A lack of gravitas

October 10th, 2006 at 2:57 pm by David Farrar

Just been observing a classic case of lacking gravitas in the House. Normally the House would hear the views of the NZ Foreign Minister on the North Korea nuclear test with interest and respect.

But Winston couldn’t help himself. He did around ten points of order in a row trying to demand absolute silence during his answer. Instead of just ignoring a couple of quips as he was standing up, he can’t help himself (just like with the McCain interview) and he leaps in.

The more Peters objected, the more a National MP would interject and sure enough he would react again. When Peters finally got around to trying to actually say what NZ was doing, he actually started giggling in response to one interjection by (I think) Brownlee.

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37 Responses to “A lack of gravitas”

  1. Craig Ranapia () says:

    Um, yes… It’s no fun baiting someone who doesn’t react. And isn’t it ironic that it’s the snarliest bitches always go sceptic at the slightest taste of their own medicine?

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  2. battler () says:

    I regularly sit down and watch the TVNZ videos in full of Question Time in the house and while it is certainly true that Winston is want to continually raise points of order and attempt to assert his “seniority” in the chamber, the Nats sometimes actually do themselves a discredit with the way the go over board with barracking and interjecting.

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  3. Ten Cents () says:

    Thats right Battler, it wouldn’t kill them to keep their mouths shut for a couple of minutes.
    Come on David, you’re in bias overdrive again.
    National are the one showing a complete lack of gravitas, Winstons too far gone to know any better.

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  4. battler () says:

    As an aside, for those who are in an area where you can tune into parliament on the radio, there is often good listening (that rarely/never get’s news coverage) in the evening debates when legislation is being moved through.

    I am always entertained when I hear newish National MP Chris Auchinvole on his feet speaking in a debate.

    There are also oftentimes amusing exchanges between Tau Henare and his former NZF colleagues.

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  5. Ben Wilson () says:

    If they wanted to hear what Winston had to say they could have shut up. But I guess that’s the point isn’t it? Interjections are not to get information or provide any, but just to be a pain in the arse to whoever is speaking.

    All pretty childish, but what less would one expect from our leaders?

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  6. DavidW () says:

    Yes the interjections were a bit annoying but really Winnie was being a pmpous ass.

    At one stage he was complaining that an interjector used his first name and went on about them being junior newcomers (the unspoken comparison being of course that he deserved absolute silence and respect by virtue of his years in Parliament)

    It sounded so bizarre.

    One would think that he of all people would realise that respect must be earned and he deserves none.

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  7. llew () says:

    Ben, yes, that is the point. That’s why they call it the bear pit & the practise is now so entrenched (hundreds if not thousands of years) that for many party & political junkies the behavour is not just condoned but congratulated.

    To us amateurs it looks like a kindergarten gone mad.

    Not that I feel any sympathy at all for Winston.

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  8. andrewfalloon () says:

    The rules of the House are quite clear, answers do not have to be heard in silence, interjections are permitted. As Nandor pointed out, Winston is often at the forefront of any interjections or barracking.

    Why Winston feels he has to be heard in silence but he is free to call out while others speak I do not know.

    Fortunately the Speaker pointed out to him that he had to address the question and that National was fully entitled to interject.

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  9. Gerrymander () says:

    Gerry comes accross like a guy who thinks he’s far too clever to do any work and far too stupid to coast on his intellect.

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  10. battler () says:

    “The rules of the House are quite clear, answers do not have to be heard in silence,”

    But answers have to be ‘heard’.

    And this is where the Nats get into trouble. It’s not the fact that they barrack of interject, it’s when they go so overboard that members can’t hear the person who is on their feet.

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  11. David Farrar () says:

    The Nats were not (this time) barracking. The interjections were hardly hearable – what made it an issue was Peters reacting to them. If Peters had not kept demanding special rules for himself and just ignored the comments they would have ended within a few seconds of him speaking.

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  12. burt () says:

    Winston needs silence because he’s at risk of forgetting what he was saying if there are any distractions.

    We all know he can either tie his shoe laces or chew gum, but he simply can’t do both at the same time.

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  13. llew () says:

    “Why Winston feels he has to be heard in silence but he is free to call out while others speak I do not know.”

    He has been afflicted with what Jane Clifton once called “entitlitis”.

    “Gerry comes accross like a guy who thinks he’s far too clever to do any work and far too stupid to coast on his intellect.”

    yeah, I find him distasteful, but I have little doubt he puts the yards in.

    Actually, that reminds me tangentially of a conversation I once had with a know-all journo, who shall for now remain nameless, I mentioned that I knew one of the McKinnon brothers & I noted that they were (and they definitely ARE) a high achieving bunch.

    The journo bit back with “Except for Don”. And I dunno, I considered that achieving the post of Deputy Prime Minister definitely put him in the high achieving basket. Likewise achieving deputy leader of a major party, regardless of what we think of them personally.

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  14. bad () says:

    I’m sorry but it really came across badly and the only lack of gravitas was on the National benches. It made them look like petulant children and is not worthy of any sort of congratulation. While I like others here have little time for certain members, Peters had not even begun to speak before the bench warmers got started. And this was a question of bipartisan concern and above petty politics which made their childish provocation really reflect badly – upon themselves.

    While political anoraks such as David might of got off on it, I’m pretty sure the rest of the public will see the behaviour for what it really was

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  15. llew () says:

    “I’m pretty sure the rest of the public will see the behaviour for what it really was ”

    I’m pretty sure that most of the rest of the public will never even notice, and if they did, they’d roll their eyes & think along the lines of “what do you expect?”

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  16. Adolf Fiinkensein () says:

    Heaven spare us from bad English. “…might of got off on it….” Did you get your degree in Te Awamutu?

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  17. hon () says:

    Get a life Adolf Fiinkensein who gives a toss what some one says at least you can under stand them you retard

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  18. hon () says:

    also i have high connections in te awamutu and i could tell them about your insults to te awamutu

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  19. hon () says:

    sorry anyway i can play dont stop by fleetwood mac on the guitar cool aye

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  20. mara () says:

    Winston Peters…give me strength.The man is now a joke.

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  21. Marcus D () says:

    I actually watched this on Sky today. Winston definitely overreatced but the Nats could’ve picked their time to hassle him, especially when he was trying to answer a question on the North Korean nuclear test. To me it came across as the Nats trying to get one over Winston and they didn’t time it right. Still, I would’ve called it a draw for the school playground aspect.

    I actually thought the whole question time was a complete waste of space. Specific questions asked and the answers given didn’t relate to the question at all. But, the speaker rules the minister has addressed the question. To me that just seems plainly stupid.

    How does question time work in other countries with the same system. Would the PM in the UK get away with not answering a specific question or is it just a function of the way things work?

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  22. searching () says:

    ‘He has been afflicted with what Jane Clifton once called “entitlitis”.

    So what would you get if you lived with Murray Mc??

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  23. Murray () says:

    Well it’s official, there’s no one left in this parliment worthy of getting my vote.

    Not that there ever was, some were just not as bloody infantile and self impressed as the others.

    Anyone else for a general recall?

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  24. NX () says:

    Parliaments costs the tax payer hundreds of dollars a min(?) to run & to see a pompous twat like Winnie the Poodle wasting soooo much time complaining about what is usual parliamentary banter is an insult to all tax payers.

    The man/poodle acted like he was an exalted king of parliament, but he is really an egocentric populous who has an average polling >5%! I can’t believe I voted for him in 2002, believe me I’m very, very sorry now.

    Considering the house isn’t Dr. Brash’s strength, he’s doing very well lately. In fact the only cringing I was doing was for Helen Clark with the way she was desperately trying to separating the Labour Party leader & the Prime Minister.

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  25. battler () says:

    “Parliaments costs the tax payer hundreds of dollars a min(?) to run & to see a pompous twat like Winnie the Poodle wasting soooo much time complaining about what is usual parliamentary banter is an insult to all tax payers. ”

    Most of the costs of running Parliament are fixed costs.

    The Government will still want to get it’s legislative programme through on schedule.

    If members wish to spend time raising and debating points of order and generally conducting themselves during question time in a way that requires the speaker to spend time intervening, it only pushes out question time and hence pushes out the starting time for Parliament to attend to Government & Members business.

    The quota of questions is still asked and answered, and the Government will still want to keep it’s legislative programme on schedule.

    If that pushes Parliament into urgency time, it means Members have to be in the House while we’ve got our feet up at home or are in bed.

    With most of Parliament’s costs being fixed, the longer the time Parliament runs in a year, the less it is costing us on a per minute basis, and the more we get for the salaries we pay Members.

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  26. tim barclay () says:

    I think Peters considers himself to be the father of the House and he might be. And he asks for some sort of repect but he has a lengthy career dishing the dirt on everyone. He will get no repsect from the National Party. He is fair game. A total loser really when you look hard at his career and his stunning lack of achievements.

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  27. NX () says:

    Tim said “A total loser really“.

    Evidently.

    Winnie the Poodle appears to be under the impression that he can use charisma to carry him through any situation.
    But could someone please explain to Winnie that in order to use charisma you have to be also popular (they kind of go hand in hand). The fact that he isn’t means he just looks like a fool.

    Sorry Winnie, I’ve never meet you, but you act like a twat.

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  28. pdq () says:

    I saw the One News coverage of this. Winston a self-absorbed wanker.

    His arrogance is only matched by Labour’s. His indignity at not being interviewed yesterday deserves nothing but contempt.

    This asshole purports to be the Minister of a post that by its very nature requires dignity and circumspection. He fails, fullstop. What a fucking embarrassment for New Zealand.

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  29. phil u () says:

    and just a thought on that nth korea ‘issue’..

    did you know that rumsfeld was the man who sold that nuclear technology to nth korea..?

    for the sum of us$200 million..?

    (just thought you might like to know that..)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  30. Put it away () says:

    Uhh, Phil, that was a light water reactor ( which can’t be used to produce weapons grade material ) that was sold by a company that had Rumsfeld as a non-exective board member, this was a policy of the Clinton government of the day to sell them to North Korea if they would dismantle their heavy water reactors ( which can be used to make bombs ). Try again.

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  31. George Darroch () says:

    Well, as far as I can tell the Greens are the only party who don’t play these silly schoolboy games. I’ve been disgusted every time I’ve sat in the house by the infantile behaviour of some members.

    Yes, Peters has played these games more than anyone can remember, but that certainly doesn’t give your party any moral high ground David.

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  32. battler () says:

    A bit of banter in the House brings some humour to what can otherwise be a bit dull at times.

    However it steps over the line when Members can not hear the Member who is on their feet with the Speaker’s call.

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  33. DavidW () says:

    Oh Cadmus
    I don’t think you are in any position to puff yourself up on this one given your history of stirring.
    pot .. kettle .. etc

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  34. phil u () says:

    re rumsfeld selling nukes to nth korea..

    make your own mind up..

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article3303.htm

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  35. The Dark Prince () says:

    Llew said, “yeah, I find him distasteful, but I have little doubt he puts the yards in.”

    Ah yes, but what yards they are. By any measure great strides for Gerry, but what meagre gains for you and I.

    BTW, a truth that serves me well when listening to those who would have me lose my opinion to gain theirs…”the word “but” negates all that follows.”

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