Why did Labour put Trevor up?

February 1st, 2013 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

I’m surprised Labour put up as their nominee for . While of course National would always have made sure the numbers were there for David Carter, a different choice could have put pressure on the Maori Party and United Future and ACT to vote for Labour’s nominee.

But the moment they nominated Trevor, everyone thought it was a piss take. In fact they literally laughed in the House when he was nominated. Trevor being nominated for Speaker is a bit like Brendan Horan being made Racing Minister. The mere fact you want the job, isn’t enough of a qualification to get the job. In fact I declared on Facebook and Twitter that if the new qualification for top parliamentary jobs is that you really would like it – well then I declare my candidacy for Minister of Finance!

Labour could have either nominated a Labour MP who would be seen as a serious contender, or with a bit of mischief nominated a different National MP (who would have declined but the point may have been made). No one would have laughed at the nomination of Ross Robertson or Annette King.

In fact I understand Annette’s latest thinking is that she won’t stand for Mayor of Wellington, as that would allow Little into Rongotai. Hence so long as Labour looks competitive in 2014, she plans to stand again and will be Labour’s nominee for Speaker after the election. If that is the plan, would have made sense to put her up now.

So why did Labour put Trevor up? The only reason I can think of is it was the only way they could try and get him out of caucus and ensure he has nothing to do with their next election campaign!

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38 Responses to “Why did Labour put Trevor up?”

  1. Brad (75 comments) says:

    Or more simply: National is taking the piss with the process so we will too

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  2. Paul Williams (876 comments) says:

    I’ll likely be one of the few, if only, people to say this, however Trevor has significant experience as a Whip, Shadow Leader of the House and Minister than most others and is frequently Labour’s lead on matters of parliamentary business. He’s as partisan as they come, however, I also think he has enormous regard for parliament.

    [DPF: Trevor has the experience and the skills. And he has made a very good contribution to the development of standing orders. But the Speaker needs to be someone who has not been thrown out of the House on multiple ocassions let alone someone who has punched another MP]

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  3. thedavincimode (6,528 comments) says:

    He’s also dishonest, untrustworthy and unscrupulous.

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  4. Elaycee (4,297 comments) says:

    He’s also dishonest, untrustworthy and unscrupulous.

    Yup… and a convicted thug to boot!

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  5. RRM (9,428 comments) says:

    DPF:
    So why did Labour put Trevor up? The only reason I can think of is it was the only way they could try and get him out of caucus and ensure he has nothing to do with their next election campaign!

    As eszett’s already said this morning on the idiot/savant discussion, ( http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2013/02/71077.html#comment-1089670 ) Hanlon’s razor is appropriate here…

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  6. Cunningham (811 comments) says:

    He is a terrible man who lives his life in the gutters of parliament. He is a good example of why people hate politicians.

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  7. Rick Rowling (801 comments) says:

    Any views on how the year would have played out in the House if National had called Labour’s bluff and also voted for Trevor?

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  8. PaulL (5,872 comments) says:

    I think he could have been a good speaker. I suspect he would have taken it seriously, and would have tried to carry on Lockwood’s legacy. Once he became speaker, that would have become his legacy, so he would have the choice of being associated with being one of parliament’s worst speakers, or one of it’s best. I think he’s proud enough he might have chosen the former.

    All academic really, there’s no reason a govt with a sufficient majority would want a speaker from the opposition. That’s just giving up one of the levers of power for no tangible gain.

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  9. BeaB (2,056 comments) says:

    His ‘love’ for Parliament is solely based on being a smartarse with procedure. When did he last contribute anything substantive?
    A wasted talent because he has no self-discipline or values. The ability to be PM but not the character.

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  10. Yogibear (274 comments) says:

    If your King rumor is true, it looks like she’s tossing the keys to the Mayors office to Gareth Morgan (given that hes a marginally less dopey greenie than the completey ineffectual Wade-Brown).

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  11. PTM (43 comments) says:

    This was a tactical move to allow Trevor to more effectively babysit Princess Jacinda, which has been his primary role so far this term.

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  12. anonymouse (694 comments) says:

    If King is serious about become speaker, it might still be best for her to let Little stand in Rongatai in 2014, while she goes on the list.

    Being Speaker, makes it hard to be a Local MP, as you have to really cut down on taking sides when representing local constituents against government decisions,

    In fact since MMP the Speaker has always been a list MP

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  13. Manolo (13,327 comments) says:

    There will be very few MPs more despicable than the thug Mallard; a pathetic MP and a disgrace to Parliament.

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  14. PaulL (5,872 comments) says:

    @anonymouse: but if the aim of the old guard is to stop Little getting in a power base, and to keep Shearer in play, then it makes sense for Annette to stay in Rongotai, and maybe retire after the election. This forces Little to stand in New Plymouth again.

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  15. Pete George (22,754 comments) says:

    As has been mentioned elsewhere, Eddie at The Standard has claimed that Labour seriously thought they could sneak Mallard into the speaker’s chair – http://thestandard.org.nz/foolish-games/

    That hasn’t been disputed and there has been rolled eyes and gnashing of teeth over the stupidity of the bid and how it was carried out.

    Eddie often bullshits but he showed he had prior knowledge of the Mallard speaker coup in a post yesterday morning – http://thestandard.org.nz/a-new-broom/

    National had done their homework anyway as they had 62 votes for Carter.

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  16. slightlyrighty (2,496 comments) says:

    If it had come down to a run off between Henare and Mallard, I can think of an entertaining way to sort it out. You could sell tickets!!

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  17. alwyn (380 comments) says:

    @anonymouse at 11.40am
    The speakers haven’t actually all been List MPs since MMP started.
    Doug Kidd (1996-1999) was at the time the MP for Kaikoura.
    Lockwood Smith was the MP for Rodney from 2008 to 2011. It was only in 2011 that he went on the list in anticipation of leaving Parliament for this job in London.
    Hunt, Wilson and now Carter were on the list for their whole time as speaker.

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  18. Elaycee (4,297 comments) says:

    Eddie at The Standard…

    Yawn….

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  19. Paul Williams (876 comments) says:

    Agreed PaulL

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  20. Pete George (22,754 comments) says:

    A curious side issue was the Green Party involvement. They opposed Carter as speaker because “they do not not agree with his views on funding accessibility for MPs with a disability”.

    That’s a very narrow view on what is required of a speaker.

    And they supported Mallard…

    “We chose to support Trevor Mallard in today’s vote given his views on accessibility issues,” said co-leader Metiria Turei.

    “Trevor Mallard demonstrated a clearer understanding of the issue, seeing it as an area for parliament to manage rather than a burden for an individual MP.”

    … based on the same minor issue, despite all his obvious negatives.

    So they chose to do their own bit of grandstanding by joining a secret deal in the selection of one of the most important positions in Parliament – unless they thought Mallard had a shot at becoming speaker and supported the subterfuge to truy and achieve that.

    Whatever it was the Greens were more intent on political opportunism than transparent democratic process.

    http://yournz.org/2013/02/01/greens-narrow-view-on-preferred-speaker/

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  21. Colville (2,062 comments) says:

    If it had come down to a run off between Henare and Mallard, I can think of an entertaining way to sort it out. You could sell tickets!!

    and Mallard could have made a few bucks scalping the tickets on Trademe !

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  22. leftyliberal (642 comments) says:

    @Pete George: Perhaps I’m missing something, but where was Turei not being transparent? Did she not say that they discussed a range of issues with Carter, and that accessability was one of the important ones (to the Greens) on which they disagreed? Surely, then, they’re being transparent about the process?

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  23. Paulus (2,493 comments) says:

    I have understood that Helen Kelly had the nod for Rongotai when Annette gets Mayoralty.
    Whatever, Kelly will get Rongotai not Little in due time.

    BUT

    Celia a Greenie has the Mayoralty, and to stand against her with two leftys would split the vote, with neither getting in.

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  24. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    Mallard is an ex teacher union guy – enough said – he would bugger the place.

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  25. dime (9,368 comments) says:

    that lisping buffoon is a disgrace to parliament. imagine him as speaker. my god.

    far too much bitterness and outright hate of us rich pricks.

    the fact that everyone laughed would make a normal person stop and think about how they were living their lives. not this asshole though.

    any labour leader with a set would make kick mallard out of parliament at the next election. but he will hang on for as long as possible. not a lot of job offers coming across mallards desk.

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  26. Pete George (22,754 comments) says:

    leftyliberal – Greens took part on the attempt by Labour to sneak Trevor Mallard in as speaker. Backing a nomination that they kept quiet about and was only announced 45 minutes before the vote was far from being transparent.

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  27. Lloyd (125 comments) says:

    Two words to explain why the buffoon Mallard can never be allowed near the speaker’s chair (and preferably not near a governmental cabinet): Erin Leigh.

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  28. RF (1,263 comments) says:

    Mallard is a nasty piece of work with no morals. Thank god he was not selected as speaker as it would have been a constitutional disgrace.

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  29. Pete George (22,754 comments) says:

    Mallard is a nasty piece of work with no morals. Thank god he was not selected as speaker as it would have been a constitutional disgrace.

    That’s how many people see him, with some justification, reinforcing my astonishment that the Greens would back his bid, whether they thought he had any chance of wining the vote or not.

    Principles have flown out the Green window.

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  30. Pete George (22,754 comments) says:

    I wonder if ‘Adrian’ is Mallard’s press secretary (this is in response to many bangings of foreheads on Standard keyboards):

    Oh,Shut the fuck up. If it had come off it would have been biggest bloody nose the Nats had had in the house in 4 years and would have highlighted how their incompetence is a direct result of their arrogance. Even the papers would have torn them a new arsehole, not to mention how having our own referee might have evened things up a bit.

    http://thestandard.org.nz/foolish-games/#comment-582282

    However it wasn’t National that got a bloody nose, nor did they display any incompetence. Those honours were self bestowed by the plucked duck and shorn shearer.

    ‘quartz’ is on to it:

    Surely you joke, Adrian. Nobody outside of Labour’s inept strategy team could possibly believe that. That said, you seem to be taking it very personally…

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  31. alwyn (380 comments) says:

    @Paulus at 1.08pm
    In the Wellington mayoralty election it doesn’t matter whether there are multiple candidates from one side as the vote is not first past the post but is a preferential one. In each round of counting, which continues until one candidate has more than 50%, the lowest polling candidate drops out and there next preference gets the vote.
    Kerry Prendergast led for most of the count in the last election and it was only after a number of rounds, and with a number of candidates having dropped out the Celia Wade-brown won.
    Thus any number of candidates from one side of politics could run and, provided their preferences were all passed to candidates on the same side one of them could still win.

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  32. dime (9,368 comments) says:

    “That’s how many people see him, with some justification, reinforcing my astonishment that the Greens would back his bid”

    you make it sound like greens are some honorable party.

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  33. davidp (3,540 comments) says:

    A Mallard win would have been very inconvenient for local teenagers. They would have had to sign in as visitors at parliament to pick up their over-priced concert tickets, rather than just popping around the back of Mallard’s Wainuiomata electorate office like they do at the moment.

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  34. tvb (4,196 comments) says:

    The laughter from the Government benches would have hurt Mallard. But Mallard who can be very constructive and sensible also has this mad side too. He has the wrong temperament to be Speaker. Parliament is a rough and tumble place. A speaker needs to smooth things over but be able to be firm. David Carter will be ideal.

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  35. Judith (7,486 comments) says:

    They could have put Kermit or Mickey Mouse up, it wouldn’t have mattered. It wasn’t about who it was, but more the example it provided. The numbers were the motivation. A numerical figure to demonstrate the starter positions for the new year.

    It also defined the type of game we can expect. No warming up, straight into it.
    Question is, who will score the first real goal?

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  36. Steve (North Shore) (4,491 comments) says:

    Gee Trevor, seems quite a few people are not happy with you.

    What did you ever do to piss them off so much? or is it just your Teacher/Union thingy?

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  37. Steve (North Shore) (4,491 comments) says:

    Question is, who will score the first real goal?

    John Key – “We won, you lost, suck eggs”

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  38. Shazzadude (505 comments) says:

    “In fact I understand Annette’s latest thinking is that she won’t stand for Mayor of Wellington, as that would allow Little into Rongotai. Hence so long as Labour looks competitive in 2014, she plans to stand again and will be Labour’s nominee for Speaker after the election. If that is the plan, would have made sense to put her up now.”

    If Annette isn’t going ahead with her ambitions to chase the Wellington mayoralty, I would think the main deterrant would be to prevent a civil war with the Greens. I’d imagine if King went head to head with the Green’s Celia Wade-Brown, the Greens would probably retaliate by chucking all their resources behind Norman to win the ensuing Rongotai by-election (which I think would be very winnable for him).

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