Green party resolute | The Jackal

8 Aug 2017

Green party resolute

James Shaw has been outstanding during the so-called Green party crisis. Really it’s not a crisis at all… just a couple of MPs leaving because they disagree on principle with Metiria Turei’s decision to remain as co-leader. It’s a bit disappointing to see David Clendon and Kennedy Graham choose to leave over a couple of minor incidents from 25 years ago. However I doubt this will have much impact on Green party supporters.

It’s also strange that Clendon and Graham chose to publicly criticise the Greens for forgiving their co-leader. Clearly their unkind words on the way out were designed to hurt the party at the polls.

So how principled are they really? They will of course keep their parliamentary salaries, including a number of perks designed to expressly help the Green party. Even if they’re suspended, Clendon and Graham will continue to receive payment as independent MPs.

Yesterday, the NZ Herald reported:

Green MPs quit in protest over Metiria Turei

Co-leader James Shaw said he was sorry to lose Graham and Clendon, who resigned from the party this evening.

He respected their decision to stand down, but did not respect the way they did it.

"The way they have chosen to go about it is strongly in violation of every norm, culture and process that we have," he told reporters at a late-night press conference at Parliament.

It might be worthwhile for the Green party to look at some sort of formal agreement with their prospective MPs. In the unlikely event this is to occur again, the Green party needs to be able to protect their political interests.

And despite the disarray caused by Turei's confessions about benefit fraud and her subsequent handling of it, Shaw said he fully backed her, and the 12 other members of the caucus were behind her.

"As I keep saying, there is a conversation now happening, there is a constituency coming forward who are saying thank you for taking this on.

"They are actually getting representation in Parliament for first time."

This fact means any hit in the polls the Greens receive is more likely to come from the Jacinda effect, which is perhaps a good thing in terms of the oppositions chance to change the government. With the Green party resolutely moving left and being in the headlines again, this is likely to affirm any new support by people who won’t care about a couple of resignations.

Party co-leader James Shaw has performed well under pressure, displaying all the hallmarks of a fine Minister in waiting, and the right-wing propagandists hate him profusely for it.

Meanwhile, Jacinda Ardern is clearly getting on with the job and this is assuredly helping the Labour party bolster its support. Did anybody else notice what office she was interviewed in yesterday? The wheels of government don’t turn so slowly after all.

Winston Peters also has a game plan and is likely to entice some soft National supporters to NZ First with his continued attacks on the tired old Bill English over the Todd Barclay affair.

Suddenly, politics is almost worth watching again.