In one of his excoriating commentaries on the foibles of politicians and officialdom, John Clarke, the satirist formerly known as Fred Dagg, described Quantative Easing thus:
"You stick a printer by the window, alert the banking sector, press the copy button and stand well back.''
Quantative Easing, a fancy name for printing more money in an effort to kick-start a failing economy, is a last-gasp, desperate measure only to be attempted by very large central banks to avert a crisis.
Parts of Europe have tried it, as has Britain, and the US. Germany tried it after World War One and ended up having to replace wallets with wheelbarrows as the value of the currency plummeted to almost zero.
Quantative Easing is often dismissed as "printing money'' which isn't a very good description, since all countries print money all the time. But it's the amount they print that's important. And if the amount isn't watched very carefully, then it becomes worth less, and before you can say Funny Money Party you're looking at double-digit inflation and beyond.
Talk about getting caught with your snout in the trough.
National's outing of four senior Labour MPs as having enjoyed Sky City's hospitality while watching the All Blacks play France last weekend was one of those "gotcha" moments that must have been deeply satisfying for the prime minister after another torrid week.
The fab four - former leader Phil Goff, former deputy leader Annette King, former senior Cabinet minister Clayton Cosgrove and former TV journo Kris Faafoi, all accepted an invitation from Sky to watch the game for free with drinks and nibbles from the comfort of its corporate box at Eden Park.
Labour, remember, recently slated Sky City over its deal with the Government to put more pokie machines into its casino in return for building a new convention centre.
Leader David Shearer said SkyCity had "hit the jackpot" and called it the "Mother-of-all-deals".
Parliament suffered from leaky building syndrome long before the term became a fashionable phrase for describing shonky Mediterranean-style townhouses.
Indeed, the building is so full of drips it's lucky it's built in Stalinist block concrete because a timber construction would have gone rotten long ago.
Former Revenue Minister/former UnitedFuture leader and possibly soon-to-be former MP Peter Dunne says he looked at but did not leak the GCSB report that found our security services had engaged in illegal spying on New Zealanders.
That wasn't good enough for Prime Minister John Key who considered Dunne's faint denials that he was responsible, together with his refusal to release all of the 80-plus emails exchanged with the Fairfax reporter who broke the story, was as close as anyone was going to get to an outright admission of guilt.
And fair enough, too. Even though I also work for Fairfax I have absolutely no idea who Andrea Vance's sources for her story were - journalists protect sources absolutely, and wouldn't tell their own mother or partner let alone their editor or a colleague.
Should cartoonists be allowed to offend people? Discuss.
Our new Race Relations Commissioner chose Nisbet's "racist" cartoons lampooning the Government's food in schools policy as her first target upon taking office - a curious choice, given she was as silent as the grave the previous week when Winston Peters referred to Chinese immigration as the "Seven Deadly Sins'' of Auckland.
Social media picked up the topic, politicians tut-tutted, outraged school principals climbed aboard on the evening news, Campbell Live was suitably (and predictably) horrified and by the end of the day Al Nisbet was hung, quartered, and - er - drawn, in the court of public opinion.
And for what? Depicting a bunch of people - Maori, Pacific Islanders, Pakeha and some kids with what looks like orange and yellow hair - as lazy, greedy bludgers who would rort the food in schools programme to save a few bucks.
When it comes to the Government's new school breakfast scheme I'm with Linwood Avenue School principal Gerard Direen. It's a total no-brainer.
In fact, the only thing that makes me wonder is why it has taken so long.
School principals have been telling us for years that kids are going to school hungry. If they're hungry they can't concentrate and if they can't concentrate they can't learn. They also disrupt other kids who have had breakfast but can't learn either.
This makes teachers' lives a misery but more importantly means a whole section of society is growing up without the skills to make a contribution in the modern world. And we keep getting told that education is the most important thing we can do to increase this nation's productivity.
Even if none of the above were true, we should be feeding our kids breakfast for no other reason than it's inhumane not to. Even thinking about children walking to school on a cold winter's morning without breakfast warm in their stomachs makes me angry.
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