The secret diary of . . . Grant Robertson

STEVE BRAUNIAS
Last updated 05:00 15/09/2013
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TIRING JOB: It's hard travelling around New Zealand stirring up apathy, writes Steve Braunias.

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MONDAY

God, I'm tired. It's exhausting going around the country and stirring up apathy.

Another long day on the campaign trail. Got to some godforsaken town and couldn't find a coconut, agave, cacao, kale, and chia seed smoothie for love or money.

Phoned caucus back in Wellington and they agreed it was a terrible way for the local inbreds to treat a man of the people.

Turned up at a ratty little community hall with Jones and Cunliffe, and went through the dreary pretence of campaigning for popular support.

Jones made jokes. People liked him. Cunliffe presented an economic package and gave a broad but also finely detailed outline of social policy. People really liked him.

People said to me, "Who are you?"

Left. It rained heavily. Drove to the next godforsaken town, but we had to stop at a river because the bridge had been swept away.

"Only one thing for it," said Jones. He rolled up his sleeves, took a deep breath, jumped in, and swam across.

I rolled up my sleeves and phoned caucus. They arrived, and carried me across on their back.

I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around. It was Cunliffe.

I said, "How did you get across?"

He said, "Walked."

TUESDAY
 
Another shabby, one-horse town. What's the point of Christchurch?

I said to the spotty waitperson, "What d'you mean, you don't have coconut, agave, cacao, kale, and chia seed?"

He said, "We just have what's on the menu. I'm really sorry!"

I said, "It's because I'm gay, isn't it?"

He said, "What?"

I said, "You think that just because I'm gay, you're not going to go out of your way to make me a smoothie. You're pathetic, did you know that? If you don't believe me, listen to this."

I phoned caucus, and handed him the phone. I heard MP Clare Curran say to him, "You're pathetic."

He said, "I'm really, really sorry. Let me pay for your meal. Order anything you want."

I said, "Big Mac with regular fries."

WEDNESDAY

O Thorndon! O political beltway of Wellington. How I've missed it! It's so good to be back with people you can trust. Who needs humanity when you have caucus?

We sat around and analysed latest polling. There was good news and bad news.

The bad news was that 79 per cent of New Zealanders thought I was inexperienced, shifty, kind of creepy, a bit of a toerag, and probably a really sore loser.

The good news was that caucus couldn't care less what 79 per cent of New Zealanders think about anything.

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THURSDAY

We revised earlier estimates and concluded that caucus couldn't care less what 100 per cent of New Zealanders think about anything.

FRIDAY

We'll know on Sunday who'll be the next leader of the New Zealand Labour Party.

The centre-left New Zealand Labour Party.

The more centre than left New Zealand Labour Party.

The more centre than left New Zealand Labour Party mixed with a small but healthy dose of right-wing scorn for the poor.

Cunliffe probably sees it differently. He's such a drag like that. Jones probably sees it differently, too, but not much. I could work with him. We'd be a good fit. I'd lead, provide vision and clarity, display gravitas and deep learning; as my charming, somewhat infantile deputy, Shane could tell jokes. Together, we'd topple Key, give the Greens a bit of rope, hand Winston a bauble, and win by a landslide! New Zealand's first gay Prime Minister!

Still, that's a little while off. First thing's first. Got to be elected Labour leader. Patience. We'll know on Sunday.

Sunday, when the votes come in.

Sunday, when the people will have spoken.

Sunday, when it'll be a travesty if the party listens.

Steve Braunias is a Metro staff writer

- Sunday Star Times

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