Sherlock Shearer?

In Parliament on Thursday during his Budget speech, John Key likened David Shearer and Dr Russel Norman to Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson in the famous Conan-Doyle novel The Hound of the Baskervilles.

It seems that John Key is so impressed by David Shearer’s powers of deduction and razor-sharp mind, that he cannot help but praise his opponent.

The other, less likely, alternative is that Key believes David Shearer is a massive coke fiend.

The Hound of the Baskervilles tells the story of a mysterious death, and relates the legend of a diabolical supernatural beast, which I suppose must be the “devil-beast” referred to in Key’s speech.

Unfortunately for Key, the person who wrote his speech appears never to have read The Hound of the Baskervilles. Far from hunting the “devil-beast”, Sherlock Holmes is convinced from the outset that an entirely rational and natural explanation exists for the activities of the infernal hound. In the end Holmes uncovers a sinister plot designed to fool everyone that supernatural forces are at work, and saves the day.

So David Shearer should be flattered by the comparison with Sherlock Holmes, puzzling though it may be.

However, the news is not so good for Dr Norman. Holmes’ sidekick, Dr Watson, is a brave and steady companion, but he comes across as simple-minded when compared against the brilliant detective, and his own deductions are almost always hilariously wrong. I think that’s a bit rough on poor Dr Norman.

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