Should Parliament be protected from satire

You know it’s interesting how politicians are usually the first group to complain when their freedom of speech is attacked. They all like to make motherhood statements that free speech is the cornerstone of a “democratic” system of government, but they don’t like it when the media tries to insert some leavening humour into proceedings by poking fun a their stuffed shirt antics.

The New Zealand parliament recently held a select committee process to look at the satirical use of footage of parliamentary proceedings and guess what…the committee voted to ban TV networks and other media from using such images in comedic pieces that might tend to denigrate the solemnity of their work.

In a rare show of standing up for themselves, the TV networks refused to go along with this ridiculous idea, which was first mooted back in late June. This week both the Greens and the Nationals have said they won’t go along with the ban. As this transcript of the TV1 programme, Agenda, makes clear, the matter is now back in the hands of the politicians. How can we recognise them? They’re the suited-up spivs in the dark corner wiping egg of their faces.

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