I called English into my office, and said to him, "Capitalism must regain its human face. Don't you agree?"

He said, "Oh, look, I know where you're coming from. It's actually something which has been one of my core values ever since I was a boy growing up in Dipton.

"It's not enough to make money. It's not enough to make a lot of money. Okay so there comes a point when it's enough to make a hell of a lot of money and not seem to show the slightest sign of social concern, and I'd like to take this opportunity to congratulate John Key on his appointment to the chair of ANZ.

"But let's be honest. Fabulous wealth is something which is denied the average New Zealander. It's no one else's fault, it's just the way it is, and what I'd like to say about that is that I like to think that I represent the average New Zealander. In fact my chief characteristic as a human being is that I'm just so completely average.


"I guess what I'm saying here is that the human face of capitalism is my face. It's a face that cares. It's a face of a man who got in the ring and got beaten to the floor. But I got up again, and here I am, cringing at the thought I might go back down again.

"Anyway, it's been nice talking to you, and I'm just going to leave this envelope here for you to open after I leave. I think you'll like what's inside."


I called in Ardern, and said to her, "Capitalism must regain its human face. Don't you agree?"

She said, "Let me be perfectly clear about this. I love everybody and always have ever since I was a girl growing up in Morrinsville.

"But I think it's important that capitalism's human face should also be very stern, and disapproving, and - how shall I put this - round-eyed.

"I was at K-Mart the other day. You ask about the human face of capitalism, well, K-Mart is the coalface. And I got talking to a man who wanted to buy a pair of underpants, but he was prevented from carrying out this vital task because of his obvious distress that the store was full of people from other countries.

"So there's an obvious problem there and I want to fix it by putting a cap on the number of people coming to New Zealand from other countries apart from good countries.

"The finer detail of my policy is all set out in this envelope."


I opened the envelopes over lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant on Willis St. They were pretty evenly matched.


I took a torch, a rope, and a compass, and navigated my way through dark subterranean corridors to find the secret passage that led to the office of the leader of the Opposition.

We looked at each other.

She handed me something in her closed fist. It was another envelope.


Christmas is coming! It's never too early to get into the festive mood. I got out the artificial tree, and placed it in the corner of the lounge. I untangled the fairy lights, and looped them through the tree. I turned on the switch, and gazed at the merry blaze.

There was one last thing to do. Decorate it with a set of new, shiny baubles.