Cullen did say it after all!

Since I blogged this morning that Dr Cullen may have said “We won, they lost, let’s do lunch” instead of “We won, you lot, eat that”I have been buried in texts and emails from journalists, former MPs, staffers all sure he had. But none of them knew exactly when – in fact some said it was during tax increase law, others re ACC, others some other time.

But finally we have an answer. We have a quote from Hansard on 9 August 2000 (a week before the let’s do lunch one I blogged earlier). It is:

“Eat that! You lost, we won, it [the ECA] goes! It is as simple as that!”

So there has been a minor mangling with the “Eat that” being at the beginning, not the end, but otherwise it is confirmed Dr Cullen did say that. My thanks to AG and all the others who have been at work on this.

Interestingly, one wonders then why Dr Cullen told the SST:

On “We won, you lost, eat that!” No, he says, he never said that to National. “It’s a wonderful piece of historic myth.”

Hardly a myth it seems. I don’t think a minor re-ordering which doesn’t affect the intent or arrogance qualifies Dr Cullen to call it a historic myth.

I’m glad someone finally dug up the actual quote. I was close to e-mailing Dr Cullen himself asking for what he thinks he said!

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