Trevor Mallard

Mallard: Do as I say, not as I do

Politicians are able to hold many positions at once, but this one is a top shelf example of political hypocrisy

Trevor Mallard – the MP whose tweets against the Speaker sparked a parliamentary inquiry into the use of social media by MPs – says there should be no special rules for social media.

“In my opinion there is no difference between making a criticism on new media on Twitter, to making it to a TV camera, to making it in the House,” Mr Mallard said.

After disagreeing with a ruling Speaker David Carter had made during question time last May, Mr Mallard tweeted:

@publicaddress @MatthewHootonNZ 2nd week in a row where the Speaker looked like a Mafia Don running his @NZNationalParty protection racket.

— Trevor Mallard (@TrevorMallard) May 13, 2014

That was just OK back then.  But now, it’s not.  Why?   Read more »

Great news for Trevor, maybe he can get that legacy after all

Before the last election Trevor Mallard had a fantastic plan to resurrect the moa.

Of course he never told his leader about it and then stole all the headlines.

But it seems he wasn’t altogether wonky about at least trying.

It seems that there are 14 extinct species that could be cloned and brought back…the moa and Haast’s Eagle amongst them.

Imagine herds of mammoths roaming the open fields and saber-toothed cats prowling around your neighborhood. Science is on the brink of reviving a number of extinct animals – all that’s needed is a good sample of the animal’s DNA. The basic method of reproductive cloning that could bring animals back from extinction consists of taking DNA from the remains of the species you want to clone and inserting that DNA into a cell (preferably an egg) of a related living species. Then, until the day that artificial wombs can do the job, the best method is for the animal’s closest living relative to carry the baby to term.

While clones made this way do exist (the first successful one was Dolly the sheep in 1996) the science of cloning is still in its infancy, so don’t expect your local lab to start churning out saber-toothed cats right away. But if we’re willing to navigate the stumbling blocks inherent in patching back together extinct species, all of the animals on this roster could be up for de-extinction, since we have already accessed their DNA.

[…]   Read more »

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Finally labour does something sensible, not surprising it wasn’t Andrew Little’s idea

NZ-Flag-300x224

Labour will oppose a bill setting up the two referendums deciding the fate of the flag because of a sticking point over the order of the questions.

The Flag Referendums Bill is expected to get its first reading in Parliament soon and has enough support to pass its first stage without Labour, although the Maori Party and the Greens have only committed to support it through to select committee so far. Read more »

Was Robbo white-anting Little too?

Was Grant Robertson white-anting Andrew Little too?

Rob Hosking at NBR seems to think so.

[P]erhaps the most revealing aspect is to do with Mr Little’s colleagues – what has and what has not happened.

First, what has not: there has been no rush by Labour MPs to defend their leader. Mr Little is very much on his own on this, in Parliament and elsewhere.

Usually, in such matters, with a leader in trouble, colleagues run interference, at question time in Parliament and in the media.

This time: nothing.

Second, what did happen: there was the odd, apparent stuff up, by Mr Little’s leadership rival Grant Robertson, at Parliamentary questions yesterday.

With government ministers desperately keen for the chance to enhance Mr Little’s discomfiture by raising the issue of the unpaid bill, Mr Robertson’s questions to Finance Minister Bill English provided them with just that opportunity.

Asking whether the decision not to cut ACC levies was at to be the result of competently managing and growing the economy, rather than “ripping off workers and businesses,” Mr English gleefully pointed out that “it is not the right day for the Labour Party to be talking about ripping off the workers. I mean, at least the workers pay some levy, whereas Andrew Little did not pay any of the bill.”

Now, Mr Robertson is a wily and experienced performer at question time. As a politician, Parliamentary ducks and drakes is by far what he is best at: in fact, his major fault is he often appears to think it is the whole point of politics to score some sort of debating point on the floor of Parliament. Read more »

Is anyone talking to Andrew Little or are they all trying to make him look like a dick

Yesterday in parliament Andrew Little got a caning on the first question over social housing where his own spokesman’s words were hurled back at him with every question.

Then there is this on the subject of the corporate welfare for Team New Zealand.

Labour’s sport spokesman Trevor Mallard confirmed he was briefed on the outcome of the qualifiers’ series decisions, but not by the Government and hinted it was international sources. He said he did not intend to break the confidentiality he was bound by.

Mr Mallard was Sport Minister under the former Labour Government which had given the $36 million funding and said he believed it was worth re-investing in the team whether or not it had secured a series. He said the Government had earned more in income tax and GST than it contributed in direct funding last time. “It would be logical for them to put money in on the cost benefit and tax analysis they’ve done. I think it adds up.”

Mr Mallard’s leader was slightly less convinced and Mr Mallard said he had not passed on the information he knew to Mr Little because “I don’t break confidences.”   Read more »

Who is Andrew Little? Ctd – Does Andrew Little have the bottle for a fight?

Andrew Little

Andrew Little has been considered the man coming in the Labour movement for a generation.

Strangely for a former student politician and unionist he is not known for having much mongrel in him. He bailed first when Judith Collins sued him and Trevor Mallard for defamation.

Labour’s politicians and activists are usually well versed in the dark arts, and know exactly how dirty politics really is because they have been in the thick of some of the most enjoyable political fights ever.

What has been strange about Andrew Little is that he has not had a great reputation for being willing to fight to get ahead. Contrary to the public story that he didn’t want to enter parliament in 2008 because of his young son, the word from inside Fraser House is that Little wanted Rimutaka when Paul Swain retired. In the murk and skullduggery that went on before that selection Little was essentially out muscled, and decided not to run.    Read more »

3 reasons why I won’t work for Andrew Little

Employ Slater?

Employ Slater?

Andrew Little has announced that I won’t be in contention for their advertised role for chief spin weasel in the Leader’s office.

The Labour leader stops short of saying the new communications director has to vote Labour, but says they need to be sympathetic to the cause.

“We don’t expect to employ Cameron Slater,” says Mr Little.

Be that as it may, it was always unlikely that I’d work for Andrew Little.   Read more »

Good on ya Winston

Shane+Dobbin+Winter+Olympics+Previews+gYHJ0Gau9yCl

Winston Peters has quit the flag committee.

Good on him.

The proposal to change the flag is stupid, and a massive weapon of mass distraction being deployed by John Key.

New Zealand First has pulled out of a committee which will decide how the public votes on the national flag, saying it was an expensive exercise which took attention away from greater priorities.

Leader Winston Peters said this afternoon the flag referendum will “cost us dearly” and take the public’s eye off more pressing social and economic challenges.

“A change of flag might need to be considered but now is not the time. Poverty and housing are at crisis level, it’s no time for a government to be raising a distraction,” Mr Peters said.

His party had rejected the Government’s invitation to nominate an MP for a cross-party committee.

Prime Minister John Key said New Zealand First’s absence from the committee would not “inhibit the process in any way”.    Read more »

Here’s the flaw in Trevor’s Moa Plan

Defrosting ancient poo could reintroduce some age-old bugs to the modern world, scientists say.

An extremely infectious and deadly ancient virus, released from a frozen slumber by warming climates, could play havoc with immune systems that have no experience of such germs.

A team of international biologists, including the University of Canterbury’s Arvind Varsani, has proven that such an incident is theoretically possible, after they resurrected an ancient virus from the 700-year-old frozen droppings of Canadian caribou.

With a little reconstruction, the DNA virus, christened the “caribou faeces-associated virus”, has gone on to infect modern-day plants, according to a paper published yesterday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

Varsani said the team had proved ancient viruses were as worthwhile to study as today’s versions – as both may make up tomorrow’s germs.

The virus was also identified as a relative of a modern one, giving valuable insight into how the microbes evolved, he said. “Through this work we might be able to understand where they are going and what they are doing if they become pathogenic.”

The elephant in the room is of course the dinosaurs in the Labour Caucus.  Is their poo a risk factor in infecting more modern Labour politicians?   Read more »

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A fine bromance, with no kisses…

bromance

Read in movie-voice-over-guy voice

They BOTH wanted to be speaker…