I'd vote Dotcom for mayor at drop of hat

Bob Parker withdraws his name from the mayoral race, 130kmh winds shred nerves in the middle of the night, a shallow earthquake visits the following night, and police hunt a man after he shoots another man in the bottom in the suburb of Linwood.

Crikey, she's all go down here.

Mayoral candidate Lianne Dalziel, only just out of the starting blocks and psyched up for a knock-down, drag-out fight with Parker, says wistfully it would be good to have some opposition in the election, while Parker and the Wizard are asked who should stand and scratch their heads, unable to think of anyone.

Don't tempt me, Jim Anderton probably thinks mulling it over, as the former unsuccessful mayoral candidate possibly ponders getting back on his horse wishing he wasn't quite so up to his eyeballs in the save-the-cathedral camp.

After Parker announces his decision exclusively on Friday night's Campbell Live, a friend texts to say that in the absence of opposition Kyle Chapman, who has stood twice in Christchurch council elections - once for the National Front then for the National Democrats Party, would have a good chance of coming second in the elections.

Yes, Christchurch is an interesting city. What weird and wonderful creatures will come out of the woodwork and have a crack at the mayoralty? Maybe the heads of the Bandidos and Head Hunters gangs who have recently ridden into town, raising dust all around, may think of throwing their patches into the ring.

In the absence of candidates and some sort of a fight, the electorate already uninterested in exercising their franchise might not bother, imagining Dalziel will be a sure thing.

Lack of opposition creates warps in a power vacuum and there will be many councillors rethinking their position from support person to opposition, while wild cards and crank outsiders get ideas in their heads.

Just when you thought the alignments were all sorted, an exhausted king, dropped in it by his right-hand man and finding himself friendless in council, decides to take "the hand of this beautiful woman [Jo Nicholls-Parker] to disappear into the sunset for some rest and relaxation".

This speech uttered on a warm sunny day at the reopening of the square with bands playing, begged for Kim Dotcom to appear in the sky and touch down in a helicopter to announce he was throwing his beanie into the mayoral ring.

It ain't going to happen, but I'd vote for the fat foreign defender of human rights at the drop of a hat, and am mightily sick of the smug nonchalant response by those who take freedom for granted, airily inviting the Five-Eyed Stasi to listen to phone conversations, monitor emails and bank accounts etc on the breezy pretext of "What have I got to hide?" with the added self-deprecatory codicil, "my life is so boring anyway, they're welcome to listen to it".

Good luck with that in an observation age when hindsight has sinister benefits, when whatever you say is open to several interpretations with no statute of limitations on the backlog of your supposedly innocent conversations.

In the old days when one used to keep a personal diary to mark the events of the day and to work out what is going on in your inner life, the idea of somebody finding it and pouring over its contents was repugnant and considered a major breach of personal liberty.

Because of 9/11 when men resident in America, not in the Middle East, flew planes into buildings, we now accept that what happened to a fading superpower and their apocalyptic and neurotic response to it, should be visited upon this country, that we should accept the wholesale spying on us by invisible, supposedly fair-playing friends.

Our response to the insidious attack on our free thought has been roll-over pathetic, when we know in our hearts the snoops are the real terrorists.

The Dominion Post