The trivialising of current affairs

Alf missed Paul Holmes’ Q and A interview with Lockwood Smith, Speaker of the House (and a bloody good bloke, in Alf’s book).

But he has just read the transcript on TVNZ’s website. And he’s gob-smacked.

Almost half the interview is consumed by Holmes’ fascination with Smith’s relationship with Alexandra Lang, whom he will marry in July.

Women’s Weekly pap.

It took a while for Holmes to get around to asking Smith about his job as Speaker of the House, his insistence on Ministers answering questions sensibly and fulsomely, and so on. He wanted to know, first, about Smith’s car (briefly) and his partner (where they met, how they got on, blah, blah).

Once he got to the Speaker’s job, there was much to be probed.

Alas, it didn’t happen. Not thoroughly.

Holmes’ attention span seems to be on the short side, and he spotted the engagement ring.

PAUL: Not a bad thing, a very good thing Mr Speaker. So anyway my gosh I’ve just seen that ring, this is the ring Dr Smith gave you on Christmas Day.

ALEXANDRA: That’s the ring.

PAUL: Can we have a little look, hold I up nice and clearly we’ll get the camera in there to have a look, just hold your hand steady there, which one is the engagement ring Alexandra?

ALEXANDRA: This one it’s the wedding ring and engagement ring, because I had the three diamond and it was to enhance it.

PAUL: You had it specially made very secretly Mr Speaker?

LOCKWOOD: Yes Paul I wanted to do that and that was a problem for me though where did I go, I knew nothing about getting rings made.

It was all over at that juncture for Parliament, the job of the Speaker, the running of the House, and so on.

It was back to romance and trivia (not trivia for Smith and his fiancee, sure, but trivia for the viewing public).

But it served one purpose: it fortified Alf’s view that if TVNZ is privatised, no harm will be done to the public welfare.

Not much good will come of it. But the viewing public will have lost nothing.

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