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Scoop Satire: Peter's On First

Peter's On First

Or, All's Well That Ends Welfare

Satire by Lyndon Hood (and a hat-tip to Rory MacKinnon) [Update: ... and of course, to Paula Bennett's press sec.]

spock, professor
peter saunders, welfare working group
Image: Morgue

Scoop follows in the footsteps of Campbell Live by securing an 'exclusive interview' with the Minister of Social Development Paula Bennett on the naming of the shadowy Professor Peter Saunders as an expert for the Welfare Working Group.

In this case, an interview so exclusive the even the Minister doesn't know about it.

Which means it may be in good company.

***

Scoop: So you announced one of your experts for the Welfare Working Group was the Professor Peter Saunders of the Centre for Independent Studies.

Bennett: Yes.

Scoop: Yet in the House the other day you talked about the Professor Peter Saunders who wrote 'Welfare to Work'.

Scoop: Who is a different guy.

Bennett: To who?

Scoop: To the other Peter Saunders.

Bennett: Well obviously in the second case I was referring to the Professor Peter Saunders who wrote 'Welfare to Work'.

Scoop: … who is a different guy to the one you appointed, right?

Bennett: Look, there's the potential for confusion here so I'll be completely clear. Professor Peter Saunders is a whole other person to the other Professor Peter Saunders. But – and I can't emphasise this enough – he is the same as himself. Put it this way: There are two Peter Saunderses, but there's actually only one of each of them. Also, I should make this clear from the start: neither of them is the Kentucky Fried Chicken Guy.

Scoop: So which one do you think you hired?

Bennett: The right one.

Scoop: The right one?

Bennett: The one we meant to appoint. Our choices included the Professor Peter Saunders who commentates on welfare or welfare expert Peter Saunders.

Scoop: But do you actually know who you appointed?

Bennett: Of course.

Scoop: Who?

Bennett: Peter Saunders.

Scoop: But there's another Peter Saunders!

Bennett: Oh we didn't appoint him. Can you imagine the confusion at meetings? What if you were getting a coffee for Peter Saunders and you got a flat white but actually it's the other one and he like lattes? How embarrassing would that be? What a ridiculous suggestion.

Scoop: So, the Peter Saunders from the CIS writes novels about the Muslim apocalypse and has said the working class are genetically stupid, do you have anything to say about that?

Bennett: I don't want to prejudice the working group's deliberations.

Scoop: So you won't be reassessing the appointment?

Bennett: Which one?

Scoop: Peter Saunders.

Bennett: There are two Peter Saunderses. Not a lot of people know that.

Scoop: The one you appointed.

Bennett: What about him?

Scoop: Will you be reassessing his appointment,

Bennett: No, because we appointed the right one.

Scoop: Who?

Bennett: Peter Saunders.

Scoop: Which one?

Bennett: Professor Peter Saunders.

Scoop: They're both Professors.

Bennett: That's right. You could get them confused if you're not careful.

Scoop: Do you have an aspirin?

Bennett: Here you go. I keep some ready. Funny, but people are always asking.

Scoop: Right. So.

Bennett: Yep.

Scoop: Let's call one Professor Peter Saunders 'Author of Welfare to Work' Professor Peter Saunders.

Bennett: Right.

Scoop: And the other one 'nutjob' Professor Peter Saunders.

Bennett: Okay.

Scoop: Which one did you mean to appoint?

Bennett: The right one.

Scoop: 'Nutjob'.

Bennett: Just because you're confused, that's no reason to call me names.

Scoop: No, 'nutjob' Peter Saunders.

Bennett: I'M not Peter Saunders. I don't think you've been following this at all.

Scoop: If you've mislead the house about which Peter Saunders you'd appointed, don't you think you should apologise?

Bennett: I said the Peter Saunders is one of the working group's advisors. And I said that Peter Saunders wrote 'Welfare to Work'. If people get confused about that it's not my fault, I didn't give them both the same name. Where are the parents, that's what I'd like to know.

Scoop: Ms Bennett …

Bennett: No, Peter Saunders. I'm Ms Bennett.

Scoop: Ms Bennett …

Bennett: There, was that so hard?

Scoop: Thank you for your time.

********

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