The annual year end National Caucus Party was last night, and it was a great night. Somehow I was again one of the last to leave but it was at a fairly respectable bit before 2 am.
They had a band instead of the traditional karaoke, which might be why things didn’t drag on quite so late as some years. But I enjoyed the change to the band.
I was surprised by the number of former senior Beehive staffers (who worked for the current Government) who were there – I think they can sniff the wind. In fact everyone there was in a pretty buoyant mood.
Had good attendances from the minor parties – lots there from the Maori Party,NZ First, United Future, Act and the Greens. It’s actually one of the things I love most about these events – you have really great discussions with people even though you disagree with them on lots of things – it’s much more fun than talking to people who agree with you. For that reason I always enjoy chatting to the Green MPs and staff.
I’ve noted you can almost classify people into two groups when it comes to drinking. There’s that very small minority who get aggressive and become arseholes and try to pick arguments. But there’s the vast majority who just get relaxed, happy, friendly and you just have a great time talking to them.
For reasons of self preservation (and manners), I don’t go into detail about what people say, or what happened. But I will make the observation that some of Labour’s support parties are very very unhappy with them over how they have handled the Electoral Finance Bill.
One funny event was when some of the MPs were trying to persuade a former MP to come into the House and seek the call on the Electoral Finance Bill, and see if the Speaker/Chairman actually twigged on. The plan wasn’t executed but it would have been hilarious to see it attempted.
It was a pretty large turnout. As well as the MPs and staff, you have press gallery and other journalists. a few former staff like me, some former MPs, lots of people from various industry groups, some lobbyists, MPs and staff from other parties which are not deemed to be enemies (ie all parties except Labour and Progressive) and a few others. Again it is part of what makes it such a good night – so many people to talk to – you end up having conversations on every topic from Shortland Street to Treasury fiscal projections of revenue, to media gossip, to republicanism, to the Electoral Finance Bill.