14 September 2006

Through all the Assembly there's no greater pest

'Oh, Blank MHR is come out of the West;
Through all the Assembly there's no greater pest,
And save his assurance he talent has none,
Though for cool self-assertion he stands all alone...
He stops not for hiss, he stops not for groan,
He will raise points of order where points there are none;
He will talk by the bushel, though others may wait,
Till the clock marks the hour that adjourns the debate.
For lack of ideas and unlimited jaw,
Commend me to . . . and Blank MHR . . .
Ho! come ye to meddle, or come ye to mar,
Or to scatter your h's, big Blank MHR?'

- Poem by 'Kai wai wai' in the New Zealand Times, 19 August 1880, on Richard John Seddon ('Blank MHR'), who later became NZ's Premier for 13 years. 'MHR' = Member of the House of Representatives. Quote taken from 'Miners & Militants: Politics in Westland', Philip Ross May (ed.), Christchurch, 1975.

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