Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Dunne Speaks

Dunne Speaks

12 December 2013

Convenient political amnesia is capturing all the attention at the moment, in the main because our Prime Minister cannot remember where he stood on the 1981 Springbok Tour.

While this is the latest and arguably most dramatic incidence of this malady, it is by no means the only outbreak, nor will it be the last. For example, the two Davids now running the Labour Party cannot remember that just three years ago they were proposing to sell minority shareholdings in state company subsidiaries, while now they urge people to vote no in the asset sales referendum. And someone, whose I dare not mention, cannot even remember helicopter rides or anonymous donations.

Political amnesia is an annoyingly harmless complaint of itself. Although it can be contagious and can occasionally be a precursor of the complaint known as political grandstanding (The Al Gore “I invented the internet” condition, or the chronic elderly case in the New Zealand Parliament) it is more commonly a pre-condition of “I was there, but …”, the curse many retired politicians suffer from. A very large outbreak of this has been reported in South Africa this week, with many sufferers diagnosed at the funeral of Nelson Mandela. From David Cameron, whose Tory predecessors armed the apartheid regime in the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s, but who know proclaims his long admiration of the anti-apartheid struggle, through to two of our former Muldoon Government senior politicians who were “always” against the 1981 Tour, they have all been there.
What is especially galling in the New Zealand instance is that the pair were in a government happy to see an itinerary which really looked more like a tour of marginal National Party provincial seats than a sports visit. They were presumably also happy that the outcome – thanks to the results in the Gisborne, New Plymouth and Hamilton electorates (all beneficiaries of tour related incidents) - was the re-election of the Muldoon Government by just one seat in the election later that year.

There are some worrying signs that over the next twelve months the incidences of this illness could become more frequent. There are already early signs National may have caught the “we were always in favour of extending paid parental leave” virus, and that Labour is seeking to ward off symptoms of the “we will exempt fresh fruit and vegetables from GST” strain.

The only known treatments are short-term and essentially palliative: the onset of summer holidays; the public’s general political tuning-out at that time; and overall relaxation. Normally, this can suppress the condition for a couple of months, but the prognosis is not good. One thing we know about all the sufferers is that relapse is frequent, and its timing predictable. About February 2014 to be precise.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And ACC Work Of Sir Owen Woodhouse

With the death of Sir Owen Woodhouse, the founding father of the Accident Compensation Scheme, New Zealand has lost one of the titans of its post-war social policy.

In its original incarnation in the early 1970s, ACC had been a globally innovative “no fault” scheme whereby accident victims surrendered their right to sue those responsible – on the understanding that they would receive compensation at a level that, as Woodhouse famously stated, would be sufficient to enable accident victims to fully participate in social life... More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Bad Transnationals: Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award

It won the 2011 Roger Award and was runner up in 2012, 2009 and 08. One 2013 nomination said simply and in its entirety: “Blackmailing country”... More>>

ALSO:

Select Committees: Tobacco Plain Packaging Hearings

The Stroke Foundation is today backing the Cancer Society and Smokefree Coalition who are making oral submissions to the Health Select Committee in support of proposed legislation to remove of all branding from tobacco products. More>>

ALSO:

Milk: Oravida Asked For Cabinet Help

New evidence released by New Zealand First today reveals Justice Minister Judith Collins used her position to manipulate the Government to help her husband’s company, Oravida, after the Fonterra botulism scare, says New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters. More>>

ALSO:

With Conditions: Ruataniwha Consents Approved In Draft Decision

The Tukituki Catchment Proposal Board of Inquiry has granted 17 resource consents relating to the $265 million Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme in a draft decision that would open more of the Hawke’s Bay to irrigation. More>>

ALSO:

Fast Lanes, Campervans: Labour 'Making The Holidays Easier For Kiwi Drivers'

The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Royalty And Its Tourism Spin-Offs

Ultimately the Queen’s longevity has been one of her most significant accomplishments. A transition to Prince Charles while the monarchy was in the pits of public esteem in the mid to late 1990s would have been disastrous for the Royal Firm. Far more congenial representatives have now emerged... More>>

ALSO:

Privacy (Again): ACC Demands Excessive Privacy Waivers

Labour: “This is just another example of ACC under National deliberately acting to deny treatment and compensation... Those who did fill in the form have effectively been victims of yet another ACC privacy breach. This time Judith Collins knew it was happening..." More>>

ALSO:

IPCC: Many Pathways To Substantial Emissions Reductions Available

A new report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shows that global emissions of greenhouse gases have risen to unprecedented levels despite a growing number of policies to reduce climate change. Emissions grew more quickly between 2000 and 2010 than in each of the three previous decades. More>>

ALSO:

Bowels: Green Light From Labour For Cancer Screening Programme

Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. More>>

ALSO:

Dotcom Speaks To Mana AGM: Negotiations With The Internet Party To COntinue

The MANA AGM decided unanimously to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news