Mallard not a fit Speaker

Photoshopped image credit: Boondecker

We have been criticising Trevor Mallard’s extreme bias in the house on Whaleoil now for over a year, but the mainstream media saw nothing wrong. Lately however, Mallard’s bias has been so bad that it is impossible to ignore, even for a fawning media.

If the speaker of the house is obviously biased, the entire parliamentary process is compromised. Mallard may actively dislike National, but it is the job of the opposition to hold the government to account. Day after day, he refuses to allow the normal business of the house to proceed, culminating with him refusing to table Nick Smith’s bill on drug testing, for no better reason than because he didn’t like Smith’s behaviour. This was a slap in the face for Smith’s constituent, who was in the gallery at the time.

This behaviour simply cannot go on. quote.

The current speaker, Labour list MP Trevor Mallard, was once ejected from the debating chamber by [Lockwood] Smith when Mallard claimed then-Prime Minister John Key’s nose was growing. Somehow maintaining this wasn’t an accusation of lying, Mallard took to the internet to write what was characterised at the time as a, since deleted, “angry blog”, where he called the decision the “most blatantly biased decision of the year”. He was reported claiming Labour was even thinking about moving a motion of no confidence in Smith, though he backed away from the idea.

Now, Mallard is in the big chair. In the past month, he has likened a National Party MP to a “gorilla” and accused the leader of the Opposition of making “barnyard” noises. When National MPs have sought leave to table business with the House, he has relied on his position as an MP to object to this rather than waiting for someone else to do it, which is unusual. end quote.

It is not only unusual. It is out of line. He should not be doing this. He should at least try to maintain some element of objectivity. quote.

It is as if the referee, in his excitement, is occasionally catching the ball and kicking a drop goal. It’s not hard to see why the opposing team might feel aggrieved.

end quote.

Not to mention constantly awarding penalty tries to his favoured team. quote.

But the question has to be raised as to whether Mallard’s authentic self is the best choice for running Parliament. When he was appointed speaker, the hackneyed cliché of “poacher turned gamekeeper” got a good workout. But for the transition to be sincere, the poaching really needs to stop. It should not remain an occasional sideline. end quote.

“Occasional” is generous. Mallard is overtly biased. He protects Jacinda in the house, even when she is at her snarky best. He gives Winston a lot of leeway, while allowing Simon Bridges none whatsoever. His performance is, at best, woeful. quote.

It would do little good for National to move a motion of no confidence in Mallard. That would be a serious step and, besides being doomed to failure, would not be proportionate to the speaker’s occasional lapses. Most people acknowledge that, in many respects, Mallard has done a good job in the role. end quote.

Mallard has never done a good job in the role, which is surprising, as he has coveted the role of speaker for years. That being the case, you might think that he would conduct himself better, but he simply cannot help himself. quote.

But perhaps his prime minister could have a quiet word with the speaker. Although she is not Mallard’s boss, strictly speaking, Parliament watchers tend to agree she is a chief beneficiary of his quick instincts.

Stuff. end quote.

Liam Hehir seems to have been affected by the fairy dust from Jacinda that has been sprinkled over all media people. Why would she even try to stop him when she benefits so much from him looking after her? Question Time would be very much harder for Jacinda if Mallard didn’t have her back all the time.

There have been accusations of biased speakers in the past, but it has never been quite this obvious. Life would be much harder for the government without Trevor Mallard. Still, it is now so bad that even the media is starting to notice. Time to call it what it is – a bad speaker supporting a bad government. Mallard has to go.