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Bennett floundering over Saunders

Written By: - Date published: 5:34 pm, May 5th, 2010 - 41 comments
Categories: national, welfare - Tags: ,

[ This comment from gobsmacked needs to be posted! — r0b ]
[Update – frog has more details]

Question Time was just hilarious today. Or it would be, if these clowns weren’t running the country.

There was Wayne Mapp floundering, and Gerry Brownlee … well, being Gerry Brownlee. But best (worst) of all, this question to the towering intellect that is Paula Bennett:

From Green MP Catherine Delahunty:

“Which Peter Saunders did she intend to appoint to advise the Welfare Working Group on welfare and employment: the Peter Saunders whose book Welfare to Work she cited in the House last week, or the Peter Saunders she actually appointed, who thinks there is a link between low class and low intelligence? Is she aware that they are actually two different people?”

Bennett was unable to answer.

So the Green MP tried to help her.

Catherine Delahunty: I seek leave to table two documents. The first relates to the biography of Professor Peter Saunders and it is from the University of New South Wales website.

Mr SPEAKER: Leave is sought to table that document. Is there any objection? There is objection.

Catherine Delahunty: I seek leave to table another document. It relates to the biography of Professor Peter Saunders from the Centre for Independent Studies, and it is from the Welfare Working Group website.

Mr SPEAKER: Leave is sought to table the document. Is there any objection? There is objection.

Yes, a Cabinet Minister doesn’t know who she has appointed, and thinks it’s somebody else, with the same name.

“I’m Brian … no, I’m Brian, and so is my wife!”

41 comments on “Bennett floundering over Saunders”

  1. Please say that’s a joke, that she truly isn’t as dim as she looks ?

  2. ianmac 2

    A surreal thing to listen to, but will Paula be humbled?

  3. Gosman 3

    Did anyone here apologise over the claims about her paying to shut down the privacy complaint? I seem to remember a rather vicious attack.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 3.1

      Money will change hands, Paula doesnt know it yet
      Its a classic negotiating tactic, dont mention the money until you have them hooked .

      Regarding the appointment of a doppelgänger, lets remember Paula was previously in human resources

    • Pascal's bookie 3.2

      heh. You know things are fubar when the available distraction topic is an abuse of power scandal.

    • Dear Gosman.

      It seems clear that Paula did the following:

      1. Breached Natasha Fuller’s privacy rights
      2. Abused her power as a minister
      3. Used Government information to try and silence a critic
      4. Totally misunderstood her obligations as a Minister to uphold the law
      5. Engaged in personal abuse
      6. Discontinued a policy that was sound and helped Paula get herself off welfare.

      But she may or may not have offered money to Natasha.

      So what would you have us apologise for?

  4. gobsmacked 4

    Cheers, Rob. But Paula deserves all the credit!

    If anyone doubts this bizarre strory – well, I think this Scoop piece below is satire, but when truth is already farce, it’s hard to tell …


  5. Red Rosa 5

    Waiting for SCOOP to spot this!

    The literati (and even we plebs) will recall Evelyn Waugh’s ‘Scoop’? And reporter Boot.

    No doubt one Sir Peter Saunders will emerge in due course……….but which one?

  6. Craig Glen Eden 6

    She’s as dumb as it gets, even dumber than Gerry!

  7. Rex Widerstrom 7

    *note to self*

    New foolproof excuse for infidelity: “It’s not my fault, she has the same name as you”.

  8. frog 8

    Cheers, r0b and gobsmacked. I have some more about this here.

    Bennett is now rivaling Tolley and Brownlee for the most incompetent Minister title, I would suggest.

    • Jim Nald 8.1

      Cheers. The trio of Perplexing Predicament indeed.
      I posted a comment elsewhere by baptising them the Floundering Fiascos.
      Puhleaze can someone tell them they can stop auditioning because even the Youth Parliament has declined their participation in the House?

    • gobsmacked 8.2

      I recommend Frog’s link: a good summary.

      And although I admit this is all very funny, there’s a serious point here. Here’s what Paula Bennett said in Parliament, about the Peter Saunders she said she had appointed (but in fact, did not appoint):

      “Members can read his book, Welfare to Work in Practice.”

      and she then talked about the ideas in it.

      So one of these must be true:

      1) She hadn’t read the book. She deliberately misled the House.

      2) She had read the book. She wanted to appoint the author. But she accidentally appointed somebody else instead.

      The first is dishonesty. The second is gross incompetence.

      Ministers have been hauled over the coals for less.

      • Pascal's bookie 8.2.1

        1a) She had read the book and was misleading the house by saying that her guy wrote it.

        Which would be even more serious, but does her the (erm) credit, of at least assuming she read the book and thought about it’s ideas, like she seemed to want people to think.

        But yeah, I’d say she hasn’t read the book.

        I say that Peter Saunders is one of many advisers. He has something to offer the group as far as international knowledge is concerned. Members can read his book, Welfare to Work in Practice, which he wrote in Australia. I do not agree with everything he said; I do not agree with everything that a number of the advisers to the group said. But we are open to listening to those views from the Welfare Working Group

        She never directly says she read that book, though it is implied. Although the bit where it’s implied (“I do not agree with everything he said”) could also be referencing quotes from her Saunders in the question she was asked. Strict parsing might save her yet.

        If she hasn’t read that book, then I guess she can get off by saying it’s all a terrible mistake, and she didn’t mean to mislead the house and that members can read some of her Saunders actual books.

        But she still looks like an eedjit.

        • Rich

          The thing is that this doesn’t just show that Bennett is thick as pigshit, which we knew.

          Ministers have lots of advisers (those “backroom” people) to help them choose candidates for posts. Those advisers would, if allowed, have flagged that there were two people of the same name and ascertained which one she actually wanted to appoint. But the Moronic Minister is too pig-headed to take advice, and has now fucked up. Again.

          When is Key going to realise that just because most National voters are a bit retarded, even they don’t expect to have fellow retards in the government.

          • the pinkpostman

            How can a government get two idiots named Bennett ?
            It’s hard to say whom is is the biggest twit .Male Bennett or female Bennett. At least the male Bennett is on the back bench but female Bennett is in a position to do a lot of damage.
            This latest episode from female Bennett should be enough to replace her, but don’t hold your breath.

          • the pinkpostman

            How can a government have two idiots named Bennett.At least male Bennett is on the back bench .Unfortunatly female Bennett is in a position to do a lot of damage. Key must replace her but don’t let’s hold our breath.

        • mickysavage

          Has she read a book?

          “Where the wild things are” does not count …

        • JAS

          I seriously doubt she had read the book, if the article is to be believed she doesn’t read much.

      • felix 8.2.2

        To save a bit of time can we just rule out any scenario which involves Paula reading a book?


        • Armchair Critic

          Unless it had a mouse as the main character. And a big typeface.

  9. Say it isn’t so…

  10. toad 10

    Sorry to be pedantic, but shouldn’t Bennett’s name be spelled correctly n the title for this post?

    Just so we don’t confuse her with someone else, as she obviously has.

  11. ghostwhowalksnz 11

    This seems to be fumbled by Delahubty in that she was asking a supp to a Labour Mp
    They need to get her question listed as a primary question tomorrow.
    I think the crockery will be flying in Bennetts office tonight as she looks for someone to blame.
    But is this bigger than an overhead remark on a plane? Well see

  12. Rharn 12

    Bennett clearly does not know the ideology behind the Centre for Independent Studies.

    The good news is that she and Hide are not an ‘item.’

  13. B 13

    HOW did Bennett gain a degree in sociology??? I wonder this every time she gives a speech or even opens her mouth.

  14. bahandhumbug 14

    A minister of the crown found to be a complete fucking idiot – well colour me surprised who would’ve thunk it with the idiots we’ve had in power for the last 30-40 years.

    Are they getting stupider or are we just all getting less tolerant of these jerkwads.

    • Lew 14.1

      Artist Formerly Known As Higher Standard, is that you?


      • felix 14.1.1

        I was just wondering the same thing. “The Artist” was banned for life not so long ago.

      • lprent 14.1.2

        Could be – same IP up to the ‘D’ of A.B.C.D, ie within 255 numbers of an IP address.

        Hasn’t attracted my attention yet (apart from youall muttering about it). Of course there is always IrishBill…

        Interestingly enough last year another person in the same D group described themselves as being a lobbyist. That would kind of figure.

  15. As a former cockney ,all I can say is what a plonker . !!!

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