July 28, 2007

The Kiwi Caricature Controversy

After the Danish Cartoon controversy, it is now the New Zealand Parliament's turn to cry blasphemy, and ban political satire. The Independent, SA, reports:

New Zealand politicians, upset at being seen as lazy and offensive, have banned journalistic satire as well as coverage that ridicules or denigrates them, according to new rules passed on Thursday.

Members of New Zealand's parliament voted overwhelmingly in favor of the new rules. Just six members of the 121-seat parliament were opposed.

The indomitable John Stewart, of course, had a field day with the story in his Daily Show on Thursday. He ran video clippings from the New Zealand parliamentary proceedings, while lampooning the fellows behind the ill-advised ban. Then again, its John Stewart, and he must have an army of lawyers at the Comedy Central protecting him from any move to extradite him to New Zealand. What can ordinary bloggers like you and me do?

Well, folks, not everything is lost. Take heart to the fact that the New Zealand Government has only banned the use of television footage of parliamentary proceedings for "satire, ridicule or denigration", making it a contempt of the august body. I say, who needs the actual footage of the proceedings? We know what happens when the politicians debate life threatening issues such as who among them had sex with which intern and in what position. And, if we wanted to spice it up with some multimedia content, we always have Flickr and YouTube to help us. One can run these on the side bar, as Steven Colbert does with his Today's Word, in his Colbert Report.

Here it goes:

The Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition sparred fiercely today over the government's proposal to add new taxes in the next year's budget to bolster the revenue. "Tax and spend, tax and spend", screamed the Leader of the Opposition, waving his hands wildly. Not to be outshouted by him, the Prime Minister retorted without lowering the decibel level a bit, and thumping his desk, "We'll do whatever it takes to achieve equality and social justice". - NFU

Pandemonium prevailed in the Parliament well for several minutes today. The uproar was caused by the remarks by the Minister for Health and Social Welfare during the debate on... er... it was not clear what the debate was about. The entire proceedings were expunged on the Speaker's order, presumably as a damage control measure to protect the image of the members. - NFU

Despite several appeals from the speaker, the members continued to heckle the Minister for Communication, as he tried to explain his role in the unfolding sex scandal involving his cousin's nephew's wife's granddaughter. "I would..." "Boo hoo!" "... like to" "Noooo!" "assure the members..." "Tsk tsk! And, it went on for several hours, the howling interrupted only by the members' sprints to the water fountain, reported the News From Underground.

My penchant for comparing politicians with the primates should be obvious to regular readers of my blog. You are, of course, free to choose canines, felines, rodents, or whatever, that may serve your purpose!

  1. I protest at this comparison of human animals to non-human animals, as if the latter are somehow beneath us!! :) :)


  2. There is no point in comparing them to any one group of animals. These people are in a circus of their own!


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