In the lead up to the election late last year, MyThinks was fortunate to be given full, exclusive and unfettered access to the National Party of New Zealand. At the invite of the party we sent in our special correspondent Wolf Michaels to cover the events leading up to, and following on from polling day. After hundreds of hours of interviews with sources deep inside the hierarchy of the party, Michaels’ is about to release a sensational tell-all book titled Fury and Fury. Today we are incredibly privileged to be bringing you an exclusive extract from that book.
Prologue: Election Night
I walk into the main room of the Sky City convention centre. There is a massive sea of blue and white bunting and an equally massive sea of white faces. Old and older alike are patting each other on the backs, giving their congratulations to everyone around them. Some of the younger white faces are even experimenting with the more American high-5 commemoration of success. Nearby older white faces utilise their enlarged, greying eyebrows to condemn the actions.
There is a definite sense of achievement. Just two months ago the National Party were set to secure an historic fourth term thanks to years of Labour floundering. Unfortunately for the ruling party, Labour leader Andrew Little had fallen on his sword and a young, dynamic and alive new leader Jacinda Ardern had been chosen to replace him. Sources close to the leadership have told me they had considered sending Bill English to a doctor in Thailand to undergo an emergency gender reassignment procedure so they may battle Ardern on a more equal footing. This idea was quickly dispensed with when it was realised English wouldn’t have recovered from the invasive surgery before the end of 2018 and he was a Catholic and probably wouldn’t go for it anyway.
After sitting at nearly 50% support in most polls for the better part of a decade, National have secured 46% on the night. Although not a majority, many in the room are speaking like it is. Comments like, “We’ve won!” and “We are the winners!” and “We totally won this!” and “We won!” belie the fact that a majority of 50% +1 is required to run an effective parliament and until coalition talks have been completed, National has quite a bit less than 50%. I wonder whether I should point this out to the mathematically challenged members around me and I decide against it. Part of me thinks this book would be much easier to write if I didn’t get banished from my fly-on-the-wall position so soon into my research.
Suddenly some conservative applause begins near the doorway. Someone yells, “It’s Bill everybody! He’s here!!” There is a surge towards the doorway as the Prime Minister conveys himself through torrent of blue. Without success he tries to make his way to the stage but his way is blocked by adoring fans and a salivating Mike Hosking. Newshub political editor Patrick Gower seems to be attempting to insert a microphone into English’s nose. Diplomatic Protection step in to clear the way and in no time, and with very little bloodshed, Bill English has made his way to the stage. He is waving to the crowd. They are in raptures.
Bill English steps up to the podium. “Hello everybody!” English yells at the microphone. The room erupts. He thrusts his hands in the air once more. This time he forgets he is holding his wife’s hand and just about dislocates her unsuspecting shoulder. With all the blind praise, he hardly notices. While addressing the crowd the Prime Minister talks about the vote being a vote for the same; a vote for not changing a thing. The country is going in the right direction and most people agree that National are doing a fine job. He welcomes the chance to talk with Winston Peters about forming a government at some point in the coming days.
Bill English concludes his speech with another skywards thrust of his strong hands and accepts more adoration from the blue and white ocean. He leaves the stage triumphant unable to wipe a massive boyish grin from his face.
Little did he know that by Christmas his career would be all but over.
As with most blogs and punditry sites, MyThinks didn’t want to leave the office for Christmas without throwing out one final post in an effort to crack a few final clicks before the year’s end. Who are the winners and losers this year? What will happen next year? Who knows? Well… we do. And here are our (my) reckons.
Predictions for 2017:
MyThinks made no predictions for 2017. So that’s a 100% success rate. In your face every other blog.
Idiot of the Year:
Trump. As the orange racist currently holding the place in the White House for Mike Pence continues with his racist orangey diatribes against all things female, media and African-American, the big question is this: will he last beyond the end of 2018? Who knows? MyThinks believes the Republican Party could grow some kind of non-jelly based spine following the predicted rout in the 2018 mid-terms. If that happens Trump is a goner and Pence is a shoe in.
Winner of the Year:
Jacinda Adern. She showed Bill English, David Farrar and the rest of the “pretending to be centrist” brigade that winning an election in a proportional environment involves getting more votes than the other side. As much as National and people who can’t get their heads around proportional representation continue to believe they have the moral mandate to form a government, if you can’t form a government, then you aren’t going to be the government. It’s quite simple maths really. If they want to flick me an email I can explain it, you know, if they want.
Loser of the Year:
The National Party. See above.
Sports Performance of the Year:
Black Ferns. They burned England with an amazing come-from-behind performance and got Aotearoa so amped that the bastion of New Zealand man-ness, the NSRFU, are now talking about some kind of professional situation for the country’s female rugby players. Would this have happened anyway? Again, who knows, but the Black Ferns performance in that final was as good as anything the All Blacks could dish out at the moment.
Album of the Year:
Lorde. She also gets Song of the Year for Green Light. She is astounding. MyThinks tried to watch Lorde’s Coachella performance with his 7-year-old son and there were too many adult-themed words so he had to turn the sound down between songs and during some songs. But I suppose when I was twenty I was letting rip with the odd expletive from time to time, so who can blame her. Lorde rocks.
Loser of the Year:
The National Party. See above.
Predictions for 2018:
- National will continue to freak out about the election result, blame Labour for the spending deficits they themselves created and continue to allege they are the most capable at running a tight ship – despite all financial evidence showing Labour running a tighter ship than they ever did.
- National will fall in the polls. When they are about 5 points behind Labour the knives will sharpen and BLinglish will head off for his obligatory overseas post and subsequent knighthood before Judith Collins, Simon Bridges or any of the other shining lights of the far right try to take charge. The implosion will be spectacular (may actually take place in 2019 as freaking out takes hold).
- The Trump Administration will also implode. See prediction above.
- Someone from New Zealand will do something awesome somewhere in the world which will make us all go, “Yeaaaaah!!” and celebrate their awesomeness for weeks.
- None of MyThinks predictions will come true. Except for number 4 – it’s loose enough to apply to any event involving a New Zealander anywhere in the world at any time.
Loser of the Year:
The National Party. See above.
We here at MyThinks (well… it’s just me really) wish you all a very happy non-denominational holiday period and all the best for 2018.
This week much has been made of the Greens co-leader welfare announcement. Metiria Turei admitted while she was on a benefit she withheld information about her living situation from WINZ in order to receive more money. We thought it was important to get the thoughts of our alt-right correspondent Richard Sevenhouses who, being a white middle-aged male, has much experience with and many opinions about the poor in general. Over to you Dick.
I. Am. Outraged. OUTRAGED. I have not seethed this much since Helen Clark threatened to tell me how to illuminate my lounge or shower my body. OUTRAGED!!
This week Metiria Turei has said that she ripped off those wonderful people at Work and Income New Zealand to the tune of hundreds of dollars. HUNDREDS. Did I mention that I am outraged? OUTRAGED. It turns out she’s being lying ever since. Lying. LYING.
What she has done is nothing short of a war crime. Well… it’s not actually a war crime, but it is pretty much at the same level as one. That’s how I feel. I feel like she has walked up to me, reached deep into my trouser pocket, slowly removed my wallet, disgorged its contents into her purse and then run off to the nearest shops to spend all my money on booze, smokes, and lotto before shoving whatever is left into the pokies.
You know, we live in a society. We all have to do our bit. Pay our way. You can’t just go around stealing off the taxpayer. It’s theft. Lying to the government about your finances is fraud, pure and simple. SIMPLE.
It is certainly a very sad day for my beloved New Zealand when half the country is celebrating such a flagrant disregard for the rule of law.
Now if you’ll excuse me I’m off to meet with my accountant to discuss putting my business and the family home into a trust so my son can get a student allowance when he starts university next year.
Hullo New Zlnd.
I am your beloved prime minister and all-round deliverer of things to you. Unless you are on the benefit or live in one of those Housing NZ houses with the awesome views up near my place inRemuera.
I thought it was important that I set the record straight following a few allegations that have been made by one of the main Saturday papers this morning.
I’d like to categorically state, for the record, as your beloved prime minister, I have never taken any money that would be classed as “dirty” by those people who can’t win elections like me. Have you seen? I’ve won heaps of elections.
I suppose the most worrying thing about all of these misplaced accusations is that they are absolutely and totally wrong. I have many dinners with many people that give me many hundreds of thousands of dollars. I can’t be expected to remember all of them.
It’s also important to point out that although there was a donation of $25,000 made to the National Party by Mr Liu, the donation was not made to me as the prime minister, but to the management trust that is responsible for masking where the National Party’s donations actually come from and how vast they are. I was attending in my capacity as the leader of the National Party, not as the PM, so I think we can agree that that’s all ok.
I’d also point out that Jamie Lee Ross has actually paid the donation back out of his own pocket so not only do the National Party win on the deal but Jamie can claim that back due to the fact that for people like us tax is only really an optional extra.
The other thing that needs to be pointed out is this: dinner is a very important meal. If you don’t eat dinner then you get hungry around 10pm and end up eating toast or biscuits or chocolate or other rubbish. Mr Liu realised this and invited me around for my tea. It was a delicious mixture of traditional Chinese cuisine and $100 notes in brown envelopes.
I hope that’s cleared everything up.
Bring on the Northland by-election.
I am at a crossroads with this blog. Last year was quite confronting for reasonably thinking people such as myself disgusted with what the Beehive leadership was doing to our democracy.
Yet, as the many millions the National Party spend on daily polling of “ordinary” New Zealanders, it turns out that yes, indeed, the things they are most worried about are those everyday things like health, education, housing and stuff. Using the SIS to further the political ambitions of the governing party, not so worried about.
For National to receive nearly 50% of the party vote (of those people who voted, mind) is confusing at best. Voters either believe John Key and his party, or they trust his lies more than the lies of someone who hasn’t been elected yet.
It all really comes down to a few questions: what is the point? Am I just writing this blog to make myself feel better – to vent my fury by taking swipes at those people who I truly believe will ruin this country for most of us? Am I actually changing anything with my words? What does spending all this time and energy satirising and lampooning the establishment actually achieve? Am I wasting my time preaching to the converted?
Over the holiday period while spending time in Manapouri with the people I love it dawned on me that, despite some of my posts being full of a great amount of hilarity, the are rarely positive. That is, they are satirical pieces that, if they were on twitter and 140 characters or less, would probably be defined as trolling. Yes they are dressed up with all manner of gaggery and hilarious tomfoolery, but they are, none the less, a negative force.
At the end of the day, lampooning the National Party in this country will get you slated through Whale Oil, Kiwiblog and the sharp mind of Lord Steven Joyce, Grandmaster of the Everything.
Never will they engage in legitimate and reasonable argument with you if there’s any hint that your argument is legitimate and reasonable and on the moral side of the equation.
So again I say, what is the point?
If I put my time and energy into something more positive than trying bring down a disaster of a two-track government, then maybe I’ll be less outraged about everything.
Apathy is winning this race.