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Lyndon Hood: Sealing The Mine And Throwing Away The Key

Scoop Satire: Sealing The Mine And Throwing Away The Key

Satire by Lyndon Hood

We were waiting a while for John Key to hold a press conference on the Pike River announcement, so we got bored and made up our own.

KEY: Hullo!

PRESS: Has your Government had anything to do with the decision to cease the rescue operation?

K: Yeah, nah.

P: You do understand that the families would like to bury their loved ones?

K: Of course I do. And it's been hard for us too. There's tonnes and tonnes of coal trapped down there. Gerry's been distraught.

P: You said in November you'd do "everything possible".

K: Well, everything possible has been done, actually.

P: Everything?

K: Yes

P: All of the things?

K: All of the possible things.

P: So there weren't that many things?

K: No, and they didn't work. I reckon that GAG machine as more gag as in prop comedy rather than Gas Assisted whatever-it-stands-for.

P: Gorniczy Agregat Gasniczy.

K: Bless you.

P: So it's not really about the cost?

K: No.

P: But supposing you had all the money in the world...?

K: Well I guess it's possible that if you literally shovelled all the money in the world into the hole it might stablise the mine, but that wouldn't actually help people get their loved ones back. And face it, if all we wanted to do was throw a bunch of money into a hole, we could just build another prison. What a stupid idea. Next question.

P: Gerry Brownlee said in December that "Police will remain on-site overseeing the operation for the foreseeable future."

K: Well, it was a conditional statement. I learned about them when I was trying to pretend I hadn't promised not to raise GST.

P: Which bit's conditional?

K: "The foreseeable future".

P: One month isn't foreseeable?

K: Well, taking for granted that as a Government we don't really do foresight. I thought everyone knew that. Superannuation, tax cuts, environment, corrections, motorways... Come on! And I mean Gerry, for all I can tell the man's energy policy is 'coal'. I expect by "foreseeable" he meant, 'till lunchtime that day'. And he was completely right.

P: So it's not that he was just making stuff up?

K: Gerry? Why would he do that?

P: Well, as a hobby, for example. Anyhow, what you're saying is it's taken these two months to find out our recovery effort wasn't working?

K: Yep.

P: And how long do the receivers have to decide what to do with the mine?

K: Till Monday.

P: Three days?

K: Yeah, but there is the weekend there, so they won't be busy with anything else. Is that not long enough? Tuesday? Wednesday? Wednesday. That's practically a week.

P: So, for the foreseeable future?

K: Exactly. Besides, they're gonna seal it forever, aren't they?

P: They said that was a 'worst case scenario'.

K: They're the receiver for a company with no money and one super-explodey coal mine. Sounds pretty pretty bad-case to me. I think it's time to concentrate on memorialising the dead.

P: What kind of thing?

K: An eternal flame maybe? I know where we can get some methane.

P: Don't you think that's in rather poor taste?

K: Oh, nonono, sorry, I meant from our assurances about rescue operation. Bit of the old self-depreciating humour.

P: And the mine likely to be handed back to the Department of Conservation?

K: Well, the Pike River disaster has made a mark on New Zealand's history, so it makes sense to preserve it for posterity.

P: The mine?

K: No, the disaster.

P: So what lesson might future generations learn from it?

K: I dunno. Be sure to get all the coal out before the mine blows up?

P: I think there's a lesson there for us all.



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