Greens thin-skinned?

Shane Jones is unrepentant about insulting  a potential coalition partner and one of its MPs.

Labour MP Shane Jones says Greens are too thin-skinned after the party laid a complaint about his attack on one its MPs.

Greens’ head of staff Ken Spagnolo said he had raised Mr Jones’ comments with Labour head of staff Matt McCarten.

Mr Spagnolo said it was not a formal complaint, but he had told Labour that Mr Jones’ comments about Greens’ fitness to govern were “unhelpful”.

Mr Jones, Labour’s economic development spokesman, had criticised Green MP Gareth Hughes on Radio Waatea for “carrying on like a mollyhawk” in his opposition to offshore mining.

The comments earned him a telling off from leader David Cunliffe, who said that the comments about a potential coalition partner were inappropriate.

Mr Jones was unrepentant this afternoon.

“Is this the same Green Party that complains of Colin Craig being too thin-skinned?” he said.

“I’m from Kaitaia. I know it’s mollyhawk in the north. Further down the line it’s mollymawk. Now I could’ve got my names wrong but people should just loosen up.

“The thought that it’s led to a complaint, I’ll just leave the public to judge that for what it is.” . . .

Th Greens are often likened to watermelons – green on the outside and red inside but melons have thick skins.

Insulting potential coalition partners might not be helpful it you’re trying to appear like a government in waiting, but this does look more than a little thin-skinned when Russel Norman is refusing to retract his comments about Conservative leader Colin Craig.

It’s also a distraction.

Heads of staff are supposed to keep their heads down and stay out of the headlines.

If Spagnolo felt the need to raise the issue with McCarten there was no need to go public about it.

Jones was also in trouble for comments about Asian students.

Meanwhile Cunliffe confirmed he had spoken to Jones about straying outside his portfolio areas and using strong language to attack the Green Party.

But he had not been disciplined

“I’ve spoken to him. The message to caucus is …that all of us are consulting with our colleagues if we are crossing portfolio and manage our comments in a proper way.”

He said Jones was a much-valued colleague but occasionally his rhetoric crossed the line. There was a clear understanding not to attack potential coalition partners.

At the weekend Jones criticised the number of foreign university students – a responsibility that crossed the roles of Grant Robertson and Raymond Huo. Cunliffe said it was a heat of the moment debate comment and fully understandable. . .

This is straying into New Zealand First’s xenophobic territory. It also highlights tensions in Labour between its factions,  once more gives Jones more attention than the rest of his colleagues put together, albeit for the wrong reasons.

11 Responses to Greens thin-skinned?

  1. robertguyton says:

    Ho hum.

    “Mr Spagnolo said it was not a formal complaint…”


  2. robertguyton says:

    Key’s partner-in-waiting, Colin Craig, otoh, has taken his complaint to court!

    Very thin-skinned, those Righties!

    Remember when Key sent in the police when he believed his whisper whisper cup-of-tea-with-Banksie had been captured on tape?

    Thin skinned, alright!!


  3. Paranormal says:

    Come on RG you know this is all about political positioning with the election coming up. All the parties are trying to put distance between themselves and the others. This is to differentiate them to potential voters.

    Its all just play acting in reality as ultimately there’s not a lot to differentiate the protagonists. They’re all in the business of buying votes with other peoples money, just to a greater or lesser extent.


  4. @ Robert – What about David Cunliffe’s new bestie, Winston Peters? Cunliffe said yesterday “Winston’s a good guy”; I somehow don’t think you’ll agree.


  5. Andrei says:

    Oh no – more election year meaningless, empty noise, Robert Guyton is in his element with it though.

    Mairzy doats and dozy doats and liddle lamzy divey
    A kiddley divey too, wooden shoe?


  6. robertguyton says:



    You guys would swallow anything.


  7. jabba says:

    and there was the Turei issue where she got all upset about her clothing choice being questioned. She was very upset and I wonder what our bOb (and wife) think when they buy 2nd hand clothes from opp shops in order to keep up their green image(lets not talk about make-up either).
    very sensitive the melons these day .. as our bOb shows every day.


  8. robertguyton says:

    Are you promoting second-hand clothing, jabba, or endorsingit?
    There’s a real difference, you know.
    Promoting is certainly not endorsing.


  9. jabba says:

    nothing wrong with buying and only wearing use clothes bOb especially if you want to portray yourselves as TRUE Greens ..and make-up, yukky, who would want to wear that stuff aye? Oh, Metiria Turei wears heaps of it and is goes so well with her outfits. And good on her bOb .. it’s just that I can’t see how you can support someone who is so opposite to your values as a TRUE Green. Image is everything aye bOb?


  10. robertguyton says:

    Jabba can’t see how I could support someone who wears makeup.



  11. jabba says:

    your are missing the point as usual .. don’t blame you for hiding though


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