Tuesday, March 27, 2012
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SCOOP: So this Finland thing...
GERRY BROWNLEE: Well it was meant to be humorous.
BROWNLEE: You know, a joke!
SCOOP: About what malnourished woman-hating murderers the Finns are?
BROWNLEE: No no no: based on what malnourished woman-hating murderers the Finns are, but about the Labour Party.
BROWNLEE: Ha, ha, Labour Party. You'd have to be pretty Finnish not to see that it my comments were satirical.
SCOOP: So what do you mean by satirical?
BROWNLEE: Well, like, maybe something that was mean to be funny but it wasn't really. But with a core of truth.
SCOOP: And what core is that?
BROWNLEE: Well, there is a real country, called Finland.
SCOOP: Isn't satire forbidden in Parliament?
BROWNLEE: No, no it forbidden to use footage of Parliament for satire. It's like 'bringing Parliament into disrepute'. It's all right if it's just us doing it.
SCOOP: Okay. So, satire is often associated with the use of irony...
BROWNLEE: Irony. Yes, that's it, sorry. I was being ironic.
SCOOP: So what was the underlying meaning?
BROWNLEE: The who?
SCOOP: What were you actually trying to say, if you were being ironic about abusing Finland.
BROWNLEE: Can I have a clue?
SCOOP: Well was it, for example, an ironic commentary on parliamentarians and the kind of torture they put a factoid through once it enters the legislative chamber?
BROWNLEE: Oh, no. Well, obviously if you want to be all post-structural and examine it purely as a textual artefact without reference to the intentions of the author then it might be an excellent example of, of, what you said. But no, I was thinking of just generally ironic.
SCOOP: Like ten thousand spoons?
BROWNLEE: No thanks, I carry one with me.
SCOOP: By generally ironic you mean...
BROWNLEE: You know, like, 'ooh, look at me saying this'. (Makes finger-quotes:) "Oooh scary Finland."
SCOOP: Sort of postmodern irony.
SCOOP: So you basically didn't mean it.
SCOOP: You have to admit that basically you were – in Parliament, as leader of the House – exaggeratedly abusing the people of another country to score cheap political points.
BROWNLEE: Exactly! Clever, eh? Guess that's why I'm earning the big bucks and you're just writing made up interviews with politicians.
SCOOP: Are you sorry?
BROWNLEE: Well, I'd love to apologise for the Finns but I'm really not responsible for them.
SCOOP: Will you apologise to the Finnish government?
BROWNLEE: Well I'm sorry if they got offended. They don't need that on top of all their other troubles. Like having to live in Finland.
SCOOP: The Prime Minister has expressed his regrets to President of Finland.
BROWNLEE: Well I'm sorry about that too.
SCOOP: So do you think that should settle things?
BROWNLEE: Yes, I consider the matter Finnished. Ha ha. Just kidding. Love you guys.
SCOOP: Mr Brownlee, thank you.
BROWNLEE: Didn't mean to Nok-ya, Finland. Heh.