Thursday, June 06, 2013

A farce

Question Time has descended into a farce today with Trevor Mallard walking out and New Zealand First declaring an ongoing boycott over David Carter's rulings around United Future's recognition as a party. Carter had ruled that he would not cease to recognise United Future, as the consequences would be severe and Dunne assured him the party would be re-registered within a week. This, despite clear Standing Orders saying that only registered parties would be recognised. He then refused to release the advice he had received on the matter, or even to say who he had consulted (hint: Gerry Brownlee).

The latter is particularly troubling. The Speaker is the servant of the House. He has neither eyes to see nor tongue to speak except as the House directs him. It is not the Speaker's advice, but the House's advice, and the House has a fundamental right to see it. If the Speaker refuses, the only conclusion that can be drawn is that it does not support his ruling and he is hiding it to cover up that fact.