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Kate Hawkesby: Gaurav Sharma has stuck it right up the Govt by jumping ship

Author
Kate Hawkesby,
Publish Date
Wed, 19 Oct 2022, 8:37am
Former Labour MP Gaurav Sharma and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Photo / NZ Herald
Former Labour MP Gaurav Sharma and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Photo / NZ Herald

Kate Hawkesby: Gaurav Sharma has stuck it right up the Govt by jumping ship

Author
Kate Hawkesby,
Publish Date
Wed, 19 Oct 2022, 8:37am

Guarva Sharma’s stuck it right up the Government by jumping ship before they could invoke the Waka Jumping Bill to push him off it. He was already sacked by caucus in August, but yesterday fired a new salvo – he quit as a party MP entirely.

He says because he found out that the party was going to invoke the Waka Jumping Bill six months before the election, thus avoiding a by-election, but he claims it would’ve left his electorate of Hamilton West without any representation, and that’s undemocratic. So he blindsided them and quit before they could forcibly remove him.

The PM, though, came out swinging – in a statement she sounded pretty angry as she refuted Sharma’s claims and said they were not considering the Waka Jumping legislation.

Weren’t they though? Who’s telling the truth here? Sharma would argue Labour has form fudging the truth.

He pointed out that the last time they lied was when they said they wouldn’t meet behind his back to discuss him - and as we know, it turned out they did exactly that.

So he’s on pretty sound footing when he says there’s a pattern here. Part of that pattern of course is to gaslight and discredit; basically paint him out to be a nutjob.

Many in the media seem willing to run that line too. But is he? Or is he brave enough to speak out against status quo, and bullies, and a corrupt system? We saw Grant Robertson come straight out with the discrediting narrative, saying there was no basis to Sharma’s claims that they were going to kick him out via the Waka Jumping Bill.

When repeatedly quizzed on it though, Robertson ended up shrugging his shoulders and saying, “it is what it is.” If that’s not a sign of a government that’s given up, I don’t know what is.

Mind you, tough day for Grant yesterday, that CPI figure was an absolute shocker.

Maybe he was still reeling from that.

Here’s the rub – Jacinda Ardern, in further gaslighting moves, said she’d like Sharma to reconsider his position because it will cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars for a by-election.

But wait a minute, wasn’t it she who was busy promoting Paul Eagle, a sitting Labour MP, for Mayor of Wellington? And had he won that, as Jacinda wanted him to, would that not have triggered a by-election in his seat? So how is it ok for taxpayers money to be spent on that, but not on Sharma’s seat? Bit hypocritical isn’t it?

The timing could not be worse for labour. Because, in a bad week for the Government, in a bad term for the Government, with ongoing bad polling for the Government, you’ve got to imagine a by-election’s not going to deliver a good result for them either.

That Hamilton seat is not a Labour stronghold of course – it’s a swing seat, they won it off National in 2020, but it is a very different political scene now.

It’ll be a referendum on the Government’s popularity and they know it. And they should know it won’t be good. National says bring it on. They have every reason to sound so bullish. As Grant Robertson so aptly said, ‘it is what it is’.

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