The Labour Party in Middle-earth

By Toby Manhire In The Internaut

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Standing in for the minister of finance, the minister of just about everything Steven Joyce displayed his Tolkienesque talents in parliament today, lampooning the Labour party’s leadership contortions by way of a protracted Middle-earth analogy.

It’d be long enough, surely, for a Peter Jackson two-parter.

As recorded in the draft transcript, here it is:

Hon Tau Henare: What reports has he seen about other potential productions we might see in New Zealand?

David Cunliffe enjoys Joyce's wizard routine.

Hon STEVEN JOYCE: Word has reached me of a drama that is currently playing out, which might be suited to the big screen or perhaps go straight to DVD. In this particular performance—it is a very similar movie—the “Fellowship” is led by a tall, thinning, grey wizard, who surrounds himself with a loyal legion of—

Mr SPEAKER: Order! [Interruption] Order! A point of order has been called, and it must be treated with respect.

Rt Hon Winston Peters: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. The question specifically asked for what other reports. The Minister began by saying: “Word has reached me …”. That is not a report. He is being frivolous with this House at a very busy time in our—

Mr SPEAKER: Order! The member needs to forgive me but I seem to recollect the member himself in the past treating verbal reports as reports.

Chris Hipkins: I seek leave to table a DVD copy of a film called The Hollow Men, showing that it has already made it to the big screen! [Interruption]

Mr SPEAKER: Order! [Interruption] Order! I am on my feet. The member may be pleased that I do not seek the leave of the House, because he may not be able to table it, and the Standing Orders require documents to be tabled.

Hon STEVEN JOYCE: In this particular performance, the “Fellowship” is led by a tall, thinning, grey wizard, who surrounds himself with a loyal legion of halflings sworn to protect him against a slimy, bearded creature hiding and plotting in the darkness, consumed by jealousy, and relentlessly in pursuit of his “precious”. Their journey is made more difficult by the presence of a number of goblins still loyal to their former leader, an all-powerful, all-seeing, all-knowing eye, watching from a distance—roughly, between here and New York. We are due to hear more about the conclusion of this particular story in February of next year, but I understand that it might be a little bit of a flop, because, rather than giant eagles, the fellowship have decided to put their faith in an elderly mallard.

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