HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 554: 09 March 2011

Norm exposes Trio of Doom

The resignation of Norman George from the Cook Islands Party has exposed the government for what it really is. No amount of excuses from the Prime Minister will hide the fact that a crack in the CIP has been opened up to reveal the truth of this administration: a closed club of power mongers.
The tight alliance of Sir Geoff Henry, Henry Puna, and Mark Brown is a well-knit Trio of Doom – not just for the CIP but for the country as a whole. Norman has called their Leader out on it. It’s a fact that the people need to wake up to, and a situation that the CIP itself will no doubt be trying to keep a lid on with some choice words like ‘unity’ and ‘solidarity’.
The Democratic Party position on this unravelling of the CIP is not one of glee. We are not in the businesses of opportunistic gloating. On the contrary, there is a certain realism underlying our politics. The Democratic Party has long promoted its stability and consistently maintained the country was going to be at risk under a CIP Government. This view has not changed and Norman’s decisive move against his own hierarchy is proof positive that this government will be on thin ice throughout its time in government.
My team has a lot of composure and will continue to build on its strengths. We have an unwavering poise. The CIP on the other hand is carrying a facade that is fading rapidly. After all, the ill-treatment of one of their own is something the CIP Trio of Doom can take full credit for. All we had to do was watch this act play out and implode.
There is no doubt that Norman George is a skilled parliamentarian. Those who have worked closely with him over the years have come to recognise this consummate tactician. Norm’s a smart operator when he wants to be. I believe he learns from his actions, whether they’ve gone his way or not. And clearly, he did not get any respect from the CIP mob, let alone the elitists at the top. Not even professional respect. Perhaps they can’t see past their own arrogance, I don’t know. We can only guess on that part.
With Norman heading for the Independent bench in the House, he will play an important role in our parliamentary business, and in keeping government on its toes. Any Independent is our natural partner in Opposition, that’s a fact. And any Independent member is a welcome tool in the kit for opposing the shortcomings of those in power. Norm is likely to be engaged in our discussions and debate, and remain an effective MP for his constituency.

By Robert Wigmore, Leader of the Opposition

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