Do you remember George Burns? He was a wonderful American comedian who was still performing live in the 1990’s, complete with a cigar in one hand and a quick wit, at the age of 101.

I once saw him speaking about his experience as an actor. He said, “acting is all about honesty. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.” Lately I’ve been wondering whether we should replace one word in his sentence. It seems that “politics is all about honesty, and if you can fake that, you’ve got it made”.

I listened to the Prime Minister this week speaking about her call for a climate emergency. “People will lose their homes,” she said. For me, it echoed her comments from March of this year when, announcing the Covid lockdown, she said “80,000 people could die”.

Excuse me? At last count, the UK, having managed the pandemic poorly, and with 14 times our population, most of whom live in conditions more crowded than we could ever imagine, has had almost 60,000 covid-related deaths. It seems untenable to threaten Kiwis with 80,000.