Minister of bureaucratese

Mark Burton cops a flogging that only David Benson-Pope could appreciate from John Armstrong in this mornings Herald.

Basically Burton has destroyed any credibility that the government has a handle on policing gangs.

[quote]National's Whanganui MP Chester Borrows then asked Mr Burton to declare whether the Government would support his local bill outlawing gang patches in Wanganui – "yes or no".

Those two words are simply not in Mr Burton's vocabulary.

"How can we support something that does not yet exist?" he replied, playing for time.

Mr Burton may have been doing the responsible thing in fudging his reply. But yesterday's atmosphere in Parliament required the kind of tough talking heard when Phil Goff held the Justice portfolio.

Instead, in the frenzied competition to look the toughest in combating the gangs, Labour was left trailing the field.[/quote]