Harre Gets Sidelined Again
"The Prime Minister should prove her commitment to honest Government by renaming Laila Harre the 'Minister of Shouting in Vain from the Sidelines'," says Ilam MP Gerry Brownlee.
"First Laila held forth on the ACC reforms - and was promptly put in her place by Michael Cullen.
"Now, after five months of silence, Ms Harre has leapt forth with all four limbs flailing over the Employment Relations Bill. She says any changes will be 'minor' - and the Government 'can't be faulted on the way (the ERB) is being received and sold to the public'.
"That obviously isn't the way Labour sees it - with Helen Clark today personally taking charge of the ERB. The Prime Minister knows this is a Frankenstein's monster of a bill - which has seen angry employers and workers lining up torches in hand at the castle gates. It needs radical surgery, not a nip-and-tuck.
"Laila's joined her fellow jilted Alliance MPs in the sin bin reserved for Ministers caught spouting gibberish in public.
"Her fellow inmates are Jim Anderton (whose Kiwi Bank looks set to end up being a cash drawer at the local Post Shop) and Matt Robson. With cellmates like those she'll be glad the Government rejected Mr Robson's bonking-behind-bars initiative.
"If Laila needs a supportive shoulder to lean on there are bound to be a few Alliance voters left, though if you believe the opinion polls they're few and far between these days," Mr Brownlee says.