A statement from Shane Jones

I’ve been drawing a bit of flak for my criticism in recent days of the Green Party. I’ve now had time to reflect on my comments, and I’ve also spoken to my leader. David has reminded me that we can’t afford to take our eyes off the prize. When we fight with our political allies the only winners are National.

I’m a team player, and I don’t want to be the one letting the side down. We have had our share of negative publicity in recent weeks, but it feels as if the media are finally paying attention to the scandalous behaviour of John Key’s ministers. I don’t wish to be responsible for shifting that focus back onto Labour.

That’s why I want to make it absolutely clear that I have nothing against the Greens. Nothing at all.

I was probably out of line when I called Green Party MP Gareth Hughes a “mollyhawk”. And not just because the correct name for the bird is “mollymawk”.  I don’t have time to concern myself with matters of avian etymology, because, unlike some political parties I could name, I’m more interested in jobs and growth than in saving some stupid bird. But I accept that the analogy was an inaccurate one. The Greens have always struck me more as ostriches with their heads in the sand.

Still, I was wrong to attack a Green MP so publicly, because we all want the same thing: to get rid of John Key. That’s why I have promised David Cunliffe that there will be no more attacks on the Greens. I won’t have a bad word said about that unwashed anti-growth lentil-eating pack of luddites.

It’s too soon to tell whether a Labour-led government would include the Greens, though that’s certainly a possibility. We will have to wait and see until after the election. We may have options of forming a government with my good friend Winston, or we may decide to opt to go with a dangerous and radical party full of ideologues with lunatic ideas.  I personally don’t have a preference.

So it’s important that we maintain cordial relations with all parties of the left, even those crazy Greens.

I have nothing against either of the Green Party co-leaders, and I have worked with them in the past without difficulty. Russel Norman is almost tolerable for an Australian, and I am starting to warm to his annoying and irritating accent. Metiria seems pleasant enough as a person, even if the way she goes on about the environment fills me with rage. I would have no problem being in Cabinet with either of those idiots.

So let’s put to rest any suggestion that I have an axe to grind against the Green Party. I will work with anyone who shares my goal of kicking John Key’s government out, even if those people turn out to be economic vandals intent on destroying jobs and growth for the sake of a few dolphins. That’s why I want to assure the Green Party leadership that I’m committed to making our relationship work.

This last week or so has been a reminder to me of the value of humility. I stepped out of line when I attacked the Greens, because it wasn’t helpful to anyone apart from my very many supporters within National. I’m grateful for their support, but I do need to at least pretend to share the goals and values of the Labour Party.

So I’m sorry to say I will be making no more public statements about the Green Party and all the terrible things they have planned for New Zealand.

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