Alf looks forward to Paul Foster-Bell becoming National’s newest MP.
He hopes the newcomer will be welcomed as heartily as Alf was welcomed when he was our newest MP, back in….
Well, let’s just say it was back a few years.
According to Stuff (here), Foster-Bell will take up the list seat vacated by Jackie Blue, who has quit to become the new equal employment opportunities commissioner, something she surely will do with much more aplomb and good humour than her very earnest predecessor.
Former list MP Paul Quinn was next on the list. But for reasons best known to himself, he has said he didn’t want to return to Parliament.
And so Foster-Bell, a diplomat, will take the job.
Alf will welcome him by taking him straight to 3:2 in the Beehive for a drop of something he will have missed in recent years.
That’s because Foster-Bell will return from his deputy head of mission posting in Riyadh next month, and Riyadh is not renowned as a place where a bloke can readily get a drink.
Come to think of it, Foster-Bell will regard it as a treat if Alf took him to Bellamy’s to breakfast on bacon and eggs.
Anyway, Stuff says he is looking forward to returning to Wellington to support the Government.
“It has been an honour to serve our national interests offshore during my time as a diplomat,” he said.
Foster-Bell – you might recall – was National’s candidate for Wellington Central at the last election.
He was previously the Foreign Affairs ministry’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and was also posted in Tehran, which is not high on Alf’s list of places he must visit before he dies.