Cullen rattled

I often watch question time in parliament when I’ve got some spare time, and there’s a few interesting things I’ve noticed recently.

Will blog about the rest later, but firstly, it’s obvious that the Benson-Pope affair sure has the government rattled. Judith Collins did a great job of winding Cullen up on Thursday, and he wasn’t even the minister answering the questions! When Cullen’s losing, he reverts to getting dirty:

Judith Collins: Might a poor child outcome result from taking a motherless 14-year-old child, who is living in a troubled home that is affected by family violence, then subjecting that child to having his hands tied to a desk and jamming a tennis ball like this into that child’s mouth, while a classroom of other children look on; if so, would he now like to take another opportunity to apologise to his victim?

Hon Dr Michael Cullen: I raise a point of order, Madam Speaker. I am sure that you know what the point of order is going to be. The question assumed that the Minister was guilty of that offence. The member might care to demonstrate whether it is a physical possibility by putting the tennis ball in her mouth right now—it is one of the bigger ones around the House.

Judith Collins: The Acting Prime Minister has asked that I demonstrate that this ball can be put in a mouth. Here is the ball. He might like to show us by putting it in his mouth. It is a deflated tennis ball. It can be done, and it was done.

Hon Dr Michael Cullen: That is utterly outrageous, particularly from somebody who ripped off the Casino Control Authority in respect of her expenses overseas. The Minister is entitled—[Interruption] We can always make accusations in the House, can we not, under parliamentary privilege

Of course, as DPF has mentioned David Benson-Pope was conveniently meeting John Cleese to avoid any further embaressment.


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