Another week dawns on the election trail, and the nation is riveted by the biggest issue of the campaign: whether National leader John Key is a monkey's uncle.

Thus far all manner of strange beasties have popped up: we've had skippers, drunken sailors, chumps, and dogs' balls. Jerry Maguire emerged from the 90s with calls to "show me the money".

We are yet to see if we will get a monkey's uncle - National leader John Key has said he might be a monkey's uncle, but only if Labour's costings are seriously out of kilter to the tune of $13 billion or so.

So voters will not know if they are voting for a monkey's uncle unless Labour wins the election - and even then they won't know for about a decade or so.


We've had Labour leader Phil Goff referring to having more balls than Key, although unfortunately for Mr Goff having more balls hasn't yet meant having more votes. We've had liars and accusations of "Chinese loans" and "Greek calculators" in apparent disregard to both countries' mathematical histories as the birthplace of pi.

Key has brought back the busted fufu valve, and his "actuallys" have increased to the extent that his speech writers now include some in his speech notes.

And for all Labour's virtuous claims it would fight the election on policies rather than personalities, there has been a sudden outbreak of personality within Labour.

Just as their campaign advertisements harked back to the nostalgia of its wharfie and miner roots, so too has their language reverted to that of a navvy.

It has released its blokes. People have "pissed on the poor" (Damien O'Connor describing National's "trickle down theory") but have not "pissed against a wall" (David Parker on putting money into the Super Fund).

And after being dumped down the list for being a "bloke" and tut-tutted at for describing Labour as dominated by "a gaggle of gays and self-serving unionists" O'Connor suddenly became the party's poster bloke, the action hero in its campaign launch video.

So for those who are confused, these are your options.

In Key's "brighter future" he won't be a monkey's uncle, Goff will be suffering a hangover from his days as a drunken sailor, and nobody will bust a fufu valve. Actually. In Goff's "own our future", Key might be a monkey's uncle with fewer balls than Goff, and people will be encouraged to use the appropriate public facilities rather than "piss on the poor" or "piss against the wall".

Whether Key is a monkey's uncle will depend on how much debt Labour will rack up.

Labour has claimed that at its peak it will borrow "only" $2.6 billion more than National over three years - and will pay it back quicker.

However, National maintains it will borrow $15.6 billion more.

The truth remains elusive.

So as week two begins it remains unclear whether Goff has actually shown us the money, irrespective of whether he has exhibited more "balls". Despite all the blunt talk, all it has done is force voters into internalising difficult situations inside their heads.