Thank you gorgeous people, the folks who actually made an effort to fill up Queen St with thousands upon thousands of protesting voices against mining in our National Parks.

You did it. Your mother would be proud.

Next time I see each one of you, I will wash your car or make one random nice comment about your hair; your choice.

Whatever best affirms what damned fine citizens you are. Look in the mirror tomorrow and tell yourself you did something good for your children's children. Not a bad gift.

Funny how our Prime Minister's genial reception to Ms Gillard's idea of sending asylum seekers to East Timor quietly died down when her own domestic reception to the ill-prepared proposition got slammed, notably even by the Timorese.

I know you want to start off right with the new candidate, Mr Key, but you don't have to smile in acquiescence as a welcoming gift.

If Australia wants to use these unwitting people as political pawns, that's their issue, not ours. Besides the 750 United Nations refugees New Zealand has been consistently taking for over two decades now, the truth is we receive only a tiny tickle of asylum seekers.

The United States gets about 49,000, France receives 35,000 and Britain gets 30,500. Norway, with a similar population to ours, got over 17,000 applications last year.

Closer to home, our numbers don't even come close. Australia received about 6500 asylum seekers last year.

So, where is this grand flood to our tarmac? Only a paltry 290 apply each year for New Zealand, on average for the last five years. If anything, this country has the ability to do so much more for people whose lives are destroyed by war, corrupt governments or from using their own political voice.

We certainly used to do more. In the five years before 9/11, New Zealand received closer to roughly 2000 asylum seekers a year.

That number has shrunk to about 300 a year, averaging the past five years. Even with those tiny numbers, fewer still get to stay in this country. The true count of asylum seekers who actually get approval to build a new life in New Zealand is only a paltry 75 people a year, averaging the last five years.

Let me assume, Mr Key, that your silence is golden and you are not interested in pursuing an expensive, half-baked policy that could potentially transform people's dreams of rebuilding their splintered lives into the reality of a foreign detention camp.

Not a good campaign look. More importantly, not a good look for New Zealand.

This week the monosyllabic, Forrest Grump-like democratic primary winner for the South Carolina Senate, Alvin Greene, actually gave a 6-minute speech in an intermediate school auditorium. Stifling back the urge to yell "Run, Alvin, run!" the press found this as newsworthy.

Greene's previous public responses have usually spanned about four words in length.

This relatively loquacious outburst came from the unemployed veteran who somehow managed to win 60 per cent of the state's Democratic primary vote out of nowhere, most notably having not campaigned.

His most defining characteristic is the felony charges he is facing for showing pornography to a college student.

Sniffy pundits have feared that the haltingly articulate, total unknown was a plant by Republicans. Some speculate he managed to win because his name came alphabetically ahead of his rival.

Deep thinkers have speculated that South Carolina voters either mistook him for singer Al Green, or the actual colour green - because lots of people like - um, plants. But I say, na-uh, y'all. This is a man of ideas. If you ever have doubts about political life in New Zealand - well, don't.

Greene told the Guardian he wants to stimulate the economy - by producing action figures of himself: "Another thing we can do for jobs is make toys of me, especially for the holidays. Little dolls. Me. Like maybe little action dolls. Me in an army uniform, and me in my suit. They can make toys of me and my vehicle, especially for the holidays and Christmas for the kids. That's something that would create jobs. So you see I think out of the box like that. It's not something a typical person would bring up. That's something that could happen, that makes sense. It's not a joke."

We know, Mr Green. We know.

Finally, Good Readers, a nice mix. Syria bans the burka at universities while the Pope decrees it a crime to ordain women on par with paedophilia. Never mind, at least you have never slept with Mel Gibson.

* www.traceybarnett.co.nz or Twitter: @Tracey Barnett