Island Life by David Slack

Celebrity Skin, Gossip, Espionage

What's a good blog without the odd bit of inside information? Want to get a look at the list of people who've applied to be the nation's top spy? You've come to the right place. Public Address readers are always reliable for a good bit of Wellington gossip, and sure enough, I've been handed some very interesting dossiers this week.

I don't know why they came to me instead of Ian Wishart, but I'm flattered all the same.

The job application is one of life's great democratic moments. You don't need much to apply for a job, be it the head of the SIS, chief executive of TVNZ or Linda Clark's replacement, to take just three current vacancies. If you have a 40 cent stamp, a brown envelope and Microsoft Word, there is no-one in the world who can hold you back from putting your hat in the ring. You need simply type up your CV, maybe padding it a little, possibly using the 21st century power of your word processor to give each heading a different colour, and of course attaching a good head and shoulders shot.

Perhaps some people actually make a sport of it. Perhaps there are Walter Mitty types dotted around the country who send off applications for every prestigious appointment that comes up, just for the entertainment value of getting a nice boilerplate response under some glorious letterhead from the head of Human Resources - or People Capability as Llew tells me the smart organisations are styling it these days.

But you don't want to know about that; you want to take a sticky-beak and see who's put their hand up to be put in charge of spying on their fellow kiwis. I must say there were a few surprises. I won't share them all, but here are a few you that might interest you.

Nicky Watson
I would like to be the new chief spy please. My agent says I should show you this photo and that will tell you what you need to know. He says that a good spy needs to be able to get stuff out of people and I have got what it takes. I don't know if he is right but when I get into a hot tub with a guy, you would not believe what I can get out of him.

Paul Holmes
I know a lot of people. I know where the bodies are buried. You don't put in fifteen God-forsaken years into that God-forsaken show without getting something useful out of it, let me tell you.

David P Farrar
I am 94% evil, so no difficulty with scruples or disappearing the odd person.

Steve Braunias
God knows, some wretch has to do it. Do you have a tea lady? You seem the type of outfit that still would. What about an outdoor barbecue? I work best with the smoke of a barbecue and the aroma of a thick wedge of slow-grilling Hereford. Would there be a place for a man to watch football on an infeasibly large television screen?

David Benson Pope
Available for immediate start. Please reply promptly.

Michael Bassett

I have a book project or two to dispose of but I am nevertheless interested in discussing this position with you. I have been taking notes for a very long time.

Ahmed Zaoui
Your wonderful country has shown me much kindness and I would like to return the favour by diligently protecting her borders. As the proverb says: "When the poacher turns to the gamekeeper their voice will become one."

Applications close in six days, if you fancy your chances.

Update, corrections etc:
How long since you posted a letter? asks Llew. He's right. You'll be out 45 cents, not 40. And 90 if you want to send it in an A4 envelope.

And a challenge:
Fat Chance (s), writes a blogger with strong credentials.
Have Pie & Penthouse.
It's Mine!

Details here.