Looking on the bright side …

April 8th, 2009 at 8:22 am by David Farrar

Still fairly ropable about the decision re Cullen, but looking on the bright side I am amused that Dr Cullen will now be working for Jim Bolger, Tuku Morgan and John “Rich Prick” Key.

Slightly cheering me up also is the talk that quite a few in Labour are pissed off also, with his decision to take up a Government Board role. By departing before the Mt Albert by-election (his valedictory is 29 April), it will make the issues around candidate selection more transparent to the public as Damien O’Connor will be an MP before Mt Albert goes to vote.

I’ve also made lots of money on iPredict investing in the probability that Clark and Cullen would both be gone this year.

And with Clark and Cullen gone, we get a new Father of the House. Initially I thought this would be Phil Goff as he was elected in 1981 – the only Muldoon era MP left in Parliament now.

But he lost his seat in 1990, so his time only counts from 1993. Mr Speaker will in fact become the Father of the House when Clark and Cullen go. He came in in 1984. So did Mallard and King but they also spent 1990 – 1993 out of the House. And for those who like trivia, Jacinida Ardern is the “Baby of the House”.

UPDATE: Rodney reminds me that Sir Roger entered Parliament in 1969! Of course he had a small break from 1990 to 2008!

UPDATE2: Actually Jim Anderton and then Peter Dunne will become Father of the House. They also entered in 1984 and were swown in before Lockwood as it is done in alphabetical order. I only looked at the two main parties as the minor parties were all set up in the 1990s, but of course they both entered as Labour.

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42 Responses to “Looking on the bright side …”

  1. Trevor Mallard (248 comments) says:

    Depends on how you define the Muldoon era. We certainly knew he was there until he died. Every now and again I look at the Key approach to popularist politics and know the old grunter would approve.

    [DPF: I mean Muldoon as PM, even though yes he stayed until 1991. And funnily enough I have blogged a number of times that Key does have a certain Mudoonist instinctive approach to his job. Of course without the nastiness. He also has a bit of the Clark approach]

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  2. Trevor Mallard (248 comments) says:

    Name two people in Labour who are pissed off. Looks like a bit of self justification for now regreted post.

    [DPF: Don't regret original post at all, and in fact will expand on it in NBR. I am not talking Labour MPs, but various Labour activists. Obviously would be breach of confidence to name people but just as Bolger working for Anderton was not hugely popular with Nats, no surprise some do not like Key gettng to look good by having Cullen on board and undermining the National will privatise meme]

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  3. greenfly (1,059 comments) says:

    Looking on the bright side – National Party/ Maori Party relations, RUPTURED

    [DPF: Only in your wet dreams. But to make up for it, you wll be pleased at today's announcement re Nats and Greens!]

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  4. coventry (321 comments) says:

    NZ Post… rofl, a dieing SOE by all accounts. Might as well make him the head of Kiwi Bank and then sell it off to the Russians, it’s all he deserves.

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  5. david (2,557 comments) says:

    Greenfly You what? And here I was starting to get sucked into thinking that you talked a bit of sense from time to time and had NZ’s best interests at heart.

    Then you come here and are celebrating the possibility of division between the representatives of the self proclaimed settlers of the land and later immigrants.

    Shows how deep rooted the politics of divisiveness and seperatism are in the left and really does prove that Key is on a hiding to nothing promoting inclusiveness and engagement. Either that or you really do fear that he might succeed!!!

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  6. adamsmith1922 (890 comments) says:

    you know it is now Autumn and I thought infestations of greenfly died off after Summer.

    Perhaps DPF should invest in some organic pesticide

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  7. big bruv (13,928 comments) says:

    I am stuffed if I can find the bright side DPF, I thought about this a lot last night and wondered if I was missing something obvious, sadly I am not.

    This is all about Neville Key, Kullen and even people like Trev who all play the game of looking after their mates in the house.

    Today is not going to get any better given that the toxic witch is giving her valedictory speech, I had hoped that Neville Key might show Klark the same disrespect she showed toward Dr Brash but I expect not, Neville Key will be his usual piss weak self and sit there cheering and smiling while that evil creature has one last chance to show us how nasty and small minded she can be.

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  8. Richard Hurst (859 comments) says:

    Jobs.For.The.Boys.

    But….. Poor Judith! Nobody wants her for Nuff’in ;)

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  9. dime (9,980 comments) says:

    Did anyone hear Cullen talking to Larry Williams last night? It was the first time I have ever heard him come across as a half decent, reasonable guy.

    I think giving him the job has neutralised him politically. When the next few budgets come out, the media will be going to him for comment. Instead of being the spiteful, scathing Cullen we all know, i suspect he will be quite impartial. hell i think he will be praising National if they stop the tax cuts.

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  10. Brian Smaller (4,023 comments) says:

    Mallard, Cullen, Bolger – in fact just about all professional politicians need to curry favour for when they finally get turfed out because none of them could do a real job.

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  11. davidp (3,581 comments) says:

    The bright side is the potential return of Judith Tizard. When Goff is still polling below the margin of error for preferred PM next year, then he’ll be shown the door. Labour MPs will realise that they have the perfect person to replace him… a woman with a wealth of parliamentary experience who sweeps the polls in the mid-50s unemployed lampshade-purchasing female demographic. Tizard will be elected leader without opposition and Labour will base its election campaign on the themes of “wine and cheese” and “family connections”. They’ll lose, but most commentators will decide that it was by far a more coherent campaign message than repeating “slippery John Key” over and over like a group of chanting monks, and sending the party president to Australia to do a bit of dumpster diving.

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  12. bobux (349 comments) says:

    Reposted from the earlier thread

    I can only imagine how disconsolate Labour bloggers must be if the Father of the House resigning to become Chair of NZ Post sparks such an outbreak of exuberence. Ahem, deputy Chair. Ahem ahem, deputy Chair at some point in the future. Its almost as if he was desperate not to have to sit around in caucus with towering intellects like the Hon. Parekura Horomia, George Hawkins and Ashraf Choudhary.

    Perhaps I should add to that list Hon. Trevor Mallard, would-be Minister in Charge of Locomotive Production.

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  13. burt (8,275 comments) says:

    DPF

    I don’t get it David. I’m sure Post needs more structural changes than some simple form of redistribution to make the high income parts of the operation subsidise the failing parts so they don’t need to change and it all looks good from the outside?

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  14. burt (8,275 comments) says:

    Trevor

    “Name Two people in Labour”

    Clark & Cullen – are there any others ?

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  15. Trevor Mallard (248 comments) says:

    Dime :- Tax cuts theme interesting, Bill English challenged in review of Vote Finance to deny the plans for Budget night legislation to wind back already legislated out year tax cuts. Refused to deny. Frankly if they don’t do it debt:gdp ratios would have looked really awful and credit rating agencies would have been very concerned.

    [DPF: Yeah it looks pretty obvious both Super Fund contribitions and tax cuts will be canned or suspended. I hope it is only a suspension]

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  16. PhilBest (5,125 comments) says:

    DPF, you are bloody well right to be pissed off, all NZ-ers should be and certainly large numbers of decent people will be feeling quite disappointed with John Key for overdoing the outreach thing to such a sickening extent. Big bruv speaks for a lot of us on this.

    John Key may think he is bringing a new level of expectations to NZ politics, he may think that NZ will hold the socialists to the same high, decent, honourable standard when they put them back into power.

    It is a delusion, and a fatal one. The socialists got away with SO MUCH in the last 9 years. They did not get a repudiation in the last election; John Key won only by forswearing 90% of the stuff that “Don Brash National” stood for. NZ-ers are now stupid enough to live with electoral finance acts, retrospective legislation, social engineering, taxpayers money for propaganda, control freak nanny statism, anti smacking, nationalised industies, state backed monopolies (eg ACC), expensive global warming indulgences, crony capitalism, no air force, no ANZUS, no nukes, etc, etc, etc; if the alternative is a government that will SELL ASSETTS, shock, horror; or BEAT UP ON SOLO MUMS, shock, horror; or RAPE THE ENVIRONMENT, shock, horror; or LET NUCLEAR POWERED SHIPS INTO OUR WATERS, shock, horror; and so on and on and on.

    We are proceeding steadily towards Latin-Americanisation; it is like Helen is still 90% in charge. The “ratchet effect” is in full force. You wait for next time the socialists get in. There is not a cat’s chance in hell that they will reciprocate one single one of John Key’s olive branches and niceties.

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  17. Trevor Mallard (248 comments) says:

    Neither Mike nor Helen seemed pissed off that Michael has a board appointment. and on locomotive assembly I’m happy to take bobux to the Hutt workshops where it is already being done. S/he can send me direct email to @parliament.govt.nz address

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  18. CraigM (694 comments) says:

    Not scientific at all, but the straw poll on the Herald site today is interesting.

    It has 41% of (5600+) respondants stating Cullen will be remembered as a poor Finance Minister/Politician. Overall 66% rate him average or poor.

    If such a poll had been held this time last year, labour would have had the troops going all out to chnage the vote. Now he is useless to the cause, no one at Labour cares. Nice mates.

    Trevor, what chance Key sending you off to a plum role?

    You obviously have time on your hands, which I’m paying for by the way, so go do some damn work :-)

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  19. Paul Williams (878 comments) says:

    Don’t regret original post at all, and in fact will expand on it in NBR. I am not talking Labour MPs, but various Labour activists. Obviously would be breach of confidence

    So the comment “quite a few in Labour” really means someone who is not an elected member of parliament but may be a member of the party? Reaching David, reaching.

    [DPF: I honestly did not think anyone would take it to mean MPs and that wasn't my intention. I was meaning more grass roots feeling.]

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  20. campit (467 comments) says:

    Mr Speaker will in fact become the Father of the House when Clark and Cullen go.

    When I watch Lockwood Smith on TV, I still can’t shake the feeling that he is about to say “I’m satisfied the buzzers are working, De La Salle you’ve chosen What for 50″… I think a former game show host is the ideal choice for Speaker!

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  21. jarbury (464 comments) says:

    CraigM, surely by now you realise the NZ Herald website does not indicate a balanced opinion on anything. It’s like asking on this blog the same question.

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  22. Paul Williams (878 comments) says:

    Hey, DLS, that’s my old school… campit, you an old boy?

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  23. s.russell (1,642 comments) says:

    There are a number of clear advantages for National in appointing Cullen.
    1) It gets him out of the House where he is National’s most irritating critic
    2) It neutralises him politically. As an SOE board member he has to be very circumspect. He cant run about attacking Govt policy. That may not matter now while National is riding high, but it may be handy in the future.
    3) It provides perfect cover for National to appoint its own supporters to other positions. Any time accusations of cronyism surface National can point to Cullen.
    4) In the long run it is far better for NZ to keep politics out of such appointments (same as with Queen’s honours). This is a major step in de-politicising appointments and an essential part of de-politicising the public service as a whole.

    I know many will disagree with this next point but here goes:

    Michael Cullen pursued some economic policies which many people on this blog (including myself) think were bad for New Zealand (note that I say “some”). However, he would not have been finance minister for nine years if he were not an extremely able financial, political and administrative manager. As an NZ Post board member he will NOT be setting economic policy. He will however be able to use his talents for a constructive purpose. So:

    5) He is as likely as anyone (and far more likely than most) to do a good job of overseeing the management of NZ Post.

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  24. Paul Williams (878 comments) says:

    s.russell, that’s a very fair piece, including noting your opposition to some of Cullen’s policies.

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  25. Paul Williams (878 comments) says:

    [DPF: I honestly did not think anyone would take it to mean MPs and that wasn't my intention. I was meaning more grass roots feeling.]

    I’ll take you at your word David, but it did seem an odd comment.

    I don’t know what the grass roots feeling is, I’m too far removed, but my contacts, few that they are, are not at all concerned.

    My sense is that although the party will miss Cullen, there’s enough senior and experienced MPs to guide the party through the renewal that’s already well advanced.

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  26. CraigM (694 comments) says:

    jarbury – my point was the lack of support from the labour machine, that certainly spent many hours ‘voting’ on such polls pre-election, regardless of the veracity of the poll.

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  27. Trevor Mallard (248 comments) says:

    So Craig ok for me to read the paper, write letters but not make the odd comment on blogs – interesting approach to life in the 21st century.

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  28. Nicholas O'Kane (168 comments) says:

    Is there anywhere any list of NZ fathers of the house, similar to the wikipedia list of Australian fathers of the house here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Father_of_the_Australian_House_of_Representatives ?

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  29. Danyl Mclauchlan (1,070 comments) says:

    So Craig ok for me to read the paper, write letters but not make the odd comment on blogs

    Reading the papers is okay but those letters to my sister written in your own blood have to stop.

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  30. Paul Williams (878 comments) says:

    So Craig ok for me to read the paper, write letters but not make the odd comment on blogs

    Reading the papers is okay but those letters to my sister written in your own blood have to stop.

    Well I laughed, but seriously Danyl, you gotta know your auidence, pearls before swine perhaps?

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  31. Ratbiter (1,265 comments) says:

    “Still fairly ropable about the decision re Cullen, but looking on the bright side I am amused that Dr Cullen will now be working for Jim Bolger, Tuku Morgan and John “Rich Prick” Key.”

    Perhaps Cullen and Key are just a lot more professional than you are, DPF? ;-)

    [DPF: I've helped form a lobby group with reps from Greens, Labour, National and ACT so I have no problems working professionally with people from other parties. In fact I'd say I have more experience doing so than most]

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  32. dime (9,980 comments) says:

    Trevor – happy to have you here. gives an insight into what Labour is thinking. we may even convert you to the dark side!

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  33. Piggy (66 comments) says:

    Philbest, I usually just gloss over your posts as they’re obviously the rantings of a deranged madman, but could you explain exactly how the last labour government led new zealand to ‘latin americanization?’ I think I’d feel confident betting the farm you’ve never actually been to latin america.

    it’s also quite depressing to note that peter dunne has been in the house for twenty five years. I struggle to think of a single positive contribution to the country that man will have made during his time of living off the taxpayer

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  34. greenfly (1,059 comments) says:

    Peter Dunne – Father of the House! Lordy, give me strength. The laughter might kill me. Or the choking.

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  35. dime (9,980 comments) says:

    Peter “My pay never changes” Dunne. urgh

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  36. big bruv (13,928 comments) says:

    Trev

    Can you ask Dunne where the money is that he still owes us from 05?

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  37. burt (8,275 comments) says:

    big bruv

    We will never see it, and don’t ask Trevor for help with that. Trevor voted to allow 14 years of unknown amount of money to be buried and forgotten so that he could keep his ministerial salary.

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  38. Rex Widerstrom (5,354 comments) says:

    Piggy laments:

    it’s also quite depressing to note that peter dunne has been in the house for twenty five years. I struggle to think of a single positive contribution to the country that man will have made during his time of living off the taxpayer

    That comment finally made me realise what purpose is served by the Pompadoured Prostitute. For as long as his indolent arse graces a green leather bench then no other MP could come close to being styled as the most venal, buyable, unprincipled, self-regarding, greedy, pointless or prissy hack in Parliament.

    As long as the Quiffed Quisling bites down so hard on the public teat that taxpayers squeal with indignant pain (though not, curiously, those in Ohariu alone) then the rest of them can snooze, hector, waffle, commit grievous errors, claim expenses, quaff wine and cheese, sell us out for personal privilege and never ever risk categorisation as the most despicable creature ever to gain elected office.

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  39. Ratbiter (1,265 comments) says:

    Well it sounds like Rex has nailed down who he’s going to be hating for the next 3 years, now that Clark, Cullen & Peters are all gone!

    Life’s easy when you know who you hate, huh?

    CraigM: Well of course Joe Stoooooopid on the street is going to respond “Yeah, I reckon Cullen SUCKS!” Cullen spent 9 years reducing debt instead of giving Joe Stoooooopid a tax cut. What would you expect Joe Stooooopid on the street to say?

    Those polls are no better than the kind of journalism where they accost a random ignorant person on the street, stick a camera in their face and ask them “So how does [insert complex, specialised issue that you know less than nothing about here] make you FEEL?” and then broadcast this at 6pm as the news.

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  40. Rex Widerstrom (5,354 comments) says:

    ratbiter: I’ve always held Dunne in low esteem. When I could and should have stood for NZF in 1996 in Hutt South (where I was born and grew up and probably personally know the whole electorate) I didn’t because I thought Trevor was a good MP and didn’t want to be put in a position of saying negative things about him. I wouldn’t have won but I think I’d have scored a respectable total.

    I chose instead to stand in Ohariu-Belmont where I knew I was on a hiding to nothing because that allowed me to highlight Dunne’ hypocrisy. I used to start joint candidates’ meetings by saying “I agree wholeheartedly with Peter Dunne…’ (who was at in a deal with National) and then read out his quote about Bolger being an ignorant country hick unfit to be PM… while at the same time unfurling an enlarged copy of a newspaper photo of the Quiffed Quisling beaming beside Bolger sitting at the Cabinet table.

    I’ve never “hated” Clark or Cullen though I’ve strongly disapproved of some of the things they did, particularly in their last term, such as the EFA, kowtowing to Bradford on s59 etc. I’ve said elsewhere, I think, that I first met Cullen when he had just been appointed Minister of Social Welfare and found him the most intelligent politician I’d ever spoken with but that I feel bitterness poisoned that intellect somewhat.

    Hardly “hate”, so please don’t go putting words into my mouth. Even Winston I have more pity (and still a degree of bafflement) towards than hate.

    Now if I really hated Dunne I’d have said something like “Father of the House? That means he’s responsible for all our politicians? That figures… the offspring of whores are frequently bastards” :-D

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  41. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,752 comments) says:

    What John Key and Bill English have done is buy off Michael Cullen with other people’s money (Taxpayers).

    The question is how much money is it going to cost the taxpayer over how many years to own this new Government pet?

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  42. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,752 comments) says:

    Looking on the bright side it now gives Phil Goff leeway to bring in Mike Moore as the new MP for Mt Albert. With Mike Moore as the new Labour Finance spokesman the pair will be able to outflank National to the right and give them a serious run for their money in 2011. That will especially be so given the repercussions of the upcoming budget.

    It’s the only real chance Phil Goff has to become PM. :cool:

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