Labour talk all the time about how Clark and Cullen have been in Parliament for 48 years, both being in their eighth terms. They attack Brash as inexperienced, untrustworthy and having a “hidden agenda”, something John Armstrong points out is “a line of attack which has been rewarded by his preferred prime minister rating taking a leap upwards”.
But it is worth considering this issue. Indeed both Don Brash and John Key are first term MPs. Now your normal first term MP is given a portfolio such as Urban Affairs or Racing and told to just turn up to select committee, never ever agree to go on TV without permission, and just read out the Research Unit speech notes in Parliament. Oh yes and most importantly ask the questions that get assigned to you for question time.
It is amazing that both Brash and Key are fronting for a party which is leading in the polls, despite being in their first terms. I think it is a measure of the extraordinary abilities each MP has that they are very competitive with these 24 year veterans. Could you imagine Clark or Cullen in their first terms even being noticed by Sir Robert Muldoon?
Anyway my thought out loud is that if Brash and Key can do this well in their first terms in Parliament, just think what they’ll be able to achieve in their second terms? 🙂