Speaker steers us away from the godless path that would have taken Christmas dinner out of our lives

December 9, 2014

Well done David Carter.

The Speaker of the House has announced that the traditional prayer he uses to open daily sittings of Parliament will remain as it is, with its Christian references.

As the Herald reports:

He undertook a very low-key consultation process with MPs and offered an alternative that would remove religious references to “Almight God” and “Jesus Christ our Lord” from the English version.

However his alternative prayer included lines in Maori – E te Atua Kaha Rawa – that translates to “Almighty God,” something Assistant Speaker Trevor Mallard described as “almost dishonest.”

As well as that, the Speaker would have included a daily acknowledgment to the local tribe Te Ati Awa.

Mr Carter would entertain no debate on an alternative; it would be either the current prayer or the alternative he proposed.

He refused any comment, clearly seeing it as a matter only for MPs.

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Impertinent media are now poking into Paul’s Parliamentary perks and politicking

July 27, 2014
If the taxpayers didn't want us to slurp from the trough, they would stop filling it.

If the taxpayers didn’t want us to slurp from the trough, they would stop filling it.

Alf observes that a party bench-mate, Paul Foster-Bell, has been a quick learner of how to slurp from the Parliamentary expenses trough.

At first he seemed unaware of how far a fellow can go when travelling at the expense of the taxpayer.

But he has quickly learned how to making the most of it.

This is all to clear from a record of his expenses published today at Stuff, which gives him no credit for keeping his expenses so low in the second quarter of 2013.

Data published by the newspaper show his claims record has been:

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A nice speech from Tariana but she didn’t make much of the papa bit of her whakapapa

July 24, 2014
The Greens make their presence felt in the Waiatament.

The Greens make their presence felt in the Waiatament.

Tariana Turia – lovely lady, don’t get Alf wrong – seems to have overlooked half of her whakapapa in her valedictory speech this evening.

We heard something about the Whanganui river and the mountains and umbilical chords and all that spiritual  stuff that tells us Tariana has a different world view from Alf’s.

We got to hear about other bits of her heritage. But only the Maori bit.

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Here’s why Morrie has good cause to want to keep the muzzle on our female MPs

May 19, 2014

Alf has just caught up with news that Parliament’s relationship with Te Atiawa could be changed.

For the better?

It depends on your world view, probably.

The news is that a bloke called Morrie Love is keen on maintaining the Maori traditional muzzle on women when it comes to speaking rights – even if they happen to be members of Parliament. It’s a position Alf is strongly inclined to support, because women are apt to talk a lot of old flannel.

It’s all related to powhiri at Parliament (typically a tedious procedure which Alf prefers to avoid but very important when it comes to maintaining the status of our indigenous people as – you know – “special”).

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All power to the Minister and the Speaker as Russel Norman’s question is short-circuited

April 18, 2013

It was great to see Russel Norman get his come-uppance from Mr Speaker in the House this afternoon.

Norman obviously hoped he was going to screw some politically embarrassing information out of our splendid Minister of Energy, Simon Bridges (although Alf likes to think he would be an even more splendid Minister).

At Question Time, Norman asked (here) if Bridges believed the electricity reforms of the late 1990s delivered lower electricity prices and – if so – what had happened to household electricity prices over the last 20 years?

Obviously 20 years is a long time, and it would have required lots of beavering away in the database to come up with the figures.

So Bridges short-circuited things and said yes, the reforms were on the right track.

Good answer.

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Throwing up Trevor Mallard as a candidate means David Carter is a shoo-in to become Mr Speaker

January 31, 2013

Well, that’s gotta be a thoroughly untempting proposition.

The Labour Party has said it will nominate Trevor Mallard to be Speaker of the House.

They know the bid will fail.

The chances of failure became that much greater when Mallard became their choice.

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If you thought Parliament does some mad things – well, maybe this explains it

June 16, 2012

The bloody Brits have been overcome by a curious urge to admit to being a tad ga-ga, and their MPs are lifting the lid on how they have suffered from debilitating mental illnesses.

They have been speaking out about various conditions with fancy names such as obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-natal depression, although Alf tends to stick with words like potty, cranky or whatever.

A Labour MP, Kevan Jones, is reported (here) to have delivered a speech in the House of Commons during which he revealed he suffered from deep depression.

Alf gets that way, too, it must be said, but only when listening to Opposition MPs deliver their tedious speeches, which is much too often.

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Equality arguments in the Mojo matter are worthy of a hearing – from all sides

February 15, 2012

Did Alf hear correctly?

An important point here is that some people have difficulties in the hearing department, and Alf senses he might have to include himself as one of these as he gets older.

What he heard while munching on his toast – he thinks – was an ardent lobbyist blatting on Morning Report about extra funding being needed for a deaf MP to be accorded equitable treatment. Or equal treatment. Of something like that.

He is fascinated by the logic.

We are all equal – right?

But some people need more money for extra help than others require to do the same job. Public money, let it be noted.

This is a variant of that thing in Animal Farm about all animals being equal but some are more equal than others.

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The Monarchical Mr Speaker has muted media freedoms – but which hack complained to him?

October 7, 2011

Alf normally turns to No Right Turn in the expectation he will find something highly disagreeable and, more often than not, seriously disputatious. But then, what should we expect from an Idiot Savant?

Now and again, however, even an idiot savant can have a good day, and today the bugger has hit a rich vein in discussing the latest antics of “our monarchical Speaker”.

He recalls that on Wednesday, a bloke sitting in the gallery of Parliament – a seriously unhinged bloke, in Alf’s humble opinion – tried to throw himself over the railing and on to the floor of the chamber.

The Herald’s Audrey Young, sitting in the Press Gallery nearby, snapped a photo on her phone of the ensuing struggle as security guards and members of the public attempted to stop the man from going over the edge (although he had gone over the edge by going over the edge, if that makes sense, which it does to Alf).

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We don’t demand haute couture in the House but wearing Highlanders’ discarded kit was a blue

June 8, 2011

It's a nice shade of blue ... but what would happen if Alf wore this in the House?

Alf took serious offence at a Labour politician, Clare Curran. desporting herself in National colours yesterday.

Accordingly he approved of the Speaker giving her a red card and kicking her off the Parliamentary pitch.

As it turned out, she was thrown out of the House for wearing a Highlanders’ rugby shirt.

Today she is reported to have bleated about an “over reaction” from Speaker Lockwood Smith.

The Dunedin South MP had appeared at Parliamentary questions wearing the southern team’s old blue, gold and maroon kit in protest at the new lime green colour.

Speaker Lockwood Smith declared the shirt violated Parliament’s strict dress codes and ordered Curran to leave.

Parliament’s dress code dictates male members must wear a tie or jacket buttoned up to the neck. Women must wear ”normal business attire” however there is no specific detail on what is allowed.

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