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Who Is Trying To Fool Whom?

Gerry Brownlee MP
National Party Deputy Leader

18 January 2005

Who is trying to fool whom?

National Party Deputy Leader Gerry Brownlee says the public deserve to know whether troublesome backbench MP John Tamihere has allowed the Prime Minister to vet the speech he's due to deliver tomorrow.

"Helen Clark appears determined to exercise her famous double standard and save John Tamihere even though he took a golden handshake he said he would not take.

"It's impossible to believe that this MP, who is on probation, would be making any controversial statements without the nod of approval from the Prime Minister.

"Remember just last year he was telling us that he was an independent, strong willed, red-blooded Kiwi male - and he had been given permission by Helen Clark to say so.

"Make no mistake, Helen Clark's office will have been all over this like a rash. It's yet another cynical attempt by Labour to paint itself as something it is definitely not - a Government that balances both business and worker interests.

"This should be seen for what it is, an attempt by Labour to try to blur its traditional pro-union agenda.

"The Labour Government has made significant union-friendly changes to employment law, it provides significant funding to unions and they reciprocate with large donations.

"A recent count by my colleague Murray McCully identified 24 members of the Labour caucus who have held positions of influence within the union movement.

"John Tamihere attacking the cosy relationship between the Labour Government and the union movement is nothing more than meaningless rhetoric and hot air. Nothing will change," says Mr Brownlee.


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