Labour went into last year’s election supporting the planned two-stage flag referendum process and promising to enact it should it become government.
Just a few month’s later the statesman like promise has been supplanted by childish posturing out of pique:
Labour’s Trevor Mallard said he opposed the process and believed it was not time to change the flag.
Mr Mallard said he would be ranking highest the worst possible alternative flag and ranking lowest the best possible one as his protest against it.
It is hypocritical to say it’s not the time now when his party was fully supportive of the process last year.
And this isn’t just a protest, it’s an attempt to sabotage the process which allows us all to choose a new flag, or not.
He won’t do that by just voting perversely himself but by milking the opportunity for publicity by encouraging others to do it too.
Everyone who doesn’t want a fourth flag, or is open to change but doesn’t like the option we’ll be left with, will have the opportunity to vote for the current flag, which is our third, in the second referendum.
Given the number who don’t want change for genuine reasons and those who will oppose the change out of political pique, the chances are we’ll be stuck with the status quo anyway.
But Mallard isn’t prepared to leave people to choose or not, he’s going to do his best to give us Hobson’s choice.