Hey, Kev. Pass the marmalade, please. What do you mean there is no marmalade?" With next month's climate change talks in Copenhagen, Denmark's capital, looking like they are going to falter, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Mexico's President Felipe Calderon called a special breakfast meeting at last weekend's Apec summit to see if the world's political movers and shakers could make any progress beforehand. As part of their joint initiative, Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen flew overnight to Singapore to attend the hastily convened meeting with the likes of America's Barack Obama and China's President Hu Jintao. John Key also went along, only to discover at this breakfast meeting, there was no breakfast. Perhaps that is why the meeting achieved diddly-squat ...
Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia issues a press release saying she will be going in for her stomach stapling next week after 20 months of suffering from type II diabetes. As the minister charged with diabetes awareness, she notes she has been following doctors' orders to eat a healthy diet, thanks to strong policing by her husband George, daughter Lisa and her mokopuna who take her swimming. What she doesn't mention is the doctors' advice to avoid stress in the lead-up to the operation. On her plate in the week before is finalising Budget pleas for the whanau ora policies, trying to broker deals on emissions trading and the seabed and foreshore, and of course Hone Harawira's future in the party. One small consolation - Prime Minister John Key has told her she will look like a pixie after the operation after she voiced concern that others had emerged looking like goblins.
It's the first House sitting week since "Movember" began, a fundraising event to fight prostate cancer. Only three MPs return with noticeable attempts on their lips - the Greens' Kevin Hague, and National MPs Tim Macindoe and Aaron Gilmore. National MP Chester Borrows is doing an Un-movember. There will be a public shaving of his 30-year-old moustache on December 2 by Social Development Minister Paula Bennett to raise money for the community volunteer patrols in Wanganui.
Bennett formed the "Chester's Mo Must Go" committee as her latest efforts in an ongoing crusade. She also persuaded Murray McCully to get rid of his mo last year by telling him he would look 10 years younger.
John Key confirms that neither he nor other ministers will meet with the exiled Dalai Lama on his visit to New Zealand in December despite saying on the campaign trail last year that he would. The Herald gets an email from a "disappointed and disgusted" France Komoroske, the woman who sought an assurance from him during the campaign that he would still meet him if he became Prime Minister.
"I guess a politician is a politician - say one thing to get elected and do something else when you're in office." Revenue Minister Peter Dunne says he is willing to host the Dalai Lama again at Parliament as he did last year, in his capacity as United Future leader, only he hasn't been asked.
Finance Minister Bill English clarifies the Government's position on Treasury after John Key slags off its forecasting abilities following its estimate that the emissions trading scheme will cost the Government $110 billion by 2050.
"This Government has the capacity to make its own distinctions between good advice and bad advice," says English. "Advice we disagree with is bad advice; advice we agree with is good advice."