"Winston is coming."

As he rides his steel dragon across the roads and byways of The North Lands, the Dark Lord, leader of House First, is happy. What had started as a whisper is now becoming a roar.

"Winston is coming!"

As the miles tick by, the Dark Lord can see another road stretching out before him, not an actual road like the one they're driving down, but one in his head, leading to the day when the halls of the Hive of Bees will be his to walk with impunity, knowing he is no longer simply one of The Seated List. With one of the True Seats at his disposal, the Dark Lord will have the power to shape the will of the King of Smiles, or at least to annoy the King more than he currently does.


With twin power bases in the winterless North Lands and House First's homelands in the Vale of Plenty, the Dark Lord envisages being able to attack on two fronts. From Castle Tauranga his army of Grey Walkers will take up their frames and shuffle south, through the Bay of Hawks, into the Dead Heartland, spreading the words: "Winston is coming. He has returned."

Meanwhile, the newly-motivated dispossessed of The North will rise up and somehow make their way over the range of Brynderwyn to the great city of Auck's Landing where they will spread the words among the disenfranchised or just simply bitter: "Winston is coming. He has returned."

And the people shall know these words to be true, for the legends say that His return will be signalled by a cyclone bearing the name of an affordable range of foodstuffs and other household products sweeping the land, sort of. And the people shall heed the message of House First that there are foreign hordes out there, poised to steal their lands and send the profits to a great single-party state far far away, over the waters, even further north than The North Lands.

As his army of House First march south through the Isle of the North, the Dark Lord will isolate and destroy his enemies. House Green will be expelled back to the bush from where they came. Old Greyhair, who unites the future, will be put to the (political) sword - or an actual sword, if that also does the business. The Littleman, the imp, newly-crowned ruler of House Wishy-washy, will be forced to bend a knee and forge an alliance with House First or face even more political annihilation than they already are.

"Winston is coming. Winston is coming. Winston is coming."

Even the tyres of his steel dragon seem to be singing the song now, thinks the Dark Lord as the miles are chewed on the road to redemption; on the road to his fateful, inevitable, showdown with Ser Jon Ki, King of Smiles, spiritual leader of the House of Gnats, and ruler over the Isles both North and South from the Sheepskin Throne, in the mystical city of Wellingtown, when he's not playing golf or going to cricket matches.

"Winston is coming. Winston is coming. The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round ..."

The Dark Leader blinks, turns to his List Soldiers, seated in the back of the steel dragon. He reminds them he warned them about singing that stupid song. They avert their eyes, fall into blessed silence and go back to their colouring books, letting the Dark Leader turn back to more pleasant thoughts of the coming time when the pesky Gnats realise the Hive of Bees is surrounded by the Grey Walkers and Ser Jon Ki must acknowledge the Dark Lord as his equal, or almost equal, and admit him again to the Inner Council, which is his rightful and spiritual home.


The Dark Leader smiles; there are those who have written him off and consigned him to the political crypt. Yes, the numbers of those are many but they shall soon learn the errors of their ways. Because when you play the game of politics you win or you die. There is no middle ground. Except the middle ground where you die and come back again and when that doesn't work and you die again and you have to come back yet again, only this time with a steel dragon. In other words when you play the game of politics there is loads of middle ground, which is where you will find House First and their Dark Leader, not actually going anywhere but sort of sticking around.

"Winston is coming. Winston is coming. Winston is coming. Winston is coming. Just in time for winter, which is also coming."