The secret diary of . . . Gordon Copeland

STEVE BRAUNIAS
Last updated 11:21 17/11/2012

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MONDAY

Not a day goes by in Wellington without someone coming up to me on the street, and saying, "Excuse me, but aren't you Gordon Copeland, a former MP with UnitedFuture from 2002-2008, currently aligned to the Conservative Party, a lifelong campaigner for family values, a committed Christian, a patriotic New Zealander and an unveering heterosexual?"

Day after day, the same thing, word for word.

It's nice to be remembered, even if it's always the same man, who I gather is homeless, drunk, and possibly insane.

I always tell him yes, I'm Gordon Copeland, and then he always asks if I have any spare change.

I must ask him for his name.

We could add him to the database of supporters of the Conservative Party.

Politics is all about having the numbers.

I often think back to 2000, when I convened the Celebrate Jesus 2000 event, and helped get 28,000 Christians to come to the Westpac Stadium to celebrate Christ's 2000th birthday.

If only I could get those 28,000 to back the Conservative Party.

There must be an issue which would mobilise these good people, but what?

TUESDAY

An email arrives alerting me to a select committee which meets this week to hear submissions on the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill, which would allow same-sex marriage.

WEDNESDAY

The tramp came up to me this morning, and said, "Excuse me Mr Copeland, but I can't help but notice you seem filled with a renewed sense of purpose. You no longer seem like yesterday's man, or just another ex-MP who no-one remembers except for mentally ill transients. What's got into you?"

He was right: I felt more alive than I had for a long time.

It's because, perhaps now, finally, thanks to the evils of same- sex marriage, the Christian masses will waken and bring some meaning to Parliament.

I think back to all the various attempts made over the years by Christian parties. UnitedFuture. Future New Zealand. The Kiwi Party. The Family Party. Destiny. Christian Heritage . . .

Oh well. But at least they tried.

THURSDAY

Politics is all about diplomacy.

You have to tread carefully. You need to keep your enemies close, and read the signs.

I eyed the select committee members when I walked into the room this morning, and knew that I had to present a calm, reasoned argument.

I said, "One of the many common misconceptions that the public have of me is that I must hate homosexuals.

"Nothing could be further than the truth.

"Throughout my life, all I have ever felt for homosexuals is a deep, loving pity.

"Indeed I feel sorry for them that they cannot marry.

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"In fact, they are full of pathetic longings to enjoy the same privileges as normal people.

"To my mind, homosexuals are like parrots which can be taught to talk.

"They sound human," I concluded, "but they're clearly not."

I was confident that would show them the way.

Instead, they showed me the door.

FRIDAY

The tramp came up to me this morning, and said, "Got any spare change?"

I said, "It's me, Gordon Copeland. You saw me on Wednesday and said I had renewed purpose. Don't you remember?"

He said, "A week's a long time in politics."

I gave him a $10 note.

I'd never really looked at his face before. A light shone from his eyes for an instant.

Why is it that I can see Christ in the poor who wander the streets, but not in the corridors of power?

- Taranaki Daily News

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