So, Paula Bennett appointed this guy Peter Saunders to her Welfare Working Group.
A wannabe fiction author, he penned a xenophobic book called The Versailles Memorandum set in 2046 where Islamo-fascism has taken over Europe and said that “low average intelligence and low class position”. Not, um, not the most stable guy but Bennett appointed him.
Or did she?
When asked about Peter Saunders’ comments, Bennett said she had read his book “Welfare to Work in Practice” and thought his views were worthwhile. But that’s a different Peter Saunders. This Peter Saunders is an expert on welfare issues and is critical of privatisation of social welfare.
See, there’s good Peter Saunders and bad Peter Saunders. Which one did Bennett appoint: the one with the bigoted right-wing views or the one who wrote Welfare to Work – both of which Bennett attributed to the same person?
When asked about this by Catherine Delahunty in the House yesterday, Paula Bennett looked like a stunned mullet. She had no idea which Saunders she had appointed.
Some people are now asking whether Bennett actually ever read the good Saunders’ book. Others are asking if she has actually ever read a book.
To compound the hilarity, Bennett quickly put out a press release titled (seriously!) ‘We got the right man‘ trying to cover her arse, basically saying ‘it’s really confusing’.
Read the press release below and tell me which Saunders she appointed:
Welfare Working Group member Professor Peter Saunders was chosen as an expert in his field to participate in the Group’s examination of the welfare system says Social Development Minister Paula Bennett.
However, he is not the only Peter Saunders in existence.
Question time in the House today saw the matter arise, with a question mark over whether the right Peter Saunders was appointed to the Group.
‘I can assure you, we got the right man,’ says Ms Bennett.
To set the record straight about any confusion there may be over which Peter Saunders has been appointed, it may help to clarify the following.
There are two men called Professor Peter Saunders.
Both studied in England, both were based in Sydney Australia at the same time and both have continued to lecture on social policy and welfare and both have written a number of books on the subject.
‘This clearly creates potential for mistaken identity,’ says Ms Bennett. [see Lyndon Hood’s hilarious take on this]
I think it’s safe to say Bennett doesn’t know which Peter Saunders she appointed.
I suppose it’s lucky that Paula Bennett is only the minute taker at the Henderson Community Board and not a Minister of the Crown in charge of $20 billion of taxpayer money. Oh, wait….