Bill had some good advice. He said, "Well, seeing as you've dug this hole for yourself, you might as well just stay there for the rest of the campaign, and make yourself comfortable as best you can."

I saw the sense in that. It would be a very bad look if I tried crawling out of the hole. I had to stand by the hole, which is to say I had stay inside it, night and day, so that if anyone came by and asked about it, I could tell them that it was still here, and that it presented a clear and present danger to New Zealand, and that no one should go anywhere near it for fear of falling in it and destroying the economy.

A journalist walked by. "How's that hole going?", they called down.

"It's still here," I called back.



Our tax working committee walked into a bar.

"What are you having," I said.

"We haven't quite decided," they said.

"Take your time."

"Okay. We'll come back to you in about 12 months."

"Did you say 12 months?"

"Give or take."

"What did your last servant die of? Can't you see I'm rushed off my feet as it is? What's the hurry?"


"How would 2021 suit you?"

"Better," I said. "Can I get you anything while you're waiting?"

"Well," they said, "just some water."

"I hope you've got your credit card," I said.


A journalist walked by. "How's that hole going?", they called down.

"It's still here," I called back.


I deny that I spy with my little eye on a country beginning with NZ.

It is easy to understand. I teach the English language at university in China. Maybe a bit of economics on the side. I show them a map of New Zealand, and point to Auckland, and I say, "Houses there are very cheap. You buy them as good investment, you make good money."

I don't know what the students do after hours. Maybe karaoke, maybe surveillance, typical student pranks, it's not my business.

If you define the students as spies, yes, then I was teaching spies. But I just think they are collecting information through communication in China. If you define it that way, then they were spies. But for us, it was just collecting information, and what is wrong with information?

No more questions.

Thank you.


No one walked by.


This is your captain speaking. We're experiencing a little bit of turbulence. But let me be clear, there's nothing to be afraid of.

Let me be perfectly clear about that. Let me absolutely transparent. Let me be, in fact, profoundly translucent, like one of those deep-sea jellies that you see on those wonderful natural history programmes by Sir David Attenborough, you know, glistening in the dark water, radiant, illuminated as if by within, and yet seemingly without substance, merely a bright light, like a candle in the wind, never knowing what tax to cling to, New Zealand's rose, the queen of hearts, the people's princess - anyhow, the tax ship is going down, and may God save our campaign.