The Secret Diary of . . . David Shearer

Weekly column from Steve Braunias

STEVE BRAUNIAS
Last updated 08:32 28/04/2012
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FAIRFAX
Labour leader David Shearer may be losing a little hair over speculation on his shaky leadership.

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OPINION: MONDAY

Another beautiful morning! What an autumn we're having. It almost makes up for summer.

"Don't remind people about summer," said my chief of staff, Stuart Nash, who was lying next to me in bed.

"I think he should," said my press secretary, Fran Mold, who was lying on my other side.

"It brings back too many unhappy memories of summer," said Stuart.

"It brands him as someone who has the common touch," said Fran.

I said, "I'd best jump in the shower."

"We have to move on from summer," said Stuart, passing me the shampoo.

"We have to move on from your stupid policy of sending David out to the provinces," said Fran, passing me the conditioner.

I hopped out and started dressing.

"We're reconnecting Labour with grassroots New Zealand," said Stuart, passing me a pair of Jockey underpants.

"We've got to look at the big picture, and have David leading the attack on National," said Fran, snatching away the Jockeys, and handing me a pair of floral boxer shorts.

"But that's playing politics, and David's appeal is that he doesn't know anything about politics," said Stuart, snatching away the boxers and ripping them in half.

"I think you need a break, Stuart," said Fran, burning the Jockeys in the fireplace.

They angrily marched me out of the house, and we waited for a taxi in grim silence on the pavement.

My feet felt cold, and so did my bum, but neither Stuart nor Fran appeared to notice I was naked.

TUESDAY

Another beautiful morning! What an autumn we're having. It almost makes up for summer.

No-one said anything for the first time in months.

Turned my head and looked at Stuart, who lay on his back with his eyes wide open. He stared at the ceiling and didn't blink once.

Turned my head the other way and looked at Fran, who was fast asleep with a little smile on her face.

Wanted to please both of them, so lay there with one eye closed and the other open.

WEDNESDAY

I don't know how many times I've been warned not to act on my instincts, but got up before dawn to attend an Anzac Day service.

THURSDAY

Another beautiful morning! What an autumn we're having. It almost makes up for summer.

"My thoughts precisely," said a man lying on Stuart's side.

I asked, "Who are you?"

He said, "Alastair Cameron, your new chief of staff."

I asked, "What happened to Stuart?"

Fran said from her side of the bed, "He's stepped outside, and he may be some time."

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She began to laugh. Alistair joined in. Grant Robertson popped his head into the room, and he started laughing too. So did Trevor Mallard, David Parker, David Cunliffe, Shane Jones and Clayton Cosgrove.

I laughed as well. I didn't want to be left out. I just wish I knew what was so funny.

FRIDAY

Freezing morning, wet and grey and miserable.

"Cheer up, it could be worse," said a familiar voice.

I turned and saw John Key lying next to me.

I said, "What brings you here?"

He said, "I used to be like you once."

I said, "Really?"

He said, "No, not even slightly. But there's something about you that I just can't help but like. Unfortunately, that something is in danger of being buried under too much advice. I saw it happen to Goff. I'd hate to see it happen to you."

I said, "What do you care?"

He said, "Well, think of Parliament as a bed."

I said, "Are we in bed, or in a metaphor?"

He said, "I don't know what 'metaphor' means. What I'm saying is, I'd rather continue dealing with you than with that other guy who thinks he's the leader of the opposition."

"Too bad," said a familiar voice from the other side of the bed.

"Hello, Winston," I said.

He glared at me, and said, "What the hell d'you think you're doing in my bed?"

zstephen11@xtra.co.nz

- Taranaki Daily News

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