When will the National Back Bench Become Unruly?

John Key’s poll numbers are remarkable but what is even more remarkable is that no backbencher has opposed any of the wet policies propagated by the current leadership. Nor have they thrown a temper tantrum about being passed over for promotion, or has there been an internal donnybrook where a hamfisted disciplinarian gets told to fuck off by an angry backbencher who doesn’t like being bullied.

The real test of this will be when the current speaker goes to London, as is well flagged, at the end of the year. When Lockie heads off there will be a chance for someone to get a promotion, especially if someone from within cabinet gets the job.

The smart money is on Nick Smith returning to cabinet because his sins weren’t career ending, and no one else in caucus understand all the green hippie shit like Nick does. They even like him, which is a huge achievement for Nick, a confirmed member of the wet wing of the party but also an engineer and scientist so not afraid of looking for the truth through peer reviewed research.

If this happens many of the backbench will realise they are never going to make the step up. They will have few incentives to maintaining their ovine devotion to the party and the leadership, because the leadership offers them nothing except a request for more ovine behaviour. Then expect the current lot will start wondering whether bovine devotion is worth doing, and may become the most dangerous of animals, a clever sheep.


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  • gazzaw

    Maybe a good proportion of them realise that they have reached (or even surpassed) their plateau of competence and a $150k annual package, a golden super scheme and the occasional overseas junket is far more than they will ever attain in the private sector. Not exactly a coronary-inducing job either.

  • Chris Trotter

    Just a small point, Cam. “Bovine” refers to cows. The word you’re looking for is “Ovine” – pertaining to sheep.

    Sadly, ovine behaviour is not restricted to the National Party benches.

    • BW_Lord

      I think he was right with the bovine term. There is little more to most backbenchers than standing there with a glazed and vacuous look in their eyes, while slowly chewing over their various perks and entitlements.

      I suppose the Ovine or sheepish behaviour is there as well, just in lesser amounts, since they don’t actually do anything.

    • The Gantt Guy

      Chris, “Ovine” is a more appropriate descriptor of the voter than the elected.

    • Good point…thank you Chris

  • The Gantt Guy

    Perhaps when the electorates stop nominating, and the people stop voting for, cows, then the bovine behavius will cease. With the possible exception of Jami-Lee Ross, I don’t see a single back bencher with the intellect (let’s leave aside balls or moral fortitude) to bray against Comrade Napoleon Key and his Squealers.

    Your fellating of Nick Smith points to the problem. The reason why nobody rises up against the wet progressives in the caucus is because virtually the entire caucus are wet progressives. If the party decided to start nominating genuine Conservatives (hell, even one or two Classical Liberals would be nice) then maybe the party might have a future.

    As it stands, the minute Liarbore find themselves a genuinely electable leader, the vast majority of those dripping wet National backbenchers will be returning to their former lives.

  • le sphincter

    no one else in caucus understand all the green hippie shit like Nick does” ???
    That seems to confirm my opinion that the caucus is a lot of lazy doofers  with at best a fifth form education. Its not rocket science. Even among engineers the environmental stuff is seen as suitable for underachievers. Even Rodney Hide had a degree in ‘the environment’, and he never shone at school.  There are of course some very smart cookies that want to keep their career outside parliament and prefer to be a part time list MP.he blue -green wing of the party seems to consist of those who smoked the stuff in their younger days but havent done any thinking since.

    • Roger

       Tight one (or loose, I’m not sure and don’t really want to know), I think you have described the Labour caucus.  

      • le sphincter

        Heard of Tau Henare ?

      • axeman

        Heard of John Pagani?

  • Meg

    There is no way anyone on the back bench will have a hissyfit about ANYTHING Key does till his poll numbers tank. 

    They know that at this point in time Key IS National and without him National would be crushed at the next election – Bill English crushed. 

    • gazzaw

      You are oh so right Meg……………….don’t you just wish that JK batted on your team.
      Shearer won’t lead you out of the wilderness nor Parker, nor Cunliffe, nor Robertson, nor Street. In fact there’s no one.  

      • Meg

        Given how Key is ready to sell every part of NZ including the DNA of our sheep, no I would HATE for him to be on the correct team, you can keep him over there.

        Perhaps when Shearer is PM he can offer Key a diplomatic post in Asia somewhere.