It’s interesting to see the commentators on this one. Winston Peters and Bill Ralson are effectively defending Mallard and saying no big thing, while Matt McCarten is saying he must be dumped. McCarten makes some salient points:
All the tut-tutting over this melee by their fellow MPs – and even the Prime Minister – is a bit disingenuous. After all, Mallard has been used – for over a decade now – as their resident pitbull to intimidate Labour’s enemies.
In recent times, Mallard has been used to deal to Labour’s opponents. The difference this time is that when Mallard was dished up some of his own medicine, he couldn’t handle it, lost his cool and physically retaliated.
The end came when Mallard called out the name of Brash’s alleged mistress. Brash was unnerved by Mallard’s hectoring. This whole affair ultimately resulted in Brash being dumped as leader and undermined his personal reputation and ended his political career.
At the time, the Labour Party was gloating over the success of Mallard’s taunts and behaviour.
Indeed. Clark, Cullen and co sat there smiling and smirking as Mallard and Benson-Pope did to Brash, what Henare did to Mallard.
This is probably the most serious assault that has ever occurred in Parliament. The media, in years gone by, referred to instances such as Jim Bolger throwing a pen in the chamber, Winston grabbing the arm of John Banks, or even Mallard flicking Bob Clarkson with a manila folder.
Indeed. The Banks/Peters issue went to Privileges Committee and was for a much much less serious incident.
Recently, we have the House overwhelmingly passing a law outlawing the smacking of kids under any provocation, and on the other, we have a Government minister hitting a member of the Opposition in a fit of rage.
That’s why Clark doesn’t have any choice but to dump Mallard. Otherwise, the taunt of “hypocrite” would rightfully stick on her.
I’m not actually in the Mallard must be sacked camp. If the demotion is significant (loses front bench spot, loses significant portfolios) I think that is enough.Tags: Labour