Tuesday 12 December 2017

Simon Harris: 'In the middle of all the roaring, I told committee to chillax'

Simon Harris

ON Tuesday evening, I was fed up. The Public Accounts Committee was meeting to look at the issue of overruns in the health budget. Many questions to be asked yet the meeting commenced with grandstanding and stonewalling. Grandstanding from a politician seeking television coverage over answers for the taxpayer. Stonewalling from officials who certainly seemed like they didn't want to be there.

In the midst of all the argy-bargy, the posturing and the roaring, I simply called for calm. I asked that both sides take a step back and that we get on with the business of asking serious questions and receiving substantive answers.

Yes, perhaps the word 'chillax' is not the most parliamentary term. But it was a word that conveyed my frustration. I said it, the tension was broken and finally the opportunity arrived to ask questions rather than rant and to receive answers rather than waffle.

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