Steve Braunias: The secret diary of the Labour Party

Andrew Little

I was sitting at home doing nothing much when I heard a knock on the door. I thought to myself, "That'll be the door."

But knowing that it was the door and doing something about it are two different things.
Another way of putting it is: if someone knocks on the door, but no one is inside to hear it, does it make a sound?

The knocking grew louder. It disturbed my peace of mind. It was nice, just sitting at home doing nothing much. Opening the door might open a can of worms, and the last thing I want right now is a can of worms on my doorstep.

As leader of the Labour Party, I need to avoid conflict and drama of any kind. It's imperative as we head towards the September 23 election that Labour is seen as an inclusive big-tent party.

We must not tolerate in-fighting and petty squabbles. The media will latch on to the smallest hint of conflict, blow it all out of proportion, and make us look like we don't know what the hell we're doing.

On the other hand we need all the help we can get, and the person knocking at the door might be just who we need.

I opened the door and there was Willie Jackson.

Willie Jackson

I called in on Andy at his home. He took ages to open the door but as soon as he saw me, he offered me a senior position in the party.

I said, "Do you think anyone in Labour would have a problem with that?"
He just laughed, and said, "Why would they?"
I said, "You know - Roastbusters. The things I said."
"Water under the bridge," he said.
I said, "What about the gays?"
"They'll be sweet."
"What about the lefties?"
"Won't be a problem."
"What about the gay lefties?"
"I don't think we have those any more," he said.

Maryan Street

This is an outrage.

Poto Williams

This is an outrage, and the best way to express the outrage I feel as a Labour MP who no one has previously ever heard of is to hire a PR firm to send out a statement on my behalf.

I approached Christchurch-based Inform PR, who represent clients such as Heatpumps Now, Pure Elegance Wedding Films, and Hair Therapy Wigs, and said, "This is a serious matter."

They said, "We will be honoured to represent you. What did you say your name was?"
We drafted a statement. They were very thorough. I was there for hours.

When they showed me the bill, my hair turned grey, and they said, "Would you like to speak to one of our clients about their hair therapy wigs?"

Willie Jackson

I met with Poto at Andy's house and I said I was sorry for those things I said quite a few years ago about Roastbusters.

She said she was sorry for her press statement.

I said I was sorry that she was sorry, but if she'd approached me in the first place and we'd talked it through, then there wouldn't be any need to apologise.

She said she was sorry I was sorry that she was sorry, but if I hadn't said those stupid things about Roastbusters in the first place, then there wouldn't be any need to apologise.

I said I was sick of apologising, and she said it wasn't her place to apologise, so we both raced to Andy's front door so we could be the first one to slam it on the way out.

Andrew Little

I was sitting at home doing nothing much when I heard a knock on the door. I thought to myself, "Oh God. Who now?"

I opened the door and there was John Tamihere.

- NZ Herald

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