Heading off the Dot-bomb requires sacrifice
At ease, everyone. Be seated. Smoke if you wish. What I'm about to tell you must stay within this Cabinet room. Ms Parata, lock the doors.
Here it is, then: our sworn enemy Kim Dotcom, aka the Hamburg Hacker, aka the Berliner Who Came To Dinner, is developing an information bomb that he plans to detonate on September 15. It is, he claims, a weapon powerful enough to obliterate an entire election campaign.
Quickly, someone - smelling salts for Mr Joyce. I'm afraid this intelligence points to a clear and present danger. It comes to us direct from our brave agents in the SIS, who put themselves at extreme risk to obtain it, crossing Lambton Quay in rush-hour traffic to buy a copy of the Dominion Post.
We must act now to neutralise this threat. It needs bold, decisive action against Dotcom, and I don't mean those flak jacket-wearing goons from the FBI we let in last time.
To explain what's required, I've invited General Dodonna from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope to address us. General?
Thank-you. Kim Dotcom is heavily shielded and carries a legal firepower greater than half the lawyers in New Zealand. His defences are designed around a direct, large-scale judicial assault. A small, one-man attack on his credibility should be able to penetrate the outer defence. But the approach will not be easy, and the target area is only two metres wide. Only a precise hit on his credibility will start a chain reaction which should destroy the Internet Party. Good luck, and may the force of public opinion be with you.
Thank-you, general. Well, everyone, we know what needs to be done. Dotcom must be discovered in a position so politically compromising that no- one will ever take him seriously again, and that means someone from around this table is going to have to take one for the team.
Mr McCully, I'm afraid you've drawn the short straw. You will be flown by air force Iroquois under cover of night to the Dotcom mansion. You will abseil into the Dotcom jacuzzi, where you will await the arrival of your unsuspecting mine host for his nightly dip, armed only with a suitcase of cash and a manila folder marked "Political Favours".
A photographer from the New Zealand Herald, who we have previously tipped off, will then spring from her hiding place behind a nearby bush and snap the two of you engaged in an act of apparent hob-nobbing. In a flash - literally - Dotcom's reputation as an anti-establishment icon will be shredded faster than a dairy farmer's chequebook.
You should be assured, Mr McCully, that the choice of you to carry out this mission has nothing to do with your performance as a minister. Think of yourself as the bee who, in delivering the sting, nobly sacrifices its own life. On the other hand, if you or any of your Improbable Mission Force are caught or killed, the prime minister will disavow any knowledge of your actions and say he's actually pretty relaxed.
Good luck, Mr McCully. Smile for the camera, and remember: it is a far, far better thing you do today than you have ever done in the last few months.