Friday, April 11, 2008

Qu'ils mangent de la brioche

We've all heard the story of Marie Antoinette. Confronted with a mob of starving peasants demanding bread outside the palace of Versailles, she infamously said "Qu'ils mangent de la brioche" - "let them eat cake". The quote is in fact misattributed, but it has taken on a life of its own as an eternal reminder of the callous attitude of the rich towards the poor, and the utter lack of understanding of the lives ordinary people lead.

Yesterday in the House, Parekura Horomia (wearing his hat as Associate Education Minister) was asked why 20,000 schoolchildren a week went to school hungry. His answer? "They are trying to stay trim". Marie Antoinette (or whoever it really was) would have been proud.