Who is National’s Jesse Norman?

The Telegraph

When will someone in the National caucus put principle, not promotion prospects, first? When will they stand up to John Key and say “Borrowing $300m a week is not what I signed up for?” Or “Why are we subsidising businesses, farmers or the well off through government programs that we are ideologically opposed to?” When will there be a man or woman of conviction who realises politics is so much more than a shameless search for the baubles of office?

Then again, you may have taken quite a different view of last week’s events. After all, the right side won. That is to say, the side that actually believes that government should be accountable to the people’s wishes and concerns. There was an inspirational revival of conviction politics, and some truly splendid displays of individual courage and determination by MPs who – in the great British tradition – would not be cowed. That infamous toe-to-toe encounter between the rebel leader Jesse Norman and the Prime Minister took on the semblance of a tableau of Political Virtue vs Dishonourable Conspiracy. So, it was the best of weeks and the worst of weeks. The contrast between deal-makers and “Here I stand” refuse-niks was dramatic enough to provide a lesson in the true value of the parliamentary system.

Who is our Jesse Norman? Who will man up, tell the whip to stick it and to do his worst when he comes carrying a big stick that he actually can’t swing?

Who will tell Steven Joyce or Gerry Brownlee that they won’t “keep quiet or it will hurt your career prospects?” Who will be brave enough to tell Joyce or Brownlee that maybe they should think about who will make decisions about their futures when this government falls? 


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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