Audrey Young writes:
It is not often that Simon Bridges gets the better of Jacinda Ardern in Question Time.
It is even more rare for Bridges to be applauded by his own side.
But both happened today – until Speaker Trevor Mallard intervened.
Ardern’s loss of form was Bridges’ capital gain as the National leader and the Prime Minister went head to head over a comprehensive capital gains tax (CGT) proposal.
National’s research unit had done their homework and found a quote of Ardern’s from Mike Hosking’s show last week in which she had pressed home what she sees as an empathetic advantage.
I presume done their homework means they read Kiwiblog 🙂
Ardern had disputed the NewstalkZB host’s claim that none of the cabinet had experience running a small business.Bridges: “Is the NGO she spoke of the International Union of Socialist Youth?”
She herself had run a small Non-Government Organisation (NGO), she had said.
“What was that NGO,” Bridges asked in the House.
In her lengthy answer, an irritated Ardern failed to utter the answer, which was well known to everyone.
Ardern: “The member knows how to use Wikipedia – well done.”
Rather tetchy the PM on this topic.
And the next ad-lib question almost earned Bridges a standing ovation from his own team: “Has talking to international comrades helped her with her small-business policy development in New Zealand.”
She protested amid the happy uproar at Bridges’ question that she knew what it was like to hire and fire people, perhaps more than Bridges had as a Crown prosecutor.
It was Bridges’ moment but Mallard was having none of it. There are no rules for when applause is tolerated and when it is not. That is decided by the mood of the Speaker who clearly did not like National ganging up on her.
Mallard: “We’re not going to have that sort of seal-like approach in this House.”
If the PM can’t handle question time by herself, that says something.
The Hansard exchange is here:
Hon Simon Bridges: When she told Mike Hosking last week and this morning that she’d run a small NGO that helped her understand small business, what was that NGO?
Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: I did not tell him that this morning.
Hon Simon Bridges: When she said last week on Mike Hosking that her running a small NGO had helped her understand small business, what was that NGO?
Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: Actually, I spent more time talking about the fact that my first jobs were all in small businesses. The point that I was making at that time—and actually, I continue to make—is that, as a Government, we are considering all of the issues that have been raised. That includes whether it be residential rentals, whether it be small business, whether it be KiwiSaver.
Hon Simon Bridges: Is the NGO she spoke of the International Union of Socialist Youth?
Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: The member knows how to use Wikipedia—well done.
Hon Simon Bridges: Has talking to international comrades helped her with her small-business policy development in New Zealand?
SPEAKER: Order! Order! No, the Prime Minister will sit down. We’re not going to have that sort of seal-like approach in this House. It’s a final warning, and I think Mr McClay will be the first out.
I am sure all the small business owners out there will be reassured by the fact the PM once presided over the global order of young socialists.