David Parker has been confirmed by caucus as the acting leader of the Labour party despite being a candidate in the leadership election. He has indicated that acting-deputy leader Annette King will be doing most of the heavy lifting in terms of dealing with the press. Golly, if Parker was fulfilling the duties of leader the whole contest might be unseemly. We mustn’t let Labour’s self-destruction stoop that low.
Shearer has accused Cunliffe of undermining him when he was leader, launching what Vernon Small calls a ‘bitter broadside’. In his naturally oily way, Cunliffe has denied any such thing and hopes the dirt will slide right off.
Nanaia Mahuta has announced she is a candidate for the leadership, this may be an attempt to get a better position in the caucus for the long game. For more on this please scroll down to my earlier post.
John Key is continuing to try to scare the public into letting him reform spying legislation that will tear a sizable chunk out of the UN Charter on human rights, but it’s not like there is a functional opposition to make that difficult. He has apparently snubbed Judith Collins by not including her on a list of former ministers to be signed by the Governor General so she can use the title ‘The Honourable’ for life. ‘The Honourable’ is the customary formal title of an incumbent member of Parliament. It is not yet clear whether this snub was intentional, but the news was broken to former minister Collins by a fairfax journalist. This rubbed salt in the wound.
A bit of trivia, the title ‘The Right Honourable’ was bestowed upon every member of the Privy council, which meant every Prime Minister, deputy-Prime Minister, and Speaker of the House of Representatives. Helen Clark was the last Prime Minister to have been appointed to the Privy Council, so on the election of John Key he was for a time officially The Honourable John Key, Prime Minister of New Zealand. In 2010 he obtained permission from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to have the title ‘The Right Honourable’ bestowed on everyone who holds the office of PM, deputy-PM, or Speaker. So without the Privy Council the title ‘The Right Honourable’ has been retained in modern New Zealand politics. I hope this helps with future pub quizzes.