Steve Braunias' Secret Diary of John Key

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Yeah at the end of the day I'm pretty casual about whether or not my preferred option for the New Zealand flag is taken up by the public, who are a bunch of idiots. Photo / Getty Images
Yeah at the end of the day I'm pretty casual about whether or not my preferred option for the New Zealand flag is taken up by the public, who are a bunch of idiots. Photo / Getty Images

MONDAY

Yeah at the end of the day I'm pretty casual about whether or not my preferred option for the New Zealand flag is taken up by the public, who are a bunch of idiots.

It doesn't worry me one way or another and in fact I've barely given it a single thought. I didn't even know there was a referendum. I wasn't actually aware there was a debate.

It's news to me that I had a preferred option for the New Zealand flag.

Nothing really reaches me. At the end of the day I unscrew my head from my shoulders and it floats up, up, up to the ceiling, as weightless as a balloon.

It's nice up there. Now and then Bronagh will give me a playful swipe with a broom, but I'll just smile, and in place of my hands, my ears will wave.

Sometimes when I'm up there I look out the windows and take in the view of this beautiful country of ours.

It looks best in a certain light. It's the bright, clear light of chandeliers which hang in the homes of our wealthiest businessmen. I'm drawn to that light. It's so beautiful.

You can see everything really clearly in that light, like for instance my preferred option for the New Zealand flag.

It really catches the silver fern. It's like it's on fire.

Even the fabric looks hot, as though it had been left out on the sand on a day in summer, like a beach towel.

I don't mind if the public vote against it. It's all good. No worries. I'm not bothered or angry or seething with rage.

TUESDAY

I said, "No, get stuffed. No way am I paying so much as a cent towards the legal costs. He's a scumbag and while I accept we've come up with this settlement to make it go away, it's not my problem, and not my bill."

The messenger from Parliamentary Service said, "But Prime Minister, some feel that you have a responsibility to at least contribute towards the payment to Ambrose, and - "

"Don't interrupt, " I roared at him. "Don't you ever interrupt me. And don't ever mention the name of that scumbag in front of me again. What kind of name is that, anyway? Bradley Ambrose! God almighty! Where do they come up with those names? You can't trust people with names like that. It's like that other guy. Something something Steinlager."

The messenger said, "I think you mean Nicky Hager."

"And I thought," I screeched, "that I told you never to interrupt me when I'm talking! Get out! Get the hell out of my office! And take that legal bill with you, and stick it where the sun don't shine, sonny!"

"Yes, sir," he said. "Sorry, sir. Don't worry about the bill. We'll flag it."

I couldn't believe he used that word. I jumped him and English had to pull me off, and afterwards I said, "It's all good. No worries."

WEDNESDAY

I said, "The important point here is I'm acting in my capacity as leader of the National Party, just as other political parties do. And where the rules assist that in terms of legal support, then that's within the rules."

"Okay, okay," said English. "Can you get off me now?"

THURSDAY

At the end of the day I've got lots of things I want to mark down as my legacy. The flag isn't really one of them.

There are so many other things.

So many.

Too many to name.

FRIDAY

As soon as they turned off the lights in the plane on my flight to the US, I unscrewed my head, and let it float through the cabin.

Then I floated down to the undercarriage. I sucked in my cheeks, and slipped through a vent into the black night.

I'm floating in a most peculiar way. The stars look very different today. Planet Earth is blue.

So is the goddamned flag, and there's nothing I can do.

Debate on this article is now closed.

- NZ Herald

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