I spoke to Winston Peters on my show yesterday about the racist pamphlet issue.
It seemed only fair to give him some air time, after Noelle McCarthy had spoken to the disgruntled posties the day before. It amused me that for someone so quick to bury interviews in statistics (he's only second to John Banks in that regard), there was one important figure he wasn’t so sharp on…
DC: How much did you say Ahmed Zaoui has cost?
WP: Well Zaoui was $100,000 about three months ago, that figure does not include the cost of maximum security, which is $68,000 a year, before we even look at legal aid and everything else.
DC: How much did your pamphlets cost, 500,000 of them?
WP: I don’t know the exact figure of that, but it…
DC: Why not?
DC: Wouldn’t you do a costing exercise before you sent out half a million pamphlets?
WP: Yes, yes, we did a costing exercise but to tell you what the exact figure is…
WP: Well I can’t give you the ballpark figure either.
He then went on to complain, inter alia, about the lack of time he gets in the media. Which is probably true, for the most part. But I can’t blame the media as a whole. No-one really wants to interview a politician who is generally belligerent and/or cantankerous, not to mention often downright rude. Hey, we’re people too...
DC: So if we gave you more time, you might refrain from such expensive exercises?
WP: It’s not an expensive exercise.
DC: Well you just told me you don’t know how much it cost.
WP: Well it’s not, well I know that we would never contemplate an expensive exercise.
DC: Was it half a million dollars?
WP: Well of course it wasn’t half a million dollars.
DC: Including postage?
WP: No it’s dramatically less than that.
So he didn’t know the figure, but he knew what it wasn’t. Convenient, huh?
Amongst the ever increasing pile in my in-tray…
From the office of Tony Ryall, National Police Spokesman
20 November 2003: Private prison ban costs taxpayers millions
21 November 2003: NZ decides its justice laws, not UN
25 November 2003: Another speed camera scam
28 November 2003: Beef up police powers to tackle gangs
30 November 2003: Call for rethink on age of criminal responsibility
1 December 2003: ‘P’ epidemic – why can’t Hawkins see it?
2 December 2003: Justice delayed is justice denied
4 December 2003: Meth Lab Cases Facing Even Longer Delays
From the office of Hon George Hawkins - Minister of Police.
27 November 2003: Minister to attend Wing 214 graduation.
Now of course opposition politicians are always putting out press releases, unlike Ministers they don’t have a real job. But I’m still allowed to have my doubts about exactly what it is the Minister does. You’re welcome to draw your own conclusions.
Huge response to my Lord of the Rings post this week – cheers. Snippets of interviews and some more photos will be appearing over the weekend. You wanna know exactly how stoopid Ms Tyler really is? What about Orlando Bloom, the closet un-co? Stay tuned… oh okay, here’s another few pics from the After Party to keep you hanging on. Have a great weekend.
*Nudeness may vary according to region.