The St. Kilda Band gave the first of their mid-week evening concerts at the band rotunda last night to a large crowd ou' residents, who showed marked appreciation for the various items. The band played under the baton of .Sergeant Patterson, and the programme submitted was a patriotic and popular one. concluding at 9. with tho Belgian chant and the National Anthem. These conoert* will be, cpjitimied gach W?<i»eadLay night.
Publicity is a:i essential of success in polities tho world over, Unruly and perhaps there is a Democrats, serviceable place in the scheme of things for politicians who confound mere notoriety with reputation ; but. happily, tho majority of democratic legislators in the Parliament of New Zealand do not desire to attract the unprofitable prominence appreciated and occasionally deliberately owned by Mr J. Payne, the member for Grey Lynn, who twice this session has been suspended for unruly conduct- in the House of Represenr talives. He threatens to become an habitual offender against the dignity of the General Assembly and tho authority of the Chair. On the occasion of his first suspension, which was absurdly inadequate, he associated the I'rimo Minister as tho Leader of the Government (only known to Mr Payne- as the Tory party) with " bribery and corruption." On the latest, and surely the last, occasion of offending, the member for Grey Lynn placated tbe Prime Minister among murderers. "The "people who are responsible for tine murder "of these men" (Huntly miners), he said,
"include not only the owners of the coal "mine—-i hoy include the Minister of "Labor"' (Hon. Mr Massey). The patience and good nature, of most men would collapse under a, silly charge of association with blackmailers and murderers, but the Prim© Minister, who lias a large heart and a great store of common sense, was not wounded by the foolish taunts of "The Leader of the Social Democrat patty." Mr Massey accepts Mr Payne at an exact measure of value, and therefore could afford to advocate leniency towards the member for Grey Lynn, who apparently is' unablo to appreciate the generosity of a political opponent. Now, if Mr Payne were merely a. political fool, his mid abusivenc?K and extravagant language (he invariably advises inter lectors to "shut up ") would bo unworthy of notice. But lie i.s clever, and is not without arresting originality and depth of political thought. If liis- manners and his expressivoness were adjusted to the ordinary standard of parliamentary procedure and dignity, he could be of valuable service to the " Social Democrat parly," and also io those ol his constituents who must feci that their affairs have not been adequately espoused by thoir representative in Parliament. Mr Payne's latest breach of -parliamentary decorum was so deliberate and defiant in intention that the punishment was ridiculously inadequate. The member for Grey Lynn lias proved himself not- to be the typo of politician with the. sensitiveness thai shrinks from political notoriety. He seems to enjoy it, and. doubtless would laugh in his sleeve at suspension for the remainder of the sitting. Possibly his chagrined constituents will adopt a more convincing method next month. f T The inadequacy of the punishment meted out to the member for Grey Lynn has been strikingly proved within 48 hours of Mr Payne's inexcusable offence by a similar breach on the part of Mr P. C. Webb, member for Grey, the successor (let it be noted with regret) of a politician whose gentlemanly respect for the dignity of the General Assembly was so genuine and complete that for many years lie was entrusted with upholding the authority of the Chair, and was true to the trust—the late Sir Arthur Guinness. Perhaps it it not surprising that Mr Webb, whose bouncing efforts in Parliament have been practically valueless to the real cause of Labor, has so soon adopted the abusive tactics of his irrepre.'fiible political leader. Mr Payne. Crows usually caw loudest together, and frequently aro shot in pairs. Fhe member for Grey is reported to have said during the discussion on the Appropriation Bill in the Houfc this morning that if justice were. done in to the fl'intly mining disaster the Prime Minister would b? the first called upon to stand his (rial. Mr Sneaker, who is overtolerant, of political stupidity and disorder, immediately called upon Mr Webb to withdraw the words, but the member for Grey, keen for a, notoriety that the sensible men who desire to see the claims of Labor adequately represented in Parliament must deplore and condemn, refused to play the part of a gentleman. He was suspended for the remainder of a sitting —-a- farcical punishment of an unpardonable breach, involving a dangerous exercise of impertinent cowardice. While the laxity of eontiol of the conditions that led to the deplorable disaster in Ralph's mine call for downright unqualified condemnation by all serious-minded men, it is surely the limit of ignorance to associate the Prime Minister with the slack management of that colliery. It is only in Parliament that men dare practise with impunity the vicious cowardice of which Messrs Payne and Webb have been guilty. Their deliberateness demands the most drastic censure at the disposal of their shamed constituents.
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Evening Star, Evening Star, Issue 15642, 5 November 1914
Evening Star Evening Star, Issue 15642, 5 November 1914
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