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B. Guevara: Divination & The Art of Being Winston

Biff Guevara's inclusive coverage of NZ's 2005 General Election
Politics, society and satire in New Zealand. Commentary on the New Zealand 05 general election. Observations on what's going on.

MONDAY, JULY 18, 2005

Madame Biff's political fortunes

I'm personally not gifted with second sight, in fact my first sight isn't that good.

So with a view toward improving the scope of this blog I set out to get some predictions on what will happen at the election. Of course I went to none other than Madame Biff, an aunt for whom I was named. She is of course well known in new age circles and has her own psychic line advertised in the Manukau Courier.

Her house is a million dollar weather board house in Grey Lynn with 2.5 bedrooms.

"You" she said as I arrived at the door. "I was expecting you".
"You had a premonition?"
"No your mother rang."
With a weak cup of tea firmly in hand we sat at the table.
"So you've come to ask about the election?"
"Mum told you?"
"No all the brochures you're holding."
"So what will happen?"
"Which election? September 2005 or Oct 2006?"

With that we got going. I asked her who would win the September 2005 election. "No one," she replied, "except the anarchists."
I told her we don't have any anarchists in Parliament, "The greens" she corrected herself. "And the working for families ads with Maori and Pacific Islanders are working very well for National" she added.
"What will happen Madame Biff?"
"Jim Anderton will win Wigram."
I was getting a little frustrated by this stage,"And?" I asked testily.
"Peter Dunne will win Ohariu Belmont".

I tried a different tack, "Who will Winston go with, Labour or National?"
She supped her tea said it will be difficult but it won't matter as it'll all end in tears when Winston demanded to be the PM after 18 months.
"The polls are looking good for National," I said.
"Yes and they'll do very well, maybe Helen Clark's popularity will decline."
I went for the kill. "So Don Brash will be Prime Minister?"
She held a National Party brochure in her hand, "Ohh these policies look good."
"Yes, but will National be the government?"
"I agree we should be paying for cops not cabs."
"Madame Biff..."
"Treaty of Waitangi all settled!"
"No more politically correct rubbish.... and TAX cuts!"
"You won't get a tax cut, you're a pensioner!" I protested as she moved away reading intently.
"It says here I will. Winston Peter's will give me more money as well. Ohhhh this sounds good, no more arrogant government."

And with that she was gone to ring her best friend, Madame Enid, to discuss politics.

I got up and left with some insight but none the wiser.




How could you lose? How can you win?

Consider ... record low unemployment, a bouyant economy (which hasn't yet slowed down), political stability and the All Blacks have just thumped the Lions, and yet the majority governing party is struggling. It defies all conventional logic. What happened? Why has Labour resorted to baby killing metaphors?

Well what happened has stumped all the political parties. It was a sea change. Last year people were grateful. Things were good. And all of a sudden Labour look like toast.

I was thinking about it and I think it's like NZ is suddenly full of noveau riche. There are quite a few millionaires walking around Auckland now. Ok all they own is 40 percent of a run down 2.5 bedroom house in Grey Lynn but they're almost millionaires! And like Noveau riche we want what we want NOW.

So rather than standing in the queue at MacDonalds to get a Big Mac, Kiwis now want to have a waiter come over to them and serve them a Big Mac, with extra fries and a deli roll, and be quick about it. We don't want to queue - we're rich. And we're not going to tolerate this PC bullshit. They can go and buy their own house in Grey Lynn and be millionaires too!

So there were these things that the Government did to burn off rural support, closing schools, carbon taxes, and now public access to farm land. And then burnt off some of middle NZ support, prostitution, civil unions, and youth drinking (ok it wasn't Labour but they've worn it), and then talked about marijuana. Oh and petrol prices. Two tax based price increases in two months in election year!? And NZ, about the time of the bill boards and the budget, said 'bugger it".

Bugger economic growth, high employment, low unemployment, fiscal responsibility, we want Big Macs to our million dollar 2.5 bedroom houses in Grey Lynn and no PC sauce.

National on the other hand, who looked only 12 weeks ago, like outsiders are poised to do a deal with Winston Peters.

Labour are nearly ready to roll too. To also roll into talks with Winston Peters.

So not only does losing seem unbelievable, so is anyone actually winning. Well apart from Winston.

And Winston is loving it.

The election will be September. August 20 is a date you get when Clark leaves a Press conference early.



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