The year in review episode of Backbenches screens tonight on TVNZ 7 at 9 pm. We filed it last week.
We were asked to make various picks and predictions. In the end, we didn’t have time to do all of them on air, so I figure might as well reveal all my picks here.
- Best Scandal – David Garrett, noting all the others were basically about MPs expenses
- Best of 2010 – the fact the Canterbury Earthquake happened at 4 am
- Worst of 2010 – the Pike River tragedy
- Best Govt action – the tax package that got rid of the loopholes, increased the incentives for people to save, plus finally killed off Michael Cullen’s envy tax
- Worst Govt action – doing a deal with Labour to bring back the Electoral Finance Act
- Best Opposition action – was tempted to say not rolling Phil Goff, but I’d pick David Cunliffe’s speech where he promoted public-private partnerships and the potential for private sector investment in new subsidiaries of SOEs. I thought that was a significant step away from demonising the private sector.
- Worst Opposition action – voting unanimously to give Gerry Brownlee the power to suspend or repeal around 2,000 laws if they proved inconvenient.
- Best Backbencher – Te Ururoa Flavell – an absolute workhorse for the Maori Party, growing in stature and the next male co-leader
- Best Maverick – the entire ACT Caucus, whom I likened to the Adamms Family, which prompted Heather Roy to proclaim she had never been a Goth
- Best Rising Star – my local MP Grant Robertson, whom I predicted was the next Labour Pirime Minister
- Biggest Loser: Chris Carter, mainly for the incompetence of delivering hsi own secret letter to the press gallery with his handwriting on the envelopes
- Biggest Waste of Space: Ashraf Choudhary, the invisible man
- Biggest Surprise: Shane Jones, for not knowing that you can get free pronography on the Internet, so no need to use the hotel service
- Best Minister: Tony Ryall – got unamious parliamenbtary support for his structural improvements
- Who should be dropped from the list: Rajen Prasad who was ranked No 12 in 2008 – a lot normally reserved for superstars. Also near invisible
- Biggest events in 2011: Botany by-election, May budget, September Rugby World Cup
- Biggest issues in 2011: Economy, wages, jobs, welfare reform, savings policy
- 2011 campaign: A fairly short campaign after the Rugby World Cup and a fairly disinterested population
On the show, you’ll also get the picks and predictions from Bomber Bradbury, TVNZ’s Jess Mutch and Mark Unsworth. Was my first time on the panel, and enjoyed it greatly even though my voice was rather squeeky from the press gallery party the night before.Tags: Backbenches, DPF