Andrei said...

Veteran the Bill aqs proposed maybe a bit rough around the edges but that can be sorted ny Public debate, in select committees and in the house when it is debated

The point is the MPs who get a seat at the table by virtue of the list are beholden to those who gave their party vote to the party from whose list they are drawn and by changing party they are taking a giant shit on those voters

The Veteran said...

Andrei ... it's not a case of being a bit rough around the edges because the edges are shredded and it has holes in the middle you can drive a truck through.. I could understand it (sort of) if it applied only to List MPs (but that then would create two classes of MPs (those who could be expelled from parliament ... List MPs ... and those who couldn't ... Electorate MPs).

So, the Bill applies to all MPs right? Wrong ... MPs who belong to two member caucus can't be expelled because the mathematical formula proposed in the Bill (a two thirds vote by the members caucus to expel) just ain't possible ... and you can't reduce it to 50% because that would be farcical with each member trying to expel the other.

And you tell me who many two member caucuses there have been since 1978. Nah, don't bother checking ... the answer is lots. The last one being the Maori Party in the last government.

Look, the sad fact of the matter is that Winston can't and doesn't trust his own MPs and that's the genesis of the Bill.

And no, it can't be sorted in Select Cttee or in the House because you can't sort out a mathematical impossibility.

Psycho Milt said...

Are you saying that 'your' principles are for sale to the highest bidder?

Nope. You seem to be confusing principles with something else - policies, opinions, whatever else you might call Green politicians' thoughts on a particular bill.

Anonymous said...

Milt......just as an addendum on the Greens/Nat climate policy....last week the UK had 37% of it's power generated by wind farms. It is impossible to count the amount solar power generates but it must be a lot.

Lord Egbut