Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

A Week Of It: Prebble's Departure,Crying and Shame

A Week Of It: Prebble's Departure, Crying and Shame

Prebble Bawls His Way Out of Parliament
Mean-Spirited National MPs won't let Dr Brash Play In Policy Sandpit
Be Cautious When Overtaking The Vote Bus

***********

Prebble Bawls His Way Out of Parliament

Mr Prebble finds being an MP is no yolking matter in the late 80s.

***********

Over the last twenty years a larger proportion of the wealth of this country has been held in fewer hands. Not only have the poor become relatively poorer, but the position of the ordinary wage and salary worker has also declined relative to the really wealthy in New Zealand.
- Richard Prebble 1975.

When Richard Prebble arrived in Parliament as a Labour Party MP thirty years ago he pointed out the gaps that existed between the wealthy and the poor in New Zealand to his parliamentary colleagues. Yesterday when Mr Prebble gave his valedictory speech he mysteriously decided to leave the 'inequality of opportunity' that exists in New Zealand out of his saline-soaked farewell to the House.

Mr Prebble instead chose to spend the last part of his valedictory speech remembering a fallen soldier who may or may not have been a distant relative. The soldier, Bill Prebble, who was killed in Italy during WW2, had earlier fought valiantly in Crete. Mr Prebble considered it fitting that Bill Prebble who "died defending our democracy…is now remembered in the pages of Hansard."

Another soldier who had fought defending our democracy may sadly never be recognised in Hansard - Christopher Owen-Cooper. Mr Owen-Cooper, who had served in Greece, Crete and Italy during WW2, and later in Korea, was discharged (but paid $50 in costs) for pelting Mr Prebble with eggs in 1988.

According to the Dominion newspaper, when asked by Judge Anderson: 'What have you to say [for yourself]?', Mr Owen-Cooper replied, "We've all built up frustration, we're sick of what the Government's doing. They (politicians) can't give us any answers so it was time someone gave them the hurry along."

Mr Owen-Cooper lived alone eking out an existence on his war pension and told Judge Anderson "That's all I've got now. And I've only got 10 eggs now."

"I'll confiscate them," Judge Anderson replied.

As Mr Prebble snuffled and blubbed his way through his last hurrah in Parliament, a number of young ACT Party supporters were visibly moved in the public galleries. Thankfully they may never have to be called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice for New Zealand. Mr Prebble, however who has never served in the military and went straight from school to university, where he studied Law, was very much in favour of sending other, younger New Zealanders to fight in the invasion of Iraq.

"The United States has asked us for assistance, and, shamefully, for the first time in our history, we are not standing up against fascism, against this terrorist, and against this threat to world peace. We should be there, and I agree with Mr Peters that we should be there because that is the right thing to do," Mr Prebble told the House on 18 March 2003.

- According to War Pension Unit of the Ministry of Social Development the veterans pension at present is $301 (Gross)

- According to a Sunday Star Times article earlier this year, a long serving MP such as Jonathan Hunt is entitled to a pension of $77,000 per annum upon leaving.

Note: A Week of It does not know what arrangements if any Mr Prebble has made regarding receiving a parliamentary pension.

A Week of It considers it unthinkable that any ACT MP would be grubbing at the taxpayer trough, considering current ACT party leader Rodney Hide's thoughts on the MP's pension scheme in 1997:

The MPs’ scheme is a good one. But it’s wrong that only the MPs get to enjoy it.
If the MPs’ scheme is good enough for politicians; surely, it should be good enough for everyone?

No doubt in a show of solidarity with the average punter Mr Prebble came to Parliament to represent, in 1975, Mr Prebble has avoided utilising the elitist MPs pension scheme.

***********

Mean-Spirited National MPs Won't let Dr Brash Play In Policy Sandpit

Well-respected economic commentator Rod Oram indulged in some economic detective work this week. On Thursday morning Mr Oram filled Radio NZ's Linda Clark in on his Hercule Poirotesque investigations into National's well-hidden economic policies and how those well-hidden policies are being thrashed out (presumably in darkened, sound proofed rooms).

When I had to turn up on TV One's Breakfast program on Tuesday morning and Don Brash was there I asked him afterwards. "How do you work through that core economic philosophy which you believe is essential to New Zealand's accelerated rate of economic growth – how do you relate that to the campaign promises you are making now and to how you would run fiscal policy in your first term?"

And his exact words were, and I wrote them down afterwards were, "I haven't really thought about that I'm not very involved in the detail of policy making!"

Later Mr Oram tracked down National's finance spokesperson John Key:

I asked John Key about this yesterday and his quote was, "I'm finance spokesperson now – I put up the proposals."

He [also] said, "A different master can have a different way of approaching things."

A Week of It will report more on the inner workings of the National Party as they come to Rod Oram's attention.

***********

Be Cautious When Overtaking The Vote Bus


Click for big version

Any motorists cruising down the economic highway would be well advised to pass the 'National Vote Bus' with extreme caution. By the looks of the back of it there may be a couple of nervous learner drivers at the wheel. Given past comments, one of these drivers may have already been confined to the back seat. Motorists should also be extremely cautious of dissatisfied passengers throwing confidential briefing papers out the windows.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Binoy Kampmark: Vague Alternatives And G7 Summitry: The Build Back Better World Initiative

Summits often feature grand statements and needless fripperies. In Cornwall, the leaders of the G7 countries were trying to position and promote their relevance as the vanguard of democratic good sense and values... More>>


Suicidal Games: Tokyo’s Coronavirus Olympics

A pandemic crisis. A state of emergency. Overwhelming public opinion bristling with alarm. Notwithstanding these factors, Tokyo is still on track to host the Olympics that was cancelled last year in response to the global pandemic. The first sports team – Australia’s softball crew – has touched down. Is all this folly, bravery or self-interest?.. More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Burned By The Diana Cult: The Fall Of Martin Bashir

The interview was infamous, made his name and was bound to enrage. It also received a viewing audience of 23 million people who heard a saucy tale of adultery, plots in the palace, and stories of physical and mental illness. But the tarring and feathering of Martin Bashir for his 1995 Panorama programme featuring Princess Diana was always more than the scruples of a journalist and his interviewing methods... More>>


How It All Went Wrong: The Global Response To COVID-19

The Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response was never likely to hand down a rosy report with gobbets of praise. Organised by the World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus last May, the panel’s gloomy assessment was grim: the COVID-19 pandemic could have been avoided... More>>



The Conversation: Is Natural Gas Really Cheaper Than Renewable Electricity?

Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change... More>>

Keith Rankin: The New Zealand Government’s 'Public Finance Rabbithole'

Last week, out of left field, the government placed a three-year embargo on normal public sector wage bargaining, essentially a salary freeze. While there has been a certain amount of backtracking since, it is clear that the government has been ... More>>