I saw something amazing on TV tonight. No, not the X-Factor with only 2 judges, and no, not the Batchelor with a bunch of simpering blondes preening over a well packed 6 pack. And, sadly, no, not a repeat of Casanova on Prime, supposedly set in Venice but actually set in Dubrovnik (the giveaway: how many hills do you have to climb in Venice?!) although that was actually pretty tempting.

No, to me the amazing thing was watching the Parliamentary Channel, live, and seeing our elected representatives waste our tax-payer dollars. That’s mostly to be expected – they are mostly worthless, but last night, for the first time, they almost proved to be worthwhile. Phil Twyford, Labour shadow minister for Housing and Construction, was promoting his bill picked from the ballot, namely the Healthy Homes Amendment Bill. He spoke, carefully, knowledgeably and intelligently, about the need for a better standard for private rented houses, as they are the major causes of damp living conditions, and thereby poor health to poorer families. He quoted BRANZ and EECA and Octago University School of Health. He spoke sense, and made sense. Who could object to that?

Well, National for a start. They put two of their most pathetic nonentities of speakers on the case, namely people we never see or hear of: Steve Doosey Doocey and Brent Hutton Brett Hudson. Or something like that. I’ve forgotten their names already. They were so non impressive, that they had not really even bothered to read the Bill before the debate. But still, they knew they were against it.

Labour, and the Greens, spoke eloquently for it. Metiria Turei and Kevin Hague both implored the Government to put politics aside, and to pass the bill for the sake of the not-so-better-off. And in the End, they voted.
National: against
Labour: for
Greens: for
NZ First: for
Maori: For
United Future: for
and little old David Seymour for the non-descript ACT party: against. Of course, against anything that might restrict the greed of the property owning classes. Without the pathetic ACT hologram, the bill might have passed. But with them him, then….
Numbers were locked 60 to 60.
The motion was lost.

But damn, it is close. Going to be even closer next week after Winston wins….

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