Unless you know something I don’t, there’s nothing to pick between any of the contenders for John Key’s job when it comes to rolling back the state. To my knowledge, the credentials of all of them on that score measures pretty close to zero. At best.
But let us know you have any cogent thoughts about any of them – or why they might be especially good or bad at the job.
And in the spirit of #dick’sdailyquestions, maybe answer this one for us too:
Q: How will John Key's resignation affect your everyday life?
UPDATE: While updating the archives, amid discovering Bennett and Joyce were both much more nannying than I’d remembered, and that Jonathan Coleman had barely attracted any mention over the years, I discovered this amusing idea from Not PJ’s Bernard Darnton for a new reality TV show that could, with these contestants, be once again very topical. He called it Benny TV:
Here's a new 'reality' TV that someone might like to pitch to Julie Christie. Or perhaps an idea for some good research for a keen statistician.
Time for a top-rating prime-time TV show to answer the question: “Who’s the country's biggest beneficiary? Who really is the biggest moocher on the taxpayer, the biggest sucker on the state tit, the biggest bludger, trough-snuffler and rent-seeking-rort-mongering-entitlement-bogan in the country.”
You can see the show now, can’t you.
“Our next guest is the new Minister of Housing 'Whack-it-on-Your-Bill Phil' Heatley – a man who takes the idea of “state houses” so seriously he’s tried to corner that market himself. A man with so many houses being paid for by so many taxpayers it would take a Cook Islands taw lawyer to work out.
“Could he be the country’s biggest beneficiary?
“Or is it the new Mistress of Police, Judith ‘Crusher’ Collins, whose arse isn’t so big that she can’t shoot up a taxpayer-funded housing loophole when she sees one, or a good old-fashioned taxpayer-funded limo ride when she can get one.
“Or the new Welfare Matron, Paula Benefit, who’s racked up a whole lifetime on the taxpayers’ tit – “a poster girl for National’s welfare policies” she called herself when she was appointed to head up NZ’s biggest spending department-- and doesn’t look like stopping any time now."
“Or is it our current Minister of Finance, Beneficiary Bill, who pulls down a bigger salary than any business would ever pay him, and claims still extra for having "a place of residence" he visits around twice every year? A man with so many children only a thousand-dollar-a-week taxpayer subsidy is apparently enough to keep the whole brood together.
“Champion effort that.
“Or could it be it’s the former Minister of Finance Dodger Rugless, who likes to take advantage of the taxpayers' largesse to swan around on foreign holidays, making sure it’s us who picks up his tab?
“Or is it one of EnZed’s former ministers or Prime Ministers, one of them who hasn’t been picked up the latest News From the Trough, but who got a taste for things taxpayerish early on and is unable to kick the habit? One of the former tit-suckers who can't take their mouth from the teat, and who's pulling down all the free travel and perks and the platinum-plated politicians' superannuation scheme that we're all paying for?
“What about the former Minister of Wine & Cheese Jonathan Hunt, or former PMs Shipley, Bolger, Palmer, Moore -- or the UN's new pin-up girl Helen Clark? Could one of them be our champion?”
"Stay tuned for another thrilling episode of Who’s the Biggest Beneficiary? Brought to you, naturally, by NZ on Air, so you can see more of who you’re paying for.”
Well, maybe not such great TV – although you would see plenty of red herrings and a lot of scuttling for cover. But high time surely for someone to answer the question.
Could be fun!