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Sutton Pleads To Protect Agriculture From Alliance

MEDIA RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE USE 14 SEPTEMBER 1999

SUTTON PLEADS TO PROTECT AGRICULTURE FROM ALLIANCE

Food and Fibre Minister John Luxton said today that the bizarre press release put out by Labour's Jim Sutton shows the rift within the Labour Party is deepening.

"In all my time in politics I don't think I have ever seen a press release that is publicly begging a colleague to stay with their party. A quiet word in private is one thing, but things must be really rough behind the scenes if Jim Sutton needs to put the screws on Damien via a press release. What was wrong with picking up the phone like everyone else?"

"I thought Labour would've learnt from past experience that airing your dirty laundry in public only ends in tears. Clearly, Helen Clark has lost control over her own caucus if they are resorting to these tactics. Obviously Damien is very close to leaving Labour and this is a desperate attempt at peer group pressure."

Mr Luxton said however he found it understandable that Jim Sutton had slated the extreme green movement, Labour's potential allies because their policies would severely damage New Zealand's agricultural, fisheries and forestry industries.

"While it's obvious that some in Labour are chasing the green vote it's also clear that others are totally unable to work with them and do not support their policies. When Jim Sutton said "the green lobby's arguments were not based on logic, so they could not be defeated by the facts" it's pretty clear where his sentiments lie, but Labour's urban elite have ruled otherwise."

"Jim Sutton is desperate for Damien O'Connor to stay because it's the only chance of preventing the agriculture, forestry and fisheries portfolios being hijacked by the Alliance."

"With Damien gone and Jim Sutton eyeing up International trade there is no-one left in Opposition to protect our vital primary industries from the loopy left policies of the Alliance," Mr Luxton concluded.

ENDS


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