Steve Braunias: Secret Diary of The Labour-Green pact

Andrew Little and Metiria Turei before their press conference where they announced a Labour and Greens co-alition today. Photo / Facebook
Andrew Little and Metiria Turei before their press conference where they announced a Labour and Greens co-alition today. Photo / Facebook

ANDREW LITTLE

People all over New Zealand come up to me on the street and say, "Do I know you? You look familiar. Are you famous?"

I instantly put them at ease by consulting with my advisers for the most effective and least polarising response, which will have broad appeal, yet focus on specific issues, while sending a message that I'm an ordinary, decent bloke at the same time as a take-charge, can-do, no-nonsense, all-action, kick-ass co-leader.

Nine times out of 10 they walk away before I form an answer but one in 10 hangs around, either because they're unemployed and have nothing better to do, or they're insane and pose clear and present danger but their vote still counts, or they can't move too fast because they're extremely old.

And I say to them, "Hello. I'm Andrew Little, and I'd like to announce that as of this week the New Zealand Labour Party have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Green Party.

We believe the interests of our movements and ideals can best be achieved working co-operatively whilst respecting we are separate political parties."

Usually by that time the unemployed person shoots through. The psychopath just stares at me, and the old codger asks, "And this woman you're with - is she your wife?"

METIRIA TUREI

And I laugh, and say to them, "In a manner of speaking, yes, I suppose you could say that! Tee-hee!

"Certainly it's true that we commit to treat each other with integrity and openness.

"We agree to invite each other to appropriate forums.

"We will meet at least monthly to address matters that advance the purpose of this Memorandum of Understanding.

"But we're never too busy to have fun! Tee-hee! Speaking of fun, you'll never guess what I have in my bag. Look - a ukulele!

"Andrew, you need to loosen up! How about I play a merry jig, and you dance to it? Here goes! One, two, three, four!"

And I strike up a cheerful tune, but Andrew just stands there with his hands in his pockets. There are dark circles under his eyes. His shoulders begin to slump.

I laugh, and say to him, "Some honeymoon! Tee-hee! Go on, Andrew! Dance! I said: dance."

I don't laugh.

He performs a few stiff steps, and usually by that time the psychopath shoots through. I turn to the senior citizen, and say, "Well, what do you think, you sweet little old man?"

WINSTON PETERS

I say to her, "Words fail me. I'm lost for words. No, don't interrupt; I haven't finished talking.

"If I was a Green member, I'd wonder why I'm compromising my party's position. If I was a Labour supporter, I'd wonder why I'm compromising my party's position.

"But if you're a New Zealand First supporter, you'd never have to ask that question.

"We don't like jack-ups, or rigged arrangements behind the people's back. We'll go into this election just ourselves and our policies seeking to change how this Government is run."

Little talks to his advisers. Turei plucks at her ukulele.

"Anyway," I say, "move over. It's cold."

I hop into their bed.

I get good and cosy, and commandeer the hot water bottle. I adjust the reading light, and make sure I have the most pillows. But something still isn't right.

"I should be in the middle," I say. "Make way."

We settle in for a good night's sleep. But Little snores, so I throw him out. I can't afford to be seen sleeping with Turei, so I throw her out, too.

"Get some rest," I tell them, "because I'm going to need you to carry me in my bed right up until November next year. Do we have an understanding?"

- NZ Herald

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