Got a political problem? Add water, and look lively
by Lyndon Hood
Late last week Green MP Steffan Browning was reported as supporting a petition calling for the use of homeopathy in the World Health Organisation’s response to ebola.
This is, of course, exactly the kind of thing leadership of the Green Party has been trying to distance itself from and may yet end in the TV news getting that footage of the morris dancers out again. One imagines many angry tears over the homemade kombucha in the Greens office.
Browning has since described his actions as “probably pretty unwise”, which is – considering the way politicians usually behave these days – basically an olympic-level retraction and apology.
Yet there are other MPs, closer to the levers of power, whose foibles have become less newsworthy due to long familiarity. To use a medical analogy: even though the proportion of influence Mr Browning’s opinions might have on the Greens’ Ebola-related policy is very small (this in turn diluted by the Greens’ lack of influence on Government policy), it is still very potent at causing media coverage, because of memory.
So, if their personal inclinations won the day, how would our politicians solve the big issues?
Hekia Parata : Restructure public health in various ways that both doctors and other experts think won’t help. Pour a lot of public money into privately-run clinics that only a few people can attend. Expand this programme without checking whether it works.
Peter Dunne : Reach a realistic and politically achievable compromise with ebola.
Nick Smith : Urban sprawl.
Judith Collins : Leak confidential details of virus to attack blogger.
John Key : In capacity as Prime Minister, leak confidential details of virus to self in capacity as National Party Leader, who leaks them to attack blogger.
Simon Bridges : More oil.
John Key : Build a giant fridge covering all of New Zealand. Zero cost to taxpayer under hardheaded deal which sees Auckland converted into one big casino, Fletchers with a monopoly on any construction work more complicated than tying two sticks together, and Warner Brothers with the movie rights to what happens next.
David Seymour : Build a giant fridge covering all of New Zealand while retaining the special character of Epsom.
Tim Groser : Recognise the reality of manmade global warming. Avoid any slight action we might have to take to control global emissions. Consider actually paying people to pollute. This reduction to the puny contribution of our already almost undetectable country will render our efforts so potent they will save the world.
WAR IN THE MIDDLE EAST
John Key: War in the Middle East.
Bill English: Mentioning vague possibility of tax cuts.
Paul Bennett : Sell off state houses.
Gerry Brownlee: More roads.
ONGOING ECONOMIC INSTABILITY
Michael Woodhouse : Ban tea breaks.
John Key : Ban cups of tea.
EXTINCTION-SIZE METEOR HEADING FOR EARTH
Chris Finlayson : Declaim erudite snark upon meteors.
John Key : Reckon the people of New Zealand understand that there’s not an extinction-size meteor heading for earth, actually, and we should concentrate on the real issues such as whether having a black flag would make us confused with the old fly spray brand.
Steven Joyce: Return to home planet.
John Key : More powers for GCSB and SIS.
Simon Bridges : Mobilise company’s action plan to control the spill, extract and dispose of all seawater and wildlife contaminating the oil, keeping as much oil as possible clean and safe from the environment.
Paula Bennett : Kick penguins off the benefit if they fail to fulfill their waddling and flapping obligations. Boast about how few penguins you’re currently saving.
Steffan Browning : Add exponentially larger amounts of oil until mixture is basically extra-strong water.