“Make The Politician Work” is a new “reality” series from TVNZ, with its first episode on Easter Sunday.
I don’t particularly like the premise, as the vast majority of our politicians work very hard. But despite that, and the shonky reality stylings, the first episode with Paula Bennett was most enlightening.
Bennett, about to help out in the Wellington Mission Soup Kitchen, and deal with people with much bigger problems, is worried about wearing a hair-net on National Telly, and that the heat will make her make-up run.
Here is our Social Development Minister, actually meeting those on welfare and realising that a cookie-cutter solution won’t solve their complex problems. Getting to talk to people desperate to work in National’s economy that has no jobs for them. They have needs that cost more than the benefit. All these are revelations to Paula. How did she get to be Minister again?
She pays for everyone’s hot drinks when they can’t afford 20c, without a thought to the Mission’s having to charge them again in future. She tries to smuggle extra biscuits into food parcels, without a thought that later families will miss out altogether. She’s pleasantly surprised her expensive home-made guacamole is a hit, when it will have been a long time since the regulars could afford avocado – my hope is that at least “I’ve got to go make my guacamole” becomes a catchphrase out of it.
I’m sure future episodes will make all the politicians look vain, and show up their foibles, such is the indignity and purpose of ‘reality tv’; but hopefully other politicians aren’t so out of touch on their portfolios. Although the way National are ignoring food price rises and the cost of living while insisting on keeping their tax cuts for the rich, I’m not too hopeful.
If you haven’t already, I recommend you watch it.