More shenanigans in parliament as Mallard slowly loses control

Parliament is becoming a farce with the speaker demanding members withdraw and apologise for things they have no knowledge or understanding of. In one case Trevor Mallard demanded one member withdraw and apologise for a comment made to the member’s bench mate that he miraculously heard through his deaf ear.

His high-handed, doctrinaire and, frankly, rude demeanour isn’t working. He finally lost patience with Paula Bennett and tossed her from the house.

Newshub reports: Quote:

National Party deputy leader Paula Bennett has been booted out of Parliament by the Speaker Trevor Mallard during a fraught session of Question Time.

She is the first MP to be kicked out since the new Government took power.

Question Time became chaotic on Thursday afternoon as National MPs repeatedly raised points of order with Mr Mallard in the Debating Chamber.

It kicked off with Gerry Brownlee raising a point of order in relation to?a stern letter?sent on Wednesday. The letter alleged Mr Mallard told Newshub a National MP had called the Prime Minister a “stupid little girl” during Question TIme a number of weeks ago.

Mr Brownlee accused the Speaker of taking “a very strong adversarial role towards the Opposition”,?accusing?him of briefing the media about the “stupid little girl” allegation.

Mr Mallard did not respond to the letter or Mr Brownlee in the House.

The points of order continued, with continual challenges to the Speaker’s rulings.

Ms Bennett asked about being asked to withdraw and apologise for a comment she made before she?walked out of the chamber?in frustration on Wednesday.

“I need clarification that it was yesterday that I said it was a ‘waste of time’ that you took such offence to, that when I came back you insisted that I withdraw it,” Ms Bennett said to the Speaker.

“That’s exactly right,” the Speaker said. “Seeing as she was self-banishing herself, I thought that that was the best way of dealing with it.”

Shortly afterwards National MP David Bennett was asked to withdraw and apologise for an “unparliamentary remark” he made to the Speaker, which he eventually did.

Mr Brownlee then asked the Speaker whether it was fair to ask MPs to withdraw and apologise without an explanation being given, at which point the Speaker had had enough and interrupted to say: “Oh for goodness sake”.

“This has got to the point of being ridiculous,” he said.

Ms Bennett could be heard yelling, it’s unclear what she was saying, and the Speaker ordered her to leave the chamber of the House. End quote.

The video of this incident is unedifying. But, I think Gerry Brownlee and, in some respects, Paula Bennett have a point. Just watch the attitude of Trevor Mallard as he remonstrates with members at the same time as breaking standing orders himself.

I think there is a better way to deal with this, but we will have to wait two weeks to see if National can come up with a better plan.