Labour have spent all year blocking every single private members bill in an attempt to stop students from gaining freedom of association.
Last night they were dumbfounded (check the video out here) when Heather Roy put an end to it by using the procedural motion that the Committee report progress to the House on the Royal Society bill which had been fillibustered to prevent the VSM bill from being debated.
The House voted to report progress, which meant that they automatically proceed to the next item of business – the VSM bill.
Trevor Mallard looked even more manic than normal, while Grant Robertson was so distraught, he looked like someone who had just been told their beloved pet cat had been run over by a car. This gives you some idea of how desperate they are to stop students being able to decide to stop funding their political mates. It is the last vestige of compulsory unionism.
Labour continued with an extended temper tantrum for an hour or so. Probably because they had been boasting to NZUSA and the student associations that they were so clever they had guaranteed the bill would not pass before the election.
It still is not guaranteed of course, but only one clause remains for the committee stage of the VSM bill, and then the third reading. That will require two more members days, but there are three scheduled before the House rises so I rate the chances as pretty reasonable.
If so, it means from 1 January 2012 finally students will have the ability to decide whether or not they personally wish to belong to a students association, and as importantly no longer be forced to fund partisan political advocacy which they disagree with.