A poem for Paula Bennett

Dunedin writer Victor Billot farewells retiring National MP Paula Bennett.

Working Class Hero

I came up the hard way in Taupo, you see,

surviving off Weetbix (just occasionally.)

I waited tables then knocked off a degree,

perhaps with the help of a state subsidy.

Then a man with a smile said jump on! If you could.

We need someone like you to make us look good.

So I nimbly hopped on to his moving stairs

that quickly escalated me upwards somewhere.

A fast learner, I took to my new role with glee.

The problem was too many beneficiaries.

The problem was they got money for free.

The problem was solved by me, Paula B.

As Minister of Social Development I went hard.

I developed people out of houses into cars.

I developed as I stepped over them in the street.

I developed some graphs to make it look sweet.

An occasional wretch stepped out of line.

I named them and shamed them and so all was fine.

I am the Minister and you are the loosers.

As they say, sweetie, beggars can’t be choosers.

So the lesson I teach is matter of fact.

You don’t need bleeding hearts, or even much tact.

There’s always space at the top to elbow in.

You just have to have a very thick leopard print skin.

Victor Billot has previously been moved to write odes for Garrick Tremain, Todd Muller, Donald Trump, Prince Andrew and David Clark.

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