The idiots (pink and green) will be packing their bags for a return to Wellington to do battle

February 9, 2015

The NZ Herald’s Audrey Young has jolted Alf out of his summer torpor with an article that reminded him to pack his bags and get back to Wellington for the resumption of Parliament this week.

This jolt also reminded him of a great line written by the late Molly Ivins,  an American columnist,  when the politicians returned to duty in the Texas Legislature.

“Whee, here we go, the Lege is back in session! And many a village is missing its idiot.”

She could have written the same thing of New Zealand’s villages tomorrow, although in this case she would need to remind readers  she was referring only to MPs from parties other than National.

Audrey Young should have borne this in mind before writing her introductory paragraph.

It has a distinct lean to Labour and to idiocy.

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Here’s hoping the Greens take a long time to recover and don’t turn up in the House on Tuesday

December 12, 2010

Whee. Alf is back home in Eketahuna.

Parliament rose earlier than expected on Saturday night after sitting in urgency for much of the day.

Alf doesn’t know exactly what happened, but he understands a last-minute deal was struck between National and Labour.

Normally Alf would not want a bar of any deal struck with the Labour lot.

But he was missing the atmosphere in the Eketahuna Club on a Saturday night and was grateful.

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The straight answer is no, Alf does not want to go to work as an MP in the Queen City

November 11, 2010

Alf heads for a sitting of Parliament in the world's coolest little capital.

Alf had been dubious, when he read about the Lonely Planet travel guide rating Wellington “the coolest little capital in the world”.

The buggers who wrote that must be daffy, he thought (although he did not express his opinions while in Wellington).

His doubts about their sanity have been fortified by the news that the same travel guide is suggesting that Auckland should be New Zealand’s capital city.


The capital?

Wellington has its shortcomings, but any place that is happy to be described as the Queen City cries out to be avoided by any red-blooded male, into which category Alf most assuredly puts his good self.

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Mallard gets his just deserts

May 28, 2009

Bruiser Mallard can lay claim to being the first MP this parliamentary term to be tossed out of Parliament’s debating chamber by Speaker Lockwood Smith.

Deservedly so. He went too far while questioning Education Minister Anne Tolley about the importance of literacy and plans to set up trade academies around the country to give young people practical training opportunities while at school.

Mallard pathetically challenged Tolley to spell “academies” and asked how she could promote higher education standards, yet put out a signed document on the issue “riddled with spelling errors”.
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Super City filibuster is beaten at last

May 17, 2009

It’s great to be home again.

Alf has been held prisoner in Wellington, in effect, by the Labour Party’s playing funny buggers in Parliament to stall the passage of the Super City legislation.

As Radio NZ reports:

Legislation paving the way for the new Auckland super-city has passed in Parliament after four days of almost non-stop debate.

The Local Government (Tamaki Makaurau Reorganisation) Bill, setting up the new Auckland council and a transition agency to oversee its establishment, was passed into law just before 8pm on Saturday.

Local Government Minister Rodney Hide said the legislation provided for the establishment of the Auckland council from 1 November next year, the establishment of the Auckland Transition Agency and the requirement for existing local authorities to participate in the changeover.

The Sunday Star-Times points out the marathon session of Parliament was ended only after the Government figured out a way to short circuit the Opposition’s delaying tactics.

Labour dragged out the debate – known as filibustering – on two bills to set up a single council in Auckland, but the Government introduced its own amendments to gazump Labour’s efforts.

Among the delaying tactics was the tabling of thousand of amendments, each of which had to be voted on.

The Sunday Star-Times rightly describes many of these as “ludicrous”.

Each vote takes about a minute on each amendment, and the way things were going, Parliament looked likely to be forced to resume tomorrow and sit on into the week.

Yet Labour has rejected Government claims these amendments were trivial.

This gives new meaning to “trivial”. It also gives us a new appreciation of Labour’s notions of “serious.”

Take Labour MP George Hawkins’ contributions to proceedings, for example.

The Dominion-Post mentioned him and his antics in its report yesterday:

Debate on a 29-page bill relating to a planned Auckland super-city was reduced to farce after Labour delay tactics forced votes on thousands of ludicrous amendments.

In a classic case of filibustering, Mr Hawkins suggested scores of names for the planned council, including the Sons and Daughters of Maui, the Sisters and Brothers of Maui and the Cousins and Aunts and Uncles of Maui. With National, ACT and UnitedFuture having a clear majority, none of the amendments had a chance, but Labour’s objective was delay, not change.

But on Saturday afternoon the Government came up with a procedure to stop the votes going ahead: the trick required Local Government Minister Rodney Hide to put forward a minor amendment to each part of his legislation.

The Sunday Star-Times explains:

Under Parliament’s rules all of the other amendments were ruled out as MPs had all ready agreed on the issue before it.

Leader of the House Gerry Brownlee acknowledges it was the Opposition’s right to filibuster, but he’s been a bit cranky about “the trivialising of something that is so important for the future of 1.5 million New Zealanders.”

Thousands of amendments were lodged.

Part two of the first bill was 149 words long but 825 amendments to it were put up.

There’s booze in the Bellamy’s bar to sustain a Parliamentary warrior like Alf through an ordeal like this. But he would rather be with his mates in the Eketahuna Club.

Cullen bows out with flair

April 30, 2009

Most Labour MPs are drones, apt to quickly put Alf to sleep in the House.

Michael Cullen was an exception (as was Richard Prebble, both in his Labour days and as ACT’s leader).

The nuggets from his valedictory speech have already been given an airing on radio and on other blogs. But they are worth repeating:
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Here’s hoping Kedgley saw the joke

April 2, 2009

What a bloody miserable lifestyle was in store for us – it seemed – if ever mass dementia took hold and we elected a Green Government.

A strong whiff of a Green future was wafted from a post in Frogblog, portending that when the tree-huggers take over, we will have to throw away many (if not all) of our electric gadgets. Our electric kettles, heaters, blankets, toothbrushes and what-have-you.

The appliances that make life comfortable and shopping such fun.
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The trivialising of current affairs

March 30, 2009

Alf missed Paul Holmes’ Q and A interview with Lockwood Smith, Speaker of the House (and a bloody good bloke, in Alf’s book).

But he has just read the transcript on TVNZ’s website. And he’s gob-smacked.

Almost half the interview is consumed by Holmes’ fascination with Smith’s relationship with Alexandra Lang, whom he will marry in July.

Women’s Weekly pap.
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