Aug 31, 2008

Clear The Decks For 18 October

Next week is going to be as bad for the PM as last week was for Winston Peters.

First it has started very badly today with both major Sunday papers containing bad stories.

Then there will be question time on Tuesday (she can expect a grilling), a general debate on Wednesday (Hide has more detail on the Scampi scandal to drop on the table), and the Parliamentary privileges committee on Thursday.

Now Thursday was going to be all about Peters. But we understand that there is a prospect of it being even more interesting with suggestions that the PM and Trevor Mallard be asked to testify on what Owen Glenn told them, what and when they told Winston Peters, and why they did not pass any of this on to Parliament or to the Cabinet Office and Parliamentary Services staff who should have been alerted to a possible false declaration and to the fact that a Minister was considering giving an honorary consulship to someone who had just donated $100,000 to him personally - to help pay his legal bills. The PM on the witness stand is going to be a very bad look. Which is why we don't think Labour can allow it to happen.

Labour will try and invoke urgency on the ETS legislation to have it passed Wednesday and to shut other debate down to the extent that it possible. Given the now direct link between the proposed ETS and subsidisation on the fishing industry we would have thought that comment on scampi would be very much on topic during the Third Reading of this legislation also.

Once the legislation on the ETS is passed we are expecting the PM to hop in the BMW and drive off to see the GG. That equals 18 October for the election.