In case you missed it: The Green Party opening broadcast

David Farrar rated the three biggest Parties’ opening broadcasts out of ten over six categories at Kiwiblog. In an unexpectedly unbiased assessment, assuming all categories are given the same weighting, the Greens scored 43 out of 60. Contrast Labour on 29 and National on 28.

Go Green!

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Metiria has Double Dipton stumbling, stammering, and struggling on inequality

Well done, Metiria Turei. In today’s Parliamentary question time Metiria had Bill English stumbling, stammering, and unable to come up with any answers of substance on her questions about the increasing inequality in Aotearoa / New Zealand. Here’s the video:

For those who have slow internet connections that make videos difficult, a transcript is here (although it doesn’t really reflect how flustered Double Dipton was on the issue).

It was a bad day all round for Double Dipton. He also confirmed yesterday’s revelation that he has no mathematical understanding of what an average (or mean) is:

Hon Trevor Mallard: Does he understand that real average wages go up when high-income earners get massive tax cuts—$1,000 a week, in his case—and low-income workers lose their jobs?

Hon BILL ENGLISH: No, I do not understand that, because it is not true.

Almost (but not) enough to make me rethink my views about National Standards on numeracy! And this guy used to work for Treasury!!!

The uniform of the enemy

All hell broke loose in Parliament today over Labour MP Clare Curran wearing an old Highlanders rugby jersey, in protest against their new green one.

It has inspired blog posts by Sue Kedgley and David Farrar,   But what is “business attire”?  I guess the woman depicted to the left is in “business attire”, because that is what she wears in her business.

The problem with Speaker Lockwood Smith’s ruling is that he expects all MPs to dress in what I call the “uniform of the enemy” – i.e the clothes that those who have desecrated our planet and oppressed our people traditionally wear.

P.S. – I personally prefer the new Highlanders Jersey colour, although to be Green (as opposed to green) it should really be C:95 M:0 Y:100 K:27.

Final push for Mining Discussion Document submissions

During a very interesting talk and film showing by Cath Delahunty last week, it was mentioned that the final date for submissions on the Mining Discussion document put out by MED is Wednesday, 26th May, 2010.

There will be a group presentation of submissions collected by Green party staffers so far on Tuesday 25th May at 12.30pm, at MED house, Bowen St, Wellington CBD.
You can get a copy of the discussion document from MED here, and a submission guide is available here.
Too complicated? Quick submission link here.
Any who would like to accompany the submission presenters are welcome; dressing up as a bird is optional (showing solidarity with the fauna who will be losing their habitat if the mining goes ahead).

The talk and discussion last Wednesday evening at St John’s, Willis St, was a great opportunity to view one of Vanguard Films early works, produced in the 80’s during the last great mining protests on the Coromandel – called “Prospect” – and despite a few moments of hilarity at the 80’s fluoro fashions, we sat soberly viewing protesters being arrested and removed from exactly the same sites that are under question again in the MED Discussion document.

Cath also showed a presentation of pictures from recent visits to sites of old mining claims in the Coromandel and near Reefton, visited by Co-leader Metiria Turei and herself over the past few weeks. The fact that even old tailings dams are still leaking toxic runoff gives no confidence to plans to increase the number of toxic sites in our country by allowing more mining to occur.

Cath finishing her talk with an appeal for more submissions.

Cath finishing her talk with an appeal for more submissions.

Blessed silence

Congratulations to Metiria Turei!  She seems to have discovered the secret to silencing Gerry Brownlee.  Now if she can just extend her powers beyond the debating chamber…

Of course, I’m not quite sure how, according to the Speaker and Kiwiblog,  the general public is supposed to “having heard the question and seen the Minister’s refusal to answer it, [make] the final judgment on the situation”.

“Ministers would be very unwise to refuse to answer them, because in the court of public opinion a Minister would be condemned for refusing to do so.”

I’m all for being an active, informed and engaged member of the polity, but requiring the public to continuously listen to parliamentary debates so that they can learn that Brownlee acted like a pratt, is perhaps asking a  bit much commitment on their behalf.  So I guess the minister gets away with his contempt for proper debate this time.