We need an update on what constitutes un-parliamentary language

Fast times in Parliament usually end in heated debates, but not everything goes in terms of what can be said.

Insults, “unbecoming” language and accusations of dishonesty are banned, according to a list on the New Zealand Parliament website, but we’re seriously considering getting some of these phrases back into circulation in the newsroom.

Some of our favourites include the 1936 term “Fungus Farmer” which may have been rude in 1936 but is a perfectly legitimate occupation today.

Another favourite is the 1949 banned phrase “His brains could revolve inside a peanut shell for a thousand years without touching the sides.”

One of the few times I agree with journalists.  Time to liven up parliament, especially in an election year.  

1933
Blow-fly minded
Financial Frankenstein
Shrewd old bird

1936
Fungus farmer
Pipsqueak
Stonewalling

1943
Members hated the sight of khaki
Retardate worm

1946
Clown of the House
Idle vapourings of a mind diseased
I would cut the honourable gentleman’s throat if I had the chance
Quasi-parsonical
Skite

Perhaps “I would cut the honourable gentleman’s throat if I had the chance” would still be a bridge too far even now.

1974
Scuttles for his political funk hole (allowed)
Soft-soaping (allowed)
Could go down the Mount Eden sewer and come up cleaner than he went in
Dreamed the bill up in the bath
Greasy hands
Grubby little man
Intestinal fortitude
Low style
Mealy mouthed
Slinking off to another part of the House
Frustrated warlord

1977
John Boy
Silly old moo
Racist
Sober up

1980
Ayatollah
Ditch the bitch
Fascist dictator
Heil Zeig
Marxist or neo-Marxist
Member for Pretoria
Merv the Swerve
Papanui Parrot
Quigley Wiggly
The Arapawa Goat

Parliament’s site runs out at 1980.  I’d love to see it updated to include the Clark and Key years.

Any suggestions?

 

– Patricia Greig, NZ Herald

 


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