Notorious cyber outlaw Lambshank was in touch again the other day to arrange a meeting in a Twickenham hospitality suite. She presented me with a cache of correspondence from, she told me, "a party which could soon be leading the Government". When I opened the files, a message appeared, "only kidding, it's actually from the Labour Party". Nevertheless, here is a selection of emails sent to the party leader.
Andrew. The schedule for the Palmerston North conference is coming together nicely. As discussed, we're committed to transparency and scrutiny, and as such we've given them a state-of-the-art, access-all-areas media centre. In Feilding.
All members cleared to access the actual venue will be provided with a downloadable #LabConf2015 app, including details of timetable, discounts at local eateries, and 24/7 notification of the whereabouts of Patrick Gower.
- Chur, Matt McC
Just heard back from Richie's people. Not good news. "Mr McCaw thanks you for the invitation to introduce the leader's speech, but on this occasion he will have to decline owing to exhaustion brought on both by playing rugby at the highest level for several weeks and what he calls 'politician germs'."
- Annette King
Dear Andrew. As the bright new face, the breath of fresh centre-left air that Auckland is crying out for, my campaign team and I have been exploring ways to reach out to younger voters in my mayoral bid, just in case I do decide to run.
Guyon Espiner said I was engaged in the "longest striptease in political history". I liked the idea, so we took a few photographs, but they didn't go down very well with focus groups. Maybe you could teach me how to do that invisible horse dance? I gather that's got a hot buzz viralling on the information superhighway.
One idea that you might consider for the conference in a similar sort of groove: During your speech you pull out one of those pop-up tent wotsits, then emerge from it as if you're taking a leak. Then you say, "Comrades, better to be inside the tepee peeing out than outside the tepee peeing in!" Can't lose.
- Phil Goff
Rangatira! E hoa! Some notes for the speech, just off the cuff. Valley low and mountain high we have traversed Aotearoa to Palmerston North whereupon, our voices as one, we declare: be a tidy Kiwi, build a brighter future, and strike down with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers, sisters, and community stakeholders. Today you are Labour, and Labour is you, and we are very sorry about that.
- David Cunliffe
Just heard back from Justin Trudeau's people. Not good news. "Mr Trudeau wishes you all the best for your conference but regrets that he is unable to introduce your speech owing to being, well, the Prime Minister of Canada, as well as having a foreign-sounding surname."
Gidday Andy. Just following up on that beer you had with the PM in London. To clarify, when he said that he was keen to find ways we could work together for the greater good, we're able to suggest two specific courses of action. One, we could set you up with a nice ambassadorial post, overseeing, let's say, stuff in the South Pacific. As you surely know, there are some excellent buffets in the island resorts these days.
Or, two, we could give you an informal backing to stand for Mayor of Auckland. Give it some thought, Andy, will you?
- Steven Joyce
Just heard back from Jaime Ridge's people. Not good news. "OMG that sounds totes meanage I love parties but I don't do the South Island sorry."
I have managed to get hold of an inflatable Richie McCaw, and it might be fun to knight him on stage, but knowing our luck he'd probably pop.
Have you had a word with Len yet? Poor bugger looks like something out of The Walking Dead, stumbling around Auckland with most of his limbs torn off.
New ideas from the mayoral campaign team for my mayoral bid, just in case I do decide to run: "The Phil Good Factor for Auckland," obviously. "Phil the Void," maybe. And in Samoan communities, where Fa'a means "the way of", we thought we'd go with "Fa'a" and then my surname. What do you think?
Andy Pandy! Shake my handy! Bish bosh, what? What? Super. Are you on the email? Strictly between us I don't trust the email one bit. Hardly any bloody wonder all the hospitals are full of sick people what with all the email.
But listen, old fruit, the staff say you haven't replied to my suggestion I introduce you at your wotsit, your soiree up in Palmy-doodle on the weekend. Mummy wouldn't like it, but bloody hell I'm keen as a Cornish milkmaid. Hardly anyone in this godforsaken baby-Australian little colony seems to know we're bloody here.
Mostly, if you'll permit me a moment's frankness between chums, Camilla is keen to get up close and squeezy-weezy with the All Blacks. Will you have some of them?
Toodle-pip, HRH The Prince of Wales