Gutless Labour MP drops euthanasia bill because Andrew Little says so

He is quite happy to run one up loose stenographers, but when his leader tells him to drop a bill, he doesn’t even blink.

Iain Lees-Galloway has bowed to orders from his leader to drop the euthanasia bill he picked up from unwanted List MP Maryan Street.

Labour says they don;t want the distraction they’d rather focus on other things.

A bill which would legalise voluntary euthanasia has been dropped by Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway at the request of his leader Andrew Little.

Mr Lees-Galloway had been canvassing support for his End of Life Choice Bill before deciding whether to return it to the private members’ bill ballot.

But Mr Little confirmed yesterday that he had told Mr Lees-Galloway not to put it in the ballot because it was not an issue Labour should be focused on when it was rebuilding.

“It comes down to priorities at the moment,” Mr Little said. “We are very much focused on … jobs and economic security.

“There are more people affected by weak labour market regulation and weak economic strategy than they are about the right to make explicit choices about how they die.”
The bill would have allowed any adult suffering from a condition likely to cause their death within 12 months to request medical assistance to die.

Mr Little said Labour was still a socially progressive party under his leadership.

“It’s not about avoiding controversy but it’s about choosing the controversies that are best for us at this point in time. That stuff on euthanasia, it isn’t the time for us to be talking about that.”

Cowardice. Gutlessness.

Labour is afraid of controversy, instead they want to keep on banging on about dirty politics.

It looks like other MPS and parties are equally squeamish. Kevin Hague is more interested in hounding Katherine Rich than passing a law that will help terminally ill people suffering.

Prime Minister John Key has previously said he supported speeding up the process of death for a terminally ill patient but he felt the End of Life Choice Bill went too far.

Green Party health spokesman Kevin Hague said he was disappointed the bill had been dropped but it was unlikely anyone in his party would take it up at this stage.

Mr Lees-Galloway, who is also the party’s labour spokesman, was now working on a bill to ban “zero hour” contracts.

I fail to see why they wouldn’t, the public supports euthanasia, it is hardly controversial now.

Opinion polls have shown strong public support for legalising euthanasia, but any Parliamentary debate is now unlikely to occur until at least the next term unless another MP drafts a bill or Government takes up the issue.

This is the problem that MMP delivers up…a lack of courage and vanilla MPs too afraid of upsetting people.

We live in a strange country where we allow women to choose what to do with “their” bodies and allow them to kill new human beings, but if those same women get to the end of their life and are in pain and suffering as they die from a terminal illness they aren’t allowed to choose what to do with that same body.


– NZ Herald


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  • fergus

    “Gutless Labour MP”
    REALLY? and this a surprise…..why?

  • kaykaybee

    I have visions of Angry Andy ferreting away behind the scenes with zealous pragmatism. Who knows maybe he can do it! Will solidarity, unity, big picture worker’s rights will be the glue that propels them towards a pragmatic win in 2017, or will the usual Labour identity factions and personal, political ambition beyond capability muddy the waters of any Hammer and Sickle paradise?

    • Mick Ie

      I also have visions of Angry Andy. He’s ferreting away behind the scenes frantically writing down notes as the Unions dictate to him their next set of instructions.

  • Greg M

    They are still weak and pathetic, no surprises there.
    This is one topic where the Labour party could have risen above their usual swamp of mediocrity and PC nonsense and made a real difference to families dealing with terminally ill loved ones.
    But no, they would rather be “socially progressive”, in other words narrow minded, cowardly and inward looking, still.

    • fergus

      One word summary:

    • mommadog

      It would have actually given them a policy to talk about rather than spending their days slamming national.

    • dgrogan

      And hell-bent on more wealth redistribution.

  • Betty Swallocks

    Presumably he wants to distract the public’s attention from euthanasia in case anyone gets the idea that the Labour Party is on its last legs …

    • johcar

      I suspect at least 50% of voters in NZ already know that Labour is on it’s last legs, despite (or perhaps because of) their desperate actions in placing Angry Andy in charge….

      • johcar

        Just found this video of Andy, Annette and Grant:

  • Nz front

    Angry little Andy is already useless, time for a new leader. Next!!!

  • CheesyEarWax

    Its a shame, it looks like pandering to the Unions is more important to Little Andy.

    • mommadog

      Not looks like. It is. Unions put him in as leader and he is a union man through and through. While he might pretend to be independent of union dictatorship he will do their bidding as surely as we take our next breaths. .

  • Pete

    Once again it shows how completely out of touch Wellington is from the rest on NZ

    • dgrogan

      Wow. Steady on. “Wellington” might be a bit of a broad brush. I know we’d not be here in any significant numbers if it weren’t for the bureaucrats, but that doesn’t mean we all agree with ’em.

      • Andrew Gibson

        Yep, all this Wellington envy doesnt seem right…after all, who controls them – MPs from Auckland!

  • roofless

    Damned if you do damned if you don’t: if Lees-Galloway challenged the request the party would be criticised for a lack of cohesion. I say well done for at least attempting unity.

  • Justsayn

    This issue deserves proper discussion, and it is pity that it seems to divisive for anyone from a main party to run. In that respect the gutless comment cuts both sides… I don’t expect to see anyone from the National ranks moving to address the issue (and they have a few backbenchers with not much else to do).

    Maybe what this needs someone from a small party to take it over… ACT maybe? It fits with libertarian thinking.

    • Whitey

      I’d like to see ACT pick this one up.

  • Aucky

    Lees-Galloway dropped his bill quicker than his pants. So much for his courage and his principles. I suspect that he may pay for this reversal at the polling booths come 2017.

  • Alexander K

    When I read the bit about Labour being ‘socially progressive’ I came close to despoilimg my keyboard with coffee. They are unprincipled Marxist leftovers from the past and irrelevant to most of us. I am convinced they still haven’t a clue why they lost the last election.
    I am convinced the issue they have dumped as ‘unimportant to them while they are rebuilding’ is quite important to many among our ageing population.

    • Exactly. It’s actually a very important issue for a lot of ageing baby boomers, first, as we care for our own parents, and then, as we expect ourselves to go.

      • NoEyeDeer

        I agree to both of your comments but to be fair to Little Andy, early on he did say labour would be focusing on core policies in an effort to won back voters; before tackling the less well known topics.

        • Justsayn

          I’m already in my 40s. If we wait for him to win back voters the issue will be moot for me!

  • Steve C

    I am trying to work out why they have to drop the Euthanasia bill to bring in the bill to remove Zero hours contracts.

  • Crookednose

    Silly fools. This is one policy where most people will put aside political views and take it on good facts, good policy wording and good points of view from public and personal experience.
    They could have come across as a bit more common sense & maybe got some political cudos.
    Total lack of political nous.

  • Andrew Gibson

    Agree that politically its just expediant for Labour to pull the pin…no more controversy. But the issue itself – the legal killing of the elderly – has a long way to go. For example, how would enduring powers if attourney fit in?

  • Billythekid

    Focusing on jobs and economical security eh Angry ? Why am I laughing so much that it hurts ? You and your pinko mates haven’t figured it yet, and I doubt you ever will.

  • Keanne Lawrence

    It certainly looks like Labour will steer clear of any controversial issue that might be more important to the majority than the petty issues they seem distracted by.
    Again they fall on their sword by ignoring what the people want and instead keep in step with Angry Andy beating the drum. Leadership has changed but the same old beat goes on.