Friday, February 13, 2004


Steve Maharey - who doesn't look like a Maori but must be with a surname like that (bit like that Pam Kokiri) - has challenged me to explain how my "one size fits all" social policy will work.
Well, I never said one size would fit all.
I said all would fit one size.
The distinction should be obvious to the meanest intelligence. Even Kim Hill would be able to understand it.
How hard is it for people to get the message? We're not talking about rocket surgery here!
When I was governor of the Reserve Bank - where, by the way, we had many wonderful Maori people working for us; in fact, senior members of staff said the place had never been so clean - I didn't have one Official Cash Rate for big fellas and another for black fellas.
It's the same with social policy.
Got it?

The phrase for today is 'whakapapa' - reverse Oedipus.

Thursday, February 12, 2004


Dear Don
I can hardly believe I am writing this e-mail, but if I don't tell you how I feel you will never know, and my best chance at lasting happiness could be gone forever.
Ever since our encounter last week, I have been unable to get you out of my head.
No interview subject has ever made me feel the way you did. Your capacious forehead, suggesting a brain almost as large as my own, your suit that shouted "I don't need to care about how I look!", the luminescent blue sheen of your skin - all re-ignited flames of passion I had thought long since dormant.
I don't know if you noticed, but at one point I completely lost  control of my eyebrows.
On my Saturday radio show, I inadvertently called one of my guests Don.
Fortunately, it was Don McKinnon, so I don't think anyone noticed.
I think about you constantly - last night my head was so full of visions of you I only read two books and learnt one language.
Perhaps we could get together for a kowhi (geddit?) some time?
Don, it's taken a lot for me to write this, and I would be very embarassed if its contents became public. I know I can rely on your discretion.
Yours (?)

Kim, you have my word on it.

The phrase for today is 'ka pai' - that's a snack you eat in your automobile.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004


Okay, so Gerry let rip in the House yesterday (and no, this isn't intended as some sideways gimcrack at the amount of wind a husky man expels) and all I have to say on the matter is that to err is human.
And being human is what today's National Party is all about.
According to my research, human beings are quite complex and often prone to high-key emotions.
The day that I lose my passion will be the day I walk away from politics.
Because, to be brutally honest, the alternative just does not compute.

Here is an interesting email I received a few minutes ago from one of my many supporters:

Dear Don,
I'm very proud of the work Gerry Brownlee's doing.
And I know the bunch of Maoris he's related to must be as well. Can't see what all today's fuss is about, though.
That Tamihere's not a sheila, so he's obviously a fella. And he is quite dark - more black than brown anyway.
Not too sure about calling Gerry the big fella‚ though.
Like a lot of really fat people he's quite sensitive about his weight.
But I think the Maoris like a bit of meat on the bones - you just have to look at that Papakura Horomia.
And the lovable Maori tykes I used to bob for apples with when I was growing up were all on the lardy side.

Thank you Hone from Whangarei for your kind words. It's most heartening to know that we've managed to strike a chord with you.

Allow me to end today's entry with a joke I heard this morning:

What did the big fellow say to the black fellow after he said something about the black fellow's colour in retaliation to the black fellow saying something about the big fellow's size?


Laughter is the best medicine.
Let us join together and heal the nation.

The phrase for today is 'kia ora' - that's Maori for the faint glow around a native bird.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004


I've decided that the Party shadow cabinet must take lessons in "tee Rio" and that Sammy (aka Gerry) is the only person qualified to act as teacher.
So far, we've learnt to count to ten and I know this will certainly restore the confidence that the Party once enjoyed from the financial sector.
Personally, I'm hoping to expand my knowledge of this dead language in order to visit marae up and down the country and inform the Maori in their own tongue that they no longer exist.
Critics of my policy are far too eager to reduce it to some 'black versus white' issue.
This is patently absurd and socially-irresponsible.
For the record, I do not consider myself to be truly white as I have a somewhat lightish-blue complexion.
According to my physician, this is a circulation problem and that's why I've decided to get out more often because, frankly, the walk will do me good.


So there I was face to face with Kim Hill last week on some publicly-funded television debate nonsense and I'm criticized for being "too negative".
Well, if you've ever gone head to head with Kim Hill you'd understand what an unnerving experience it is.
Kim is a lovely woman both inside and out but whenever I'm talking to her directly I never know which eyebrow to look at.
So, my head's swaying back and forth like a spectator at the Davis Cup as I try to focus on one eyebrow and then the next and, before you know it, I'm shaking my head as if in disagreement with everything she's just said.
Next time I'm interviewed by Ms Hill, I shall follow my media strategist's advice by keeping my head perfectly still and never looking her in the eye.


One of my people pointed out an attack on me disguised as a column in the Sunday Star Times the other day.
It turned out to be a blessing in disguise because, prior to this, I had been unaware that news carried on over the course of a weekend.
The column in question was written by a certain young woman by the name of Rosemary McLeod who I believe needs a lesson or two in history before she puts pen to paper, or finger to keyboard, or however one does things in this day and age.
Rosemary, if you have access to the Internet and are able to read this, then I would like to address you directly.
You say that the future of the nation does not lie in the hands of "old white men".
Well missy, if it wasn't for a couple of "old white men" then I certainly wouldn't have had any future (or past come to think of it).
Yes, I'm referring to my father who begat me and his father who begat him and the father before that and so on and thus forth.
One should not run off at the mouth when one does not have all the facts at hand.
I challenge you to refute the logic of my argument.


I feel that I should explain why my deputy leader has been given the informal nomenclature of "Sammy".
Now, according to my research, Sammy Davis Jnr was a skinny Afro-American Jewish entertainer and if you knew Gerry then you'd also be aware that he is neither Jewish nor entertaining.
I think his adoption of such a humourously ironic nickname reflects a new informality amongst the National Party and points the way towards a dynamic future.
I think people have the impression that the National Party is populated by grim, uptight conservative-types when, in reality, nothing is further from the truth because behind closed doors and after a hard day's work we like to let our hair down and share a few laughs just like you people.
When Gerry or John (Carter) dons blackface and wig and sings a few negro spirituals it never fails to raise a smile from even the "stuffiest" party member.
And on the subject of the National Party's newly-found sense of irony, I've allowed my team members to call me 'Brash' because that too elicits the heartiest of chuckles.
However, I'm still trying to work out the actual comedy behind this but as I am a relative novice in the art of politics I am sure that, given time, I'll learn.


Waitangi Day was a triumph. I was fortunate enough to visit one of those ornately-carved wooden houses that Maori people are fond of congregating around and was bestowed a great honour.
On the surface, it appeared that I was under attack but according to my new expert on all things Maori, Gerry "Sammy" Brownlee, it was evidence of how in tune I was with the nation and that these Maori wanted to show me in their quaint ethnic way that I (to use the vernacular of the young folk) "had an ear to the ground".
To know that I shall always carry a small piece of Waitangi in my auditory canal wherever I go - especially if it's travelling at around sixty km per hour and is, according to my physician, inoperable - fills me with a sense of pride.
I have become one with the land.

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