Fresh vs stale


The National Party had a big intake of new MPs in 2005 and another reasonable intake in 2008.

A couple of mid-term resignations and end-of-term retirements brought in more new MPs in 2011.

Five MPs have announced they’re retiring at the end of this term and yesterday Bill English announced he would be standing on the list only.

This gives the party more opportunities for refreshment and will provide a caucus with a balance of experience and fresh faces.

Contrast that with Labour which gained few MPs in the last few elections because it lost electorates and sacrificed newer candidates for older ones on its list.

It’s had one new MP mid-term after the death of Parekura Horimia and might get a second in the Christchurch East by-election.

But so far none of the older long-serving MPs are showing any signs of retiring – not even Trevor Mallard although he’s still a staunch supporter of the Anyone but Cunliffe club.

There are a variety of reasons why some people retire and some stay on.

Among the obvious ones are that retiring National MPs can see life, and work, outside politics while it looks like Labour ones can’t.

That raises a question: if people don’t see opportunities outside parliament, how good are they in it?

Whatever the answer to that the contrast between a fresher National Party in government and stale Labour in opposition is stark.

People in #gigatownoamaru see lots of opportunities in being the Southern Hemisphere’s fastest town.

What else would he do?


Trevor Mallard was one of the prominent members of the ABC – Anyone but Cunliffe – Club.

He now has three choices.

He can swallow his pride and the animosity he feels towards the new leader and put party  unity and loyalty first.

He can resign, now or at the end of this parliamentary term and move on.

He can stay and destabilise Cunliffe’s leadership the way the new leader and others destabilised David Shearer’s.

That Mallard didn’t answer his phone when Cunliffe called with the news he was being replaced as Labour’s Leader of the House suggests he’s not going to take the first option.

The chances of his resigning aren’t high because what else could he do that would pay as well as being an MP does, even without the added perk of excursions like his current one to watch the America’s Cup.

That leaves option three and given Grant Robertson didn’t take up the opportunity to be leader he might not be on his own.



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