Island Life by David Slack

His master's voice

Sandy, when you’ve tidied this up, send it over to Licke, Spitte, Polish and Spin to give it the usual gussying up, then send it to the Minister, but for God’s sake don’t let them change it too much. We want these buggers to sit up and pay attention.

Dear Pussy

Do you want to know how far Telecom’s share price will fall if you go ahead with unbundling?

Want a guess? Well do you, Pussy?

I’ll tell you.

It’ll drop 30 cents.

And what’s at stake if it drops 30 cents?

The stock market, Henry. That’s right. If we go down, you turkeys are coming down with us. Think it can’t happen? Our shares make up more than 20 per cent of the market. It’ll drop like a stone.

And why does this matter to you? Well let’s start with the Government superannuation fund.

What have you got that invested in?

That’s right, Einstein: Telecom.

How are you going to like it when the market plunges? What are you going to do when the headlines say worst day since 1987.

Yeah, yeah, big-arse companies can lose a fortune without hurting the rest of the economy. You think we were all asleep when Fletcher Challenge got carved up? Heard it all before, been to the boring business school classes, got the diploma.

But wise up Chester, we’re the big gorilla in the pen. You know and I know that it would realistically mean buggerall to the economy in the long run if we went down. In fact it would probably be quite positive for everyone who isn’t us. There’d still be a telecoms market and the rest of the economy would probably get a bit of a lift from having our chokehold taken off it.

But do you trust the voters to look that far ahead? Do you, bollocks. They’d just be all: oh no, oh no, the sky is falling, look at poor Telecom, look at the poor sharemarket, what will we do now?

You think they wouldn’t? Want to put a lazy 100 large on it? I’ve got it right now in my wallet, mate.

And if that hasn’t got your sphincter nice and tight, try this on for size: The Aussies. You dump on us and you know who gets to pick up the bone? The bloody Aussies! Telstra Bloody Clear, the mongrels. Look, they won’t do even a half-way decent job of running telecoms in New Zealand. Telcos never do any good in a foreign country. Look what a dog’s breakfast my company made of AAPT in Australia.

And another thing.

You know those flash 3G phones we sent you saps? Well you can whistle for getting any mp3s or home movies on those suckers if we don’t get what we want.

Why should we put any of our profits back into the market if un-freaking-bundling is all the thanks we get?

Stuff the upgrades, stuff the flash high speed service to every door in the country that we’ve been banging on about. You’ll get none of it.

Now be a good boy and vote like you’re told.