I'm glad National MP Mark Mitchell didn't run for Auckland Mayor, he's serving us in a far more effective way in Parliament.
As much as Auckland needs a decent mayor, and a decent council, ultimately the country has more pressing national issues.
Mind you, if you look at the current field of contenders for Auckland mayor, Mitchell would bolt home, which is why I assume Wayne Brown tipped his hat in.
Mitchell last week in the House made mincemeat of Police Minister Poto Williams over gangs.
We all know gangs are out of control in this country, the gang numbers have ballooned, the violence has skyrocketed, and for every story of a Lamborghini or Harley that's impounded with the latest record bust, there is any number of shootings, stabbings, beatings, robberies and general violent mayhem that goes unchecked.
Mitchell asked whether gang violence had increased or decreased under this Government, and the minister, foolishly, said she rejected the question's premise.
Now the mistake there is that "rejecting questions" is an Ardernism, it's one of her habits she works on until it becomes absurd.
No matter how succinct or clear the question is, you reject it no matter how open-ended it is.
How are you today?
I reject the premise of the question.
Grant Robertson does it a lot, Megan Woods has picked it up, and of course, Williams went for it in the House last week.
It is essentially a defence mechanism to try and dig yourself out of the indefensible or the blatantly obvious.
It's like their other current trick, blaming the previous government.
The irony of course is the last government is actually them, what they mean of course is the last government that wasn't them, but given that government was well over four years ago, the excuse is tired and lazy, but also covers them off momentarily from dealing with their growing list of failures.
Eventually, Mitchell asked what part of the premise was the minister rejecting in his question, it was at this point poor old Williams walked into her own trap.
The part, she said, where gang violence has increased under this Government, at which point the House melted down in laughter.
Which raises the point, how long can a Government go simply denying things no matter how real they are?
It took them an age to accept that KiwiBuild was a bust.
Their current housing policy of "tilting the market towards the first-home buyer" is in tatters.
Last week's Canstar survey has record numbers of first-home buyers tapping out, most alarmingly in their 30s and 40s, and that's before you got to last week's Trade Me rental figures which are at record levels of increase.
The PM at the start of 2020 said house prices were out of control and she would fix them, are we at a point where she can admit she hasn't fixed them? Indeed, she has made them substantially worse ... or does she reject the premise of the question?
Gang numbers alone tell you how bad things are, the gun crimes tell you how bad things are.
The violent crime statistics are glaring, a lot of crime has actually dropped, but not violent crime.
The latest stats show the number of victims of violent crime is up year after year, and yet the number of cases from those crimes that head to court falls.
Which in part explains last week's numbers around the cost of prisons and the cost of prisoners ... the cost is up despite the number of people behind bars being down.
Kelvin Davis said that is the cost of doing things differently, what he is doing differently is not putting people in jail, and when they are not in jail they are on the street beating people, shooting people, and adding to the social misery.
Not all of it is gangs, but a lot of it is ... and Poto Williams refuses to accept it.
Surely they must know away from the glare of Mark Mitchell's questions, of the growing series of headlines, that gangs and violence are political death.
When people feel afraid, when downtowns are no-go zones when police aren't there to be seen when Kāinga Ora evicts no one despite the threats to blow you up or burn your house down when you curtail your lifestyle because of fear, and perhaps worst of all when your Government fails to accept any of it is true, just how long can you go rejecting the premise of the question before you are rejecting it from the opposition benches?