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