Despite a rainy and cold Wednesday night, I had decided that this was going to be a major Budget in the annals of NZ history, so it would be worth a trip to the Back Bencher pub and a look at the show this week. Besides, I like listening to Ken, and it seemed that a panel composed of Louise Upston for National, Darren Hughes for Labour, Sir Roger Douglas for Act, and our Kennedy Graham for the Greens would have potential to be interesting, if not unintentionally outright hilarious.
I arrived just before the show was due to start, and not having arranged to meet anyone, ended up seated with a couple of guys who admitted to being old schoolfriends of Darren Hughes, who’d come down from the Horowhenua to see him perform on the show. They were pleasant and interesting folk, and were quite happy to have me perched on the spare edge of their table, in what was a rather packed public house – a scene I’d not participated in since the pre-election sessions of 2008.
The evening was just as funny as I’d anticipated, with the added bonus of Salient editor Sarah Robson (recently nominated for a Qantas Media Award) being given her 15 minutes of fame on the subject of budget cuts to VUW enrolments, which had just been announced this week.
Ken acquitted himself well in the ensuing melee, managing to plug the Mind the Gap green policy announcement very effectively.
(For a podcast of the policy announcement, go here.)
The full episode is available via TVNZ On Demand here.