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Brownlee's Attack Ill Informed Nonsense

Media Release

09 November 2005


Brownlee's Attack Ill Informed Nonsense

“Gerry Brownlee, with all the finesse of a rather large bull in a China shop, has managed to not only offend the office of the Governor General, but to highlight his complete ignorance of constitutional matters in the process,” says Rt Hon Winston Peters.

“It is the height of rudeness and cowardice to personally attack the Governor-General, who is constrained by constitutional convention and therefore unable to defend herself.

“But to do so based on such a nonsensical premise – that she had acted inappropriately during the government formation period – simply highlights Mr Brownlee’s ignorance of such matters.

“National, as it turned out in the eleventh hour, was never in a position to form anything resembling a stable government, so why would the Governor-General have to consult with them? They may claim they had 57 votes – but they had forgotten to ask Hone, and clearly Peter Dunne saw the writing on the wall over their so-called ‘57’.

“Mr Brownlee’s ignorance of constitutional matters is most blatant on two fronts. Firstly, constitution dictates that Brash should have called the Governor General, not the other way round. Secondly, it also extends to senior ministerial posts outside cabinet. In fact, David Lange was the Attorney-General and Minister of State outside Cabinet from 14 August 1989 to 2 November 1990.

“So not only is this current arrangement appropriate under an evolving MMP system, but there already exists constitutional precedence for it to occur.

“I guess this is what happens when you try and turn a bullying bovver boy into a statesman – a series of ignorant misguided attacks that just create red faces for all those around them.

“This has been an auspicious start by National’s Deputy Leader which means it is not just Don’s job which is on the line over the next few months, but now Gerry’s as well” concluded Mr Peters.

ENDS

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