Key Points:

WINZ in trouble with Minister - News Item.

Corrections in trouble with Auditor - Another News Item (on the very same day!!!).

Which is why some in the Civil Service are already calling it Black Tuesday - the wretched day when two, yes, two of bureaucracy's heaviest hitters simultaneously copped it in the kisser.


And cop it they did, boys and girls, that's for sure. In the airless world of the bureaucrat, having the Minister demand answers, as the gorgeous Brawler Bennett has of Winz, is like being told you've got full-body scrotal mange and should rewrite your will immediately.

Worse still, if the Auditor General wanders in and says, "You Corrections guys are so useless you make those bonus hunters on Wall Street look smart enough to be Albert Einstein's love children" then it's basically time to take the biggest staples you can find, Blu-Tack them on to your desk and then impale yourself upon them from a great height, knowing that nothing less than bureaucratic hari kari will preserve any skerrick of honour you once possessed.

Especially when the Stoat Services Commissioner has been ordered to name names, one of which is almost certain to be yours.

(Well, it sure as shootin' ain't going to be Mr and Mrs A. Hitler, formerly of Nae Nae. Not unless you can get down to the Ministry of False Passports really quickly!) But even if you did, there'd be a lady from Winz who'd have beaten you to it. Specifically, the lady who wrote the outrageous letter advising the helpless beneficiary to put herself in the vile and slimy clutches of a loan shark, the better to clear her burgeoning debts.

Except the lady from Winz didn't say that. This story isn't a storm in a teacup, it's a tsunami in a thimble.

While journalists and politicians were swooning with feigned horror, some silly chump foolishly showed a copy of the letter on telly on Tuesday night.

And what it said was, "Here's a list of the things we've talked about ..." What? "Here's a list"? Well, fill me with despair and call me a recession! So bleedin' what!?!?

Yes, the letter did mention raising a loan to pay off arrears. And "pawning my cellphone and the PlayStation", but no sleazy-peasy journo quoted the Winz woman saying, "And so you damn well should, you ingrate!!"


For all we know, she actually said, "There's no need for a loan, you duffer. I can get you $233,672.15 in Emergency non-Refundable Benefits and that should tide you over till next week."

Still and all, any talk of "loan sharks" does tend to play havoc with the bureaucratic sphincter. So Mrs Winz's boss, Mrs Top Senior Ministry of Social Development Person was quick to call the letter "badly written".

The fact that senior people in gummint departments aren't able to write a decent letter suggests we've got an education system so useless it can't even teach kids how to light a fire by rubbing two policy analysts together.

But that's a story for another day. The point here is, if anything, even more disturbing. It turns out Winz has been dashing off lots of "badly written" letters. Seriously! Judge for yourself ...

Barry Matthews

Department of Corrections

Address Unknown.

Dear Barry,

Thank you for coming in and breaking down the other day. I think disgusting your problems done sum good. And I agrees with you. It snot easy running a Depratment that can make women sit at the back during powhiris but can't even keep some immobile epileptic paraplegic retired axe murderer under proper supervision when they is on parole.

I feel your pain, Barry. Here is a list of things what we talked about (along with my comments if they am of any useful to you).

Putting snipers on the roof opposite Paremoremo Prison and "shooting every bastard let out on parole the minute they come through the gate".

Good idea, Barry, but there is an obvious problems. If you used your own staff, it's a dead cert they'll miss. Or hit a guard.

Turning every prison we've got into freesing, miserable Boot Camp, then shoving the Parole Board into solitaryconfinemint "whenever those namby-pamby pillocks drop me in the pooh".

Okay, but do it go far enough, Barry? Whatabout an extra wing for all those wimpy-wonky Judges who keepgiving people "one final chance"?

Putting so many laxatives in the auditor general's cocoa he'll be far to busy to visit your place.

No Barry! no, no, NO! Well, maybe ...

Telling the Minister it's all the last lot's fault. They made you turn the Department into an obsequious coven of fawning toadies, tugging your forelocks to every third-rate theory and second-rate crim in the country. Then telling her it's nuffink more staff and an extra $300,000,000 can't fix.

Now ya talkin', Bazza. And while you're at it, could you tell her it's the same at Winz?

Hope that helps. I is looking forward to our nest counselling session.

Yrs faithlessly

Mrs Winz

P.S. We've never met and I didn't write this litter.