Today in politics: Saturday, December 8

Last updated 05:00 08/12/2012

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Politics

Nick Smith reveals he gargled paint stripper as mouthwash Reserve Bank mandate no longer cutting it - Labour Stacey Kirk: Is New Zealand's mental health service doing more harm than good? Legal cannabis could collect $150 million a year but Bill English isn't pursuing it Labour leader Andrew Little's New Plymouth billboard defaced by vandals Foreign Minister Murray McCully contracted Zika Veteran Taranaki regional councillor will not contest seat in upcoming election PM's department warned of Chinese trade threats, but didn't brief him Failed leadership coup exposes more 'toxic culture' at Wellington City Council Tracy Watkins: Helen Clark's down but not out in the race to lead the UN

DUNNE HAS ANIMAL LOVERS BARKING MAD

Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne is in the dog-house with animal activists around the world. Since news broke of plans to test party pills on animals, Mr Dunne has had a deluge of email protests. Despite a backdown, the campaign continued through the week and he had received 1000 from Australia, Canada, the United States, Britain, France, Germany and Poland by yesterday. "The delete button has been working overtime," he said.

KEY TO SHOW SEIN NZ'S COUNTRYSIDE ANOTHER TIME

Myanmar’s president Thein Sein has backed out of a visit to New Zealand later this month. After Prime Minister John’s Key’s recent trip to the Southeast Asian state, Thein Sein was due to come around December 13. Mr Key planned to show him dairy operations as Myanmar seeks to rebuild after five decades of military rule. A spokeswoman for Mr Key said domestic developments required the president’s attention and a  new date would be set.

BECKHAM WOULD BE 'HAPPY' WITH REAL 'BATSHIT' COMMENT

Meanwhile, Mr Key was keen to have the last word on the Beckham-batshit bungle. Debate has rumbled along since he was reported to have cast aspersions on the footballer's mental capacities. He's not prepared to divulge  exactly what he said about David Beckham last month to a group of pupils at Dunedin's St Hilda's Collegiate. ''What I can tell you is if he was standing next to me, if I said everything I said, he'd be more than happy with it.''

ECONOMIC ILL WIND WILL BE FIRST TO BLOW DOWN THE PM

As Dominon Post reporters grilled Mr Key on the economy this week, a shrill wind whistled through the windows of his Beehive office. ‘‘We get used to that up here,’’ he said of the noisy draught. ‘‘Every prime minister goes mad in the end because of the job or the wind. I’m hoping to escape that’’ Wellington is, of course, notorious for its gales – but Mr Key’s more likely to  be plagued by the economic headwinds he is so fond of mentioning.

 


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