Brian Edwards Media

At last! We find out what Members of Parliament REALLY think is important!





  1. a picture tells 1000 words

  2. Pretty much sums it up

  3. I suspect two comparable images of the NZ House would tell a similar story.

    • At least we took deciding MP’s salaries out of the direct hands of our parliamentarians with the Higher Salaries Commission.

      However, they still vote from time to time on the details of their (gold-plated) superannuation policy. No doubt it looks much like this too. With little debate!

  4. Of course in NZ the MPs avoid embarrassing wage rises in hard times by leaving it all to the Renumeration Authority. After all the MPs would not accept generous salary hikes but they cannot do anything about it. Them’s the rules ya know.

  5. Anything other than question time now looks like the first picture thanks to MMP.

    Before, an MP at least had to walk down to the House and into a lobby to cast a vote (unless they’d been paired), thus forcing them to think, if only for a minute or two, about what they were voting for.

    Now they can be elsewhere, have never taken the time or trouble to read or understand the legislation, and allow their position as our representative to be usurped by someone calling out the “party vote”.

    There are any number of intelligent people who’d take the trouble to be informed about different issues (many of whom also comment on blogs). Time for direct democracy.

    • 5.1

      I would honestly rather live under a military dictatorship than direct democracy thanks very much.

    • 5.2

      We have MMP because Roger Douglas et al. hijacked the Labour Party and David Lange was too weak to rein him in until it was too late. As a result, the public no longer trusted politicians to do as they promised. Blame the right wing for it.
      Having said that, I fail to see how MMP relieves MPs of the necessity of thinking any more than the “Party Line” did under FPP.

  6. How did we get to this New Zealand?

    • 6.1

      People voted for it.

      • Without the checks and balances. Thats the problem.

        Key apparently according to the MSM is thee most popular PM of all time. What does THAT say about the current state of affairs. Do you believe that, who really does.

        Parliament has become an ‘industry’ and the ordinary voter has acquiesced.

    • We didn’t ‘get to this’ in New Zealand. These are not pictures of our parliament. This is the House of Commons where they don’t have MMP but FPP. Brian, you ought to know better than to go along with the ‘all politicians are venal’ calumny which is most assiduously cultivated by the anti democratic Right. I have a lot of experience of literally observing politicians at work and I can say that most of them are hard working people doing their best who have lost money to enter parliament. Given that we need to pay politicians to do the job how should we do it? I wouldn’t want to go back to the days of MPs setting their own salaries, but the search for a perfect method goes on. How would all you critics of it out there improve the current system?

      • I’m inclined to agree with your general sentiments, although like every area of life, you will inevitably find bad eggs. Plus self-interest is usually the FIRST response. However, that doesn’t mean concern for others is not in the play. I prefer to assume it is, unless there is clear evidence to the contrary. Some may call that naive, although I seem happier with life and the state of public affairs than them.

        Which is why I’m intrigued that you think “the ‘all politicians are venal’ calumny…is most assiduously cultivated by the anti democratic Right”.

        Is that any different from the all ‘business people are greedy’ calumny that is most assiduously cultivated by the anti democratic Left?

        Also, BE’s headline didn’t say “Our” Parliamentarians. I’m sure most commenting here were aware of that. Or at least I would have assumed so, considering their readiness to scorn the majority of the electorate, whose decisions they consider a “problem”, “silly” and somehow a form of “acquiescence” to a lack of checks and balances.

        Maybe the “anti democratic” are closer than you think, tony?


          I didn’t mean to imply that the calumny in question was confined to the Right, only that they are more likely to use it than the Left who also do but less so. But as you rightly point out (no pun intended) they have their own preferred straw men (and women) to knock down and they usually go for them instead. Besides, it’s a well known fact that all business people are wicked isn’t it?

  7. The bottom shot reminds me of my dogs waiting for a feed.

    Ears pricked, alert, loyal, on their best behavior, and ready to wolf down whatever comes their way before the others get it.

  8. If you don’t like what you see, then exercise your democratic right and vote them out at election time!

    • 8.1

      The problem is the other people who vote for them anyway.

      • 8.1.1

        All the more reason to vote and encourage your friends to do so as well.


          Why bother? They would still be hopelessly outnumbered by the people who vote on the basis that one or the other leaders “looks funny”.

          The only thing democracy seems to be good for is getting rid of governments that do obviously appalling things that have widely spread and short term consequences, and for making sure that the same people don’t get to run things in perpetuity. I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect more than that.


            That sort of apathetic attitude makes sure this pack of self serving, self important ideologues stays in power.


              Since we’ve had more or less minor alterations of the same government for the last 30 years, I don’t really see your point.


                Obviously you like what we’ve got at the moment. I want to change things and, in my small way, I’m working towards that.

  9. A good few of them could go on a diet, Tony. You can’t tell me anyone that overweight is working at optimum output anywhere other than on a toilet. The last time I saw anything the size of Gerry Brownlee or Paula Bennett was when it was being dragged up the ass end of a factory ship with a harpoon hanging out of it. How about some nice tickets to an exercise and diet class instead of pay. ‘Couldn’t have done it without Jenny’.

    • I would certainly endorse the view that many of our MPs are seriously out of condition and could lose some kilos but that’s as much a result of the unhealthy life style that they are forced to follow by the hours they work and the stress many of them are under than any other factor. I know that this going to call forth howls of outrage but in my view we need more of them to spread the load more equitably. We ask too few of them to do too much. But just because many of them don’t look too healthy doesn’t mean they are ethically suspect. Moral and physical hideousness are not invariable companions. Even Quasimodo was a good lad at heart

      • 9.1.1

        Just to add – they have a very well equipped gym and quite a number of them use it

      • More reality and less fiction please!


          What on earth does that mean? Are you denying that their gym exists? Did I imagine using it myself (as a long serving member of parliamentary staff)? Please explain


            I’m sure that our parliamentarians have the use of a very expensively outfitted gym. By the look of our representatives very few appear to take advantage of these facilities. I assume Bellamy’s restaurant must be in greater demand than the gym.


              Parliamentarians used the gym quite often in my direct observation during the fifteen years I worked in parliament although obviously not all of them did. As for eating, Bellamy’s is not actually used all that often except for formal dining of outsiders because it’s too expensive. If the MPs want to eat on the premises they mostly use the staff restaurant which has a menu designed specifically to deliver healthy eating options (which again not all MPs use to their advantage). I still don’t know what point you are trying to make

    • A bit harsh, Marius. Clearly many of the overweight DON’T work at optimum on a toilet. Einstein wouldn’t have been even more brilliant had he lost a few kilos – thus, weight loss doesn’t make you smarter. Some of the biggest cretins I’ve ever met (and I’ve met many) have been under 50kg.

  10. Of course, it could well be that the MPs in the second frame, contrary to expectation, are there to ensure the move is voted down…

  11. Actually, this seems to be completely false – in Britain (like NZ) parliamentary salaries are set by an independent body, the IPSA, and are not voted on by MP’s.

    Has this been copied from the “Same Difference” website – it has been pointed out there that this is fabricated and misleading, as according to Hansard, MP’s pay was not even debated on that day and the second photo is from an unrelated debate.