I've been struggling to get excited about much on the political front for the past few weeks, which is quite unlike me. Then I read this piece by the always-worth-a-look Sarah @ Leto and something clicked.
It’s like a giant vat of porridge someone forgot to add the salt to, left to go cold and gluggy on the stovetop, with only journalists and politicians under the illusion that it’s actually edible…The Government plods along, neither brilliant nor dreadful. The fringe parties continue to mistake half-baked ideas for actual policy, and National seems caught up in a collective delusion that they’re all at a 1950’s boys' boarding school.
I'm trying to work out exactly why this is, I mean, it's not as though there's nothing to be interested in. We've got two MPs facing criminal charges, one of them may even lose his seat as a result. We've got the huge unresolved issue of the seabed and foreshore and resultant Maori protests. Despite a ban on recording the hui, someone managed to capture Trevor Mallard being reprimanded for shouting over people on a marae yesterday. You ain't in Parliament now, buddy.
The end of the GE moratorium hangs like a dark cloud, and Grannies Against Genetics (GAG) are whipping their tops off in Parliament, much to the disgust of Brian Le Gros, who claimed it was his idea all along. In a year we may be all eating Blinky the Fish; the Greens are less than happy, but Jeanette Fitzsimons says they will continue to work with and support Labour on policies they agree upon.
And I think this is part of my disillusionment. Politics is a game, and it's no fun when there's no chance of an upset. That's why the Warriors vs the Raiders was so much fun to watch on the weekend – it came right down to the wire – whereas watching the All Blacks trounce Japan in the world cup rates up there with Edwards at Large on the interestometer. Ok, that's not fair, even an All Blacks whitewash is more interesting than Edwards. Have you ever noticed how much he looks like a pickled person? Scary.
[I've been trying to find an image of what pickled people look like so you too could marvel at the resemblance, but all I've managed to find are pantyhose fetish websites. Gotta love the 'net. If anyone can find a link, please mail me. For those who don't know, they're people made out of stuffed stockings, the features sewn in. They look a lot like Brian Edwards…]
Anyhoo. I interviewed Peter Dunne a week ago, and again marveled at how utterly inoffensive this man can be. We were discussing smoking, and surprise of surprises, he's calling for a "common sense" solution. I asked him if he ever felt the Government were taking the piss. I mean, they can ignore the Greens about GE, and know that United will support them. They can ignore United about smoking, and the Greens will provide the votes they need. The fact that the Greens and United are about as likely to agree on anything as Gordon Copeland is to share a J with Nandor is exactly where the Government's strength lies. Dunne said, predictably, "that's MMP."
And therein lies the source of my ennui. As it stands, the Government just can't lose. But they're not even using their enviable position to conduct some despotic campaign of Machivellian tyranny (smoking and smacking notwithstanding). At least that would be interesting.
Thank God the rugby's coming.
Oh, and by the by, while I'm talking about television, Mike King's show is clearly going to be worse than the debut might have suggested. Much like Winston Peters, Rodney Hide managed to be funnier than the so-called (a term I generally hate, reserved as it is for people who write letters to the editor of The Listener) comedian host. King also seems to think that it's more interesting if he gets his interviewees involved in little skits. It isn't. I shan't be watching again.
Finishing on a positive, a few congratulations are in order:
To all the winners of the b.net awards, particularly Te Awanui from Nesian Mystic, who kindly offered me 'a place to crash' should I ever need one – an unusual but nonetheless welcome token of gratitude for an article I'd written a while back.
To Hayley Westenra, who would have to be the sweetest person I've ever had the pleasure to interview, and who is currently sitting at number 8 on the main British charts, and number 1 on the classical charts, with the fastest selling classical release of all time, her new album, er, Pure.
And finally to Jeremy Wells, bFM host, regular sports contributor on my show and bloody decent bloke, despite having too much to drink to continue his co-hosting duties with me at the awards on Friday night, who has apparently been voted sexiest New Zealander in the 2003 Durex Sex Survey. Which I guess makes me a little sexy by association. Or not.