Island Life by David Slack

All your seat are belong to National

Bob Jones was on Nine to Noon this morning saying he could smell a National Party landslide. If I were the trembling type, I might take a lesson from history.

Successive days' headlines in a Paris gazette carried the news of Napoleon's escape from Elba. When the story first broke, the headline spoke of the "Corsican Monster." Two days later, they were calling him the "pretender". The next day he was simply "Bonaparte."

And finally a headline appeared announcing:
"His Imperial Majesty Will Be In Paris Tomorrow."

Let's try out a little due deference to the coming new leadership, then:

Prime Minister Brash should hold firm. The protest marches and the court actions are the work of a noisy minority. Abolishing the Maori seats and removing all references to the Treaty in legislation is a good start, and we can do much more yet to ensure the satisfaction of mainstream New Zealanders. We urge him to go the whole hog and declare the Treaty of no effect from February 6 2006 onwards. Disgruntled Maori should shut up and get on with it.


The blow-out in prison costs should not discourage the Prime Minister from holding the line on his parole policy. The streets are free of crime, and mainstream New Zealanders appreciate that. Carping critics of the policy should shut up and get on with it.


The revised tax cut policy is inspired. It never made sense to pour tax cuts into the pockets of working drones. It is far wiser to direct the cuts towards high earners who invariably put their spare income into productive investment. Families who complain that they are finding it harder than ever to live on the average wage should shut up and get on with it.


The spiralling cost of housing for the poor should not discourage the Prime Minister from maintaining the new housing policy. People complaining about the number of families paying more than half their income on rent should shut up and get on with it.


Prime Minister Brash continues to show decisiveness by sacking his sixth minister in four months. A cabinet that cannot agree is a cabinet divided. Ministers who have reservations about Dr Brash's principles for good government should shut up and get on with it.


The Prime Minister's remarks at his press conference with George Bush and John Howard concluded a splendid lunchtime for New Zealand. Our long adolescent nightmare is over as we return to the grown-ups table and take our global policy instructions from those who know best about these things. Peaceniks who fret about our elevated security risk should shut up and get on with it.

Go on - try to say all that out loud. Can you do it with feeling yet?

Maybe you need to start with something easier. One expression that will presumably be unacceptable once Prime Minister Brash has his shoes under the desk will be the altogether unseemly "testicles."

If you should find yourself in conversation with the good Doctor, and feel unsure how else you might refer to those vital anatomical items, you might like to refer to the Sex Dictionary. Just plucking a couple from the long list of possibilities, you could, for instance call them "baby-makers" or "back-wheels". If rhyming slang is your thang, you could try "fun-and-frolics" or the thoroughly highbrow: "orchestra-stalls".

So much for an uncouth lefty to learn!

Of course Bob Jones might be wrong. He's made some pretty wild propositions in his time. Centrebet odds remain all square at 1.85 each with two days and three polls to go, and of course the small matter of Labour taking an almighty kick in the fun-and-frolics.

I just hope we don't get the outcome no-one could surely want: deadlocked at 60-60. That could bring us to a second election, and I get tired just thinking about it.