The Secret Diary Of David Shearer
There's a story I'd like to share with you.
It's the story of a man.
He wasn't an old man. But neither was he a new man. He was a new, new man.
A new, new man with vision and purpose and focus and things like that! A new, new man who wants to take New Zealand to a new, new place! I'm thinking Finland.
Let's all go to Finland.
There's only four million of us. No- one will notice.
I remember the time I was saving the world one night in the deserts of war-torn Sierra Leone.
Sierra Leone. So cold in the desert tonight! So I put on another blanket, and went back to sleep.
What I'm getting at is that winter is coming.
But let's be clear about this.
I'm not saying that Labour is going to give every New Zealander a free blanket.
I'm not saying that Labour is going to tuck New Zealand in at night.
I'm not saying anything, and I reserve the right to go on not saying anything as long as I'm Labour leader.
Where was I?
Sierra Leone, or was it Sri Lanka?
Whatever. The point is that I was given a job of taking exam papers across the front line from the government side to the rebel side.
It meant travelling down a single road that was mined on either side.
Eventually we got the exam papers around the various schools.
I stopped to talk at one place to community leaders about why exam papers - of all things - were so important to them.
I asked them: why hadn't we brought them medicine, or food, that were critically in short supply?
I still remember their answer.
They told me that we were all players in an anecdote that I would one day use to stunning effect as leader of the Labour Party.
A vision is a marvellous thing, but it's a bit like Excalibur. You have to know what you're doing with it.
Chris Cairns certainly did.
Mind you, he wouldn't have been feeling great this week.
What I'm getting at is that it's best not to have a vision.
It can have unforeseen consequences.
The devil is in the details.
So let's not go there. What I'm getting at is that it's time for me to wrap things up with a resounding message of hope.
So let's all put our best foot forward, straighten our backs, swing our arms, whistle a merry tune, and I'll see you all in Helsinki. Cheers!
Taranaki Daily News