Wednesday, 18 July 2012


On Wednesday it was the turn of another Green MP to help a National MP look dumb.  In Question One, Russel Norman took on Regular John, on the subject of prices for houses.

Again I was astounded by many of the answers, though unlike Mr Brownlee yesterday, I am sure the PM understands that he showed all the depth of a swimming pool with a "No Diving" sign, and no plug.  The best exchange was this one:

Dr Russel Norman: When will the Prime Minister stop blaming the last Government and accept that we have a housing affordability crisis right now in this country, that young people are struggling to buy their first house and are leaving the country to get better opportunities somewhere else, and that his Government has a responsibility to do something about it, rather than just blame the Labour Party?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY: If that member really thinks that we have a housing bubble at the moment in the way that we had under the previous Labour Government, then, firstly, he is deluded and, secondly, he might want to ask the then Labour Government why it bothered to commission a whole report on housing affordability, of which it followed very little.
I understand that's what's called "caught red handed".  Or maybe blue handed.

Though the most amusing moment of the day happened in Question Six, in an exchange between the Speaker and the Minister Impeding Social Development.  In response to the primary question:
Hon PAULA BENNETT (Minister for Social Development) : I am pleased that the first 50 of 149 extra social workers in schools will begin as schools start back this term. The first 50 additional social workers will cover 95 schools in Northland, South Auckland, and Hawke’s Bay. We announced the expansion of Social Workers in Schools to all decile 1 to 3 schools last year, expanding the coverage from 285 to 675 schools by mid—[Interruption] Hey, are you done? [Interruption] A bit more? Let us go. [Interruption] Are you ready?
Mr SPEAKER: Order! I would ask members to be just a little more respectful, please. The Minister is only feet away from me, and I struggled to hear her answer. I just ask that interjections be a little more reasonable. I call Scott Simpson.
Hon PAULA BENNETT: No, I just thought I would take a moment to—I have not quite finished my answer.
Mr SPEAKER: But the Speaker determined the Minister had.

I laughed loud enough to alarm some of my colleagues.

Scavengers - AK79, 1979

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