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Lyndon Hood: Heat Prisons With Power's Rhetoric

We Should Heat Prisons With Simon Power's Rhetoric

Satire by Lyndon Hood

The heating of large institutions - schools, hospitals and prisons - has always been a significant cost. Now, I'm no engineer, but I believe I've come up with a novel solution.

It came to me as I was puzzling over some recent press releases from National's Simon Power.

When he said prison heating could be dealt with by "making them wear a jersey" he seems to be saying prisons shouldn't be heated at all. This would fail to meet NZ and world standards, would be cruel and unhealthy, and would be unprecedented in the Western World. Surely the man who has so praised Ngauranga prison's rehabilitation, work and exercise programmes while under private management would not begrudge the current regime turning the heaters on.

Perhaps, I thought, in complaining that prisons had underfloor heating when "96% of houses don't" he is saying that prisons should use some other kind of heating - something less suited to an institutional environment and a less energy-efficient use of taxpayer money. Or perhaps something easier to dismantle and turn into a weapon.

Sure, underfloor heating in prisons sounded bad, but I couldn't work out why it was bad. I even began to wonder if central heating only counted as a luxury if you control the thermostat.

And then it hit me. The whole argument was composed of a hugely valuable commodity - hot air.

Why can we not harness this astonishing resource?

Since his assignment to the post of Law & Order Spokesman, Power has been mining his patch with unprecedented energy. He has turned up an uneven mix of solid material (for fashioning into anti-Government weapons), and insubstantial gas. Most people would discard the latter part, but it's not clear Power knows the difference. In fact he acts as if it's all pure gold. But that's not my point.

Using what I like to call "Simon Power Power" we could heat at least one institution, save the taxpayer a goodly sum and channel this resentment at prisoners being treated humanely to productive ends.

In general terms, I propose hooking Mr Power to a continuous feed of information from the Corrections Department. This would be guaranteed to produce an almost limitless supply of vapours.

Cooking could also be provided for by fractioning out the marsh gas component of Power's declarations.

I believe that the National Party will be more than happy to let the nation borrow Mr Power, considering that, under this system, the by-products will actually be mostly composed of genuine scandal.

Patent diagram follows:

The Power Power
Click to enlarge


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