And I don't want the world to see us.
'Cause I don't think that they'd understand.
Is this the most shambolic government in the history of New Zealand? Given that parliament hasn’t even opened they’ve managed quite a list of achievements to date.
The Smokefree debacle trading lives for tax cuts, the Trumpian claims of bribery in the Media, an International award for indifference, and today the first, of what will no doubt become many, protests. All before the MPs have given their oath of allegiance.
It leaves you wondering how it’s possible to go from being a country admired for its initiatives and progress, to the poster child for what not to do, in just over a week.
But what’s most embarrassing right now is that we have a Finance Minister who seems to have lost the plot.
Admittedly Nicola Willis was in a difficult position, still needing to provide the promised tax cuts but without the imagined Foreign Buyers revenue. Even in Nicola’s wildest dreams there aren’t going to be enough kids taking up smoking to fill that gap.
So Nicola has taken to blaming the previous government. What a novelty. Despite the fact that she waited until all the information was available before releasing her “plan”.
Sounds like the dog ate Nicola’s homework. That she didn’t do.
Either that or the same junior staffer responsible for counting tobacco outlets in Northland was on the job. Either way not everyone was buying her excuses.
Grant Robertson said the Budget, published in May, clearly listed programmes which had time-limited funding. If this had come as a surprise, said Robertson, then Willis hadn't been paying attention while she was in Opposition.
“If she can't read and understand what is in the Budget document, then I am deeply concerned about how she's going to do the job of finance minister,” he said.
I suspect Mr Robertson is going to prove quite the handful for Nicola Willis over the next three years. By which I mean he’s going to eviscerate her, daily.
Now some of you might be wondering about that award I mentioned just before. We’ll come to that in a moment, but first let’s take a look at the opening of parliament.
Today is the first day of proceedings and sees MPs take an oath of allegiance, and elect a Speaker. On Wednesday we’ll have the state opening of parliament, including the speech from the throne. Then on Thursday Parliament resumes for business.
After six years of it being the other way round, Labour and the Greens, now in opposition, will start asking the questions. National, ACT, and NZF will be tasked with providing the answers.
As for Te Pāti Māori, who knows? They certainly have much to hold the government to account over, after the coalition’s unprecedented attack on Māoridom. But how long will they last in parliament?
By which I mean, do you think Rawiri Waititi will get to the end of his first question, or in fact to his seat after pledging allegiance to the King, before getting kicked out by the Speaker?
I asked that question on my Facebook page and some commenters rather unkindly suggested it would depend on whether Gerry was awake or not!
Yes, after his long snooze on the opposition benches Gerry Brownlee will exit hibernation for the role of Speaker of the House.
To be fair Gerry does know his way around the place, and how things work. During the last term he often had to help colleagues ask questions within the rules, and he would call the points of order when needed. Or often, even when not.
After the somewhat brusque, often humorous, and occasionally grumpy, time under Trevor Mallard. Followed by an almost catatonic by comparison, chairing from Adrian Ruawhare, which calmed things down considerably. We now have Gerry Brownlee to impose his style as Speaker on the next three years of parliament.
That in itself will be interesting to watch, I can’t help wondering if he’ll spend as much time keeping the likes of Winston and Seymour in line, and apart, as he does the opposition.
Of course he has to be confirmed first. Via a process that sounds like it should be in medieval England, not in a modern democracy, on the other side of the planet, in the 21st century.
While we’re talking of things that ought to be consigned to history, let’s get back to that award.