One of the, erm, dumber Herald editorials?

Editorial: Keep farewell speeches for deserving MPs only

Really?

Members enjoy valedictories. They are relief at last from the constant antagonism of party politics. Those retiring receive a more attentive hearing than they have had since their maiden speech. They go out in a burst of bonhomie from both sides of the House that heals old wounds.

Those not retiring enjoy the moment just as much.

Parliament becomes a club of hearty and generous members who understand their disagreements and can put them aside momentarily.

The truce is all the better for the fact that both sides know they will soon be in bitter combat for an election.

But if so many are leaving that their valedictories may take up sittings over several days, it is time to ask whether all deserve one. Few voters could name many of those retiring this year. Many are leaving because they have not been able to make much impact and accept that they should give others a chance. More credit to them, but valedictory time should be reserved for those who have made their mark and will be missed.

The obvious question:  who decides which MP has “made their mark and will be missed”?  Some may not have been strong parliamentary performers but have been solid in their electorates, steady on select committees, or full on supporting the party and the voters but not doing so in an overt way.

So, what an idiotic suggestion.  The mere process of deciding that will be more divisive and time wasting than a few valedictory speeches.   Alternatively, parties will come to a backroom agreement to ignore any “made their mark and will be missed” rules and let the status quo prevail.

Here’s an idea – I think editorials should have the author’s name on them.  That way we can give credit where it is due, or, in this case, point and snigger at an awful piece of work.


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