One on One: Collins goes for it

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 Goldsmith

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!”

Gerry Brownlee

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.

Nick Smith

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.”

Chris Bishop

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!”

Paul Goldsmith

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! 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 Bennett

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.

Chris Bishop

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. 

Analysis of an Election – Aaaarghghgh! What happened????

With a week or so gone since the catastrophic election result for the National Party of Aotearoa New Zealand, MyThinks have set the team to work to come up with their hot takes on what has caused the previous all powerful party of government to collapse under the weight of a million leaks. We have secured a number of off- and on-the-record comments from party insiders as they lament over National’s biggest loss since John Key left parliament and they had no idea what to do next. 

The hardest bit was putting up all our billboard, then having to take them down again and put up a whole lot of new billboards. That took, like, forever. I’m a very busy man. I don’t have forever.

Nick Smith, (former) Nelson MP

Nick Smith gets drilled in the face by a local National Party volunteer while he goes to smack (former) leader Todd Muller in the head with a hammer. Classic Nick.

I knew it was the writing on the wall when I saw some writing on the wall. I walked into the office one morning and somebody had rubbed off all the plans on the whiteboard and just written up, “Gerry is a bit of a dick.” It was very hurtful.

Unnamed party source

 

I blame the Labour Party. If that leader of theirs, whassername, Jacinta wasn’t so gloriously beautiful and such a fantastic communicator with a solid plan and sound understanding of what the country needs in this time of crisis, then I don’t think Labour would have done nearly as well as they did. I know I wouldn’t have voted for her.

Sir Donald McDairmad – Life Member, Remuera Tractor Society

 

We stood on a platform of being a strong team who would be guardians of the economy. We shouldn’t have done that. We should have gone completely left field. I did have an idea that I tested out on the office wall in Nelson. It was poo-pooed by the party hierarchy. My instincts were later proven correct when that home-made billboard created more online buzz than anything the party did during the entire campaign.

Nick Smith, (former) Nelson MP

Nick Smith’s secret billboard

I was certain we’d win when our polling said we’d win. Then it didn’t. So we lost.

David Farrar, Curia International

The National Party multi-media strategy of delivering their leaflets straight into the recycling bins of wavering centerist voters may not have been the best of ideas.

Fly on the wall of the first National caucus since election

Over the past several months, the team at MyThinks have been involved in a vast insect training programme. We have been working to teach our six-legged friends to become the finest of political reporters. This week we sent our deputy political diptera into the National Party caucus room for their first meeting since the devastating 2020 election.

*bzzzzz bzz bzzzzzzz*

JUDITH: Alright everyone. Come in. Sit down….

(sounds of chairs being scraped along the floor, coughing and a couple of sobs)

JUDITH: …oh… sorry… not you guys. Those chairs are for the winners. You can keep walking out that door there. Grab a silver plate from that table on your way out. Thanks…

(sounds of more chairs scraping and the clatter of trays followed by low-grade mumbers with perhaps a hint of swearing)

*bzz bzzzzzz bzzzzzzz*

JUDITH: Ok everyone. How many of us are there now?

GERRY: Thirty five.

JUDITH: WHAT? Oh god. Jesus christ in hell.

CHRIS: Hang on… you shouldn’t be blaspheming like that. Aren’t you a Christian?

JUDITH: For Christ’s sake Chris… hands of my job. “Carcus” isn’t even cold yet.

CHRIS: But I wasn’t…

JUDITH: So don’t even. I’m the Queen Bee around here thank you. Ok everyone. Moving on. Thirty five. That’s not even enough to…

PAUL: But what about ACT. Can we cobble tog…

JUDITH: Can’t get the numbers right on that one either! No we can’t. We can’t cobble anything together. We’ve been hammered. It’s like someone took a large pair of electorial kitchen shears and sliced off the…

PAUL: But I was only saying…

JUDITH: Well don’t. Just don’t. You’ve done enough already.

PAUL: I’ve done enough?? I’ve done enough? What about you fat shaming all those fat people?

GERRY: (quietly) Obese.

JUDITH: I was only saying what everyone was thinking.

PAUL: Yeah… but obese people can vote too you know.

JUDITH: Can they though?

GERRY: Yeah. They can actually.

JUDITH: Oh here he is. Mr “I’m too good for Ilam so I’ll come in on my list” Brownlee.

GERRY: Wow… I just… wow.

JUDITH: Anyone else want to blame me? Go on. Have a crack.

MELISSA: *sob* I just… *sob* it’s…

JUDITH: Oh pipe down crybaby.

DENISE: Look Jude. You can be as nasty as you want but at the end of the day, if you hadn’t been so loathed by the entire electorate apart from the base, we might have been able to do a little better.

(sound of door opening and lizard-like evil seeping into the room)

HAMISH: Hi… I know they’re gigantic, but has anyone seen my shoes? I’ve got an important business meeting and I…

EVERYONE: Get out muppet!

*bzzzzzzzz bzz bzz bzzzzzz*

JUDITH: Look Denise. I’ve seen the numbers. Your email cost us five points. Five points!!

DENISE: I find that hard to believe. And how would we even know. I haven’t seen an internal poll since… two leaders ago.

PAUL, GERRY AND SIMON: Oooooo… burn.

JUDITH: Enough. I am your leader. You will bow down before…. what are you doing.

SIMON: (punching screen of phone) Live streaming this meeting to Tova. This is gold.

JUDITH: Oh for god’s sake. Leaking. Again! Can we just not get through a week without somebody leaking.

ALL (EXCEPT JUDITH): Um… no.

JUDITH: Right… here it is. Moving forward we need to be united.

NICK: But everybody hates you.

JUDITH: (between clenched teeth) I know… but the electorate doesn’t need to know that.

NICK: I was speaking about the electorate.

JUDITH: (speaking normally – slightly passive aggressive) Look… we need to get back to where we were when Our Lord Protector John Key was leading us. We were so strong. Nobody leaked. Well… nobody who wasn’t me or Paula leaked. Anyway, we were a strong team. A huge team. The country looked to us as leaders, strong managers of the economy. Now we are just the guys with a massive hole in their budget, leaking against the leader, destroying each other as the Titanic goes down. We need to take a strong hard look at ourselves and… and…

(Everybody in the room breaks down in uncontrollable fits of laughter. The laughing sessions goes on for some minutes. Even Melissa manages a slight upturning at the corner of her mouth. Slowly the caucus brings themselves back to the room.)

JUDITH: Look… sorry… I realise that was a bit naughty of me.

GERRY: (wiping tears from his eyes) oh mercy…

JUDITH: Right… here’s our plan… number one – blame the voters. Why don’t we say something like, “Oh… but it was our supporters that voted for Labour to keep the Greens out of power.”

PAUL: But why would National supporters vote for Labour. That doesn’t make any sense.

JUDITH: Holey sense-making Batman!

PAUL: I don’t get it.

JUDITH: It was a pun Paul. I said “holey” not “holy.”

PAUL: I still don’t get it.

JUDITH: Holey…. H-O-L-E-Y as in something with a lot of holes in it… like Swiss cheese or our fecking budget statement.

PAUL: Oooohhhh…. (after a few seconds) Actually… that sounds a bit mean.

JUDITH: Oh for fu…

*bzzzzzzz bzz bzzzzz bzzzz*

SIMON: Look guys…. can I make a suggestion?

ALL: Sure. Yeah. Whatevs. Etc.

SIMON: Well… we lost a whole load of differently ethnicked peoples during our loss.

JUDITH: (suspicious) Yes…

SIMON: Well… with the exsepshun of moi… everyone else seems to be very, very white. And some of you are qui

GERRY: What about Paora?

PAUL: Look… I told you….

(Uncontrollable laughing)

PAUL: Oh… that was a dig at me again. You guys are really mean. I lost Epsom for all of you!

(more laughing)

SIMON: Look…. we have a significant Christian caucus now. Why don’t we go for the Tamiki & New Conservatives vote. That’s about 1%. And there’s another 3% with Winston First being out of parliament – we could go for the old anti-immigration vote.

GERRY: Oh for god’s sake Soimon… There’s no immigration. The border is closed. We’re doomed. WE’RE ALL DOOOOOOOMMED!!!!!

(there is a cracking sound and the distinct aroma of burning sulpher permiates the room. There is a cackling chuckle and the ghost of Sir Robert Muldoon rises from the floor.)

MULDOON: (continuing to cackle) Ha. Ha ha ha… do you need a hand boys??

*bzzz bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz bzzzzzzzz bzz bzzzzz……

Schadenfreude is a dish best served blue

After spending several minutes coming up with the satisfying headline to this posting, the team at MyThinks now present their reckons following the Left’s historic result in the 2020 New Zealand election.

As dawn lifts its weary head following a night of post-electoral festivities around the country, there will be many on the left of New Zealand politics who will be wondering, “what now?”

This thinking has nothing to do with the long-running children’s television programme that is about to commence in our house (at time of writing). No, this has everything to do with a Labour Party that now has a majority in a proportional parliament and a Centre-Left coalition commanding a 30 seat majority over the minor parties of the Centre-Right.

Before we head into reckonings of what the new Centre-Left supermajority may have in store for the country, spare a though for the National Party. What started out as the largest party in parliament has ended election night scratching the back door of the house of irrelevance. Whether it was Covid-19 giving the incumbents blanket coverage, or the natural cycle of election swings, or Judith Collins’ insistance on a final week fat shaming strategy, we may never know. What we do know, however, is the National Party will head to Wellington for caucus on Tuesday with knives honed and the saliva of revenge dripping from their sharpened fangs.

The main issue National now have is lack of talent. Sure there have been many retirements over this term, particularly following the policy of leadership change that was implemented earlier in the year. Also, National have lost loads of MPs we have never heard of and they are left with a whole heap of politicians who began their time in parliament at the turn of the century, or before. Will Gerry Brownlee or Nick Smith fall on their swords and leave parliament after millions of years opening the door for some fresher faces? Or, will they take their places in parliament using their list positions because they believe they deserve it? Who knows. In any case, what we can look forward to over the next three years is varied and plentiful leaks from a variety of MPs directed towards Tova O’Brien who will declare National to be a zombie party on life support, or some such hyperbole.

And what about ACT? The Association of Consumers and Taxpayers who, rather ironically, try to pay as little tax as possible, have cleaned up this election. One of the great moments of the election night coverage was David Seymour arriving in his sexy dinghy of austerity. Word on the street is they did plan to arrive on a superyacht but someone pointed out that may have been a bit austentatious. With the superyacht parked up for the America’s Cup, Seymour and his protection crew drifted triumphantly into port. Holding a paper cup of Ribena punch, the ACT leader had a look on his face that belied his 17 years. However you feel about ACT’s far right populism, on the night most were in agreement that Seymour and all those aboard should have probably been obeying the law and wearing life jackets*.

So, what will Labour do? Will they invite the Greens into their nest to sit on the eggs of economic and societal transformation, or is this metaphor a waste of time? As far as the punditry in the lounge here at MyThinks go, there are two options. Labour could go it alone, transform the economy for all New Zealanders, redistributing wealth and lifting those at the bottom, reigning in the runaway housing marking, ensuring workers have enough whanau and sick leave, investing in our crumbling hospitals and schools, or they won’t. At the time of writing either of these eventualities are possible.

Thankfully, however, the Greens showed the punditocracy of Aotearoa New Zealand how it could be done. Perhaps wasn’t a good idea giving several million dollars to a school who had a pretty nifty promotional video on Facebook, but who ultimately turned out to be the crystal waving, sandal wearing hippies the Right so love to marginalise. At the end of the day this didn’t hurt. They have won as many seats as ACT and as many list seats as National. They have also won Auckland Central thanks to the amazing Chlöe Swarbrick. OK boomers?

Do the Greens need Labour? Do Labour need the Greens? It would be nice to have a grand coalition of the Centre-Left to create legitimacy to the transformational change needed post-Covid. With Labour being so large it would be folly to leave the Greens out in the cold. All those new people mean a massive load of inexperience. The current Green Party MPs have all already had a role in goverment for the last three years. It would be foolish for Labour to waste this. I doubt whether they will. Jacinda Adern has shown herself to be a shrewd operator. National would love to believe there is just zephers of Stardust drifting around inside her head.

At the end of the day, when all is said and done, when the clock is ticking down to full time, who would you rather have leading your government? Judith Collins, David Seymour and the far right fat-shaming brigade, or the side of the politicial spectrum who have specifically said they want to bring the love back to politics?

I know which side my bread is buttered on.

*after reviewing the footage in the cold light of day following several hours sleep and a clensing of the blood by my liver, it turns out Seymour and his boat people were indeed wearing life jackets. We at MyThinks apologise for any offense caused by our post this morning. We will, however, be leaving that part as it is because it’s quite a good joke and we don’t want to change it.

Collins shows us how to get interviewed

Today on the flagship Radio New Zealand breakfast news show Morning Report, the leader of the opposition, Ms Judith Collins, was on hand to school the country on how to get interviewed. Here is our transcript of that interview.

Suzie: Back now to politics. Judith Collins and Jacinda Adern were both squaring up to each other in last night’s leaders’ debate hosted by The Press and National Party leader Judith Collins is with me now. Kia ora.

Judith: Ata Marie.

Suzie: During the debate last night, why did you peddle misinformation about the closure of the New Zealand boarder when compared with Samoa.

Judith: Well, I didn’t.

Suzie: But you did.

Judith: No I didn’t, Suzie.

Suzie: But you said that Samoa closed their boarder a full month before New Zealand.

Judith: No.

Suzie: No you didn’t or no that’s wrong?

Judith: Yes. Completely. Look, I think the real tragedy here is the Labour Party who have lead the country down the tragic path of being completely against Samoa. I love Samoa. Talofa Suzie. Samoa.

Suzie: Yes, but why did you peddle misinformation about Samoa closing their boarder before New Zealand…

Judith: Look, Suzie. I think you need to focus on the fact that I, the person speaking, is the one who is saying the right thing.

Suzie: Ok then. I think I’m wasting my time here. Let’s go somewhere else. Is your party leaking because there is no confidence in your leadership?

Judith: Oh, goodness me no Suzie. My leadership is sound. My team is strong. Strong team. We are a strong, strong team. Of team members.

Suzie: But what about all the leaks Ms Collins. It would seem to indicate, would it not, that your party is against you. Everybody is leaking and you are making policy on the hoof.

Judith: What a load of poppycock, Suzie. You have the wrong information. None of us said what you are saying we said. We said the stuff I’m saying we said, not the stuff you are saying we said. That’s what I’m saying.

Suzie: Aren’t you worried that people will think you are bulldozing over National’s election strategy?

Judith: The leader, Suzie, is the one who makes the policy. It is the leader’s job to announce the policy. Sometimes, Suzie, it is the leader’s job to make decisions and announcements. Plus, my MPs have recognised that my decisions are made by me, and I stand by my decisions. That’s what I’ve decided.

Suzie: Who leaked the email? Was it Paula Bennett? She was getting loads of retweets yesterday after dropping the BS bomb against Matthew Hooton.

Judith: Look Susan, that is a matter for me and the caucus. I am happy with what I am doing. My caucus have travelled with me around the country. What happens in caucus stays in caucus. Unless I leak it.

Suzie: What about the pictures of you praying the other day. Were they just a beat up? Were you actually praying or was that just for the cameras?

Judith: I find it deeply offensive that people are making a big deal about me praying. I was in the chapel by myself praying and the media came in. You pray in a chapel – that’s quite normal. You pray for guidance. You pray to ask for clarity in your life. You pay for any number of reasons. To quote that great poet and artiste MC Hammer, Susanigan, that’s why we pray.

Suzie: Very good. Thank you for your time Judith Collins. It’s been a pleasure talking to you.

Judith: No, thank you the People’s Republic of Susanistan. I really enjoy talking to you every week. I’m energised in sharing a vision of the future that isn’t negative – unless it’s a vision of Labour’s future, in which case it will be supremely negative. Good morning to you.