I lay in bed this morning and listened to rain pounding on the roof. BANG. BANG. BANG. It was as loud as a hammer. It could wake the dead. It certainly woke me up.

I had a big day ahead of me so I had a quick 45-minute shower using a new range of body oils and then hastily put on my face in 90 minutes. Dressing, though, must never be rushed.

Sometimes I wonder how much of my life I've devoted to brushing my suits. If you added up the hours and days, it might be longer than some political careers.

As I tended to my suit with an ebony garment brush for cashmere, I thought of MPs who have long since been forgotten by the public. Seddon was an interesting man. We had lunch together for many years. I shall always remember Governor Grey. "You're not a bad bloke for a Maori," he said.


I headed into the garage and climbed into my newly delivered campaign bus. I made myself comfortable in the driver's seat. But I couldn't see over the steering wheel, so I went back inside and fetched a couple of nice brocade cushions.

I opened the garage doors. It was a beautiful morning in Auckland. The sun must have dried the rain off pretty quickly. I left St Marys Bay and went through the neighbouring suburb of Herne Bay, where I spotted David Cunliffe. He was wearing an old dressing gown and tattered slippers. He hadn't shaved. He wheeled out the recycle bin. It was obviously full and very heavy going by the effort he put into it. When he placed it on the pavement, I heard the crash of bottles.

There go I but for the grace of my charisma, flair, ruthlessness, and unstoppable vitality.

I drove north. North, to contest the by-election! North, to return to my people! North, to once more walk upon the land which I know like the palm of my hand!


I must have taken the wrong turn-off somewhere yesterday. I stayed the night in Taupo.


A vast crowd gathered as soon as I pulled into Whangarei and cranked up the sound system of Little River Band's 1979 classic Help Is On Its Way, with its chorus, "Hang on, a tiny voice did say/ From somewhere deep inside the inner man."

From somewhere deep inside the inner man, I told the people that I'd been driving the highways and byways of this great country of ours, and giving deep thought to the real issues that we must face head-on as a nation.

"Asian drivers," I said. "Cast them out! Who's with me?"



The TV3 poll has me in the lead on 35 per cent. Excellent. But it doesn't come as any great surprise. National have treated Northland with contempt for years, and now they're paying the price.

They'll fight back. They already have. I got on the bus today and noticed something rank. I have a very sensitive nose; it can pick out wines, aftershaves, and various colognes; it can also smell a rat.

I walked down the bus. I looked under the seats. There, hiding at the back of the bus, was Steven Joyce.

"Empty your pockets," I said.

He pulled out my collection of ebony garment brushes for cashmere, wool, and tweed.

"You really know how to hurt a man," I said.

He hung his head.

"This is a new low in New Zealand politics," I said.

He nodded.

I couldn't help myself. I smiled, and said, "You're a worthy opponent." We made sure no one was looking, and shook hands.


I lay in bed this morning and listened to rain pounding on the roof. I got up and looked out the window. Not a cloud in the sky.

I lay back in bed, and put my hand on my chest.

Of course. That's what it was - pounding, vital, unstoppable. BOOM. BOOM. BOOM.