If politics were played like rugby (iii): Question time would be a haka

The All Blacks’ traditional challenge at the beginning of rugby test matches is now famous throughout the rugby-playing world.

It is designed as a rallying call for warriors going into battle. The best known is Ka Mate

Ka mate, ka mate! ka ora! ka ora!
Ka mate! ka mate! ka ora! ka ora!

Tis death! ’tis death!  ’Tis life! ‘tis life!
’Tis death! ‘tis death! ’Tis life! ‘tis life!

The haka has now replaced Question Time in Federal Parliament.  Now, instead of having questions, the two major parties simply assemble on the floor of the house and hurl three word slogans of each other and stamped their feet a lot.

It is meant to rally the troops but it also has the advantage that it is particularly suitable to Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership style. The leader of the Haka leads from the middle and sometimes from the back but never from the front.

It is also particularly suitable because of the tendency, since Tony Abbott, to frame most political debates as Three Word Slogans, fits well with the rhythm of the Haka.

The most popular version with the current government is

Jobs and growth, jobs and growth                                                                                                                  We have a plan, we have a plan,                                                                                                               Agile agile agile.


This has replaced the haka from Tony Abbott’s time

Stop the boats, Stop the boats,                                                                                                                 Toxic tax, toxic tax,                                                                                                                                        Debt and deficit, Debt and deficit


Neither of these guys has got the style of Piri Weepu when it comes to scary, but it’s early days yet.

The introduction of the Haka to Question Time has given two of the leading women in the Coalition, Julie Bishop and Michaelia Cash, a chance to demonstrate their scary skills.


Some of the members of the Coalition haven’t quite got with the plan yet.

3761.jpg George Christensen’s efforts underwhelm

 But Christopher Pyne seems to be catching on, albeit slowly


 The Labor Party has had difficulty adjusting to the new regime. All it has to work with are Bill Shorten’s famous zingers such as:

 “What exactly in higher education has the fixer fixed?

  “We know that when Tony Abbott says that Work Choices is dead, buried and cremated, he really means is just sedated”

 Not really promising material.  But then, that’s  Bill.



If politics were played like rugby


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