Lockwood Smith

"Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, including the freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and opinions of any kind in any form." Discuss.

A couple of "free speech" issues have arisen in the last week - one a bit ho-hum, the other somewhat more serious.

The Speaker says Hone Harawira has to say the magic words that make you an MP in the right way, and he only gets one chance to do it each time. Is this taking legal formalism just a bit too seriously?

Since being dragged to the Speaker's chair after the 2008 election - a quaint tradition going back to the days in which Speakers of the UK House of Commons legitimately had reason to fear the Sovereign's wrath, so MPs genuinely didn't want the job - Lockwood Smith has done some good things to the House.

Lockwood Smith is sending out a message. No-one disrespects the rules of his crib.

The Speaker has had enough. The television media's behaviour in chasing Chris Carter through Parliament's hallways, down its stairs, and even pushing into his office, has so contravened the rules of the House that he is left with no option but to dish out some payback.

John Key's cabinet taking shape; John Banks slashing Auckland budget; bankruptcies up by a third; Phil Goff a workaholic; answers for David Bain; and more

John Key could name his cabinet as early as Sunday and be sworn in as Prime Minister on Wednesday. As many as five ministerial portfolios could be handed out to Act, United Future and the Maori Party, reports Dominion Post political editor Tracy Watkins.