The House was sitting this week, so without further ado here's April's first Whipping Post
Salt, pepper, scissors
Yes, it was bald-faced publicity, but in the best possible way and for the best of causes. Annette King and Kelvin Davis fronted up for the annual Shave For A Cure fundraiser at Wellington’s Backbencher pub on Tuesday. Annette still has a full head of hair, her victim National’s Alfred Ngaro not so much. Meanwhile Kelvin, who was concerned his “salt and pepper” coif was looking more like Peter Dunne’s by the day, succumbed to a razor wielded by Nikki Kaye. We can only be thankful a suggested second option – a perm – wasn’t a goer. A footnote: Labour MPs were also out in force this week helping fundraise for Wellington Rape Crisis and were hugely impressed by the generosity of people.
Just a minute
Chocolate fish to the first person who guesses where this quote came from:
“There is always room for new thinking and fresh ways to change things up. A couple of Labour's ideas around the future of work aren't half bad. I'm impressed.”
No, sorry none of you are right. It was Mike Hosking. Yes, the actual real live flesh and blood Mike Hosking. He went on to say some of the core ideas to come out of the Commission’s work were “not only worth looking at but pretty valuable as well.” We couldn’t have put it better ourselves.
A soup con
You’ve got to hand it to Annette King. Discussing possibilities for oral questions in the Health area, the issue of hospital food was raised. “Yes,” said the MP with a nose for the soundbite, “they’re feeding them slops.” Indeed they are. Clare Curran highlighted the problem in Dunedin, where patients have been getting food that’s been described as “not fit for animals” and “reheated frozen gloop” since multinational corporation Compass took on kitchen duties in February. Other areas aren’t immune either – we’ve had similar reports from Whangarei and Auckland. Meanwhile Health Minister Jonathan Coleman argues food quality at DHBs is guided by nutritional standards. If that’s the case we won’t be eating at Café Coleman anytime soon.
Eyes wide closed
National was missing in action at two events at Parliament this week, the subjects of which New Zealanders have shown they feel more than strongly about and which Labour supports. The first was Choose Clean Water’s campaign urging higher quality standards for freshwater – swum in a river lately? – the second, Action Station’s Double the Quota petition, signed by 20,000, calling for NZ to increase the refugee intake to 1500. As Andrew Little says: Wanted – one Government to step up and take the lead.
Through rose-tinted specs
And speaking of wilfull blindness Brian Fallow’s column in the Herald today pretty much sums it up: Froth disguises the facts
As you like it
We are all but actors on the stage and some more so than others. It was Steven Joyce who took the prize this week when he got all snippety with David Clark for giving him a serve in the House over the holiday pay stuff up that’s left tens of thousands of Kiwis short-changed. Mr Joyce became so worked up about Dr Clark’s oratory performance he lost his train of thought completely (see the Twitter exchange below). Peter Dunne meanwhile suggested (courtesy of Churchill) “the honourable member should not develop more indignation than he can contain."