Island Life by David Slack

Take a seat, Bryan

40,000 outraged New Zealanders, including "Hilda Ogden", "Susan Peacock", "Pete Sinclair" and "the very reverend Jesus Mohammed MacIrishman" have already vented their online spleen at last week's light-speed legislation, and the fury is clearly not yet spent.

Where did the Government go so wrong? Could they have handled this better?

Well, yes, frankly. They just had to share the spoils around a little more evenly.

One more clause could have made all the difference; just a bit of red meat for those baying Tories and then we could have all got some sleep. Something like this, for instance:

8      Sundry historical corrections

The following is a true reflection of the historical record, and any assertion to the contrary will be prohibited, a corrupt practice, a bridge too far and - if you can’t be arsed looking up any other legislation - a seditious act,-

(a) Gerry was just tapping the guy on the shoulder.

(b) She didn't see anything. One minute they were in Waimate, the next, they were in Christchurch.

(c) Bryan Sinclair can arrange chairs like a sonofabitch.

(d) Bob's always head-butting other people's stationery.

(e) "Slosh those funds around and buy your way to the Treasury benches" is chair-arranger-speak for "those napkins don't look right with that tablecloth."

(f) It wasn't for the baubles.

(g) Everything the last Auditor General ran up on the credit-card is now valid too, except for the inappropriate hotel-room movies.

(h) Rodney was the best dancer.

(i) It was all lafo.

(j) There is one law for all New Zealanders, and this is it.