The Health Minister David Clark must have been relaxing on his holiday break listening to the radio this week and hearing with a ting of envy his coalition cobber, the little General Ron Mark, announcing a $2.3 billion spend up on four spy planes.

Not that this former man of the cloth would be envious about us getting these potential killing machines. The envy would come with the amount of money Mark has been able to extract from what he's been told is an empty kitty when it comes the nurses who're going on strike tomorrow.

The reaction to the strike action was lead by the other man in this Government who'll also be causing a lot of envy for other cash strapped ministers, Winston Peters, whose a billion dollar foreign affairs' favourite and is fawned over by the tax break hungry owners of pretty horses who can race them on the all weather track that they've been promised.


The other minister who'll also be green eyed this week will be Chris Hipkins who's being whacked on two fronts, in his education portfolio, with the teachers threatening to walk away from their blackboards, who'll no doubt be watching with interest what the militant nurses can achieve.

And with his State services hat on, Hipkins will be wondering how far the belligerent bureaucrats will be prepared to go after they downed their pens for a few hours this week.

And then there's Phil Twyford whose been fighting a colossal battle on the housing front as he grapples with a thirty thousand labour shortage in the construction industry, and will at times surely wish he'd scored a New Zealand First ministry, like moneybags Shane Jones, the self proclaimed leading citizen of the provinces who's been given three billion bucks to spend to keep his country cousins happy.

The only thing Twyford's been given is a $500 fine for doing what most of us have done in the past, using his cell phone after a plane's doors had closed.

He was too diplomatic to argue that the Civil Aviation rule's ridiculous, given that it's there because phones may interfere with aircraft instruments "where it may be operating without visual references."

The plane was on the ground, for goodness sake, and there's no hard and fast evidence anyway that proves cell phone use could bring a plane down.

If there was even a remote possibility of that they'd ban them all from being brought on board.

So as they all looked on at the leader of the privileged party they saw Peters giving a very diplomatic view of the militant nurses, telling them they'll be the first to down their stethoscopes in more than a generation, but acknowledging them as caring and dedicated professionals whose frustration has built up over many years, particularly of course when the tight fisted National Party was in Government.

What the nurses really need is a New Zealand First health minister!