A total beatup on One News last night

I don’t think I have seen a bigger beatup than what One News led with last night. It was puerile and almost offensive as they demanded two National MPs bow down and answer questions on their personal views on global warming.

Let us first start with some known political reality. On every single issue that a party decides policy on, there are a range of views within Caucus. Sir Keith Holyoake is on the record as saying that even as PM, he only personally agreed with 80% of what his Government did.  This is the nature of collective decision making and compromise.

Does every National MP support the silly ban on party pills? Absolutely not. But they decided as a caucus to support the Government’s legislation. Does every Labour MP support the ban? Again, absolutely not.

It is absolutely routine and everyday that MPs have private views, which are sceptical or different to a party’s policy. It is impossible to imagine otherwise – MPs are not clones.

It is absolutely no surprise that some National MPs are sceptical of the extent of global warming. But as Williamson and Smith said last night, they are committed to the party’s policy to reduce emissions through an emissions trading scheme.  That is what matters. If National is elected, they will be judged on their record with policy and actual emissions (and let us face it can hardly have a worse emissions record than Labour has had).
Let us look at a comparison for another party. Labour (like National on Kyoto) have recently done a policy change.  For Labour it was on tax cuts.  After years of opposing them and even hiking taxes, they have as a party adopted a policy of lowering personal tax rates.

Now is there anyone dumb enough to think that every single Labour MP genuinely believes that lowering personal tax rates is a good thing (as oppossed to a politically desirable thing). Of course not – there isn’t a chance in hell. Good God they have spent years demonising tax cuts.

But Labour as a Caucus, have decided to implement tax cuts, and hence their MPs are committed to voting for them.

So why has One News not furiously chased down Labour MPs and asked them to all state on camera what their *personal* views are on reducing taxes? Not, whether or not they support what their party’s policy is, but whether they personally think tax cuts are more desirable than increased spending?

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