Plunket in Metro

January 17th, 2012 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

A hilarious column by in on the National-ACT negotiations after the election. Worth getting just to read the whole thing. Some extracts:

Banks: Golly it was close, wasn’t it? Great to be back in Parliament as a National… oh, sorry… Act MP. No, no tea, thanks Prime Minister. Anyway boss, what am I here for?”

“So what is it you want Banksy?” queries Key.  “I know you are going to drive a bloody hard bargain, mate”

“Not really,” says Banks. Then adds quizzically, “What do I want?”

“You are one wily old fox, aren’t you, Banksy? Pulling the old I-don’t-know-what-I-want-trick, when I know and you know that you want charter schools.”

“Charter whats?” says Banks.

“Charter schools, Einstein. You know schools where we can blow away the national curriculum, give those pinko teachers the boot and say it’s all in the cause of improving outcomes for kids like you and me who climbed their way to the top despite a failing state education system.”

“Sounds good, Leader. We’ll take it”

One can’t be sure that isn’t how it went, which is what makes it so funny. Then he carries on:

Banks moves towards the door. “If there is nothing else, I’ve got an optician’s appointment to replace those silly glassses.”

“You’ve got me again Banksy!” says Key as he mimes being shot through the heart and falling dead. “The old that’s-all-I-want-and-I’m-on-my-way-trick! You weren’t really just going to walk out the door without even asking for a departmental spending freeze that would require any minister wanting a budget increase to have it approved by Parliament?”

“Yes I was, actually” Banks looks increasingly confused.

“Okay, you can stop twisting my arm now, Banksy. It’s yours.”

And the conclusion:

“I’m happy with that. Is there anything else I want?”

“Oh, there are a couple of other issues you’ll be wanting to hold my feet to the fire on, but why not just sign the agreement here and I’ll get Steven Joyce to fill in the details.”

“Righto, boss. I’ll see you in a couple of years, then.”

Plunket must have been in the room :-)

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13 Responses to “Plunket in Metro”

  1. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    When John Key was able to say “that’s MMP for you, isn’t it?”; a satirist needs to work hard to top that.

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  2. Viking2 (11,367 comments) says:

    If it wasn’t so sadly true it could be funny.

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  3. RRM (9,774 comments) says:

    Gold.

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  4. tvb (4,324 comments) says:

    This is utterly funny especially the bit where banks asks charter what.

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  5. rg (206 comments) says:

    I think you are being quite mean spirited here. The agreement between ACT and National was negotiated by John Boscawen, Catherine Isaac, Chris Simmons and others along with John Banks. The agreement gives the much needed spending cap because this National Govt has no clue how to drive growth and their spending is worse than at any time under Labour. The Charter schools are the sort of initiative you get from a liberal party such as ACT. Bill English was also invloved and when it came to the matter that ACT was getting quite a lot for their 1 % he said that “we actually need this stuff” which is a reflection that many in National know what needs to be done and are frustrated with the “do nothing ‘ approach that John Key has had over the last 3 years. They are grateful that ACT is prepared to act for the country in a way this National Govt is too scared to do. Add to that RMA reform and the other initiatives and ACT have done very well. I expect many in the media such as Plunkett to belittle ACT’s efforts but Kiwblog is usually better than that. I invite you to publish the truth and be a bit fairer on this issue.

    [DPF: Oh lighten up. At the time it was announced I praised it massively and said Banks was now ACT's most effective MP.

    It's a great victory for ACT, but considering they managed it with only one MP in the House, it is fair enough to suspect National did not go down screaming in opposition to some of the measures.

    And finally - this was a satirical column]

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  6. dime (9,806 comments) says:

    lighten up rg

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  7. James Stephenson (2,139 comments) says:

    @rg – you’ve just argued yourself in a circle. ACT’s function is to cop the blame for policies that National is too scared to own. That’s not neccessarily a bad thing, but it is what make’s Plunket’s piece funny.

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  8. secondcumming (92 comments) says:

    hey rg(16), it was supposed to be funny. get it? F.U.N.N.Y.

    ‘oh never mind, don’t worry……..

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  9. BlairM (2,317 comments) says:

    Anyone who thinks this “could be true” is insane, and clearly hasn’t spent any time observing this National government over the last three years. This is bullshit which plays into the hands of the crazy Left who think that John Key is secretly right wing.

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  10. Australis (101 comments) says:

    If it is true, it underlines the absolute necessity to have a party to the right, allowing National to hug the centre during campaigns but still deliver sensible policies that National knows to be in the public interest.

    If it is NOT true, it underlines the absolute necessity to have a party to the right, pushing National to actually deliver sensible policies that National knows to be in the public interest.

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  11. PaulL (6,030 comments) says:

    Funny – very. True – not really.

    Nothing about humour requires fairness……but to be fair, educational choice has been a core plank of ACT policy since Roger’s book “unfinished business”, and was clearly an election platform. The limits on govt spending similarly so, they’ve been talked about by ACT for years.

    Flipside, it’s pretty clear that National didn’t argue too hard against these very sensible and logical policies – because ACT’s one seat probably didn’t justify this much. Although one trial charter school, and looking at a bill on limiting spending probably isn’t that huge an achievement.

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  12. Deane Jessep (64 comments) says:

    This writing style reminds me of some of Terry Pratchett’s work… very enjoyable.

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  13. Griff (7,343 comments) says:

    He He
    who cares how it works that centralist national can have a nice right twist and still retain the fence sitters is ATCs function.

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