A great night was had by all at PJ O'Rourke's night out in Auckland - certainly all at the two tables of libertarians at any rate, which at two out of twenty-two was a reasonable summation of our position in NZ’s body politic. (And judging by Deborah Hill-Cone’s questioning, some had too much of a good thing.)
Many great quips by the Great O'Rourke to recount, all of which you can see for yourself in a day or two when the Centre for Independent Studies' website has the speech online. (And feel free to post your own favourites in the comments.)
But there were two other lines that stood out on the night that I want to mention now, both from Ruth Richardson who spoke in thanks to PJ. She took the opportunity to send a fairly pointed message from a former finance minister who famously wrote a budget in the teeth of a deep recession to a new one in a similar position, but with mush instead of stainless for a backbone.
She spoke about seeing her ‘successor,’ Bill English, speaking in Canterbury about his forthcoming Budget. He seemed to be "manfully resisting" the urge to stimulus, she said, but looked like he might be unable to resist the urge to "fiscal child abuse."
And she talked about how uncomfortable she felt seeing "a politician who talks Adam Smith abroad and John Maynard Keynes at home." Everyone in the room knew to what she was referring, and that it was to Bill English’s boss that the barb was directed.
Let us hope her words reach their intended target(s)
PIC: Annie Fox meets the Peej; Julian looks on: