Thankfully security and members of the public caught him before he fell the five metres to the floor, which would have resulted in serious injury if not death. It is likely that the young man was trying to commit public suicide.
A security guard who sustained an injury during the incident helped pull the distraught man back over the balcony. The distraught man then proceeded to yell at John Key and Paula Bennet about Work and Income injustices, politics and economic issues.
After some semblance of order was restored to the House of Representatives, John Key accused Labour for the incident, saying; “You should be ashamed of yourselves" and "shame on the Labour Party” while looking directly at Phil Goff and Annettee King. It's also reported that Key made a throat slashing gesture while looking at Phil Goff. This caused many Labour MP’s to express their disgust, with at least three saying John Key was a scumbag for trying to blame Labour for the incident.
Phil Goff then resumed his speech and acknowledged security for their work. He also said it was unacceptable and sad that John Key had tried to blame Labour for the fracas. The House of Representatives once again became disorderly, with the speaker visibly distraught in trying to resume order. MP’s were seen to be leaving the debating chamber during and after the incident.
What all this shows is that the Prime Minister does not react well in a crisis situation. He despicably tried to score cheap political points against Labour in a most underhanded way, showing he lacks any morals whatsoever.
The man, who Paula Bennett later said had mental issues, was obviously directing his anger at the National party and not Labour. There is no basis for John Key’s allegations, and he should make a full and formal apology for his conduct.
I would assume that the man who tried to jump is one of the thousands of disgruntled people who’ve recently had their benefits stopped and did not meet Work and Incomes harsh new reapplication criteria.
In my opinion his actions are likely a direct result of National’s policies designed to reduce the amount of registered unemployed people. We can probably expect such instances to occur more frequently as National’s unsympathetic policies really start to bite.
I'm glad the distraught man did not manage to jump and that the quick action of other people in the gallery and security guards managed to rescue him. Such luck is not always the case.
Now John Key has made the excuse that he was commenting about his Diplomatic Protection Squad, because Labour had previously criticized a DPS budget blowout of $750,000. His excuse seems very implausible! The total spend on John Key's Diplomatic Protection was $4.92 million for 2010.