When Labour's social development spokeswoman Annette King asked about Salvation Army reports of high demand for food parcels, Mr Key responded by saying it was true that the global recession meant more people were on benefits.That nice Mr Key, when he tires of playing at being Prime Minister, should consider television; not slumping in front of it, but presenting a reality makeover game show (or whatever they call those things - I am not a viewer). I have in mind a show called Ask a Millionaire, in which Mr Key dispenses advice and wisdom to people less fortunate than himself, but not bludgers and time-wasters.
"But it is also true that anyone on a benefit actually has a lifestyle choice. If one budgets properly, one can pay one's bills.
"And that is true because the bulk of New Zealanders on a benefit do actually pay for food, their rent and other things. Now some make poor choices and they don't have money left."
Meanwhile Bishop Brian is at it again. In a story with the appealing title Destiny, cult-watchers in clash over Christ, it is revealed that Bishop has had a revelation (Brian is known to his followers not as the Bishop or My Lord but simply and directly as Bishop, as befits a man who rides a Harley-Davidson; vroom, vroom). As a result of said revelation Mark Vrankovich deems Destiny to now be a cult, a decision to which the obvious reaction is "what took you so long?" It is worthy of note in this context that Mr Vrankovich also thinks the Jehovah's Witnesses are a cult, solely on theological grounds - if your gang don't read the Bible right, then your gang is a cult. Garth concurs.
"Sir, what caused the unemployment?"
"Why, that would be global recession and certainly not any of the policies of the government I led so successfully."
"My Lord, why are the poor always with us?"
"That is because some people make poor choices."
But, Your Grace, how can that be so? Surely it is not the fault of the poor that they are poor?"
"I could have you thrashed for your impudence, but I shall exercise clemency and give you an answer. The proof that the poor are so because of their lifestyle choices is that not all people are poor, therefore those that are poor must take responsibility for their lifestyles. QED"
Me, I don't care. We give all these people too much attention. Brian is a showman who attracts the greedy and stupid to his tent with the promise of salvation and riches. Brian's homophobia is of concern; his theology is his own problem. Before publishing stories and op-eds about heresy, newspapers might like to consider that people are entitled to to believe whatever they like. Given that many Anglicans do not believe in the resurrection of Christ, it won't be long before the likes of Vrankovich are declaring the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia to be a cult, when in truth it is just a complicated bureaucracy in which political correctness went so mad that it divided itself into three racially-segregated parts.
I could go on, but I would rather listen to this:
Just one more thing, as Lieutenant Columbo used to say: what about the investors in South Canterbury Finance? They made poor lifestyle choices; yet they do not have to live on food parcels.