Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Sack the Speaker

Today saw the most appalling behaviour in the House I can remember, with John Key responding to questions about his weakness in the face of Australian abuse of New Zealanders by accusing the opposition of supporting rapists. This is obviously highly offensive and exactly the sort of thing (like calling someone a "gutless little quisling") that tends to lead to disorder in the House. And yet Speaker Carter did nothing, and invited opposition members offended by it to leave.

And so they did. You can watch the whole sorry business on In the House, if you can stomach it, but its exactly the sort of thing that reminds kiwis of why we hate politicians.

At the end of Question Time, Labour filed back in, and sought leave for a motion of no confidence in the Speaker. National denied it to protect him, because after today they weren't sure that it wouldn't pass. But the mere fact that it has been lodged shows that Carter does not have the confidence of the House as a whole. His partisan hackery, incompetence, and desire to protect his caucus mates and turn a blind eye to their offences has gone too far.

Lets be very clear: Carter is not the "Speaker of the House" - he is National's Speaker, the "Speaker for the National Party". And that's just not sustainable. He should resign, or the House should sack him.