MONDAY

Monday caucus. They filed in, dragging their heels, yawning, scratching, sighing. They were a bit more animated than usual. I took the roll. Someone said Su'a William Sio was on his way, and a few MPs were absent, possibly dead, although it was hard to tell.

"Well," I said, "here we all are."

No one said anything.

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"Did everyone have a nice break?"

No one said anything.

"A month's recess! A lot of time to come up with new ideas."

No one said anything.

"I'll get the ball rolling," I said. "I'm gonna call for Nick Smith's resignation as housing minister!"

Someone said I already had. "It doesn't hurt to drive it home," I said.

Somebody said they had lost the will to live, and questioned the meaning of existence. They continued, "We are bored. No, don't protest, we are bored to death, there's no denying it. In an instant all will vanish and we'll be alone, in the midst of nothingness! Let's get out of here while we can. Let's go."

"We can't," I said.

"Why not?"

"We're waiting for Sio."

Someone said they needed to go outside for a smoke.

"That gives me an idea," I said.

TUESDAY

I tell a student radio station that as PM, I would hold a referendum on legalising cannabis. It may not even be in the first 100 days, or even the first term, but it would be something I'd be happy to see at some point when Labour forms the next government.

WEDNESDAY

Someone from caucus gave me a bike. "What's this for?" I said.

"To practise your backpedal," they said.

THURSDAY

I tell the media I never said that as Prime Minister, I would hold a referendum on legalising cannabis. Read my lips, I tell them. I did not say, "It may not even be in the first 100 days, or even in the first term, but it would be something I'd be happy to see at some point when Labour forms the next government."

I tell them it's something that maybe one day we might look at, and have a bit of chat about, with a view to looking at it in more depth further down the track, when we might have another chat about it. But certainly it's not something that we would want to go to the time and trouble of setting up a referendum over. And it's definitely not anything that I'd be happy to see at any point when Labour forms the next government.

FRIDAY

Friday drinks. They filed in, dragging their heels, yawning, scratching, sighing. They seemed a bit less animated than usual. They stopped and stared at the drinks table. "I don't think I've seen these before," someone said. "What do you call them?"

"Beers," I said.

"Oh yes," someone else said. "I've heard of them. Craft beer is all the rage."

"It's Lion Red," I said.

"I'm not drinking that," someone said.

"Us neither," they chorused. Su'a William Sio offered to go out and buy wine. After he left and we were all just standing around, I said, "Well, let's look back on the week. I called for Nick Smith to resign as housing minister!"

Someone said, "And did he?"

"No," I said, "not yet."

"What's taking him so long?" someone said.

"He'll resign one of these days, you mark my words," I said. "He'll buckle under the pressure!"

"No, not Smith. Sio. What's taking him so long?"

"Oh, before I forget," I said, and returned the bicycle to someone from caucus.

"Jesus," he said. "Looks like you've ridden it into the ground."

I suggested we play charades. No one wanted to. I suggested we get up and do some random dance break-outs. No one wanted to.

I suggested we think up some ideas for next week. No one wanted to.

"Jesus," I said. "Let's all just quit. Let's all just get up and go."

"We can't," someone said.

"Why not?"

"We're waiting for Sio."