Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Trivial, but telling

The Herald reports on a trivial but telling incident from Parliament:

Labour Cabinet Minister Kiri Allan read the wrong speech at the third reading of a freedom camping bill in Parliament last night.

She re-read almost word for word a speech given at the Self-contained Motor Vehicles Legislation bill’s second reading.

The bill is not Allan’s, but belongs to Tourism Minister Peeni Henare, who was not able to be in the House. Allan was roped in to speak on the bill at the last minute and Labour whips gave her the wrong speech to read.

Its an amusing mistake, but the fact that she did this and didn't notice gives an indication of the lack of care and attention Labour is paying to the business of government and legislating. After all, if Ministers aren't paying enough attention to realise they're reading the wrong speech, you have to wonder if they're paying attention to the actual legislation they're speaking on. We laugh at the humiliating role of backbenchers as Parliamentary meat in the room, there just to make up the numbers, ask patsies, and vote the way they are told to; it turns out that Ministers are just as much empty suits.

Empty suits just reading what they're told to, with their brains off the whole time, is not how we expect our legislature to operate. We pay these people to represent us, to consider our business, to pay attention. If they don't, you really have to wonder why we're paying them so much...