Eric Roy

Clifton on Tigger

I was recovering from my trip to Fiji and so missed this article by Jane Clifton about National’s next Speaker:

The parliamentary speaker’s chair will be vacant early next year when Lockwood Smith is posted to our High Commission in London, and though to say speculation about who will be our next caped crusader is feverish would be an overstatement, there is a degree of jockeying for the position among National’s seniors.

Not all the jockeying, however, is aimed at securing the position. As a result of a flying wedge interrogation operation I conducted at one of those inside-the-beltway Wellington parties the other night with two fellow senior members of the press gallery, I can be reasonably certain that the front-runner is not the widely-tipped David Carter, but Maurice Williamson. By a process of gall, guile, charm and flattery, we have reliably deduced from our research that, while both ministers have been sounded out for the role, one is having a renewed lease of life in his portfolios and wants to keep them, while the other gentleman, not to put too fine a point on it, has not.

I can just imagine Jane leading the flying wedge.

Not, as a regular parliamentary sketch-writer, that I’m self-interested or anything, but a Williamson speakership would guarantee a lively and entertaining parliament, as the Pakuranga MP has a ready and anarchic sense of humour, and what Dr Brian Edwards likes to call the performance gene.

He’s understood to be very enthusiastic about the idea –as he is about much in life, the early-90s nickname Tigger having stuck fast. Unless he affects a personality change, he would be the most colourful presiding officer in living memory, and would likely build on Lockwood Smith’s change of the role, to a less legalistic style of applying the standing orders.

Williamson would also, again not to put too fine a point on it, not necessarily need a microphone as all past speakers have done.

The only questions are: how Williamson might manage to keep a straight face during the arcane daily ritual whereby the speaker is escorted at funereal pace by liveried officials carrying the ceremonial mace into the House each day; and how might the former Air New Zealand IT wallah part with his beloved iPad for the hours he would be required to spend in the chair?

There are some others who would eye the job with envy:

However, other speakership possibilities are experienced assistant/deputy speaker MPs, Eric Roy and Lindsay Tisch. It’s not clear whether either has yet been shoulder-tapped to express an interest in the job, but if not, at least in the latter case, it may be because the MP’s short stature would require him to over-use the speakerly warning,”I’m on my feet!”

There is at least one other wild card contender, who falls into the realm of a would-be poacher-turned-gamekeeper. No, not John Banks – that I know of, anyway – but watch this space.

Lindsay should just retire, his days of glory faded a long time ago. He is just holding up a safe blue seat for a star of the future.

I’m interested in who her wild card may be.

Who will replace Roger Bridge?

If the rumours that Roger Bridge is intending to tender his resignation are true National has the mechanism to replace a board member without a fresh election. This happened in when then board members Eric Roy and David Bennett resigned to contest the 2005 election.

The difficulty in replacing Roger is there is a fairly limited talent pool for potential directors. In recent years Alan Towers has lost board elections twice, so obviously not popular enough within the party to deserve a place. Regional chair for the CNI Peter Osborne is regarded as one of the most indiscrete men in the party, and someone who would probably leak even more than the current board leaks. Plus he has a moustache and men with moustaches generally can’t be trusted.

Both men are members of the buggers muddle and Osborne especially loves to meddle in selections and is a known misogynist who actively seeks to discourage women candidates. The last thing National needs is to be taken over by the kind of factional fighting we see in Labour. Placing either on the board means a confirmed vote for the buggers muddle factional leader Alastair Bell for president, and sources from close to the parliamentary leadership are saying there is no way Alastair Bell will ever be president because he has repeatedly proven himself to be a lightweight.

The only other regional chair not on the board is Ele Ludemann from the Southern Region. Ele is a much loved member of the National Party whose grace is unusual in political parties, where pettiness often dominates. Ele would provide a welcome strategic brain on the board, and would be a nice geographical replacement for Roger, but may get tripped up by overt and unsubtle lobbying by the buggers muddle.

The kind of firepower an MP should have

Eric Roy has a new rifle:

Eric Roy the local M.P. who is a mad keen hunter popped in to see us today and show us his .338 Lapua, this is built on a Remington Model 700 action, of course!!!!(a superb action as mentioned below), with a Bell and Carlson Stock and a Nite force scope, what a package, it has a single drop down “spike” off the butt for support of shot and we placed it on a Harris Bi-pod for him, am looking at taking a few shots with it at the range in Te Anau coming up, will keep you posted.

Sledge of the Day

Last night during Trevor Mallard’s anti-graffiti bill Maggie Barry dropped an awesome sledge on Andrew Williams, the Clown of Campbell’s Bay.

Trevor Mallard leapt in to defend the “honour” of the CLown and just rammed home the point of her sledge. After the point of order was batted away by Eric Roy, The Whaleoil Rookie of the Year stood again and repeated her sledge.

Maggie Barry has great promise in the house with her ability to deliver these sledges dead pan.

Daily Poll – Pig Hunting

Which MP would you rather hunt pigs with?

  • Paula Bennett (80%, 311 Votes)
  • Eric Roy (12%, 45 Votes)
  • Charles Chauvel (6%, 25 Votes)
  • Carmel Sepuloni (3%, 10 Votes)

Total Voters: 391

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Maggie Barry to stand in North Shore?

The tipline has been buzzing. It appears that Maggie Barry is about to announce her candidacy in North Shore. My sources are not usually wrong. It seems Maggie has finally done her “due diligence” and after shopping in Botany and Rodney has decided on North Shore. The local members will be pleased to see that she wants to represent the people of Botany Rodney North Shore.

This also confirms other messages that Steven Joyce has re-thought his position and listened to the Prime Minister, on standing for an electorate at this election, remaining on the list. If this is the case then I woiuld think that Steven may well step into Murry McCully’s shoes when he retires in East Coast Bays.

David Farrar also speculates on retirements in the next term. Though he doesn’t name names because of his squeamishness in talking about the dead I am not so squeamish.

Both Murray McCully and Maurice Williamson should be looking for retirement at the end of the next term. They both have solid blue seats and so patience will reward those who wait. Allan Peachey is pretty much a political corpse now. If someone had the gumption to challenge him then he would probably lose. He won’t go quietly, telling everyone who will listen that he doesn’t have a job to go to. Lindsay Tisch is another old tusker sitting in a prime blue seat and not achieving anything. He hit the glass ceiling the first day he was sworn in. Dr Paul Hutchinson is a thoroughly nice guy but isn’t ever going to set the world alight so perhaps Tony Ryall could find him a nice DHB board position or two. The last old tusker that should retire gracefully before being knifed is Eric Roy. That is six retirements, exactly the number Farrar thinks is appropriate to refresh caucus in a timely fashion.

Right now though as National goes into the election it is the one that looks fresh and up to the challenges of government whereas Labour looks tired and worn out with its entire front bench being retreads of the previous governments with some entering parliament in the 80s and early 90s.

More on National's regeneration

Thanks to all the readers and journalists who have been in contact about the regeneration project for National. Several people have pointed out that the festive spirit has got into me, and I am moving people on nicely rather than telling them to bugger off.

Let’s put this in context. There are very few people in the National caucus that do not have very strong CVs and have not been successful in the real world before coming into parliament. Readers are challenged to name any. (Oh OK Nikki Kaye is one) That’s why I think most of the people that are moved on should be given options, because they can contribute outside parliament. It is not like they are simply troughers who are sticking their hand out because otherwise they will end up selling jewelry for Michael Hill.

A while back this blog talked about the importance of electorate seats, and why they are needed. Keeping the red scourge out of government means holding electorates, as this diverts Labour’s resources from areas they need to win to win power. So National needs to look ahead at 2014 when the polls will inevitably go against them.

In 2014 any open seat that was National held will be hard to keep. It will be much easier to keep if National have an MP in the seat for three years, which means getting them elected in 2011. Two seats will fall to Labour in 2014 if we don’t get people in willing to commit beyond 2014, Invercargill and Wairarapa.

This isn’t a criticism of Eric or John. Eric Roy is a bloody good guy who is known as a hunter and a fisherman, and he should be offered some interesting position like New Zealand liason to the NRA weapons testing program and sent to the states to shoot things for a few years.

For those that don’t know John Hayes he was the bloke that negotiated the end to the troubles in the Solomons. In a world full of conflict we should be putting him forward to sort out conflicts around the world, rather than wasting his talent on the back benches or in the Deliverance Country that is the Wairarapa.

The Ugly Party

I tend to play it hard and fast when it comes to running stories but I’ve waited to get verification of this one. It’s so ugly I wouldn’t want to run it without having confirmation from a couple of RSA members who saw it happen.

On ANZAC day I had a call from a mate of mine – a Vietnam vet – regarding some truly shameful behaviour he saw at Birkenhead RSA. I rang around another vet who was there who confirmed it. It was also shopped to me by a disaffected Labour party member in the Northcote LEC – McCracken’s selection caused a lot of ill-will and he has upset local party members by failing to consult with them over his campaign.

Labour’s East Coast Ba- er, Northcote candidate Hayden McCracken (aka Hayden McCrazyeye aka the John C Turmel of New Zealand politics) was removed by the management of Birkenhead RSA for using ANZAC as a campaign opportunity. Alongside the equally erstwhile Ann Hartley, McCrazyeye was caught handing out Labour party campaign material and soliciting votes on a day that should be above partisan political activity. If you want to hand out campaign material over the corpses of New Zealand soldiers then you are not fit to hold public office.

It really is a kick in the teeth for veterans to have a Labour candidate campaign in an RSA on a day like this. ANZAC day is a day to, as Helen Clark said, “honour the service and sacrifice of all our veterans, and … pledge that our fallen will never be forgotten”.

The worst part is that he should know better. This wasn’t a silly mistake – it was a deliberate strategy from a perennial failed candidate with a former MP in tow. Just how out of touch is this guy? Does he really think taking a dump on the service of Kiwis who fought for our country is going to win him any votes? This is a fucking disgrace and Clark should dissassociate herself from this loon.

And that to the appaling display by What’s Her Face from Auckland Central, Jonathon Hunt who wouldn’t get out of his car because it was raining and Helen Clark who likes to sleep in and we start to see a pattern here of Labour MP’s disrespecting ANZAC Day.

Shame on them.