When the Grey party had succeeded in winning over Messrs Shephard and Pyke from the aide of Government, by the aid of these coquettish politicians they lifted up in triumph their previously desponding heads. They could then point to the narrowest possible majority in their favor, and howl against the Government for holding place “ when they had not the confi lence of the House. ” The Grey party had nothing to say against the political morality of either Mr Pyke or Mr Shephard, and were in no way anxious that the reasons for those gentlemen’s change of side should be placed upon the housetop. Strong in the strength supplied by their recruits they placed a no-confidence motion on the Order Paper, and howled defiance. They were sure that the knell of the Hall Government had been sounded, and secure in that belief they proceeded to set their Ministry in order to begin work on the Ministerial Benches at an early date. But “ the best laid schemes o’ mice and men gang aft agley,” and soon the joyous and cheery faces of the expectant Ministers began to look woebegone. Tired of the humbug that was stone-walling the real business of the session, and seeing what was patent to everyone not wilfully blind, that for a time at least the ablest man on the Opposition was unable to obtain a working majority, and that no chance whatever remained of such a majority ever following the common herd of inferior men who had pretended to take his place, four Auckland men consulted the best interests of the country and the constituents they represented, and cast in their lot with the party in power. Then the storm burst. It was no political wrong for Messrs Shephard and Pyke to play fast and loose with hustings promises. They were perfectly justified, of course, in being untrue to the votes that had sent them to Parliament, and the fact that they had joined the Grey side was sufficient palliation for being untrue. But for four of the more respectable of their own party to dare think for themselves, and see through the hollow sham of the Macandrew makeshift, was akin to treason, and all the wrath which Sir George can enshrine in the very modest and quiet language, he is so noted for indulging in, was poured forth by the doughty chief. His followers joined in the chorus of execration with voices less tuneable, and language less choice, and all that could well be said against the Auckland seceders, and a great deal more than ought to have been said, they got the full benefitof, Government of course coming in for an unlimited share of abuse. But -»ir Macandrew was now beaten—beaten with his own weapons. He and Sir George Grey had angled for Messrs Pyke and Shephard. The anglers baited with a large worm, and the bait took. To the Hall net came the four Auckland votes, and sides were at once changed. The triumphant Opposition became a very much disheartened Opposition* with a very ominous limpness in the upper lip. But it is the country and not the Government, that reaps the benefit of the Auckland contingent of seceders. All business stopped will now go on, for the Opposition seeing no possible chance of carrying their No-Confidence motion have wisely withdrawn it, and the Government have magnanimously allowed them to do so. Now the way is cleared for legislation. The financial position of the colony, and the state of native afiairs may now be got at and dealt with, seeing that the question of party for the time being settled. There are, of course, the other Liberal measures of which wo heard so much, and these will come |in time ; but the great question for Parliament to conside at this moment is finance, and the colony will look anxiously for th-s
financial policy of the Government now in power. It will be a difficult task for them to extricate the colony from the mess which is the country’s inheritance from the Grey Ministry.
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Turncoats., Ashburton Guardian, Volume I, Issue 17, 4 November 1879
Turncoats. Ashburton Guardian, Volume I, Issue 17, 4 November 1879
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