OPINION: Well, this is a very passable drop of non-alcoholic peapod burgundy you've produced, Banksie.
Thank you, Peter. As you know, I've had some gardening leave, and idle hands are the devil's workshop.
Who've had thought, Banksie, that we two minor political party leaders would be still sat here after all that's happened?
Not me, Peter, that's for sure. I've had a very difficult year.
Difficult? You don't know the meaning of difficult! I've had it right tough. I had the baubles of office, I did. The crown limo, a foot in the Cabinet door, the ministerial stationery and a selection of powdered wigs. Next thing, I'm standing down as a minister on account of failing to co-operate with a government inquiry. That were tough.
You were lucky! A government inquiry? That's nothing! I had a Crown limo, a seat at the Cabinet table, the ministerial stationery and all the charter schools I could play with. Next thing, I'm standing down as a minister on account of facing charges of filing a false electoral return. In a real court, mind, not your namby- pamby government inquiry. Now that were tough.
Real court? I only wish I was being tried a real court, where you're innocent until being proven guilty, instead of the court of public opinion, where I was hung, drawn and quartered. All a man does is refuse to let his emails be read while voting for more government spying, and next thing he's Google's first search result for "hypocrite". Oh, the opprobrium!
You don't know the meaning of opprobrium! One little helicopter ride with a fat German billionaire that I still can't remember anything about, and next thing I'm the poster boy for selective memory loss. That's not a good look for the leader of a registered political party, I can tell you.
I used to dream of being the leader of a registered political party! I'd be up before crack of dawn, scouring the streets for electronic signatures to take to the Electoral Commission, only to have them spit them back in my face. To think I was once the leader of a merry band of MPs. Now I'm a rump of my former self, the leader of a one-man band. The indignity!
Indignity? Luxury, more like. At least you're still the party leader. I have to resign from that as well - even though there's no-one to replace me! I'm coming in second place to a power vacuum!
But still, here we sit, Banksie, and there's a good chance that come next year's election, one or both of our parties will be propping up the government. The whole future stability of our constitutional democracy will depend on people like you and me.
And yet, Peter, you try and explain that to the young people of today and they won't believe you!
- © Fairfax NZ News
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