This week the National leader Judith Collins began one on one meetings with the carcass of the caucus. What will these meetings be like? MyThinks doesn’t really know. We can only speculate. Which is what we are going to do right now. What follows is some possible scenarios of what might happen in Collins’ office during these meetings.
Paul walks in for the inevitable “It’s all your fault speech” from Collins. After half an hour of passive aggressive non-shouting abuse and general bullying a tearful Goldsmith asks to be excused. Collins says, “Yeah… why not. You can leave. I’m sure you’ll be able to escape through one of your holes!”
Brownlee walks in eating a custard-infused cronut. Rather than using her usual subtle raised eyebrows and withering put-downs, she just begins yelling. The former member for Ilam squeezes into a chair. The rant ends with Collins accusing Brownlee of ‘phoning in’ his management of the election. Brownlee doesn’t reply. Instead he licks the custard off his fingers and flips Collins off. Collins tells him to get out but Brownlee remains defiantly in the chair while texting his personal baker to deliver another cronut.
Along with Brownlee (and many others no longer in parliament), Smith has become the leader of what some in the National caucus are calling the ‘leckshun losers’. His debrief from Collins lasts two and a half minutes. Nothing is said during the exchange until the very end when Smith offers to get Collins some Pic’s Peanut Butter from the Nelson markets because, “he knows a guy.”
Bishop knows his reckoning has come. He enters Collins’ office ready to face her complete wrath over his role in the spill that installed Todd Muller as leader. His terror immediately dissipates as he enters the room when Collins gives him a huge bear hug and a, some would say, kiss that is a bit too familiar. “Thank you, thank you, thank you,” she says to him. “Without your underhandedness, your sly delving into the depths of the National Party sewers, I wouldn’t be leader right now. You are the reason for my being. I will love you forever and always.” Concerned for his safety and fidelity, Bishop hurriedly leaves while Collins yells after him, “forever and always!”
As Bishop sprints down the hallway, Paul heads back in. Collins just stares at him for what seems like several minutes. The longer the stare continues, the more insignificant Paul feels. He wonders whether now is the right time. It is. “Please m’lady,” he says as he kisses the ground at his leader’s feet, “I was wondering if I might have a plumb job, like foreign affairs or sports, you know, for all my spin during the campaign about the hole not being a hole?” Collins, undoubtedly enamoured with Paul’s new-found grovelling, acquesses. Although no decisions are final she promises to keep him in mind for one of those. Paul crawls out of the office and down the hallway back to his cupboard.
“Dr Shane. Dr Shane! Dr Shane!!!” yells Collins as Dr Shane walks into his office. “Who would have thought having someone who could explain things in plain language to members of the public would have worked so well during an election campaign.” Collins goes on to tell Dr Shane that she needs him as a spokesperson for everything because whenever she talks in the media she says something ridiculous or the focus groups think she is trying to sell them places in hell. Concerned, Dr Shane tells Collins he thinks she is a bit of a loser and he hops he falls at the last hurdle when special votes are counted so he can go back to his nice life as a community doctor rather than having to doctor the lies and incompetence of a failing political machine. “Sure Dr Shane,” says Collins, “whatever you think is best.”
Paula walks in the room laughing. She stands there laughing for several minutes. Collins tries to say something but she can’t get a word in over all the laughing. Hearing the laughing from the corridor, Brownlee pops his head around the door. Seeing Paula laughing, he joins in. Both stand laughing for several more minutes until Paula leads the way out by flipping Collins off. Brownlee joins her and they both wander back down the hallway. Laughing.
Bishop walks back in. He’s dressed in a flowing silk robe and smoking an oversized pipe. “Good evening, Matron,” he says as he lets the robe drop to the floor, “I believe I am ready…” Nothing is heard from the leader’s office for ever and always.*
* The implication that anything untoward as happened or will happen during these meetings between Judith Collins and her subordinates is entirely speculation. Anything that resembles the truth is purely coincidental.