The house is a bit of a mess but I pledge to have it clean by the end of the week. It's just a matter of picking up the odd piece of rubbish that nobody's got any use for, and has somehow ended up in a very unsightly heap all over the floor. I started with Clare Curran.

"Go to your room," I said.

"No," she said.


She walked out the door. I called after her, "Where do you think you're going?"

"Nowhere," she said.

"You better not be meeting with Derek Handley," I said. "We haven't announced he's going to be the Government's new chief technology officer, and I can't have you being seen with him until then."

She slammed the door behind her.

I surveyed the mess she left behind, sighed, and picked up the broom. Sometimes the best thing to do with rubbish is sweep it under the carpet.


The house is messier than it was yesterday.

I held a breakfast meeting with business leaders this morning to share my vision of how to run a tidy, flourishing economy, and it seemed to go very well.

They nodded. They applauded. They said, "Thank you."


But after they left, I looked around the room and saw crumbs on the carpet, jam-stained napkins bunched up on the table, dirty dishes, a broken cup, spilled coffee, and, strangely, a tyre.

"What's that about?", I asked Grant Robertson.

"Oh, that," he said. "Yeah. I've been meaning to tell you. The wheels have come off."


I could barely get in the door this morning. The rubbish had piled up on the driveway. I picked up a piece of scrunched-up paper, and flattened it out. It was Labour's confidential report into the summer camp which ended in accusations of sexual assault.

I took it inside and looked for a carpet to sweep it under, but the carpet had gone.


I couldn't get in the door. Meka Whaitiri was sprawled on the doorstep.

"Let's have a quiet chat over coffee at Astoria," I said to her.

We ordered two flat whites. I said to her, "What seems to be the problem?"

"You just can't get good staff these days," she said.

"I've noticed you seem to be going through quite a few of them," I said.

"Well, it's not my fault," she said. "I do my best to beat some sense into them. When push comes to shove, I will shove them in front of a bus. Other than that, I'm very tolerant."

The waiter brought over our coffees. "I didn't order a flat white," Meka screamed, and stood up, jabbing her finger in his face.

People stared. Among them was Clare Curran. She was sitting at a table with a man who wore a paper bag over his head.

"Hello, Derek," I said.


I took one look at the house, didn't know where to start, and got back in the Crown limousine.

The driver said, "Where to, Prime Minister?"

"Nowhere," I said. "Anywhere."

I stared out the window from the back of the car just like I did in Labour's television campaign during the election. I looked so serene back then. I caught a glance of my reflection in the rear-view mirror, and quickly closed my eyes.

When I opened them, I saw Simon Bridges outside his house. He had on a pair of gumboots, and was emptying a bucket of water. The front yard was piled up with wet furniture, wet clothes, wet books, and, strangely, a tyre.

"Poor guy," said the driver. "Looks like he's sprung a leak."