Mike Hosking: If you are in politics, what’s the point unless you’re in charge?

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Thu, 29 Oct 2020, 5:29PM
James Shaw and Marama Davidson shouldn't put the Greens on the wrong side of the house. (Photo / NZ Herald)
James Shaw and Marama Davidson shouldn't put the Greens on the wrong side of the house. (Photo / NZ Herald)

Mike Hosking: If you are in politics, what’s the point unless you’re in charge?

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Thu, 29 Oct 2020, 5:29PM

I have been disappointed but not surprised at the line-up of former Greens who are advising the current Greens stay out of government.

Simple question, if you are in politics what’s the point unless you’re in charge?

Their point, which is potentially partially valid, is don’t get stiffed. Don’t end up in a deal where you get to do little but carry any fall out which I suspect there will be plenty.

But the Greens have been in the game along time now and only recently really got their hands on the levers of power.

And the Keith Locke/Catherine Delahunty view of the world is a good insight or revelation into the fact that there are many in politics that sadly aren’t there for any real gains. They are there to cause trouble.

It was often said New Zealand First operated best in opposition or the cross benches. You could make noise but carry no responsibility.

And MMP fleshes out sadly the cold hard reality that government for small parties is most often a death sentence.

But the concept of spending three years literally doing nothing is the most fantastic waste of time to me.

Short of Chloe Swarbrick, who now has a constituency to tend to, just what is it you’re doing as an opposition list MP?

Further, having spent the last three years in government and at least in part getting the gains of power and influence, why on earth would you want to relinquish that, simply because you don’t have quite the pulling power as you did last time?

This is not to say Labour should cut them a deal. I wouldn’t. They’re not numerically needed, they will distract from the job at hand the way Labour sees it.

Labour back themselves as a greenish party anyway, why have a bunch of hangers-on ear-bashing you about radical nutty ideas that are going nowhere?

But from the Greens point of view, relevance is key, a record is key, progress is key, your ideas enacted are key.

Hopefully what Shaw and Davidson understand that Locke and Delahunty don’t is that just turning up isn’t really a job. Protesting for the sake of it isn’t really doing anything.  Getting your own way all the time isn’t really how the game works.

They call it being independent. What it really is is being on the wrong side of the house.