Gerry Brownlee travelled to Israel after his visit to Iraq. He’s also tried to keep it very quiet, with it not even being reported in NZ media.
Andrew Little, helped by the Media party, is claiming triumph on his blitzkrieg tour of Iraq…in the shadow of Gerry Brownlee.
Claire Trevett explains why he’s been done like a dinner by those dastardly Nats.
At first blush, the Government’s invitation to Labour leader Andrew Little to visit the troops in Iraq appeared to be a trick.
The question is not so much why Little took up the invitation to go along with Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee. Despite having criticised Prime Minister John Key’s own visit to Iraq as a photo op, Little had no qualms about brandishing photos of himself striding manfully around Taji in his flak jacket.
The bigger question is why the invitation was issued in the first place.
A superficial interpretation of the Government’s motivations is that it put Little in an awkward situation. Politically, it was a risky move for Little. Labour vehemently opposed sending the troops to Iraq last year, yet there Little was, meeting those very same troops.
It is not unheard of for Opposition leaders to visit troops on deployment. Last year, Australian Labor leader Bill Shorten visited the troops at Taji.
The difference between him and Little was Shorten was able to stand before the troops and assure them they had Labor’s bipartisan support.
Little’s message to the troops was somewhat more complex. It appeared to consist of telling those troops he thought they were doing a good job while sticking to his line that the job they were doing was futile.
Should Little oppose future deployments, he has handed his rivals an encyclopedia of photos and gushing comments with which to lambast him.
The prospect of watching Little squirm in front of those whose deployment he had opposed may well have been the cherry on the top for National.
You’ve got to love the hypocrisy and sanctimony of Andrew Little.
Invited on a ministerial tour to our troops in Iraq he somehow manages to get the Media party to call it his secret trip. Never mind that it was Gerry Brownlee’s trip or that Mark Mitchell went as well…no, for the Media party it was Andrew Little’s secret trip to Iraq.
Labour leader Andrew Little has made a top secret visit to Iraq to visit New Zealand troops based at Camp Taji and is now questioning whether the two-year term will be extended.
Mr Little has just left Iraq after Camp Taji with Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee and Chief of Defence Force Tim Keating.
Labour opposed the 2015 deployment of troops to help train Iraqi soldiers fight against Islamic State (Isis), but Mr Little said he accepted the invitation from Mr Brownlee because he believed it was important to see first hand the work of the troops and the conditions in which they lived.
Mr Little praised the “skill and professionalism” of the troops he met. Read more »
Goff’s pitch to the people of Auckland is that he can work with the National Government.
Which makes you wonder why he is calling National Ministers liars.
But Phil Goff, the former Labour defence minister who was in charge of procuring the boats in the first place said Brownlee was being “dishonest”.
Goff said the defence select committee were told the vessels weren’t at sea because they didn’t have the skill to staff them.
The vessels were commissioned to do fisheries protection, conservation support, border security and search and rescue.
Goff said the boats shouldn’t be sold: “These were a quantum leap forward in terms of their capabilities.”
Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has been given a new title, effective immediately.
He’s become Minister Supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration, a change Prime Minister John Key says makes the Government’s responsibilities clear.
“The passing of the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Act and the disestablishment of CERA marks a new phase,” Mr Key said today. Read more »
The NZ Herald has put up an article today about the guy who threw muck at Gerry Brownlee…as you can see from the headline they are claiming to have “Revealed” the child pornography charges he has faced before.
The man convicted of throwing muck over Minister Gerry Brownlee at a memorial service for victims of the Christchurch earthquake can today be revealed as a convicted sex offender.
John Andrew Howland, whose 14-year-old son, Jayden Andrews-Howland, was killed by falling masonry in the February 22, 2011 earthquake, tipped an ice cream container filled with “pretty mucky stuff” over Mr Brownlee’s head at the five-year anniversary service last month.
Howland, 41, pleaded guilty to assault at Christchurch District Court and today was sentenced to 80 hours of community work.
Now it can be reported that Howland was sentenced to eight months’ home detention in 2013 after being caught with thousands of images of child pornography on his computer.
Depression triggered by his teenage son’s death – just a day before his 15th birthday – was behind his descent into the world of child pornography, Greymouth District Court heard.
Barry Soper isn’t really an enigma. He lives life through rose-tinted glasses and longs for the days of his close association with Helen Clark.
But yesterday he got something right.
There’s an old Yorkshire saying that goes, “Where there’s muck there’s brass.”
It’s been that sort of political week although in this case the muck and brass have little to do with each other – or maybe they do.
The muck was hurled at the Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee by a yobbo who didn’t like the cut of his cloth. It spoiled what was a moving memorial to the 185 people who lost their lives in the Christchurch earthquake five years earlier.
John Howland admitted assaulting Brownlee, but won a lot of sympathy because he lost his 14-year-old son in the quake. Those of us who criticised Howland for his outburst were pilloried on social media as heartless. Read more »
John Howland is playing up a media storm, despite being convicted of holding child pornography on his computer.
Plenty of people are also buying his “poor me” story.
However, the aunt of John Howland’s son has spoken out on social media to reveal more information on the man who attacked Brownlee.
The left wing are unhinging and continuing their assault on members of the government.
Andrew Little has condemned the actions of a person who slimed Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee at the memorial service for the February 2011 earthquake.
“I thought, that given that it was a commemorative event, marking what has been a tragic time, and five years, I just thought it was the wrong thing to do. In fact, I don’t think it is ever the right time to throw a sludgy substance over anybody else,” said the Labour Party leader.
“If he wanted to make a protest or point to Gerry Brownlee or the government, I don’t think it was the occasion to do it.”