Just to show that there is no shame, have a look at how Labour Ministers both claimed wrongly a National MP had said something he had not, but then how nasty they get, and how the Speaker protects them. From yesterday:
Dr the Hon Lockwood Smith: What changed between the time when David Cunliffe, the then Minister of Immigration, was briefed, as he now alleges, on completion of the Oughton inquiry in July of last year, and when he himself was fully briefed in December last year on the Oughton report—what changed between then and April this year, when the Oughton report was exposed to public scrutiny, other than the fact that the cover-up was over?
Hon CLAYTON COSGROVE: In order to assist the member, I tell him that the previous Minister was not briefed in December. I was the Minister at that time.
Dr the Hon Lockwood Smith: I said you.
Hon CLAYTON COSGROVE: No, the member said “the Minister at the time”, and “the previous Minister”.
Now have a look at the Hansard. Lockwood clearly refers to David Cunliffe as per-December and Cosgrove as the Minister in December as he says “he himself” in the question to Cosgrove. Cosgrove is clearly wrong with his insistance Lockwood had it wrong.
Hon Dr Nick Smith: You’re wrong.
Hon CLAYTON COSGROVE: I think we may need stretcher-bearers for one particular member. This is a serious issue, and should be dealt with in a serious way. We may need stretcher-bearers for the other Dr Smith. Can I say—
Now again remember Cosgrove is in the wrong here, and Nick Smith is correct in backing up Lockwood. So what does Cosgrove do – resort to the normal smear they use against Nick.
Hon Dr Nick Smith: I raise a point of order, Madam Speaker.
Madam SPEAKER: There is a point of order; it will be heard in silence.
Hon Dr Nick Smith: The Minister, in reciting my colleague Dr the Hon Lockwood Smith’s question, was mistaken in his restating of the course of events. In response to an interjection from me saying that he was wrong, I was then subjected to personal abuse. I think it would be helpful if Dr Smith re-asked his question—in which his dating and timing were correct—because it seems that the Minister was confused about the question that my colleague Dr Smith was asking.
Nick doesn’t respond to the taunt, but just makes the point that the Ministers were mistaken so the question should be re-asked, so the Minister addresses the correct question.
Hon David Parker: I, as well as Minister Clayton Cosgrove, listened carefully to the question, and I am clear that the question that was asked included the imputation that the Minister was the prior Minister, not the current Minister, and that is the point to which Mr Cosgrove was responding.
David Parker jumps in, and also has it clearly wrong, as the Hansard shows.
Madam SPEAKER: I thank members for their interventions. I think if members would keep the noise down, it would be easier to hear. As I have said, interjections do occasion responses. Would the Minister please just respond to the question as succinctly as possible.
Dr the Hon Lockwood Smith: I raise a point of order, Madam Speaker. It would appear that confusion has arisen around my question. It was very clear. I would be very happy to repeat it to avoid that confusion.
Madam SPEAKER: No, I think we should take it in the order it was. I am happy to look at the Hansard. I heard it also in the way that, I am afraid, others did. The member, obviously, feels that he did ask another question. As I said, I am happy to go and look at it later. Could we have a succinct answer to the question, and there is always an opportunity to ask another question—there are still supplementary questions available.
And now the Speaker also gets it wrong, and even worse won’t let Lockwood re-ask the question, despite the fact clearly the Ministers misheard what he said.
Hon Annette King: I raise a point of order, Madam Speaker. We are on question No. 8 and we have had Dr Nick Smith running interference on every question across the House. He is not asking questions; he is just interjecting and yelling out personal comments. I think we have just about had enough today, and I ask you to require him not to continue going on in that fashion.
Annette seems to have missed the log in her own colleague’s eyes.
Madam SPEAKER: Well, I think that today comments have been made from all sides of the House. Obviously, it does create disorder, and it has. Members have noted the comments that have been made from all sides of the House on this matter. Could I please ask the Minister to succinctly address the question, and then we will ask Dr Smith to ask the question again. Thank you.
And then the Speaker totally confused says Cosgove will answer/address the question, and then have it re-asked!!! And then it isn’t!
Labour have been warned many times over their repeated goes at Nick with references to taking pills, and now out on a stretcher. That is bad enough at any time, but Labour may wish to consider the old saying that those in glass houses should not throw stones.