Heather Roy

Simon Power needs Act's support to pass the Criminal Procedure (Reform and Modernisation) Bill. Will he tell Act to stuff Heather Roy's Voluntary Student Union Bill where the sun doesn't shine, unless they hold their noses, and support grossly illiberal legislation which does away with the right to silence?

When Chris Kahui was acquitted of murdering his twin sons in 2008, law commissioner Sir Geoffrey Palmer mused that perhaps it was about time we did away with the right to silence for those accused of criminal offences.

He was quoted in the New Zealand Herald: "It is not a change that would happen quickly, but talking about it is not [typo edited] wrong."

Labour has happened across a pretty nifty little parliamentary trick. But it's time to put it away, I think.

Over at Kiwiblog, David Farrar has hit high dudgeon mode over Labour's ongoing filibuster of Heather Roy's Education (Freedom of Association) Amendment Bill (or, "the VSM Bill", as it is better known).

What was 2010 like for the smaller parties propping up this government? Not a lot of fun, really. Big holes were exposed in ACT, the Maori Party and United Future, which raise even bigger questions

Power exacts a price. Of the three smaller parties with a role in government in 2010, the highest was undoubtedly paid by Rodney Hide and ACT, but the Maori Party too must be weighing up its political balance sheet. United Future is simply hanging on for grim life.

Heather Roy reckons our nuclear-free policy is stopping a free-trade deal with the US. Someone needs to tell her that the '80s are over, Reagan isn't president anymore and Iowa doesn't give a toss

ACT's Heather Roy's had a tough year, being treated roughly by her own party and leader, and I can't help but feel some sympathy for her. Yet there was politlcal naivety in the way she tried to advance her leadership ambitions, and she doesn't seem to have learnt from that.

Heather Roy's return to parliament this week was a bit rich – Katherine Rich, that is. By following the former National MP's example, Roy has bought herself some time, but is it borrowed? And will the right-wing parties can together or divide?

If you front up, they can't stab you in the back. That seems to be the theory Heather Roy has decided to go with this week, as she returned to parliament talking about her commitment to the party and her appetite for hard work.

And so far, it's worked a treat.