Government junior whip Darren Hughes justifies the Government’s walkout of Parliament last night, on the grounds of “if Parliament was sitting music would not have been allowed at the state dinner.”
This is a very curious assertion. Because for a start the state dinners are usually held in the Beehive – an entire building away from the Debating Chamber.
Secondly I’ve been at many parties with hugely noisy jukeboxes and karaokes blasting, while the House has been sitting, and the party has been much closer to the Debating Chamber than the locations for state dinners.
This must be a very very very new rule.
UPDATE: I am informed that the dinner was in the Grand Hall as the Banquet Hall is being refurbished, and this is a lot closer (nextr door) to the Debating Chamber. I still reckon the noise from the National Caucus parties must have made its way into the chamber from time to time 🙂