Matt McCarten on politics

Matt McCarten is a Herald on Sunday political columnist

Matt McCarten: Top billing for these acts from the halls of power

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Hone Harawira's staunchness wore off after three apologies through gritted teeth. Photo / Richard Robinson
Hone Harawira's staunchness wore off after three apologies through gritted teeth. Photo / Richard Robinson

It's been another year's entertainment by our politicians. In the spirit of the season I'm giving out a few end-of-year awards to our leaders.

Fallen Angel Award

Winner: Rodney Hide. Old twinkle toes is having a mid-life crisis. Despite years of being a principled perkbuster he secretly rorted the system to take his new young love on two overseas holidays on the taxpayers' dime. When sprung he was unrepentant. But when his caucus moved against him he grovelled for forgiveness. He'll never recover.

Runner-up: Bill English. After Phillida Bunkle you'd think MPs would know better than claiming rent for their primary home.

Gutless Wonder Prize

Winner: John Key. Letting Act have a Closing the Gap with Australia taskforce. It was a platform for Act to promote their extremism with no expectation of ever implementing anything.

Paid by the taxpayer. Next time just say no, John.

Runner up: Maurice Williamson. Is it too hard to say Wanganui is a spelling mistake and should be corrected?

F*** You Award

Winner: Hone Harawira. No one does defiance better. Best Christmas present is a T-shirt: "White Motherf***ers for Hone". The staunchness wore off a bit after three apologies through gritted teeth.

Runner-up: Don Brash. Didn't you just secretly admire his "no holds barred" dogma when he released his taskforce report? A true believer to the end.

Tosser Prize

Winner: Richard Worth. There's something creepy about a Cabinet Minister hinting at ways he could help women who came to see him in Parliament if they only meet with him after hours in a room he'd booked for them. Yuck.

By-election Supremo

Winner: Melissa Lee. She became a household name for all the wrong reasons. Most MPs have an inflated view of themselves. But this Mt Albert candidate is in a class of her own.

Runner up: Jonathan Coleman, Lee's campaign manager. This guy manages a ministry?

Nutty Mayoral Prize

Winner: Andrew Williams. No doubt the North Shore Mayor will throw his name in the ring to be Auckland's super mayor. Probably a real nut but will make the mayor campaign next year unpredictable.

Runner up. Michael Laws, of course.

Winston Peters Redneck Whistle Award

Winner: Phil Goff. Trying it on with a bit of opportunism when the Maori Party had their problems. Pretending his "one rule for all" wasn't some desperate attempt to get his personal and party vote up was just too cute by half. Brash did it better.

Runner up: Winston himself. Apparently we need to know the Maori flag flying on Waitangi Day is racist. Yawn.

Missing the Beehive Trough Award

Winner: Helen Clark. Apparently she's still texting her former underlings with advice all the way from New York. The misery of the world's poor obviously doesn't need her full attention.

Runner up: Winston again.

Just Retire Award

Winners: Roger Douglas and Jim Anderton. Both collect national superannuation, their parliamentary pensions as well as a full MP salary. Their best decade was the 1980s and they're so old they are allowed to triple dip.

Hit the Poor when they're Down Award

Winner: Paula Bennett. Right on Christmas she comes up with the idea of making out-of-work Kiwis grovel if they want to keep the huge dole cheque after a year. Is she aware the reason there are more unemployed is because of capitalism's failure, not the fault of the victims?

Runner up: Kate Wilkinson. She's letting workers sell their holidays. In the real world that means scrooge employers will take a week's holiday back for the 2 per cent it's worth and then tell the worker they've given them a wage increase.

How many weeks' holidays do our MPs get, I wonder? Psst. It's unlimited. Merry Christmas. More merry for some.

- Herald on Sunday

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