I thought Q&A yesterday ws pretty good with interviewees being Murray McCully and Don Brash.
Was was glad there were no spouses being interviewed this week. I’m still not sure though about having MPs as panelists. Having said that Keith Locke made some useful contributions. In fact one exchange was remarkable for its agreement:
PAUL So we’ve seen Murray McCully he seemed in command of his portfolio, we have to discuss him, any surprises from Murray McCully people what do you think?
KEITH LOCKE – Green MP. Oh it was a pretty standard response and not much there I could disagree with.
Now just think about this. You’ve just had a National Party Minister of Foreign Affairs on, and Keith Locke has said he didn’t hear much he would disagree with!
Murray’s aim is to remove foreign policy as a partisan issue. Looks like he is achieiving that. Mind you good to see, there are stil disagreements on some issues. McCully today announced we will join the US, Canada and Australia in not attending the World Conference Against Racism Review Conference. The original was a nasty unashamed Israel bashing exercise (by countries with far far worse records on racism I might say), and also tends to turn into an attempt to stifle criticism of religions by portraying this as racism. So well done McCully.
Audrey Young thought McCully did well on the interview, blogging:
The interview with Guyon Espiner showed what a strong command McCully has of his portfolio and that he can articulate the values that underpin the Government’s policies.
Also of interest was Keith Locke’s comments on Mt Albert. It sounds like the Greens are going to go all out and seriously try to win it:
THERESE I think we’re all sort of fascinated to watch what happens with the Mt Albert bi-election, I think that’s gonna be a very interesting bi-election, a safe Labour seat but how safe, how much of it is a personal vote for Helen Clark, I mean there was a sizeable comfortable gap for Helen Clark but…
KEITH That’s right and if the Greens win it that’s an extra seat for us.
THERESE You may cost Labour it if you’re right.
KEITH Yes well it’s not gonna change the government so it’d be great for the Greens to have an extra seat and it’s really set up for us because you’ve got the Labour supporting 2.7 billion dollars on 4.5 kilometres of tunnel motorway, National supporting about the same amount a bit less than an over ground version, it’s gonna wipe out a whole pile of houses in Waterview in the electorate and the Greens saying well look put all that aside for a few years and spend it on public transport, I know which way the Mt Albert voters are gonna go. …
THERESE Another day and National also claims that they have increased party membership in the electorate but I do think in bi-elections it comes down to turnout, who can get the vote out, and vote splitting, the Greens running a strong candidate may well cost Labour.
KEITH Well it’s not vote splitting if we win, if we make it a three way race we could win.
It will be very interesting who the Greens choose as theri candidate.
The Don Brash interview was a goodie also. I think we can all accept future tax cuts are gone, when even Don says so:
PAUL What about tax cuts in the medium term tax cuts next year the next round of tax cuts they’re surely a goner?
DON I expect they are, I don’t think the government wants to say that quite yet, but I suspect they are a goner. …
PAUL What about the Super Fund, might they not pay in this year?
DON I think they probably won’t pay in this year, and I think that makes good sense, I mean the Super Fund was a device to ensure that some of the budget surpluses were set aside for the future. If you’ve got a budget deficit the logic of that doesn’t exist.
While I’m sad about future tax cuts probably off the radar for no, the 2008 and 2009 tax cuts combined come to a lot more than those yet to occur. I’m going to blog on this in more detail once I have had some data confirmed.Tags: Audrey Young, Keith Locke, Mt Albert, Murray McCully, Q&A