I'm still waiting to hear back from my local MP in response to the terse letter I sent him about asset sales. I'd say he's busy, and in any case it's the fourth letter I've written to a National MP in ten years. Given the terrible response rate (I've had one reply, and it appeared to be a form letter), I have low expectations.
To provide balance, Labour have a 100% strike rate (two from two, both quite comprehensive).
---The main excitement this recess has been with the Maori Party; they are stamping and snorting about the slight made upon the Waitangi Tribunal by the PM.
It's all for nought. Tonight John Key is "totally confident" that the Maori Party will continue to support the government. And I agree with him, that's exactly what the Maori Party will do, because there's nothing else they can do. Theodore Roosevelt's advice to speak softly, and carry a big stick, could well be heeded by Mr Key. Once again I'm in awe (and not in a good way) at Key's command of the language.
We'll hear the "we think it is better to remain at the table" line, but that's not even faint praise of the government. The question is "what are you doing at the table?", and the answer is painfully obvious. Mrs Turia and Dr Sharples, as the faces of the Maori Party, are in the unenviable position of having no positive influence in government, and no way of contributing to an effective opposition. They are between Scylla and Charybdis.
The perception that they have prioritised a couple of years with ministerial perks over following their principles will continue to gain traction, and contribute to the end of the Maori Party.
Able Tasmans - Shape of Dolls EP, 1993
UPDATE - My MP sent me a thorough and considered reply. Not considered enough to change his mind, or his vote on the asset sales legislation, but credit to him.