The Race for Speaker, Ctd

Tau Henare has opened up a large can of worms that National would have preferred not to have to deal with. His realpolitik approach hasn’t been seen in National since Bill English was rolled by Don Brash, and there are three intakes of MPs who have never experienced a good old fashioned dust up like this.

This demonstrates something have overlooked. John Key and Steven Joyce have been indifferent to many on the backbenches, capable people who should have been offered a job inside or outside of parliament, rather than being treated like lepers. Joyce has made no effort to build a rapport or any good will with members of caucus he doesn’t rate, relying on Key’s popularity to keep them all in line. He has not been aided by a staff who make it clear backbenchers are the lowest form of life imaginable and should not be even talking to the obviously morally superior staff.

The problem with this approach is that there are many disgruntled MPs who wonder why they would hang around just to protect John Key and Steven Joyce’s power. For a strategist Joyce has been silly in overlooking that there are MPs who could cause trouble if not shown that there is reward for good behaviour.

Joyce has created an environment where MPs are actively talking about options like Tau has taken, grabbing whatever they can, knowing that under MMP Joyce can’t afford MPs crossing the floor. With no prospect of a promotion or a big job to look forward to, MPs become embittered and start wondering how they can cause problems.

My sources are telling me that more problems are going to pop up.


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  • Troy

    I sort of agree with and don’t with most of your commentary on this WO. The difficulty with any political party is that it has a triangular hierarchy – not everyone can be in cabinet, not everyone can get to chair select committees, indeed, the vast majority in National’s case (because so many got elected) have to by default sit in the “cheap seats” – there isn’t enough room for everyone to be high flying all at once. On the other hand, integral to good leadership is inclusivity and if that is not occurring then there will be waves – but, rupture too much by backbenchers will not be seen well by the public in terms of their perception of the party – Labour’s dismal results at the last election prove that. I’d suggest that for Nat MP’s that aren’t high in the pecking order for them to throw stones whilst in the glasshouse could see it implode in their faces.

  • rockyr

    The discontent arises because there are far too many MPs (capable as they may be) ,and too many jobs of considerable importance which they could be assigned too, allotted to the numerous inefficient tribunals and commissions. We elect MPs to run the country but in effect it is poorly controlled by tribunals and commissions of doubtful competence.