Insults and jokes end Parliament

TRACY WATKINS
Last updated 05:00 12/12/2013

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After a tumultuous year, Parliament wound up yesterday in the usual fashion – with insults, jokes at each other's expense and MPs puffing up their own achievements.

But that is likely to be the last time they gather together in good humour for some time, given that the next time they meet will be January 2014, the start of what is likely to be a very long election campaign.

Deputy Prime Minister Bill English delivered one of the best one liners of the final debate, noting that nothing much had changed for Labour since the last adjournment debate last year.

"The leader's still called David and Grant Robertson is still undermining him."

He also had a poke at the Green Party.

"Talking to the Greens about the economy is like talking to Jack the Ripper about community safety".

From the other side of the chamber, Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson dredged up an infamous picture of ample Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee wearing a kilt and displaying what was worn under it. Links were made to various roads of national significance.

The undies on show became "underpants of national significance" not to mention the Peka Peka highway. Robertson gave thanks the photo did not show 'Transmission Gully" but he steered clear of any mention of the Puhoi extension.

Given the choice between Brownlee's underpants and a 10 minute version of "Oh Come All Ye Faithful" belted out by Green MP Denise Roche in lieu of a speech, however, many MPs might have been opted for the former.

In the end, the best line went to ACT leader John Banks who undaunted by scandal, controversy and losing his job as a minister declared to his opponents that he had had a great year.


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- Fairfax Media

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