Steve Brau­nias’ Se­cret Di­ary of ... The PM and that guy from TOP

Weekend Herald - - Bring On The Weekend - JACINDA ARDERN Gareth Mor­gan and Jacinda Ardern. Pic­tures / Mark Mitchell/Brett Phibbs @SteveBrau­nias

Let me be ab­so­lutely clear on this. The per­for­mance of my Labour-led gov­ern­ment at the open­ing of Par­lia­ment this week went like a dream. Like a dream, it was weird, sense­less, and the im­pli­ca­tions were pro­foundly dis­turb­ing.

But what I want to state for the record is that my Labour-led gov­ern­ment is pre­pared to stand up and be counted. The prob­lem at the open­ing of Par­lia­ment this week was that the count was a bit low. Gov­ern­ment whip Chris Hip­kins sent out a search party. I knew we were in trou­ble when they didn’t come back.

How­ever, I can say very, very un­equiv­o­cally that my Labour-led gov­ern­ment put our heads to­gether and even­tu­ally got things run­ning like a well-oiled ma­chine. Chris as­sem­bled the ma­chine while I held the oil. Some­one passed over a rag and af­ter a bit of kick­ing it in the guts, some­one found the on switch and next thing you know there was a thick dis­charge of ex­haust smoke. When it cleared, there was Trevor Mal­lard sit­ting in the Speaker’s chair. All good.

To be per­fectly hon­est I thought Na­tional were out of line in the way they jeered at the per­for­mance of my Labour-led gov­ern­ment this week. That’s why I stared down Si­mon Bridges and gave him a bit of what-for. I’m 100 per cent com­mit­ted to lead­ing a car­ing gov­ern­ment but there’s def­i­nitely a time and a place to give some­one a bit of what-for.

One thing I’m re­ally firm on is that you can be em­pa­thetic and have steel. I think that’s prob­a­bly the com­bi­na­tion re­quired for gov­ern­ment. In fact, you want em­pa­thy with a bit of steel be­hind it, be­cause some­times you’re go­ing to come up against the real de­trac­tors from what you’re try­ing to achieve.

So, yeah. Em­pa­thy, and steel. Steel, and em­pa­thy. A lot of em­pa­thy but also a lot of steel. So much steel! Tons of it. Oh God, poor old Pad­dles.

GARETH MOR­GAN

I said to him, I said, “Lis­ten, mate, you’re a com­plete waste of space. You’re no good to any­one. You make me sick, frankly.

“But do you know who else makes me sick? All those del­i­cate lit­tle snowflakes melt­ing on the hot sur­face of re­al­ity at the news this week that Jacinda Ardern’s cat, Pad­dles, has died.

“What a to-do. Did you ever hear so many peo­ple go­ing boo-hoo? Not me; I’m through.

“So long Pad­dles, with your fleas and your in­sa­tiable blood lust for our na­tive birds. Good rid­dance, mate.

“And good rid­dance to you, too. Yeah, you. I see you look­ing at me with a star­tled look on your face, act­ing like you’re all sur­prised, like TOP can­di­date Dr Jenny Condie, who I told to re­sign this week be­cause she’s such a pain in the arse.

“Say­onara to her, and hooroo to you, too, mate. Ta-ta. Bye-bye, big ears. Pack your bags. Scram. Get the hell out of here. Not an­other word; I don’t want to hear an­other peep. Shut your mush. Shut it. Shut it. Shut it.”

And just like that I turned my back on the mir­ror.

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