NEW ZEALAND: Piffle

Prime Minister Sidney Holland, searching his vocabulary for a succinct description of an opposing Labor Party argument, last week thought he had exactly the right word. He blurted it out: "Piffle." He was promptly interrupted by Speaker Matthew Oram, who said sternly: "The Right Honorable gentleman must withdraw."

The Speaker was invoking an old rule which provides that a word or phrase once officially banned in parliamentary debate cannot be used again. As a result, no M.P. can call another a bonehead, windbag, twister or underfed dwarf, say he lacks guts or intestinal fortitude, describe his speech as ballyhoo, cant...

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