OPINION: Oh hello, sorry to interrupt your barbecue.
No worries. Heineken?
Thanks, but no. I'm just doing a political survey. Would you mind answering a few questions? Great. Now, have you heard of the book "Dirty Politics" by Nicky Hager?
Yeah, they're talking about it at work. Don't imagine I'll read it though.
Do you know the book alleges that Judith Collins as Minister of Corrections may have arranged for a prisoner to be shifted on the request of a prominent blogger?
I find that hard to believe. She seems a nice lady. Sausage?
Do you know it also alleges that she leaked details about ACC whistleblower Bronwyn Pullar to the same blogger?
Look, I think that if she said she didn't then she didn't.
And that it also alleges that she leaked the name of a Ministerial Services official she was annoyed with and that as a result that official received death threats?
You should really try this salsa.
Do you believe these sort of allegations about a Crown minister should be investigated?
I dunno. Maybe? Can I get back to you on that? I'm not really into all this.
OK let's move on. If you knew someone who said of Christchurch "What I can't believe is how we have to bail out those useless pricks in the South Island again . . . National should let them rot, after all they are useless scum Labour voters especially in the area the earthquake hit" - would you keep in contact with them?
That's a bit of a curly one - can I phone a friend?
I don't think so. The general gist of the book is that there's a systematic collusion between the Beehive, bloggers and other political activists to facilitate negative campaigning and ad hominem attacks while leaving the politicians themselves looking squeaky clean. Does that concern you as a citizen?
Yeah, nah, I'm pretty relaxed about it. Everyone does this sort of thing don't they? They're all up to it. It's just the way of the world. I mean there's not much I can do about it!
And finally if I could just have your occupation.
I'm the Prime Minister of New Zealand.
I think that comes under "public servant".
Fair enough. Pass me that hose would you? I just need to wash my hands. Cheers.
No worries. Finally is there anything you'd like to add?
Actually, yes. Look closely: If I take this shiny fifty-cent piece and stick it in your ear then I think you'll find . . . it's disappeared!
What the - ? How did you do that?
But wait - there's more. Watch carefully . . . as I pull it out of my mouth!
No! You're amazing!
Now, don't worry about that clipboard, leave it there by the recycling bins. I want to show you something really interesting. Follow me!
Cool! Where are we going?
Oh just around this corner and up the garden path . . .
- The Press
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